Contend Earnestly: Clearing Up My Position

Friday, December 14, 2007

Clearing Up My Position

Turretinfan has asked me to clear up my position and asked if we differ on the thesis. You can see his full question here. I will put forth my position as it stands, and also assert that Turretinfan and I do NOT agree on this. He, for some reason, believes that I have "conceded" to his points of concern, which I have not. I will also make a comment at the end, and putting forth again the quotes on what Shedd is asserting as well. Turretinfan said that he has "substantiated" his claim, which I found wanting.

Here is the original topics to be debated:

Resolved: Christ's sacrifice has saved or will save each person upon whose behalf it was offered. (Turretinfan)

I will be denying that [assertion] and affirming that Christ died universally for the whole world, especially the elect. (Seth)

Here is my clarification on what I believe:

1. I believe that Jesus Christ died for the whole world of unbelieving humanity. I believe he paid the ransom, wiped away their sin.

2. Jesus Christ only intended (purposed is my word of choice) the salvation of the elect, this is the efficacy of the payment. Really found in the application of it.

3. By Jesus' death, He then offers this death to all men. He desires the salvation of all men, even seeks their salvation through the call of the Gospel, that is, that Christ died for all and by that death it is the means for all to be saved.

So, in the end. God's secret will, will save everyone of the elect, because it(Christ's death) is for them that it is purposed. But, in God's revealed will, Jesus died for all and paid the payment and the desire and offer is to all.

As far as Shedd is concerned. Turretinfan "substantiated" his claim that Shedd believed only in limited atonement with this quote:

But if the answer be that there is not efficient power in the sinful will itself, either wholly or in part, to savingly believe, then faith is wholly the gift of God, is wholly dependent upon his electing grace, and redemption is limited by election, as is taught in 1 Cor. 3:5: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man”; and in Rom. 9:16: “It is not of him that wills nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy.”
Shedd, W. G. T., & Gomes, A. W. (2003). Dogmatic theology.

As we don't deny that the efficacy was found in the elect alone, as Shedd is asserting here, we also see the other side of the atonement, and that is in the actual sufficiency found in the expiation for the entirety of the whole of mankind.

Here is where Shedd explicity agrees with us. We would not disagree with the above mentioned quote, but we also understand that it does not stop there with Shedd, with us, nor with the entirety of the understanding of Christ's expiation. This is the equivalent, in my opinion, of quoting John 10:11 that states: I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. and then stating that the debate is over. The whole of this entire argument over Shedd, Dabney, Hodge, Calvin, Bullinger, Zwingli, etc. does not end with one quote, but with their entire theology of the subject, taken as a whole, and not in part. Of course, we find this because we do the same with Scripture. We don't just state John 10:13 and then declare victory. We must ask some key questions on the entirety of the biblical account to prove the purposes, sufficiency,efficacy, and purposes of the atonement. The same is to be said with Shedd, or any other theologian.

On that note, here again, are a couple of quotes by Shedd that very much clear up his opinion on the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the third place, an atonement, either personal or vicarious, when made, naturally and necessarily cancels legal claims. This means that there is such a natural and necessary correlation between vicarious atonement and justice, that the former supplies all that is required by the latter. It does not mean that Christ’s vicarious atonement naturally and necessarily saves every man; because the relation of Christ’s atonement to divine justice is one thing, but the relation of a particular person to Christ’s atonement is a very different thing. Christ’s death as related to the claims of the law upon all mankind, cancels those claims wholly. It is an infinite “propitiation for the sins of the whole world,” 1 John 2:2. But the relation of an impenitent person to this atonement, is that of unbelief and rejection of it. Consequently, what the atonement has effected objectively in reference to the attribute of divine justice, is not effected subjectively in the conscience of the individual. There is an infinite satisfaction that naturally and necessarily cancels legal claims, but unbelief derives no benefit from the fact...This reasoning applies to vicarious atonement equally with personal. Justice does not require a second sacrifice from Christ, in addition to the first. “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many,” Hebrews 10:28 [sic]. This one offering expiated “the sins of the whole world,” and justice is completely satisfied in reference to them. The death of the God-man naturally and necessarily cancelled all legal claims. When a particular person trusts in this infinite atonement, and it is imputed to him by God, it then becomes his atonement for judicial purposes as really as if he had made it himself, and then it naturally and necessarily cancels his personal guilt, and he has the testimony that it does in his peace of conscience.

Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 2:437, 438.

