Tag Archives: Blood Of Christ

As I listened to Issues Etc. on closed communion, I heard the message come through loud and clear...we must be in lockstep on the smallest of doctrines, or you are a false teacher.

The speaker also added that the reason for closed communion is that those who do not believe in the "real presence" of Christ in the elements are not able to "discern the body" - Lutherans defining "the body" as the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the communion elements, other Protestants defining "the body" as being able to discern whether or not the "self"/person partaking of the supper is a part of the body of Christ (the church).

I cannot see that. Scripture tells us to examine ourselves, it does not tell the church leadership to examine the flock.

The "selfish" reason I cannot see it is that I will not belong to a congregation that would deny my parents access to the meal that Christ gave us, because they are not in total agreement on doctrine.


It resonates in my brain; no, in my soul.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures…1 Corinthians 15:3

This is what I come back to over and over again.

And everything we think and do should relate to the "Sola" - Solus Christus

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 1 Timothy 2:5-7

Our focus on Christ should not be on "Christ is the ultimate example"...NO!  Jesus Christ our Lord gave Himself a ransom for all.

He died so that we might live.

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:12-14

Nor did He come to earth to start us on the path to social justice.

Jesus Christ our Lord came to earth to die on the cross; to offer Himself as the once and for all sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin.

First, we bid a man to begin by examining himself, and this not in a superficial and perfunctory manner, but to cite his conscience before the tribunal of God, and when sufficiently convinced of his iniquity, to reflect on the strictness of the sentence pronounced on all sinners. Thus confounded and amazed at his misery, he is prostrated and humbled before God; and, casting away all self-confidence, groans as if given up to final perdition. Then we show that the only haven of safety is in the mercy of God, as manifested in Christ, in whom every part of our salvation is complete. As all mankind are, in the sight of God, lost sinners, we hold that Christ is their only righteousness, since, by His obedience, He has wiped off our transgressions; by His sacrifice, appeased the divine anger. (John Calvin)

If we call people to works, not godliness, we fail them.  If we don't give them the gospel, we fail them.

If we do the good works created for us without the gospel, we are attempting to earn our salvation.  We fail ourselves.

1 Corinthians 15:3
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,

When I listen to a message I ask, "could this message have been given if the grave is not empty?"

There are a couple of terms I've been hearing

  • restorative justice
  • reconciliation
  • transformed lives

We speak of these things in terms of what we do for/with others on this earth; if we leave out the "why", we all lose.

  • The Son of God died to restore us - THEREFORE, we seek restoration in a social context for others.
  • Jesus shed His blood to justify us - THEREFORE, we seek justice for others.
  • Christ died for our sins to reconcile us to the Father - THEREFORE, we seek reconciliation with others.

To leave this out - we are left with nothing more than a devotional that could be preached in a Mormon church, in a Buddhist temple, in an atheistic social center.

I've heard "Jesus transforms lives" - which is no Gospel at all.

I have a friend whose great-aunt married an abusive man.  They joined the Mormon church and he stopped beating her.  The Mormon church transforms lives.

September 11, 2001 showed us the power of 19 men in airplanes to transform lives (and not in a good way).

I want to hear a man of God proclaim the death, burial and resurrection of the Son of God for the remission of sin.

I don't want to have to listen to a podcast in order to hear the Gospel.

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The "L" - "limited atonement" - AKA "definite atonement", "particular redemption".

I know what the doctrine means, but there are folks out there who can put it much more simply than I can.  From wiki:

The doctrine states that Jesus Christ's substitutionary atonement on the cross is limited in scope to those who are predestined unto salvation and its primary benefits are not given to all of humanity but rather just believers.

Removing the "predestination" language, which is a debate all unto itself, we can "universalize" that definition.

Some folks define "predestined" to mean "those who God knew, from eternity, who would (in the future) believe).  That's fine...for the purpose of explaining "limited atonement", we can use "those who will believe".

If I try to simplify, what I come up with is

"Limited atonement" means that Christ's suffering and death on the cross made atonement only for those who believe."

(my brain is working at half-speed - thank you, nyquil)

If we want to define "limited atonement", we need to define "atonement".  Here we can get into a spiral:  atonement = expiation = atonement, etc...(it is here I go off on a tangent, reading Anshelm...Subsitutionary vs. Satisfaction - which for the purpose of definition doesn't seem to matter much)

I found a "definition" of "atonement" that is more of a graphic than a definition.

"atonement" = at-one-ment.  Sort of romantic, actually.

Who has the suffering and death of Christ on the cross made "at one" with God?  Whose sins are paid for?

If the sins of all the people in all the world are paid for, how can God justly send anybody to hell?  They've been bought and paid for by the blood of Christ.

In the end, everybody except Universalists limit the scope of the atoning blood of Christ.

Outside of Universalism, both sides limit the effectiveness of atonement (atonement being the actual payment - either Christ being the our substitute on the cross OR Christ satisfying our debt to the Father on the cross).  In unlimited atonement, the death of Christ does not pay the penalty for the sins of the unsaved; they go to the grave still owing the debt.  In unlimited atonement, Christ is not the substitute

If atonement is limited to those who believe, then Christ's blood paid the penalty in a very effective way and it does exactly what it was meant to do:  purchase souls.

If atonement is universal (for every person who every lived), then Christ's blood effectually purchases nothing, it merely raises the possibility of salvation.

Either atonement is limited, and only the sins of some are paid for; some are saved, or atonement is unlimited, and all sins are paid for and none will go to hell.

Has the suffering and death of Christ on the cross made all "at one" with the Father?   Is the scope of effectiveness of the payment limited to those who believe?


Is all of mankind "at one" with the Father?  All are bought and paid for, all have been purchased and all will find eternal life?

I started this post with an eye toward 1 John 2:2.

  • Does the "whole world" mean every person who is living or who has ever lived?  Is the scope of atonement unlimited?
  • Or does "whole world" have a meaning that is pointed at "people groups" - Jews vs. the "whole world" (Gentiles).

Unless Universalism is true and all people, of all times are bought and paid for, if their sins are covered, and all will go to heaven, then atonement is limited...the question is:  who limits it.