Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 31, 2014

Starting to Think about “Limited Atonement”

Today’s devotion comes from Leviticus 4:13-35.  Here is a link to this Scripture – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+4&version=NASB

I quote the following verses.

“13 ‘Now if the whole congregation of Israel commits error and the matter escapes the notice of the assembly, and they commit any of the things which the Lord has commanded not to be done, and they become guilty;  when the sin which they have committed becomes known, then the assembly shall offer a bull of the herd for a sin offering and bring it before the tent of meeting. … 20 He shall also do with the bull just as he did with the bull of the sin offering;  thus he shall do with it.  So the priest shall make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.  …

22 ‘When a leader sins and unintentionally does any one of all the things which the Lord his God has commanded not to be done, and he becomes guilty, 23 if his sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring for his offering a goat, a male without defect.  …26 All its fat he shall offer up in smoke on the altar as in the case of the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings.  Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin, and he will be forgiven.

27 ‘Now if anyone of the common people sins unintentionally in doing any of the things which the Lord has commanded not to be done, and becomes guilty, 28 if his sin which he has committed is made known to him, then he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without defect, for his sin which he has committed.  … 31 Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat was removed from the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar for a soothing aroma to the Lord.  Thus the priest shall make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.

32 ‘But if he brings a lamb as his offering for a sin offering, he shall bring it, a female without defect.  … 35 Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offerings, and the priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar, on the offerings by fire to the Lord.  Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin which he has committed, and he will be forgiven.  Leviticus Chapter 4:  Verses 13, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, and 35.

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We notice the repetition of the provision for atonement through the offerings.  We also notice for whom atonement was intended.

One atonement was intended for the “whole congregation of Israel”.  Verse 13.  Another atonement was intended for “a leader”.  Verse 22.  Another atonement was intended for “anyone of the common people”.  Verse 27.

One the one hand, atonement could be made for a group of people.   Verse 13.  On the other hand, atonement was specifically directed to specific people.  Verses 22 and 27.  But, for both the group and the specific people, atonement was directed to cover specific sins.  Verses, 13, 22, and 27.

Today’s Scripture should at least make us to start to think about “Limited Atonement”, the “L” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

The issue ultimately is did Christ love everyone, die for everyone, and thus show grace to everyone?

Although today’s Scripture does not answer all of the questions, it leads us toward “Limited Atonement”.  Yes, atonement could be offered for a group of people.  But, atonement is specifically directed to specific people who committed specific sins.  And, all those for whom atonement is offered, they “will be forgiven”.

If Christ died for everyone, and thus made atonement for everyone, everyone would be forgiven.  However, if Christ died only for God’s elect, atonement would be limited to God’s elect, and only God’s elect would be forgiven.

If you want to read more about “Limited Atonement”, you can do so under the tag “TULIP” at the top of my web site.  Here is a link –      https://reformeddoctrine.com/tulip/


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