VOL. II., p. 441. The expiation of sin is distinguishable from the pardon of it. The former, conceivably, might take place and the latter not. When Christ died on Calvary, the whole mass, so to speak, human sin was expiated merely by that death; but the whole mass was not pardoned merely by that death. The claims of law and justice for the sins of the whole world were satisfied by the "offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb. 10:10); but the sins of every individual man were not forgiven and "blotted out" by this transaction. Still another transaction was I requisite in order to this: namely, the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the sinner working faith in this expiatory offering, and the declarative act of God saying " Thy sin is forgiven thee." The Son of God, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, " sat down on the right hand of God " (Heb. 10:12) ; but if the redeeming work of the Trinity had stopped at this point, not a soul of mankind would have been pardoned and justified, yet the expiatory value of the " one sacrifice "would have been just the same. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 3:418.


Magnus said...

I have a hard time seeing what Seth is denying in TF’s assertion? It seems that Seth would have to say that no Christ’s sacrifice has not saved or will not save each person upon whose behalf it was offered. Would Seth than be saying that some people will not be saved for whom Christ’s sacrifice was offered?

I also asked this on TF blog, feel free to answer here or there?

Thank you for helping me make sense of this.

David Ponter said...

Ah Seth, I see we have double up and said the same thing. Our comments are Complementary tho.


David Ponter said...

Hey Seth, Scudder (a Westminster divine) says it well too.
Here is the section. The emphases have been lost and I dont mind to redo them with the tags here. But even without that, the point should be obvious. Scudder:

“8. Some others go farther: they acknowledge that God’s justice must be satisfied, and they think it is satisfied for them, dreaming of universal redemption, by Christ, who indeed is said to die to “take away the sins of the world.” This causeth their conscience to be quiet, notwithstanding that they live in sin.

It must be granted, that Christ gave himself a ransom for all. This ransom may be called general, and for all, in some sense: but how? namely, in respect of the common nature of man, which he took, and of the common cause of mankind, which he undertook; and in itself it was of sufficient price to redeem all men; and because applicable to all, without exception, by the preaching and ministry of the gospel. And it was so intended by Christ, that the plaster should be as large as the sore, and that there should be no defect in the remedy, that is, in the price, or sacrifice of himself offered upon the cross, by which man should be saved, but that all men, and each particular man, might in that respect become salvable by Christ.

Yet doth not the salvation of all men necessarily follow hereupon; nor must any part of the price which Christ paid, be held to be superfluous, though many be not saved by it.

But know, that the application of the remedy, and the actual fruit of this all-sufficient ransom, redoundeth to those who are saved only by that way and means which God was pleased to appoint, which, in the case of adults, is faith, by which Christ is actually applied. Which condition, many to whom the gospel doth come, make impossible to themselves, through a wilful refusal of the gospel, and salvation itself by Christ, upon those terms which God doth offer it.

Upon this sufficiency of Christ’s ransom, and intention of God and Christ, that it should be sufficient to save all, is founded that general offer of Christ to all and to each particular person, to whom the Lord shall be pleased to reveal the gospel: likewise that universal precept of the gospel, commanding every man to repent, and believe in Christ Jesus; as also the universal promise of salvation, made to every one that shall believe in Christ Jesus.

Although, in one sense, it is true, Christ may be said to have died for all, yet let no one think to enjoy the benefits of his precious death and sacrifice, without serious diligence to make their calling and election sure. For God did intend this all-sufficient price for all, otherwise to his elect in Christ, than to those whom he passed by and not elected; for he intended this not only out of a general and common love to mankind, but out of a peculiar love to his elect. He gave not Christ equally and alike to save all; and Christ did not so lay down his life for the reprobate as for the elect. Christ so died for all, that his death might be applicable to all. He so died for the elect, that his death might be actually applied unto them. He so died for all, that they might have an object of faith, and that if they should believe in Christ, they might be saved. But he so died for the elect that they might actually believe, and be saved. Hence it is that Christ’s death becometh effectual to them, and not to the other, though sufficient for all. Now that many believe not, they having the means of faith, the fault is in themselves, through their wilfulness or negligence; but that any believe to salvation, is of God’s grace, attending his election, and Christ’s dying out of his especial love for them; and not of the power of man’s free-will: God sending his gospel, and giving the grace of faith and new obedience to those whom of his free grace he hath ordained to eternal life, both where he pleaseth and when he pleaseth.

Furthermore, it must be considered that notwithstanding the all-sufficiency of Christ’s death, whereby the new covenant of grace is ratified and confirmed, the covenant is not absolute, but conditional. Now what God proposeth conditionally, no man must take absolutely. For God hath not said that all men without exception shall be saved by Christ’s death: although he saith, Christ died for all; but salvation is promised to those only who repent and believe.

