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1036 Ridgecrest Dr., Dickson, TN 37055

241a Pottery Road,  Dun Laoghaire,  Co.  Dublin, Ireland

, County Wexford, Ireland

Miles McKee Ministries

Chapter 3: Amazing, Saving Grace


John Newton wrote; “Amazing Grace…that saved a wretch like me.”


We sing it, but, as asked in the previous chapters, do we really believe it? Do we really believe that 2000 years ago, Christ Jesus actually stepped into our shoes and saved us at the cross?  “Well, he died for everyone,” comes the reply.  Is that so? Did Christ die for everyone, without exception?  Or is it possible that He died only for those whom the Father had chosen before time? Was Christ invested with power to really and actually save or did he merely have the power to make it possible to be saved?  Did His Atonement actually obtain salvation for His people or did it secure and gain salvation for no one? Did Christ die for anyone in particular or did He die for all people generally?


These are questions which must be addressed.


He Died For Us

Grace believers believe the Bible teaches that Christ Jesus actually saved His people at the cross. He died ‘for us’ is the theme of redemption. This is one of the reasons why grace is so amazing to us. Consider the following scriptures,


Galatians 3:13: "Being made a curse for us,"
1 Peter 2:24 "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree"

 Isaiah 53:5: "He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by his stripes we are healed."

Romans 4:25 "He was delivered for our offenses, and raised again for our justification"
Titus 2:14 "He gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people".

Hebrews 1:3 "When He had by Himself He purged our sins".

Hebrews 9:12 "having obtained eternal redemption for us".

1John 4:9: "In this was manifest the love of God towards us because God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him."

Is it any wonder that we sing Amazing Grace?


Notice in how in the previous scripture, 1 John 4:9, the apostle does not say that God sent his Son into the world that the world might live through Him. No! He was sent so that we, not the world, might live through Him. And as John records, in the Lord's Prayer in Gethsemane, "I pray not for the world but for those You gave Me" (John 17:9).


I want, therefore, to talk to you, in this chapter, about an amazing Saviour, who successfully saves. I want to present to you a Redeemer, who really redeems. I want to placard a Christ, who purposely purchased His people at the cross. When we speak of the triumph of Christ at the cross, however, some people get annoyed and agitated. Whilst they sing ‘Amazing Grace’ with full endorsement, when it comes right down to it, they don’t believe that grace is amazing for they think that they had something to do with their salvation.


Those who do not believe in the Doctrine of Amazing Grace usually fall into one of two camps, A) The Pelagian, B) the Arminian, (both from here on both are referred to as The Free Will folks, etc.) Both groups believe that Christ did nothing more by His redeeming work than to make it possible for us to be saved by believing. Redemption, according to their point of view, did not redeem; rather it merely gave us the possibility of redemption. No one, according to them, was actually and purposely saved at the cross.


The Free-Will people depict God as willing to receive those who respond "properly" to His message. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not seen as superbly Sovereignty, but, rather, seen as being in subjection to the aspirations of sinful man. Accordingly, He is a God who wills for every individual to be saved, but lacks the ability to save without the assistance of unregenerate sinners.


 In the less severe free-will thinking, man’s destiny hangs upon him responding to the grace that God gives to him.  In the more severe thinking, man has an innate ability to respond to the offer of salvation without any divine help whatsoever.


But to the matter at hand: has Christ effectually and actually saved, ransomed and redeemed His people at the cross? Or, did He save no one in particular at the cross but, rather, make it possible for all to be saved by their response to the gospel?


A God Who Saves!

The first thing we want to consider in answering this is that, the Bible presents us with a God who saves and not a God who merely enables man to save himself. Although the Free-Will folks have not officially re-translated the Bible, to listen to them, one would indeed conclude that certain Bible verses read like this;


"Fear not for I have made it possible for you to be redeemed; I have potentially called you by my name" Isa 43:1.


"For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel thy potential Saviour" Isa. 43:3


"I even I am the Lord and beside me there is no Saviour,--- except, that is, for those who were spiritual enough to respond to me and thereby save themselves so, just in case you were wondering, I'm not therefore the only Saviour" Isa 43:11.


"I have declared and have saved ... well actually, not really; I have made it possible to be saved" Isa. 43:12.


"I will work and who will let (prevent) it------ apart from anyone and everyone who wants to prevent me accomplishing my will" (Isaiah 43:13).


"They have not known nor understood for He hath shut their eyes that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand ... Just kidding!" Isaiah 44:18.


We could consider many other scriptures which declare God to be the Saviour, (the one who saves), yet I cannot find one scripture which, when taken in its context, says that man is to undertake or partner in his eternal salvation.


Boasting!

Now consider this, if a person can get to Heaven by the Cross plus their own choice of Christ, then they will have substantial grounds for boasting. Mind you, they'll feel entirely out of place for the redeemed will join in the Heavenly anthem declaring with one accord, "Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood" (Revelation 5:9). At that point, the Free-Will folks will be duty bound to say, "What nonsense is this? He only made it possible for us to be redeemed. He didn't actually redeem us at the cross. Our redemption was not accomplished until we believed."


Farfetched? Yes indeed, but still realistic. If you are one of the dedicated Free-Will folk, maybe some kind saint of God will put a tender hand on your shoulder and point out the relationship in Revelation 5:9 between "slain" and "redeemed". Slaying and actual redeeming happened same place, same time. What wonderful Amazing Grace!


