Christ redeemed me, He redeemed me not

There is a teaching in part of Christendom that teaches that some men are predestined for God’s grace and the rest of men are predestined for God’s wrath.  This is a nice thought if you are one of those men who are predestined for grace. 

But does it really mean that Jesus came and died for some men and not others?  Did Jesus die only for those who were predestined for His grace?  Why would He die for those of whom He knows He has predestined for wrath?  What would the point be?  They would never be eligible for His grace anyway if He died for them, since they were predestined for damnation and destruction.

It is a shame so many “believers” use this doctrine to comfort themselves in their “eternal security” when our gospel puts out a hope for all mankind.  Not just those of us who think we are part of the predestined group of God’s elect.

So who is called?  Of those called, do they all respond?  If they are called would not the irresistible grace doctrine of predestination kick in and force all men who are called to respond positively to Christ?  Scripture teaches many are called but few are chosen.

For many are called, but few are chosen.[1]

Did Jesus also die for the many that were called and never chosen?  Does scripture teaches that Christ takes away the sin of only those predestined for grace?  Why would God take away the sin of those predestined for His wrath?  If He took away their sins wouldn’t they too have God’s grace?

Scripture testifies that Jesus takes away not only the sins of the saints, but of the whole world.  The work of Christ is so complete, He took away the sins of every man, woman and child.  He was the atoning sacrifice for all sin.  He is the savior of the world.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.[2]

We in Christendom think Jesus only takes away the sins of those who accept Christ.  That is only after you accept Jesus as your savior.  So is it that He died for you but His sacrifice is not sufficient to forgive your sins unless you become a believer?  Or is it that His sacrifice is sufficient to take away your sins even before you believed?  Is He the savior that takes away the sins of the world or is He not?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.[3]

Scripture testifies that it was the purpose of God to send His Son to die for the sins of the world that He might be the savior of the world, by taking away the sins of the world.  Isn’t this the truth we find in our gospel?  Now that the sins of the whole world have been taken away, we now can doubt Christ and His sacrifice or believe it.  Then believing, we walk in the light of His truth, that our sins were forgiven, that God has given His grace to all mankind.

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.[4]

The truth sadly is that even as the savior of the world who takes away the sins of the world, the world still rejects His redeeming grace that He has lavished on us all.

The lost reject Him by their unbelief and disobedience to His word.  Christ is their savior taking away their sins, because He died for them, yet rejected by them through their disobedience and faithlessness. 

If the lost who had all the grace given to them as we do to us will die in their sins for disobedience and faithlessness, how much more a believer who now has nothing over the lost concerning God’s redeeming grace, who walks in disobedience and faithlessness?  Kinda gives a new urgency to what James said, doesn’t it?

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?[5]

It takes more than just saying you believe in Jesus.  It takes your life.  There is no distinction between what the lost have received from their savior who took away their sins than that of the believer who has the same grace.  That is until we are no longer faithless believers and disobedient disciples.   That is until we truly become transformed by being born again of the Spirit.

Now as born again believers who have had our sins taken away, even while we were yet enemies of God, through the work of the cross by our Savior, let us as redeemed men now look to His salvation to come to us at His return.

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.[6]

[1] Matthew 22:14

[2] John 1:29

[3] John 3:16-17

[4] John 12:46

[5] James 2:20

[6] Hebrews 9:28

3 thoughts on “Christ redeemed me, He redeemed me not

  1. Dave,

    It is always frustrating when people seek to write or speak about biblical and theological subjects that they don’t fully understand. As you are doing with Calvinisim. You must first define proper or historic Calvinism before you engage. And this itself is a task! This you have never done on any of your subjects. And I don’t think you really care for the truth on this history or subject? But just to perpetuate your own ideas, which are not fully stated in the historical as I have mentioned. But as the nature of the personal blog, have at it!

    I am sure too, that there are other Christian Calvinists out there that can speak to this issue. Since I have been fighting this chest cold. And as another has spoken, there must be “order” in our theological thought.

  2. I purposefully did not mention anything about Calvinism, just to be sensitive to your historical Calvinism. I simply mentioned the teaching that is out there in parts of the church. If I would have mentioned Tony Evan’s book “Totally Saved” as the supporter of a form of non-historical Calvinism, would that have been better suited for you?

    It seems to me that your agitation with my hinting at the unhistorical Calvinism proves that there is an ignorance in the church about what is true historical Calvinism. :Which by the way leads to the subject which this post was addressing Why not comment on how I did a good job at identifying the falsehood in the non-historical Calvinism as a point of differentiation between the two. Instead anyone reading your comment will not fully be able to understand your point about the need for the purity of the doctrine of Calvinism you support.

    I get your post in my email. I would like to see a post or several posts on the difference between historical Calvinism and what many have made it today. I think it would be very educational and even possibly get much conversation going to the benefit of the position you hold. Hopefully you will do it.

    If you want purity in Calvinism, you have got to preach it, so preach it only line. Don’t just criticize. 🙂

Give me a piece of your mind, let me know what you thought.

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