Wherefore, notwithstanding Christ’s infinite merit, whereby he satisfied for mankind; and notwithstanding the universality of the offer of salvation to all to whom the gospel is preached; both scripture and experience show, that not all, nor yet the most, shall be saved, and that because the number of them who repent, and unfeignedly believe, whereby they make particular and actual application of Christ and his merits to themselves, are fewest. For of those many that are called, few are chosen. Wherefore let none ignorantly dream of an absolute, universal redemption, as many simple people do. For though Christ be said to suffer to take away the sins of the whole world, yet the scripture saith, that the whole world of unbelievers and of ungodly men shall perish eternally.”

Henry Scudder, The Christian’s Daily Walk in Security and Peace repint. (Glasgow: William Collins, 1826), 279-282.

Seth McBee said...


I have enjoyed our discussions together and will answer any questions you have.

You ask:

Would Seth than be saying that some people will not be saved for whom Christ’s sacrifice was offered?

That is exactly what I am asserting. Look to number 3 in my post. You will notice that I say this:

By Jesus' death, He then offers this death to all men

TF would disagree with this. TF would assert that Christ all those whom are offered (by Christ) the death of Christ will be saved.

He would not agree with me that Christ's death was for everyone. We see this in our discussion on John 3:16

Magnus said...

Thanks, it looks like maybe there is some confusion, at least on my part lol

You are saying that Christ's sacrifice was offered to all, but not all are saved because while the sacrifice was offered to all it was only intended for the elect?

If I understand TF view it is that Christ's sacrifice was only intended to be for the elect, but that it was sufficient for all.

Would that be correct?

Seth McBee said...


This is my understanding with TF:

Not only that Christ's sacrifice only intended for the elect, but is only offered to the elect. If he does believe that Christ's death was sufficient for all, I would need to know how this could be if Christ only died for the elect.

That statement wouldn't make sense if this is so.

Magnus said...

OK, I think it is coming into focus for me.

TF would say that the sacrifice of Christ was only intended for the elect and only offered to them as well?

You would say that the sacrifice of Christ was only intended for the elect and also offered to all?

If that is true, then I would ask what is the point of offering something that they, reprobate, can not actualize? That seems where I am getting hung up, what is the point of offering a pardon to a mute man when the condition is that he must audibly speak? It would seem disingenuous at best; it is something that he is incapable of doing. What for, just to say that there was an offer if he only took it he would be free.

Maybe I am over simplifying this and if I am please forgive me. I am truly wanting to learn to where I can explain it and defend it when asked or challenged on it.

Turretinfan said...


I would say if it was intended for the elect then we should say that it was offered for the elect.


I have reposted my outstanding questions (and added one) here.

You can answer wherever you like, and you can re-repost those questions here if you like.


Anonymous said...


maybe a correction is in order?

I don't know, you tell me, ok?

from the Shedd quote:Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 2:437, 438.

does the quote point to Hebrews "10:28" or "9:28"??

Here is the part in question:

Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 2:437,438

".... “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many,” Hebrews 10:28 [sic]....."

Here is Hebrews 10:28 ESV:

Heb 10:28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.

Here is Hebrews 9:28 ESV:

Heb 9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.


Seth McBee said...

Michael... are correct...The quote is from Heb 9:28...but when quoting someone we need to make sure we quote word for word, that is why we provided sic.

Anonymous said...


are you ready for a direct question?

I want to put forth verses for you address placing them into your exergesis, when you are ready?


Seth McBee said...


Quick question. Are you going to still try to expound from Hebrews 10:10-14 that it exegetically states that Christ only died for the elect?

Have you abandoned this argument?

Have you put it on the "back burner?"

Just wondering.

Seth McBee said...


I only hesitate because I want to see how this debate ends up. My main concern is to answer TF's questions and assertions.

If we continue, you will see why exegetically we should take that Jesus died for all unbelieving humanity, it is offered to all of unbelieving humanity, but in the end is only effectual for the elect.

Anonymous said...


thank you and your addition to my learning is a case in point what my Dad always said, "michael" learn something everyday and you will have then put some more distance daily between your ignorance and what you learned"! :)

No one loved or cared for me enough as you today in helping me understand "sic"! Thanks. And thanks for making sure we understood it's 9: and not 10:.

And yes, I am being a bit impatient.

I can wait. I can see that maybe today we have been very productive in clarifications.

Having said that, so that you have the advantage to the question, I will post the one portion of Shedd and pose the verses without posting them so the reader must open their Bible to recall them then?

