Skip to main content

In His Blood Through Faith

This Week in my Theology II class we were asked to defend our position on the extent of the atonement. Did Jesus die for everyone or only for those who are elect? Before this discussion started I had no idea that there were so many people in my class who claim reform theology yet believe that the atonement is unlimited.

This makes no since to me, because a belief that Christ’s atonement was sufficient for all, yet only efficient for the elect is called Amyraldism. In 1619 the Synod of Dort refuted Arminius’s teachings by rejecting the five articles of Remonstrance put forward by his pupils. The synod affirmed total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints as reformed soteriology. Amyraut in a short Treatise on predestination in 1634 took issue with the doctrine of limited atonement while affirming the other four.[1] Thinking in terms of the atonement as being limited or unlimited is outside of the biblical picture. I believe that thinking in terms of particular redemption is in line with the Biblical authors.

My view of the Trinity is much like that of the patristic Irenaeus; The Lord God is a Shepard who guides His sheep with His two hands, His Word and His Spirit. Therefore, my view of justification is the same. The redemption which is in Christ Jesus is a single act by the Lord God in two parts; the blood of the Word and the faith given to us by the Spirit of Truth. One God who brings about the redemption of His sheep with His two hands. Therefore, I cannot separate Christ death on the Cross from the work of the Spirit. The atonement and faith are like two sides of a single coin; the two sides are Christ blood and the believer’s faith.

I will refer you to both Romans 3:21-26 and the law of atonement in Leviticus 16. On the day of the atonement there were two goats; one goat a sin offering and the other a scapegoat. The goat for the sin offering was slaughtered, the high priest brought the blood inside the veil and sprinkled it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. Then the high priest laid his hands on the live goat and confessed over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and sent it away into the wilderness.[2] Just like the day of atonement was a single act by the high priest in two parts; so, the redemption which is in Christ Jesus is a single act by our High Priest, “in His blood through faith.”[3] It is God who provides both the blood and the faith that saves.

The Lord God said to Moses, “I will be gracious to whom He will be gracious and I will show compassion on whom He will show compassion.”[4] Jesus said, “all that the Father gives Me will come to Me…No one can come to me unless that Father who sent Me draws him…no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father…I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep… My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”[5]



[1] John D. Woodbridge and Frank A. James III, Church History From Pre-Reformation to Present Day, Volume Two, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013), 258.
[2] Cf. Lev.16:1-23.
[3] Rom.3:25.
[4] Exo.33:19, cf. Rom.9:15.
[5] Jn.6:37,44,65,10:11,27-29.

Popular posts from this blog

Suffering and Death in the ICU

Suffering: The state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship.[1]Death: The end of the life of a person.[2]Intensive Care Unit: A department of a hospital in which patients who are dangerously ill are kept under constant observation.[3] I cannot continue doing what I have done for the past 21 years. My last day in the intensive care unit will be January 4, 2019. I will be transitioning to Cardiac Rehabilitation. This will be a completely different type of nursing. Cardiac Rehabilitation combines my love of aerobic exercise, knowledge of cardiology and love of people suffering with heart disease. I will be able to invest in their lives in a way that I was never able to do before.  These past 5 days are an example of what my work has been like for the past 21 years: I worked 4, 12 ½ hour shifts. I took care of 10 persons, all of whom suffered but some greater than others. A woman 10 years younger than I suffered a myocardial infarction (heart attack); a woman suffered greatly in the i…

Please, Please, Please Open Your Mouth and Preach the Gospel!

Please, Please, Please open your mouth and preach the gospel! Recently I was asked to do two things: 1) Think back to my own experience of how I was evangelized and describe the experience. 2) If I could go back and give advice to the person or people who ministered to me what would it be?  I began running as a young child. At the age of 5, I ran my first mile with my dad. At the age of 10, I wanted a pair of running shoes like the big runner’s wear. My dad challenged me, if I could run 5 consecutive miles at less than 8 minutes per mile he would by me a pair of running shoes. I met the challenge and he bought me the shoes. While at the runner’s store there was a flyer for an upcoming 10k race. My dad signed us both up for the race. The next year my dad was too busy with work to run with me, but we had new neighbors across the street. I noticed that this man would come home every evening and go for a run. I began running with him, at the time he was pursuing a doctorate at D. T. S., …

Evangelism and Discipleship

The defining mission of the church is to make disciples of all the nations, initiate the new disciples into fellowship through the ordinance of baptism in the name of the Triune God and teach them to observe all that Jesus commanded the first disciples; doing so by the power of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, Matthew 28:18-20 has been called the great commission because Jesus, who has all authority in heaven and on earth (Mt 28:18) commissioned his disciples to do just that. There is an utterance of this great commission at the end of each gospel account and the beginning of Acts. (cf. Mk 16:15, Lk 24:46-48, Jn 20:21, and Acts 1:8) Why? Because evangelism and discipleship are the church’s purpose for existing. For this reason, evangelism and discipleship cannot be separated. They are wholly dependent on one another. Jesus did not commission his disciples at the beginning of his ministry, but at the conclusion, and before his ascension. However, He did send them out on practice evang…