However, the Christ of the Free-Will folk, according to them, doesn't actually redeem by the blood which was shed on Calvary. That blood, according to their thinking, only made redemption possible. What about you?  Do you believe that Christ saved you at the cross or did He merely make it possible for you to be saved?


The Greatest Failure in History

Furthermore, the Christ of the Free-Will folk was doing nothing on the cross. His finished work, in reality, finished nothing! Christ, according to their theory, could actually have been the greatest failure in history for, being dependent on the choices man would make, He could have come to this earth and accomplished nothing. No one might actually have gotten saved. Maybe, and it is just possible, no one would have chosen to believe in Christ. There’s nothing too amazing about that kind of grace!


This kind of Christ, however, is far removed from the Sovereign God who said that His word would not return unto him void but would accomplish that which He pleased and prosper in the thing whereunto it was sent (Isaiah 55:11). If Christ's death, as the Free-Will folk teach, accomplished redemption for no one in particular then, if Isaiah 55:11 is correct, He came into the world for no one in particular and for no particular purpose. Why so? Because, according to the Free-Will folk, nothing was accomplished at the cross. Christ only made it possible for redemption to be accomplished. Their theory stands in stark contrast to Isaiah 55:11 where we are presented with the God who accomplishes the things He pleases to achieve. But the Christ presented by the Free-Will folk didn’t accomplish salvation for anyone. He was just like a boxer going into the ring for the sake of being there, but not for the purpose of winning the fight.


He was a Christ who came with no particular purpose to secure anyone!  That’s amazing, but it’s not Amazing Grace!


The idea is too far-fetched! If it is true, we should then read Luke19:10 as saying ... "I have come perhaps to seek and to try to save that which was lost" rather than "I have come to seek and to save that which was lost." If you are a card carrying Free-Will person, you might as well drop, "Amazing Grace" from your repertoire of Hymns since no good Free-Willer could admit to having been so lost that he had to be found. It wasn't grace which saved him, at Calvary, but rather his choice of and proper response to that grace.


Best not to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ if you don't believe it!


Double Jeopardy


According to the Law of Double Jeopardy, a person cannot be put on trial twice for the same crime. This is a principle of Justice in every civilized country. The Free-Will folk, however, by denying that Christ actually died and paid for His people at the cross, charge God with being unjust.  Now, of course, not one of them will admit to doing that, but they do it all the same. Here’s how they do it. They say that Jesus died for the sins of every individual who has ever lived.  Yet they freely admit that many of these same people will be charged with and punished for their sins on Judgment Day. That’s a violation of the Law of Double Jeopardy. I doubt that they can sing Toplady’s old hymn, “From Whence This Fear and Unbelief” as one of the verses says,


 If Thou hast my discharge procured,

 And freely in my place endured

 The whole of wrath divine,

 Payment God will not twice demand,

 First at my bleeding Surety's hand,

 And then again at mine."


How can the God of Justice demand payment for sins that have already been paid for by Christ Jesus?  Did Christ not actually pay enough with His precious blood? Indeed, if the Free-Will folk are correct, that must be the case. Either that or God has no understanding of Justice.


Substitution

If the Free-Will folks are right in saying that Christ merely made it possible to be saved, then, apart from doing away with an excellent song, “Amazing Grace” we must also do away with the magnificent doctrine of Substitution. Evidently, if the Free-Will folks are right, Christ did not actually bear our judgment for He was not actually punished in our place at the cross. “But no,” says the Free-Will exponent, “Christ really was our sin-bearing substitute.”  Well, He must have been a pretty ineffectual one, if those for whom he died were not actually saved by His dying and sin-bearing.


But here’s the gospel truth; the God of the Bible is the saving God. He came here in the person of His Son and became His people’s substitute.  The Free-Will folks say that He substituted for all people, but admit that many for whom Christ became a substitute will be lost.  So let’s say it again, this means that, in reality, Christ was unsuccessful as a substitute, His futile work at the cross substituted for no one. However, Grace people believe the opposite. We believe that everyone for whom Christ became a substitute was and will be saved by the almighty Christ. He is an amazing Saviour who saves with wonderful, amazing grace!


Sinners do not save themselves, no not even slightly. Salvation, first and last, whole and entire, past, present and future, is of the Lord, to whom be Glory forever and ever.


Alas, the god of the Free-Will folks, by his puny substitution, only secured the right for God to make an offer of salvation. The Free-Will substitution actually substitutes for no one and guarantees salvation for nobody. Christ's death merely created an opportunity for the exercise of saving faith and no more. But this is a distant cry from that which is presented in the Bible for Paul says, “The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). This is no general redemption of which he speaks, but rather he tells of a particular love and mercy. Christ actually saved Paul and all believers at the cross. He actually became a real (not a potential) substitute. He effected a real (not a potential) reconciliation at the cross. Our title to eternal life was, in point of fact, secured at the cross. "He entered in once into the holy place having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Hebrews 9:12). Notice how the scripture plainly states that redemption was actually and genuinely obtained by Christ and His saving work. This is amazing grace! Please don’t sing about it if you don’t believe it!

 

The Christ of Calvary saved us when He hung on the Cross. No Free-Will person could admit to this! The Free-Will folks, however, pay lip-service to the cross and say, "Without Calvary I could not have gained my salvation" ... Well, good for you, give yourself a biscuit! The genuine grace believer, on the other hand, says, "Christ gained and accomplished my salvation at Calvary."