Shedd, as you quoted him:

"....The Son of God, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, " sat down on the right hand of God " (Heb. 10:12) ; but if the redeeming work of the Trinity had stopped at this point, not a soul of mankind would have been pardoned and justified, yet the expiatory value of the " one sacrifice "would have been just the same. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 3:418...."

The verses:

Luke 23:39-47

Seth McBee said...


Thanks for your patience. If we don't get to it in this debate, I will definitely lay out what I believe on the atonement afterwards competely,with biblical exposition, so that you will understand.

As far as your last comment, was there a question for me at the end, or not? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Hey David,

I hope Aussies take no offense to being hailed by "hey"?:) I am California Indian and "hey" means something else than "hey". That's just an aside though. :)

When you post Shedd, Scudder or Calvin or or or, I have some feeling of lack.

Let me post two places in Scripture, more as a tip off to what troubles my "spirit" with this debate giving the advantage to Seth when he comes forth with his unequivocal Biblically sound reasoning for changing from a TF world view of "limited" to the now clearly understood position of "unlimited/limited" world view.

Again, my point points to this one word: "all".

If you want to, go ahead of Seth and address it in light of these two Bible verses "all" inclusive with Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21?

Those verses then:

Gen 18:1 And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.
Gen 18:2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth
Gen 18:3 and said, "O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.


Heb 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.
Heb 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

The Hebrew word for men here at Genesis 18:2 is:

Contracted for H582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.) : - also, another, any (man), a certain, + champion, consent, each, every (one), fellow, [foot-, husband-] man, (good-, great, mighty) man, he, high (degree), him (that is), husband, man [-kind], + none, one, people, person, + steward, what (man) soever, whoso (-ever), worthy. Compare H802.

The Greek word for brotherly and strangers here at Hebrews 13:2 are:

From G5361; fraternal affection: - brotherly love (kindness), love of the brethren.


From G5382; hospitableness: - entertain strangers, hospitality.

Now surely Christ did not die for angels, or demons, yet they look like, sound like, feel like, men and strangers, both angels and demons!

This is just one area of concern to me as other areas within the Word of God that keeps me from accepting such "absolute" statements such as is being asked by your side to accept.

Again, to point back to my friend and Pastor, Dr. Iverson, I cannot appeal to any dead man, whose words are being put here to support those living and debating when I have questions come to me to ask for them to clarify what they meant.

I can ask you to give me clarification again and again and again until I get it. Once I get it though is not to imply I will "accept" it. We might just have to part the final portions agreeing to not agree and remain honorable "Elect" men disagreeing with one another at the same time respecting what is right in the sight of one another. :)

with respect,

Anonymous said...


no question, but yes, questions!

on hold waiting for TF's response and then some! :)

Seth McBee said...

TF asked me over at his blog to answer some questions he posited before. They were:

1) Is Christ's taking away "the legal claims of the law" of any ultimate benefit to the reprobate? If so, what?

2) Ransom is deliverance language, true, but it specifically is deliverance by payment (in English, anyhow - cf. Proverbs 6:35 or 13:8 or Psalm 49:7 or Job 36:18). Is your claim that this is a mistranslation (or just weak translation) or that it has become a weak translation (because English used to mean something else) or what?Is "delivered ... out of the Law of death" exactly equal to having the "legal claims of the law" removed, or are you trying to say something different here?

3) Was Christ the federal head of mankind (exhaustively) only with respect to the "legal claims of the law"? (or with respect to other aspects of salvation, assuming there are other aspects)

4) Does the Father also desire those to come whom the Son desires to come? If so, why does not the Father draw all men universally to himself? If not, why does the Son differ in his desire from the Father?

Those are the previous questions that I asked on your blog, and to which - as far as I can tell - you never responded.

To those, I add:

5) If the sin of the reprobate has been "wiped away" - on what legal basis are they judged?

This is my reply that I gave him over at his blog, but wanted all to see over here as well:

oops...sorry about that.

We need to figure out what we want to do with these questions. Being, I have posted today on some clarification stuff, we still have the Hebrews 10:10-14 post to deal with, and on the side, we are talking about Shedd...

What would you like me to do with these questions? Should we wait until after Hebrews 10?

Let me know your thoughts.

Seth McBee said...

Michael (by the way...what does natamllc stand for...just curious)

I think you are confused on what Christ died for. What his payment was for. Penalty due or sins due.

We will probably have a post on this in the future, but that would answer the question more broadly.

Anonymous said...


good question and I rarely am asked the question.

