"He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” Isaiah 53:8
We believe the doctrine of Limited Atonement because that is clearly the doctrine of Holy Scripture. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died as the Substitute for his own elect. By God’s intention, design, and purpose the atonement of Christ is limited to the elect. By his one sin-atoning sacrifice for sin the Lord Jesus Christ actually accomplished the redemption of the chosen, securing their eternal salvation. The redemptive work of Christ was performed for a particular people (Isa. 53:8); and the Son of God has effectually accomplished the redemption of those people (Heb. 9:12).
Without question, the blood of Christ is of infinite value. Had he intended to save the world, his blood is of sufficient value to satisfy the justice of God for all men. But that is not the issue. The intention of Christ in the shedding of his blood was the redemption and salvation of his elect. It never was the intention, will, desire, or purpose of the Son of God to redeem and save all men (John 17:9, 20). He laid down his life for his sheep (John 10:11, 15), not his sheep and the goats (John 10:25). According to the Scriptures, the intention of Christ’s atonement and the effects of it are the same. What he intended to do on the cross, he has done. He intended to redeem all God’s elect by satisfying the wrath and justice of God for them. And by his death all God’s elect have been effectually redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13). Their sins have been put away (Heb. 9:27). Christ has purchased his people with his precious blood (I Pet. 1:18-19). He perfected forever all who were sanctified, or set apart for God, in eternal election (Heb. 10:14).
Everywhere in the Bible, when the redemptive work of Christ is spoken of and explained, it is described as a particular and effectual redemption. There is not a single exception (Isa. 53:10-11; Matt. 1:21; John 10:11, 14-18; Rom. 5:8; II Cor. 8:9; Gal. 1:4; 3:13; Eph. 5:25-27; Tit. 2:14; I John 3:16; Rev. 1:5; 5:9).
The doctrine of the Bible is particular and effectual redemption. The Lord Jesus Christ died for and effectually accomplished the eternal redemption of his chosen people according to the will of God the Father. “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Cor. 5:21). We reject as heresy any doctrine that denies the efficacy of Christ’s atonement.
Really, the question to be answered is not, “For whom did Christ die?”, but “Who died?” If Christ died upon the cross to redeem and save all men, and all are not saved, then he is not God, he is not the true Messiah, and all who trust him are lost and yet in their sins! Do you see how vital this doctrine is? Without it, there is no gospel! Without it, there is no salvation! We preach a Redeemer who redeems, a Savior who saves, and an atonement that atones!
“Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved to sin no more!”
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor - Grace For Today Radio Message #566
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438