Again, and once more I digress, I hope, if you are a dedicated follower of the Free-Will doctrine, that you also don't sing the hymn: "My Jesus I love Thee, I know Thou art Mine" for there's a verse in there that should give you indigestion; it says ...


"I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me,

And purchased my pardon when nailed to the tree."


Don't sing it if you don't believe it!


But where is Faith in All This?

“But,” asks someone, “Don’t I need faith to get saved?” Yes indeed, faith is crucial.  The theologians call it the instrumental cause of salvation.  That means it brings us to the salvation that is already accomplished. However, faith, no matter how pure and strong, is not the sin-bearer. Faith is unsuited for that department since it is neither qualified to remove guilt nor able to make an offering that turns away the wrath of God. No matter how intense and sincere our faith, it cannot pay the penalty of our sin. Faith cannot satisfy God’s just and righteous demands; it cannot legally remove the accusing guilt of sin. Indeed, faith cannot provide, in itself, the righteousness by which we can stand before the Father. We are sinners, not partial sinners, but, by nature, ruined sinners (Ephesians 2:1). We, therefore, need Christ Jesus the all -sufficient One, to be our Rescuer and Saviour.


So where does faith come in? Listen to the ancient message that is never out of date. Faith brings us to Christ and sees in Him the perfect wrath offering (Romans 3:25), the perfect payment (Acts 20:28), the perfect cleansing (Revelation 19:8) and the perfect righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). But faith, in itself, has no merit and no virtue.


Again we need to stress that faith is neither Christ nor His substitutionary life and death. Although it is utterly impossible to be saved without faith, faith is neither the blood nor the final sacrifice for sin. Faith is not the mercy-seat. Faith does not work, but accepts the work which was done for us 2000 years ago. Faith does not wash us; instead it leads us to the fountain which is opened for sin and uncleanness (Zechariah 13:1).


Faith always brings us outside ourselves to receive the worthiness of the Lord Jesus, but faith has no worthiness of its own. Gospel faith is not faith in feelings. In fact, to rely on feelings is just another way of relying on self. Since feelings are internal actions, relying on them is just another form of salvation by works! Faith, on the other hand, reaches out and knits us to Jesus, our infinitely worthy Saviour (Psalm 18:3; Hebrews 3:3; Revelation 4:11) and in so doing, presents us perfect in the perfection of Christ (Hebrews 5:7).


As He sees us in the perfections of His Son, the Father continually accepts us as being legally perfect. Faith accepts this and sees Christ alone as our hope. Faith accepts and rests on the fact that Christ has done everything required of us and has done it to perfection (Deuteronomy 32:4). Faith sees that The Lord Jesus has worked perfectly, prayed perfectly, worshiped perfectly and believed perfectly on our behalf. By faith, we accept this perfection as accomplished on our behalf and we now make a perfect approach to the Father, in the name of Jesus, clothed in Christ alone. Although we are a people zealous for good works (Titus 2:14), we know that the Father is more pleased with our resting in the doing, dying and rising again of Christ than with all our attempts at personal obedience.


Power not Impotence

But back to the atonement: The Bible reveals God's power to save, not His impotence. His salvation is not a theoretical one for imaginary believers. It is a real redemption and an effectual salvation accomplished by the Saviour who actually saved sinners on the cross.


A careful reading of Scriptures shows that Christ not only powerfully and effectually died for sinners but also demonstrates that the people for whom Christ died were already His people before Christ died for them. Consider this,

 'You shall call his name Jesus for He shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). ----Notice how they were already His people before He saved them.


"The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep" (John 10:11). Again notice that He did not give his life for the goats. The goats will face His awful wrath in the Day of Judgment (Matthew 25:32-46) but the sheep are safe for He sacrificed Himself for the sheep.


"Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it" (Ephesians 5:25). Certainly this is abundantly clear –-He gave Himself exclusively for His bride.


Fallen man cannot bear to face the fact that he is not master of his destiny and captain of his own soul. He cannot bear to face the fact that the God of the Bible saves and that He saves only those whom He has chosen. He detests the idea that God saves by grace apart from works that no man may boast even slightly. He shuns the fact that salvation comes to him in the person of a perfect Saviour apart from any contribution on his part!


Salvation … A Futile Wish?

Was the salvation of sinners a mere futile wish on God's part? Does salvation depend on man's willingness to believe in order for it to exist? On the contrary, the Grace Believer holds that Christ actually saved at the cross. The power of the finished work does not depend on faith being added to it for, at the cross, Christ secured full salvation for all for whom He died. Grace Believers wholeheartedly, therefore, join with Paul when he says, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14). We boldly declare that salvation is exclusively by amazing grace.


So far from magnifying the love and grace of God, the Free-Will position turns redemption into a monumental failure. God is dishonoured and His purpose turned into an impotent wish. No Free-Will person, who understands the logic of their position, could ever say, "Christ died for me." He could not admit that his salvation was secured at the cross apart from any involvement on his part. He could say, however, Christ potentially died for me. For him, his salvation was accomplished when he added the contribution of faith to the equation. His faith, it seems, was able to do that which Christ found it impossible to do. According to him, his faith secured the salvation that Christ could not secure by His death.


The Almighty?