Here's the answer:

llc=limited liability company


Anonymous said...


you are making sense and "head"way in mine!


Magnus:You would say that the sacrifice of Christ was only intended for the elect and also offered to all?

my answer: huh? oh, no, that was a sound, :"huh", that came out of me when I read that.

Would you kindly turn in your Bible to Ephesians 3:8...." and see if you could enlighten me on what the purpose of the "eternal purpose" is for?

As I have said before, I believe, the very first post I posted following the terms and conditions of this debate by Seth I was asking TF to define unequivocally who the Elect are and who the reprobate are.

I am assuming that the "Elect" are those for Whom Christ died because of the covenant of Redemption They made with One Another, who, for the Elect, having been given the "Gift" of Faith through the Grace of God, that too, the Grace of God, being His Purposeful "Gift" by Himself, God the Father, by Himself, Christ Jesus the Eternal, before incarnation, and by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, Who has been here from the beginning?

I am also assuming that the reprobate are those who God purposefully did not give the "Gift" of Faith too so that they would acknowledge that the covenant of Redemption is an "Act" of giving the "Gift" of Grace to them too. Because "they" by their reprobateness nillify any chance, hope or anticipation for an acquittal once they pass from this creation, and in the mean time await eternal damnation when they pass on to the other side? Do reprobates shudder like the demons do? Cf. Ps. 37 and 73

The Elect, those for Whom Christ died?

The reprobate, those for Whom Christ did not die?

The "intent" is to save the "lost".

Also the "intent" is to punish the "reprobate".

The "fullness" of the intent is at His death on the Cross, not at His birth out onto the world stage from the womb of the Virgin Mary?

Heb 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

From G5046; to complete, that is, (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character): - consecrate, finish, fulfil, (make) perfect.


Magnus said...


No problem (lol) I’m glad that I am making a little sense.

As this debate goes on it is becoming more in focus for me. My main hang up is if all legal claims have been expunged then how can we not all be saved? I am not seeing what the difference would be from that view and the Arminian view, after all the Arminian side says that Christ died for all and that it is only by faith that the atonement is applied to the individual. Seems that is the same view that Seth is advocating with the caveat that the faith to accept the pardon only comes from God so it is of no use to the non-elect. The Arminian side would appeal more to me, in that at least all men then would have a chance at receiving the benefits of the atonement.

It is hard for me to see how God knowing exactly who His elect are and knowing that all others, non elect, are damned why then He would need to expunge everyone's sin. Try as I may I still do not understand how all legal claims can be satisfied and the person still be punished for the sins that have been legally expunged and released.

I am hoping that as we get deeper and deeper into this I will be able to understand it more fully.

Seth McBee said...


When you say this:

why then He would need to expunge everyone's sin

To get an idea of this thought and how it plays out. When thinking of the death of Christ, we know that it is the substance of the shadow. What the shadow does, is gives us some clarification on the substance.

So, when thinking of the death of the sacrifice we can compare the OT animal sacrifice with Christ's sacrifice.

So, this has more implications that I am bringing forth, but I want to just give you something to think about. We know that the sacrifices that are mentioned in Leviticus 16 (The Day of the Atonement) were for the whole of the nation of Israel, but not everyone of them went to heaven. The only ones that went to heaven went by faith in God. So, was the death of the sheep/goats/bulls wasted because not all went to heaven? The death of the animal is the same no matter if 1 goes to heaven or 1 million, there is no difference in the death. The difference is found in the application.

Hope this helps with the start of this thought proces...I know it will not answer all the questions on the atonement, but it will hopefully help you with the beginning thoughts of the death.

Remember that the death is for the penalty due. James 2:10 says that each of us have broken the whole of the law. Meaning, that whether one of us goes to heaven or 1 million, the death is the same: to pay the penalty due from the whole of the law, which is an eternal death.

Magnus said...


Thank you for your kindness in dealing with me. I hope not to get you or TF of track by my putting my thoughts before you to see if perhaps one of you guys or the others could clarify it some more to somewhat less read. I am finding this discussion very useful in helping me think and search the Scripture for the right view on this.

When looking at the OT and the sacrifices, would you say that it was the sacrifices then that saved people? When you asked if the sheep/goats/bulls were wasted because not all went to heaven the first thought that came to my mind was no, but did any of that blood of the sheep/goats/bulls get even the ones that are in heaven in? I mean, the ones in heaven are they there because of the blood of the sacrificed animal? I thought that somewhere in the NT it tells us that animal blood can not save nor could it save, but I may have to study it more.

