The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:
- All the sins of all men.
- All the sins of some men, or
- Some of the sins of all men.
In which case it may be said:
- That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so, none are saved.
- That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth.
- But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins?
You answer, "Because of unbelief."
I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!"
If you wonder if unbelief is a sin, check John 16:8-9; Hebrews 3:12; Revelation 21:8. His argument is forceful and convincing. 1) If Christ died for all sins of all men, then hell should be emptied and no one is to perish. But this is contrary to the biblical testimony (e.g. Matt. 25:46). 3) What if Christ died for some sins of all men? In this case, none would be saved as no complete atonement is made for any person. A partial atonement has been made on behalf of every single person, but none is saved as the wrath of God has not been fully satisfied. 2) Only in the second option, we see the freedom of God to elect as He pleases and also the consistency of God not judging us believers while throwing the reprobate to hell for their sins. It is not unrighteous for God to throw the wicked into hell to pay for their sins since no payment was made for their sins. But if the atonement was universal, then it would be unjust for God to punish Christ for the same sins which He will punish the sinner in hell. In this scenario, God would demand double payment, one by Christ on the cross, the other by the sinner himself in hell.
The logic of Limited Atonement in light of Unconditional Election is not disputable, rather what is disputed is if this logic is in agreement with the biblical testimony about Christ’s death. It is my purpose here to make a biblical case for Limited Atonement through looking at the purpose of the atonement, the extent of the atonement and trying to give some answers for texts used against the doctrine of Definite Atonement. But first, let us go to the intermediate section about John Owen's case for Definite Redemption.
John Owen's Case for Particular Redemption
(This section was added on the 22nd of March 2017 and may also be found as a separate post in here.)
Dr. John Owen’s work titled “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ” is, by the admission of many Calvinists, the most...