Since repetition is the price of learning, let’s re-state the logic of the Free-Will position. The Free-Will advocate neglects to face that, in the light of reason, Christ’s death, in fact, accomplished nothing for him. At the end of the day, his salvation hinged upon himself and his response to the gospel.  However, since he could not have been saved without his proper and correct response, we must conclude him to be a Co-Saviour with Jesus. Were he, however, to testify of his self-saviourhood, not one of the redeemed, in their hearts, could agree with him. But he likes to have it both ways. He calls Christ his Saviour while at the same time claiming he wouldn't have been saved at all had he not responded correctly. In other words, by his choice and free will, he enabled God to become his Saviour. God was only his Saviour in that God was willing to save. God, however, was not able to save until He got the nod and wink from the fallen, cursed, depraved and spiritually dead son of Adam. The sinner, therefore, according to the logic of the Free-Will position, in actuality, merely empowered God to become the Saviour.


Only someone who has not thought this through could believe that they are a co-Saviour with the Almighty? If the Free-Will position is true, we ought to stop referring to God as Almighty since that designation obviously should not apply to one who cannot save without our help.


Once more, if you hold this saved by free-will position you are bound to stand in silence when the rest of us rise to sing, "Man of sorrows what a name." It's verse three against which you are bound to cavil,


'Guilty, vile and helpless we

Spotless Lamb of God was he

"Full Atonement" can it be?

Hallelujah! What a Saviour'

Don't sing it if you don't believe it!


No Power in the Blood?

But back to the atonement! If Christ died for every individual, then every person will be saved unless, that is, there was no saving power in Christ’s death. Yet the Free-Will advocates say that Christ died for every individual. When, however, we study what the Free-Will teachers believe, we discover that they believe in a redemption that does not redeem and in blood which has no power. They are thus guilty of promoting a very limited atonement. Grace believers may indeed limit the extent of the atonement, but Free-Will folks limit the atonement’s very power.


In his attempt to magnify the saving grace and mercy of God, the Free- Will champion says that redeeming love extends to every man and Christ has died to save every man. Then to avoid universalism (the belief that everyone goes to Heaven) he says that nothing Christ has done actually saves without us adding something to it.



Intended Accomplishments

Our God is the Sovereign God. Indeed, although the word sovereignty is not used in the Bible the concept of God’s sovereignty is fundamental in understanding the divine majesty.


Here are a few of the many verses that establish the Sovereignty of God.


1 Chronicles 29:11-12, Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Thine. Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand is power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength unto all.


Psalm 115:3, But, our God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever He has pleased.


Proverbs 16:9, A man’s heart devises his way, but the Lord directs his steps.


Job 42:2, I know that you can do everything, and that no thought can be withheld from Thee.


Isaiah 46:9-10, Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure,’


Psalm 103:19, The Lord has prepared His throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.


Proverbs 19:21, There are many devices (plans) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.


Ephesians 1:11, In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will …

Romans 9:21, Has the potter power over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honour and another for dishonour?


Ephesians 1:11, In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

Romans 9:18, So then he has mercy on whom he has mercy, and whom he wills he hardens.


In the light of these scriptures, when dealing with the death of Christ we need to know both what the Sovereign God purposed by this death and what was accomplished by it.


Jesus told us what his (God’s) particular purpose was when He announced that He had, "come to save that which was lost" (Matthew 18:11). The Apostle also proclaimed this same divine intention for Paul tells us, "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners" (1Timothy 1:15).


Which sinners are these? They are the ones of whom Jesus spoke in Matthew 20:28, "The Son of Man came.....to give his life a ransom for many." This "many" is in other places called "us" to distinguish the redeemed from the world of the non-elect.


He "gave himself for our sins that he might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God and our Father" (Galatians1:4).


“Wait a minute,” the Free–Will champion interrupts, “that verse says that he might deliver, it doesn’t say that he does deliver.” Thank you, I’m glad you brought that up.  The word translated “Might Deliver” is exaireō. It means, “To pluck out, draw out, to choose out (for one's self), select one person from many, to rescue and deliver!” Hey, do you know what? It sounds like God had a purpose after all. He did not merely make salvation possible if we were to add our two cents worth: He actually chose and saved us. But the God of the Free-Will folk doesn't seem to have the will, purpose or ability to even get to first base. He can't even begin to save without our help. There’s no amazing grace in that scheme!


Then we must ask, what did Christ's death accomplish?


Reconciliation

The first thing Christ did was to accomplish reconciliation (at-one-ment) between us and God. Romans 5:10 says "When we were His enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son." Again, "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself not imputing their trespasses unto them" (2 Corinthians 5:19). Notice, the reconciliation was actual, not potential.


 (Also, for a more detailed treatment of the meaning of ‘the word ‘World’ see Appendix 1)


Redemption

Redemption was also obtained, "He redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13). According to this verse, an actual redemption was obtained, not a potential one! Just as He was reckoned an actual curse at the cross, so He actually accomplished a genuine redemption. Nothing but a powerfully, effective redemption, could have ever paid for our sin and made satisfaction for it. The number of our sins were like the sand on the seashore. We were lost, but grace found us and paid for us apart from any contribution of our own. At Calvary, Christ paid His people’s debt and paid it all at once; so that there now remains not one cent of debt owing from Christ's people to their God.


