Why Does Definite Atonement Matter?
There are three practical implications for the doctrine of definite atonement.
1. It enhances the personal aspect of God’s love for us.
Martin Luther said that the sweetness of the gospel lies in the personal pronouns. The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me.
2. It grounds our assurance.
Calvin spoke about Christ’s death anticipating the judgement of God. What he meant was that in the death of Christ, the judgement of God for our sins past, present, and future, has been exacted on Christ, and therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
It’s as Augustus Toplady put it beautifully in his hymn, “Payment God will not twice demand, when at my bleeding Surety’s hand, and then again at mine.” So definite atonement grounds our assurance of forgiveness of sins.
With contributions from a number of well-respected Reformed theologians and church leaders, this volume offers a comprehensive defense for the doctrine of limited atonement from historical, biblical, theological, and pastoral perspectives.
3. It motivates us toward evangelism and mission.
The book of Revelation tells us that through the blood of Christ, God has ransomed people from every people, tribe, language, and nation to be a kingdom of priests. What a wonderful motivation if you’re a missionary doing work in an unreached people group—evangelizing, preaching the gospel indiscriminately to them. You know that you are there to proclaim the gospel and see some of God’s elect come to faith because Christ died for people from every tribe and language.
So rather than it being a deterrent to evangelism, definite atonement actually motivates us to evangelism and mission.
What is the doctrine of atonement and what does it mean for us?
We do not embrace definite atonement merely by looking at Bible verses here and there, but by synthesizing the Bible's comprehensive teaching on Christ's death.
The doctrine of definite atonement is a misunderstood doctrine, one that we must seek to understand more accurately and embrace more deeply.