Also, thinking on it more I see that in the OT the sacrifices were indeed offered for all the people, all the people of Israel that is which were the chosen people of God. The sacrifices played no role in taking away the sins of non Israelites. Seems if you take it like that then Christ's sacrifice was for His people and since we know that there is a new covenant where everyone in the new covenant will be of God and He will teach them and give them a new heart I wonder what significance that has on all of this?

Oh well, if anything it seems I have more questions than answers. I will leave it to you guys to lead me on this and I am looking forward to see how you both will defend your views.

Anonymous said...


you have done us all a great service today. Thanks!

As I pointed you to difficult passages on the "eternal" purpose there in Ephesians so now I point you to these words in Jehoshaphat's prayer for "salvation":::>

2Ch 20:10 And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy--
2Ch 20:11 behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit.
2Ch 20:12 O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."

Sometimes in these sorts of debates as in all debates in life we "narrow" our schemes to prove our point.

At the end of the day though, the Elect are just as the reprobate in this one thing, we find our origin in Adam. Out of Adam we "all" come.

How the mysteries of God swirl!

But to "narrow" now upon a revelation within the prayer I emphasize these words of the Prayer:

""2Ch 20:11 behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit.""

The Elect: "your possession".

The reprobate: "their land".

Now talk about "injustice".


What injustice is there with God?


Well just consider from where you sit, what "justice" do you deserve? "justice" or "mercy"??


I believe these, your words, have given us some more great sense today:

Magnus: " Seems if you take it like that then Christ's sacrifice was for His people and since we know that there is a new covenant where everyone in the new covenant will be of God and He will teach them and give them a new heart I wonder what significance that has on all of this? "

Yes indeed so! It's a "new" covenant and the Elect receive a "New" heart!

How? By Grace through Faith and that not of yourselves!

Thanks for staying in and giving us all some food to eat!

Rom 4:13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.
Rom 4:14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.
Rom 4:15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
Rom 4:16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring--not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
Rom 4:17 as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"--in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.


Eph 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
Eph 2:5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--
Eph 2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Eph 2:7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
Eph 2:9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.


Seth McBee said...


Good questions.

No, I don't believe that the blood of the bulls and goats literally took away the sins of all of Israel as Hebrews 10 points out. But, for those that were actually present in Israel at the time, they thought this was so, because of what Leviticus 16 points out in the Day of the Atonement, namely, that those sacrifices took away the sins of the people. What they didn't understand fully, from my study, is that this blood was really only a shadow to look forward to Christ. So, when Christ says that Abraham looked forward to His day (John 8), we can understand a little more on what Abraham was looking forward to.

The fact remains though, on the people of Israel, who goes to heaven in Israel? Those who had faith. Did all go to heaven inside the people of God? No. Only those who had faith. We learn that even in the sacrifices that there were some that were in mind when they were sacrificed and that was those who "drew near" and those who "worshiped" as stated in Hebrews 10:3,4.

So, although the sacrifice was for ALL in Israel, only a few were saved by faith in God. By this understanding, do we think that the life of the bull and goat was wasted on those who were not saved? No. The animal had to die the same way, whether there were 10people or 100, because the animal was paying the penalty due for sin, not for a specific counted number of sins.

Big difference.

As far as Gentiles, they weren't even in the picture yet. They aren't part of the argument. But we see a parallel with the nation of Israel because we understand some were going to heaven and some were going to hell inside the nation...unless one believes that all of those in the nation went to heaven...that would lead to another discussion.

Hope this helps...ask away if you have any more.

But, we see in the Leviticus 16 example alongside Hebrews 10 that the atonement of the animals was for all, but especially for those who "drew near" and "worshiped"

Magnus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Magnus said...


Seems like things have slowed down a bit so I will take you up on your offer of asking more questions and the main focus will be on what you wrote above. Mainly this part,

So, although the sacrifice was for ALL in Israel, only a few were saved by faith in God. By this understanding, do we think that the life of the bull and goat was wasted on those who were not saved? No. The animal had to die the same way, whether there were 10people or 100, because the animal was paying the penalty due for sin, not for a specific counted number of sins.

They way I am seeing it now is that in the OT the sacrifice was only for the covenant community, but not all in the covenant community were of the elect. Now we have a new covenant that says that all in this new covenant community are of the elect. If my view is correct then why could one not say then that the blood of Christ was for all people in the new covenant only? It seems that one of the big differences between the old and new covenants is in the fact that in the old not all were of the elect, but in the new all in the community are the elect.