Justification

Also Justification, "We are justified freely by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus" (Romans3:23). God is a God of both love and unbending justice.  We were guilty before him but because of the finished work, we now owe nothing to the unbendable demands of God’s justice because a real and effective punishment was meted out at Calvary 2000 years ago. Christ paid it all, He suffered the just for the unjust.  Now, the believer is entirely free from all guilt. He is justified, (declared not guilty), and set free from all punishment, through that which Jesus has done.


Sanctification

Sanctification was obtained, for we read, "To sanctify the people with his own blood he suffered outside the gate" (Hebrews 13:12). The blood set us apart unto the Lord?  When did it do that?  At the cross.  Faith would later be granted so that we could receive it, but our faith did not cause our sanctification. If that were the case grace would not be amazing.


If the Free-Will position is correct and Christ's died for every individual, then all individuals must be reconciled, redeemed, justified and sanctified----but you know that is not the case.  Only some people are reconciled, redeemed, justified and sanctified. The Free-Will preacher admits this but explains this by saying that only those who added their faith to the cross and chose Christ enjoy the benefits of reconciliation etc. This again means that, in reality, there was no power in the death of Christ to accomplish anything.  Christ's death was only a toy death, void of all power, with no particular purpose or design. Nothing particular was intended by it and nothing particular was accomplished. Yet the Free-Will folks still sing Amazing Grace!


Is it not strange to you that, in the Bible, we see the Sovereign Omnipotent ruler of the universe thwarting the purposes of sinful men and yet, today, Free-Will folks would have us believe that the positions are reversed? Sinful men, according to them, may, at will, thwart and veto the very purpose and intentions of the all-powerful, majestic God?


Owen’s Three Propositions

The Puritan writer, John Owen, came up with three propositions which put the whole matter of for whom Christ died in a nutshell.


He said only one of the following three propositions could be true:


1) Christ died for all of the sins of all men.


2) Christ died for some of the sins of all men.


3) Christ died for all of the sins of some men.


If proposition #1 is correct, then no one will go to Hell.  But this we know is not true---Jesus often taught about people ending in the fires of damnation.  “Oh,” says someone, “He died for everyone’s sins, but they refused to believe and that’s why they were lost!” But let me ask you, since when is unbelief not a sin?  Since when is the rejection of Christ not an act of wickedness?  Unbelief and rejection of Christ are heinous sins. 1 John 5:10 warns us that, ‘he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.’ But if Jesus died for all the sins of all men, that must mean He died for their unbelief and rejection of Him!  This must mean that all will be saved for there is now no just and legal basis for the sinner’s condemnation.  Nonetheless, no Free-Will advocate, in his right mind, will agree with this obvious and logical conclusion to proposition 1 and yet he strenuously maintains that proposition 1 is correct!


If proposition #2 is true, then all men will have certain sins to answer for and no one will be saved. For "If the Lord should mark iniquities who should stand" (Psalm 130:3).


Proposition 3, Christ died for all of the sins of some men, is the only one of the three propositions which withstands Biblical scrutiny.


Why So? First, let us consider Christ in His office of the Mediating High Priest. As you well know, the book of Hebrews makes it clear that Christ's intercession is based upon His finished work for, "Christ ... by His own blood entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Hebrews 9:11-12). Notice again, that He obtained eternal redemption for us at the cross and then embarked on His High Priestly ministry of mediation for us.


Where did he go with His blood? "He is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:24). Mark this down, He is the High Priest for everyone for whom He died. He appears in Heaven for all those whom He redeemed.


His very act of death was done as our High Priest ... but now once in the end of the world He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:25-26). If he died for everyone's sins, He is, therefore, everyone's High Priest.


Do you remember, in the Old Testament, the High Priest had the names of the 12 Tribes of Israel written on his breastplate? The reason for this was to graphically demonstrate that he represented these tribes. As their representative, He would make sacrifice for their sins once a year (Leviticus 16).  Notice that the atonement was made exclusively for the 12 tribes. It was an atonement, limited to Israel!  The sins of the Philistines were not atoned for ---Hittites and Egyptians were left out.  Of course, the High Priest was a type and picture of Jesus. To fulfill this type accurately, Jesus, therefore, as High Priest could only and would only make an atonement for His people.


Further, as our High priest in Heaven, Christ Jesus intercedes to ensure all the benefits of His death are applied to those for whom He died. This is the purpose of His intercession. This intercession continues till we reach Glory and is brought into effect even now for we read, "If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1).


It is evident from scripture that all for whom Christ died have the benefits of His death applied to them. But, if the Free-Will theory holds true, Christ, as High priest, is not able to effectively apply all the benefits of His death. According to the Free-Will folk, there are many for whom He died who will never enjoy the benefits of His sacrifice. Thus, these would be preachers of the gospel, by their position, hold that Christ is an ineffective High Priest. While they praise Him, they plunder Him! Yet they can without thought get to their feet and bellow out with gusto about Grace that saves.



Does the Father Pay Attention to the Son?

“But,” asks someone, “How can we be so sure that Christ’s intercession is effectual? How do we know He is an effective High Priest?”


To answer that, we must ask, does the Father pay attention to Christ's prayers? If Christ’s prayers are heard, then we must conclude Him to be effective at His job. So what’s the answer? Are Christ’s prayers heard? Well, unless Christ was lying when He said to the Father, "I know that thou heareth me always" (John 11: 42), we can be assured that His intercession is a sweeping success. Furthermore, we discover, "He is able to save them to the uttermost that come to God by Him seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7: 25). That means everyone for whom He intercedes as High Priest will be saved. In other words, the people for whom He intercedes will have the entire benefits of Calvary applied to them.


