Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Case for a Definite and Complete Atonement. Part 1/3

The Case for a Definite and Complete Atonement

By Francis Turretin

Francis Turretin

1. We argue that the atonement was definite, from the fact that Christ was destined to die for none but those who were given him by the Father. All men universally were not given to Christ but a limited number only. Since, in the council of the Father which regulated Christ's death and defined its object, there was a designation, not only of Christ as Mediator, but also of those for whose redemption and salvation He was to suffer; it is plain that He could die for those only who were in this sense given Him.

Here we may remark a twofold donation. One of Christ to men, another of men to Christ. Christ was given to men for the purpose of saving them and men to Christ that through Him they might be saved. The former is referred to in Isa. 9.6 and 49.6, as well as in all those places in which He is said to be given and sent to us; the latter is alluded to in the places where mention is made of those given to Christ, as in John 17.2, 6,12, and 6.37.

Seeing this twofold giving is reciprocal, each of them must be of the same extent; so that Christ is given for none but those who are given to Him, and all those are given to Christ for whom He is given. Now, it is abundantly plain that some men only; and not all men, were given to Christ. This is asserted in many texts of Scripture, where those who are given to Him are distinguished from other men. 'Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he might give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. I have manifested thy name unto the men whom thou hast given me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them me', John 17.2,6.

The Scripture designates those whom the Father gave Him by such phrases as these: the people whom He foreknew, Rom. 11.2; heirs and children of promise, Rom. 9.8; the seed of Abraham, not carnal, but spiritual, both of the Jews and Gentiles, Rom. 4.13, Gal. 3.18, Heb. 2.16; His people, His body, the Church, Matt. 1.21, Eph. 5.23; vessels of mercy prepared to glory, Rom. 9.24; chosen in Christ, predestinated to the adoption of sons and to conformity to His image, Rom. 8.30, Eph. 1.4, 5; and the posterity of the second Adam, all of whom are to be quickened in Christ, in opposition to the posterity of the first Adam, in whom all die, 1 Cor. 1 5.22, 23. From all which it appears, that Christ was not given for all of all nations, but for a limited number only.

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