I know that I am doing a poor job of stating my view and I apologize for that, the subject matter is very “meaty” and if one does not have any background in it then it can be hard to communicate what one wants to communicate. Anyways, thanks for being willing to have a complete novice put his two cents in. that goes for all of you, thanks for tolerating my questions and responses.

Seth McBee said...


First of all...none of has arrived in our theology, but always the learning and not the learned.

So, you coming here in your questioning is a good thing for all of us to learn from, so that is why I always have people ask questions, no matter what they are, so that I may learn from them.

As far as your question.

Sure...all in the New Covnenant are the elect. But even more specically, they are all the believing elect, not all the elect in general...yet. Not until someone believes is someone of the New Covenant.

So, we can carry over the OT covenant sacrifice to the sacrifice in the New and understand the same implications. They are parallels, one is the shadow of the substance to come. So, when looking at a biblical parallel, we see that some in the nation of Israel, were not believers, some were. So, how does this play out in the New Covenant?

Some are a part of the New Covenant some are not. Who was the blood spilt for in the Old? All. Parallel that over, and we would see the same: Spilt for all.

I continually look for the overall parallel that is spoken of when looking at the nation of Israel and the New Testament. If the nation, in the Old Test., had both believers and non-believers, then what would that mean for the New Testament? It would be what is spoken of in John 3:16 and John 1:10-13, namely that the real nation, the real Israel of God, the real children of God, are not a nation, but a believing people.

If we work this out between the Old and the New, then we see that the sacrifice was for the whole of the nation, unbelieving and believing. But, who was the actual nation, the actual children of God? Those believing. Those who put their faith in God.

I am looking at this to understand, who was the nation of God physically, and who was the nation of God spiritually?

For today. Who are those that are the nation of God physically (I believe the parallel would be the whole world of unbelievers; Acts 17:30,31) and who are those who are part of the nation of God spiritually? (those in the New Covenant)

Again. If we see it this way, we ask, in the Old Testament, when the blood of the goats and bulls were spilt, was there any "wasted blood" if all didn't believe in it? No. The death is the same. Did the blood of the bulls and the goats do the saving? No, faith did through the blood (again, through the shadow of the actual substance of Christ, they looked forward to Christ's death, we look back). The application of the blood through faith is the efficacy of the payment of blood.

Hope this makes sense...long comment, so let me know if it doesn't.

Seth McBee said...

by the way...

If we have the parallel of the Old Testament nation only to be equal with the elect nation in the New Testament we would have to try and explain how some of the elect wouldn't believe...

This is where that, in the end, would fall apart, at my first glance.

So, if you say that the Old Testament covenant nation is equal to the New Testament covenant nation on a one to one basis, it would seem to be missing the idea of there being a believing and unbelieving people. This speaks to John 3:16. God so loved the world (the New Testament Nation of mankind) that gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him (the New Covenant believing people) shall not perish (those that are of the unbelieving part of the nation), but have eternal life.

The New Covenant is conditioned upon faith in Jesus Christ.

Magnus said...

Your words here, “So, if you say that the Old Testament covenant nation is equal to the New Testament covenant nation on a one to one basis, it would seem to be missing the idea of there being a believing and unbelieving people.”

Here is where I am struggling to make sense of this. If the NT covenant is different it is here it would seem to me, in that you no longer have two groups as you had in the OT covenant. We are told that in the NT covenant that ALL will be believer’s and elect. I would think that the new covenant would be better in its intent and efficacy then the old, with that said I could see how some of the blood of the goats/bulls would be wasted but it was only foreshadowing the sacrifice that would be complete and not wasted since there is no more distinction between a corporate entity and the individual in election. I will have to read and study more on this and see where you guys take this debate from here.

Of course being a member of a very liberal United Methodist Church is of no help when talking about this so I suppose I will just have to make do with the little light that God provides for my pea sized brain.

Anonymous said...

I'm late coming to this discussion, but would just like to say that I'm disappointed to see that you do not hold to the five points of Calvinism.