Does Christ intercede for everyone? No! He point blank refused to pray for the world! "I pray not for the world but for them thou hast given me" (John17: 9). Are we to believe then that Christ died for men for whom He refuses to pray? I can't get my head around that one! That would make Him only half a High Priest because He, by neglecting to pray for His people, neglects a major part of His role.


If He died for everyone, but does not afterwards intercede for everyone then the blood must be very unimportant to Christ.  How can He pour out His precious blood for people for whom He will not offer even one moment of intercession?


Indeed, the High Priest presented by the Free-Will folk is an ineffectual advocate who is not able to save everyone for whom He died. He's not one to be trusted for He's neglectful of His office and obviously has no real will to save. After all, the Father hears Him always and the High Priest prays for all for whom He died … yet many people for whom He died go to Hell.  We must, consequently, conclude that (A) He is either, not praying hard enough or (B) that the Father refuses to grant His requests. But, since the Father and the Son are One, disagreement between them is impossible. Thus, the High Priest of the Free-Will folk has got a lousy and ineffective prayer life. Gone are the days when He can say,” I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, (John 17:12).


How can it happen that millions for whom Christ died go to Hell? Maybe, the Lord Jesus is praying out of the will of God … but that’s impossible. Well then, why do people perish if Christ has died for them? Obviously, if the Free-Will folk are right, and millions perish for whom Christ died, then there's (A) an insincerity or ineffectiveness about Christ's intercession or (B) a lack of power in God to save! If news of this ever gets out to the Christ haters they will have a field day!


The Free-Will folk reduce the God of sovereign grace to a lackey; yet they stand to their feet belt out ‘Amazing Grace’ along with the best of them.


Why Do People Perish?

Here’s the truth of this matter, people who perish, perish because Christ is not their High Priest. To establish this, let's look briefly at the some aspects of the work of Christ as a High Priest.


As our High Priest, Christ Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice for sins and He intercedes by appearing in the presence of God, for those for whom He has died. If people perish, it's because Christ hasn't prayed for them. If He doesn't intercede for them, it’s because He hasn't died for them.


Listen closely to the New Testament, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God who also makes intercession for us" (Romans 8: 33-34).


If Christ has died for every individual, then every individual is elect and Christ is praying for them. In fact, if every individual is elect, everyone now living can, with confidence, be assured that Christ is interceding for them and that no one, according to this scripture, shall lay anything to their charge. But we know that those who perish have plenty laid to their charge. So how can we say that Christ died for them? If He died for them, why doesn’t He pray for them?


Furthermore, it is the Father's purpose for Christ to bring many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10) and to this end He prayed, "Father, I will that those whom thou hast given me be with me where I am" (John.17:24). In that great chapter of John 17, Christ prays for His own. Who are His own? They are those who were given to Him by the Father. Who are they who were given to Him? They are the ones for whom Christ died and the same ones for whom He appears in the presence of God with His own blood. These are Christ’s own! But who are they? Is the Scripture talking about everyone who has ever lived? If it is, then both the Father's gift to the Son and Christ's intercession are ineffectual. Why? Because, since multitudes perish in Hell, the Father's gift and the Son's intercession obviously don't guarantee salvation for anyone.


In case you didn't pick up on the inseparable link in Hebrews between Christ's death and His priestly and effective mediation on behalf of His people; let me direct your attention to the prophesy of Isaiah 53:11 where the Spirit moved the great Seer to write, "By His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many for he shall bear their iniquities." That His mission to the Cross was to be a success was also prophesied and guaranteed in verse 12 of the same chapter " ... and He was numbered with the transgressors and He bare the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors."


Now we need to ask for which transgressors did He intercede? Was it for every transgressor who ever lived? No! The answer is in the text! He interceded only for the ones whose sin he bore ... and they are here called "many."


Lest there be any doubt that the benefits of Christ's death are applied to those for whom He died, Isaiah 53:5 further tells us "and with His stripes we are healed." But why aren't all healed spiritually if this verse is true? Why do men perish? Is it because Christ's sacrifice at the cross and intercession are ineffective? Such a notion blasphemes God and imputes both impotence and lack of any particular purpose to Him. I don't know of a better way to subtly make a sham of the cross than to hold to a theory which limits the power, intentions and purpose of God at Calvary.


All Things

Furthermore, Romans 8:32 must also be considered at this time. It says, "He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things." According to this verse, all for whom He died will have the benefits of His death given to them. If you don't believe me, read the verse again!


Here these benefits are called "all things." This again is a declaration of the power of Christ's intercession. To say, however, that He died for every individual leaves us with the question, "Why does He not give every individual the ‘all things’ of Romans 8:32?" After all, if the Free- Will position is correct, God delivered Christ for the offenses of every man, but clearly every person does not receive these “all things” since the Lake of Fire will be full.


According to the Free-Will folk, Christ's offering at Calvary, was of no avail unless we wretched rebels, who were dead in sin and iniquity, added our two cents worth (our acceptance of the offer) to the equation.


