Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Atonement
Rom.5:10-11 - For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled unto God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by Hi slife. And not only so, but we aalso joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the atonement.

We must go back into the hidden glory of the Old Testament to tether the redemptive plan of God modeled within the sacrificial system of animal blood, and with that foundation leap by faith and revelation into the New Testament which was what every animal symbolized within the law.

The High Priest would, on the Day of Atonement, take two goats without blemish. On one he would lay his hands with a symbolic gesture that placed the sins of God’s people Israel upon that goat. The goat would be let go to be lost in the wilderness thereby testifying that Israel’s sins were in God’s forgetfulness and upon the scapegoat.

Now the High Priest takes the second goat and carefully slits its throat wide open. As the blood gushes from the animal’s wound he catches it in some type of bowl, probably stirring it to keep it liquid, and he proceeds into the Holiest of All where the Ark of the Covenant resided. Slipping around the veil he saw the brilliant presence of God Almighty, the chikinah glory, that dwelled between the overlaying wings of the cherubim.

It is often thought that a rope would be placed around the High Priest’s leg in order to pull him out of the Holy Place in case God did not accept the offering and he was killed. The High Priest would begin to sprinkle the blood upon the golden mercy seat that was the very top of the Ark. When he came out alive, the people knew their sins were forgiven for another year. That was the Day of Atonement, holy and sacred, and yet foreshadowing a glory that cannot be imagined. Now the atonement was available for every person in Israel, but it was only applied by faith. But there was no blood shed that was lost, it covered completely every true follower and believer in Jehovah. And so in that sense the atonement was limited, but not as far as availability, but as far as by faith that blood was applied.

And so is the Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. His blood was shed for the sins of the whole world, but when the last person is born again the redeeming blood of God’s Son will have covered and washed away all the sins of the redeemed, fully and completely. There will be no blood left over and no blood that was shed for the unsaved sinner in hell.

Let us go to Matthew 25 and the parable of the talents. The Lord provides talents for all, some five, some two, and some one, but all had some talents (something of value). Now the Scriptures teach that God has given every man the measure of faith and there is nothing more valuable in God’s sight than faith. It is impossible to please the Lord without faith. So when the Lord returns He finds that the ones with five and two talents have used them wisely, but the ones that had one had planted them in the earth. A striking metaphor, the earth, would you not agree?

So what does God do about this situation? He takes the unused talents away from the unprofitable servants and gives them to the faithful ones. Yes, none of the talents are wasted, all will find use in the faithful servants. And what does the Lord do to the unprofitable servants who refused to use their talents but invested them, as it were, in the earth and not the Master’s Word? He casts them into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Astounding, he casts them into hell. But do the talents go with them? No, they are safe with the faithful servants.

If you invited 100 people to a dinner and you cooked 100 ears of corn, one for each of them, and if only 50 people showed up would you throw the other 50 ears away? No, you would give each guest 2 pieces of corn to eat. When Jesus shed His blood as an atonement for sins, it was available for every man. Just as in the parable of the great feast the invitation went out to all, but only a few showed up. Did that limit the feast? Only to those who refused to come and dine. And so was his shed blood enough to cover whosoever will, but when the last person is born again by faith His blood will be limited to the redeemed alone. No one will go to hell with their sins forgiven, and none of Jesus’ blood will have been unused for its atoning purpose.

But the limited atonement will be because of unbelief, not because of any lack of availability, and surely not because of any limited offer from the loving heart of God Himself. No one can accuse the Savior of the world that He offered an insufficient atonement for anyone or for everyone, His blood was sufficient for all. But like the parable of the talents, the blood of God’s Lamb will be used in its entirety to cover and forgive the sins of the redeemed, none will be wasted, none will forgive sins without faith. So shall everyone who hides his life in this earth, living for themselves, and refusing to hear His voice. This world will soon end, and all the redeemed with gather around the Passover Lamb and worship. His blood was eternal and the supply was for all, but in the end the atonement will only be for the elect, chosen before the foundations of the world, precious in God’s sight, and without one single work of man’s goodness about which to boast. And if you were the only person who believed, then all of Christ’s blood would have covered you, but even though you are not the only believer, all of Christ’s blood still covers you. Don’t ask, it’s a mystery. The supply and availability of the atonement is universal, it is only limited by unbelief.

Abraham believed God and it was accounted unto him as righteousness. Amen.


Anonymous said...

Hebrews 3:11-13

11So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.

12Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

13But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lord Jesus!

Baptist Girl said...

Hi Rick,
Me again *S*

Revelation 5:9, "And they sang a new song saying, 'Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and did purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

People from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation are the world! Yes, “God so loved the world (people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation), that He gave His only Son.” Yes, I agree with John the Baptist when he described Christ as, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Yes, I believe John when he writes in 1 John 2:2, “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world” (people from every tribe, tongue, etc.)... Not the whole and entire world. His Blood was shed for the Elect. If He died for the whole world, the whole world would be saved.