If Jesus paid for everyone's sins then all would go to heaven. For example, if you owed 40,000 dollars on your credit card and you had no way of paying it and then I came along and paid it for you, the credit card company couldn't then come back to you and say, "No, I actually need the 40,000 dollars from you because you owed it not Sarah." They legally would have to receive that money from me and your debt would be paid for. Now I know what you probably will say next, "But if I refused to accept that payment then I would still owe it." Well, now you've got yourself into a fix. If you prevent me from paying your debt, then I haven't paid for you debt, right? Either I pay for your debt or I don't. You can't have it both ways. You can't have me pay for your debt which would put you in the position of not having a debt and then you turn around and say to me, "I refuse to let you pay my debt." It's too late by then! I've already paid it! You would have to tell me BEFORE I paid your debt that you didn't want me to pay it. Well, here's your problem with your reasoning against limited atonement: first not everyone who was ever born was at the cross to yell up to Christ and tell Him, "Hey, don't pay for my sins because I refuse Your payment!" Even if we all were there, ALL of us would tell Christ not to pay our debt because before we are regenerated by the Holy Spirit we are God-hating rebels not looking to be saved but running from God! That's called being dead in your trespasses and sins. So if most of us were not at the cross to tell Him not to pay for our sins and even if we were there we would tell Him not to, then one of two things had to have happened:

A) He paid for everyones sins because no one let Him know BEFORE He paid for their sins that they didn't want Him to pay for their sins and so He actually paid for them, which like the credit card example, means it's too late to tell Him now that you don't want His payment! It's done! Which means there is no debt left and if there is no debt left to be paid then no one has to pay a debt because there is none. Do you think that it would be right for the credit card company to get their money from me and then come after you and get their money from you too? That's 80,000 dollars they now have! How wicked would that be? No, they wouldn't do that! Do you expect a Holy and righteous God to do something even a credit card company wouldn't do? If His Son PAID for a debt, He is SATISFIED because His Son paid it completely and perfectly! Your reasoning leads everyone to heaven.

B) Christ elected who would be saved. He knew that all of mankind is depraved and could never choose Him so He chose some. He lived a perfect righteous life and propitiated His righteous acts upon us and propitiated His elect's sins upon Himself, died and took His Father's wrath upon Himself and paid in full God's required payment for His elect's sins. They are now paid by Christ and there is no way God in His righteousness and holiness could deem Christ's work...Christ's payment as unsatisfactory. He has to accept Christ's payment and thus accept His elect into His presence forever.

My, dear brother, when God the Son pays for something it is paid in full and with finality! Those who are not of the elect reject not His payment but instead reject God because their sins have not been paid for. This example was a very simple and child-like example but proves what is true.

I thought you held to the five points of Calvinism? If you don't hold to limited atonement, then you don't hold to the five points, and then ultimately, the rest of your points start caving in upon themselves and are not useful.

Anonymous said...

Another point I should make is that I agree that Christ's payment was so perfect and adequate that it could have paid for every sin that was ever committed, but that truth in and of itself is proof that He didn't pay for every sin. If we agree that is was perfect and adequate enough to pay for every sin, then you would have to admit that if that payment were applied to every sin then every sin would indeed be paid and God the Father could not reject a payment His Son made. If He could, which He cannot because that would be going against Himself, how would He choose those to reject? If everyone has a perfectly paid debt, who is He to choose and who is He to reject? We would all be in the same boat….all our sins are paid. So what’s to distinguish between those who get to go to heaven and those who have to go to hell? You see this is where the other points of Calvinism start caving in on you when you take away just one point of Calvinism. So who would God chose to go to heaven if we all have our sins paid? Well, the Arminian would say those who choose not to allow Christ as their Savior, but we know that no one chooses Christ He chooses elect. See you can’t get rid of one point of Calvinism. Lastly, according to your doctrine, one would have to walk down the path which leads to God rejecting those He has justified. That's what Christ's payment does for justifies us.

Anonymous said...

Seth you state,

"I believe that Jesus Christ died for the whole world of unbelieving humanity. I believe he paid the ransom, wiped away their sin."

~ I don't think you realize the consequences of this statement. If Christ's salvific work on the cross paid,is efficaious, in expiating the sins of the whole world, then the whole world has been redeemed by the price Christ paid for them. If the whole world's sin is "wiped away", then there is nothing else for God to condemn them for.

This is universalism. Something I don't think you believe.

Additionally, the LBC 1689 clearly states the limited extent of the redemptive work of Christ under the topic of Justification it reads (bolding mine),

"Those whom God effectually calls He also freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting them as righteous..."

~ Only those who are effectually called unto salvation (the elect) have their sins pardoned, not the "whole world".

Again it reads,

"From all eternity God decreed to justify all the elect, and Christ, in the fullness of time, died for their sins, and rose again for their justification."

~ God only justifes the elect. Christ died to pardon the sins of the elect alone. They alone are justified in His sight. The language here in limited to the elect alone, not the world.

I don't know if you subscribe to the historic reformed confessions, but if you do, your previous statement is out of accord with them.

I hope this helps you reconsider your position.

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