Their whole theory reminds me of the fable of St. Denys. According to the Roman Communion, some angry pagans, infuriated by his preaching, martyred this great man by cutting off his head. Undeterred, the bold Denys stood up, collected his head and walked 500 miles to a place where he stopped and finally admitted he was dead by collapsing. So there, on that very site, they built a church, which I'm told stands to this day, to commemorate and perpetuate his noble memory.


Now why do I have a problem believing that story? Do I have difficulty believing he could walk 500 miles with his head under his arm? No, not one bit of me! That's not the problem I have. My problem is believing he could take the first step. The man had had his head cut off; he was, therefore, dead. After all, if he could take the first step then 500 miles would be a thing of nothing for a man like that.


Which brings me back to the Free-Will theory. I just can't see how a dead man can take the first step and add anything to the saving work of Christ. How can a dead man make a decision? How can a dead man make the right choice? And lest there be any confusion, the scripture plainly says we were dead before salvation, "and you hath He quicken who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). So how then do dead men contribute anything to their salvation?


But back to the central thought of this chapter. If all individuals are not saved, and Christ died for every individual, Christ is a failed High Priest whose prayers are ineffective. Or, on the other hand, we deduct that He has little influence in Heaven for the Father does not hear Him.


Mind you, no believer who thought that way would dare to pray, for where would his confidence be? To pray successfully we must come to the Father in the mighty name of Jesus in full confidence that our High Priest has the ear of His Father and that the Father always hears Him.


For a much fuller treatment of this subject, I would refer you to, "The Works of John Owen," Vol. 10, especially the sections, "A Display of Arminianism" and "The Death of Death in The Death of Christ."


Owen, one of the leading Puritan theologians, has not yet been answered or refuted in his defense of the Doctrine of 'Particular Redemption.'  His book on this subject can be downloaded at; http://www.ccel.org/ccel/owen/deathofdeath.i.html


And that’s the Gospel Truth!



Appendix 1


WHAT DOES THE TERM ‘WORLD’ MEAN IN SCRIPTURE?


The Free-Will folks strenuously argue that Christ died for every individual who ever was born.  According to them, when we read that Jesus died for the world, this means He died for every person without distinction. But consider the following scriptures;


Matthew 16:26, "For what is a man profited if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul." Are we then to understand this to mean, “What does it profit a man if he gains every individual who has ever lived?”


Luke 2:21, "And ... there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed." Are we to understand by this that every individual who had ever lived or even every individual alive on planet earth at that time was to be taxed?  Not everyone alive in those days lived in the Roman Empire. (Here the word ‘world’ refers to the known Roman World and excludes all the people, for example, in China. It certainly does not mean every individual alive at that time).


John12:19, "The Pharisees said....behold the whole world is gone after him." Again you can see this does not mean every individual alive in A.D.33. Not every individual then alive was in Jerusalem at that time.


John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you not as the world giveth give I unto you." Need I ask it? Does every individual who has ever lived give some kind of peace to us?


Acts 19:27,"Diana ... whom all Asia and the world worshippeth." Is that a fact? This must mean, if the Arminians are consistent, all the Chinese and Pygmies worshiped her. But that of course is nonsense.  They had their own set of Deities whom they reverenced.


Acts 24:5,"A mover of sedition among the Jews throughout the whole world." Where was this whole world? Was Paul inciting the Jews in Japan and Mexico to sedition ... or does the world in this verse mean an area around the Mediterranean?


Rom 1:8, "Your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world." Did every single person then alive on the planet speak of the faith of the Roman Christians? Did even every person in the Roman Empire speak of their faith? Of course not! Yet, the truth was that many people in the Empire spoke about their faith. Many people are therefore here designated as the whole world.


The point I am making is that the word world is an ambiguous term with many and varied meanings. You simply can not attribute one meaning (i.e. every individual) otherwise it will be a screwball Bible doctrine you come up with.


In Acts 17:24 the word ‘world’ stands for the whole created universe (not individuals)


In John 13:1 ‘world’ stands for the earth (As in Eph 1:4) (not individuals)


In John 12:31 it is used for this "world-system" (not individuals)


In Romans 3:19 it is used for every individual


In John 15:18 it is used for humanity minus believers (Therefore not every individual who ever lived)


Romans 11:12 it is used of the Gentile world as opposed to the Jewish world (therefore not every individual)


In John 3:16; "God so loved the world" is a reference to the non-exclusive nature of this new covenant. In other words, God has burst out of the confines of Israel and is now the new Covenant God of both Jew and Gentile (the whole world). It is not a statement that Christ died for every individual.


In John. 6:33-35, world is used for every believer.


In John 12:47-48 it is again evident that world refers to the world of believers.


A. W. Pink writes,


“Many people suppose they already know the simple meaning of John 3:16, and therefore they conclude that no diligent study is required of them to discover the precise teaching of this verse. Needless to say, such an attitude shuts out any further light which they otherwise might obtain on the passage. Yet, if anyone will take a concordance and read carefully the various passages in which the term "world" (as a translation of "kosmos") occurs, he will quickly perceive that to ascertain the precise meaning of, the word "world" in any given passage is not nearly so easy as is popularly supposed. The word "kosmos," and its English equivalent "world," is not used with a uniform significance in the New Testament. Very far from it. It is used in quite a number of different ways.--------------“Thus it will be seen that "kosmos" (World) has at least seven clearly defined different meanings in the New Testament. It may be asked, Has then God used a word thus to confuse and confound those who read the Scriptures? We answer, No! Nor has He written His Word for lazy people who are too dilatory, or too busy with the things of this world, or, like Martha, so much occupied with "serving," they have no time and no heart to "search" and "study" Holy Writ! Should it be asked further, But how is a searcher of the Scriptures to know which of the above meanings the term "world" has in any given passage? The answer is: This may be ascertained by a careful study of the context, by diligently noting what is predicated of "the world" in each passage, and by prayer fully consulting other parallel passages to the one being studied.”

         A.W. Pink: Appendix 3: The Sovereignty of God


"... 'The whole world is gone after him.' Did all the world go after Christ? 'Then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan.' Was all Judea, or all Jerusalem baptized in Jordan? 'Ye are of God, little children', and 'the whole world lieth in the wicked one.' Does 'the whole world' there mean everybody? If so, how was it, then, that there were some who were 'of God?' The words 'world' and 'all' are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture; and it is very rarely that 'all' means all persons, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts—some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted his redemption to either Jew or Gentile." (Charles H. Spurgeon, Particular Redemption, A Sermon, 28 Feb 1858).

                                   

Appendix 2


ALL?


Those who hold to the Free-Will scheme tell us that “ALL means all that’s all.”  It’s a slick statement, but is it true?  Let’s then consider this word all!


1 Timothy 2:1-6: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men: for kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 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.


In these verses we are exhorted to pray for all men and are told that God wills that all men would be saved. Case closed says the Free-Will exponent!


Concerning praying for all men, we know from John 17:9 that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself deliberately refrained from doing this very thing. He said, "I pray for them (the elect): I pray not for the world but for them You have given Me." So is Paul contradicting Jesus and telling us to pray for all men indiscriminately?


 To answer that question, let’s consider what we are being asked to do. The Apostle says we are to pray for ALL men.  Does all mean all, that’s all in this verse?  If it does, that means we are to pray for every individual in the world today? The problem with that is, I don’t know all the people alive on earth today and neither do you. I neither know their names nor their problems. I can’t, therefore, possibly obey this command if all means all, that’s all!.


Also, even if I knew everyone’s names and where they lived I wouldn’t have time to pray for all of them. It’s hard enough to find time to pray for everyone I actually am concerned about never mind every inhabitant of planet earth. If I set out to pray for everyone, in reality, I would end up praying for nobody.


However, the problem is solved when we look at the phrase “all men” in the context and see that it means "for all sorts of men." I am to pray for Kings and people in authority.  Without doubt I should also pray for those whom God has brought across my path. In fact, I should not rule anyone out of my prayers because of social standing or ethnic background.  I should pray for all men.


In fact, the word ‘all’ (‘pas’ in the Greek) is often translated, "all kinds of," or "all manner of." Consider the following passages where ‘All’ can mean every, or all kinds of or all manner of.


Luke 11:42: All manner of herbs

Matthew 4:32: All manner of disease

Matthew 5:11 All manner of evil


Consider also, Mark 11:32 tells us that all men counted that John was a prophet. But think about it, the people in Ireland didn’t count him a prophet for they were unaware of him. So ‘ALL’ in this passage means all who knew about John. It does not mean every individual in the world.


In John 8:2 it says of Jesus, that "all people came to Him" but we know the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the High Priest refused to come to Him.  Therefore, the word ALL in these passages cannot possibly mean every individual in Israel and certainly not every person in the world.


In Romans 5:18, Paul wrote: "Therefore, as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."  


Notice how in this one verse, “all” has two different meanings!  All, because of Adam, are condemned---this is a case of “All means all, that’s all!”  But then notice that because of the free gift ‘all’ are justified! Does all mean ‘all means all, that’s all’ in this thought?  Does anybody in their right mind think this means that everybody will be justified? Will every man, without exception be justified? The Bible knows nothing of such things! If it is so that all means all that’s all then Hell, in that case, will be boarded up to everyone.


Does this scripture then mean that all who were lost will be saved? We know better than that for the Bible tells a different story.  We know that all people, all individuals, are lost in Adam, but not all will be saved. The truth is, all in Adam are condemned and all in Christ----everyone who is in Christ will be saved. So the ‘All’ in Christ cannot possibly mean every individual in the World.


Romans 14:2 tells us how one man "believes that he may eat all things" whereas another eats only herbs. Does the first gentleman eat all and everything that exist? In that case he would be like Mr. Creosote, the character in Monty Python’s Flying Circus who ate so much that he exploded. ‘All’ in this case means, rather, that he ate all kinds of things. It is quite obvious Paul means that some men allow themselves meat as well as herbs whereas others avoid meat.


In writing to Titus (2:11) Paul declares that "the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men." Since all individuals are not brought to salvation this then means that grace has appeared to "to all sorts of men." This means that no class of person is excluded from the Gospel.  It must be preached to the down and out and to the high and mighty.  It must be preached to all of every nation race and tribe.


And in John 12:32, unless we assume that everyone is going to go to Heaven, the text, “If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me" means that He will draw all manner of men unto Him. If it means all individuals without exception will be drawn to Him then, according to the word of the Lord, no one will be lost.


When we read, therefore, that He wills that all men will be saved, it means He will have men of all sorts to be saved and come unto a knowledge of the truth." If He actually wills the salvation of all men, all individuals, then we must conclude His will is impotent and easily defeated.



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