Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 5, 2014

Exact Redemption a/k/a Limited Atonement

Last minute cruise.  Next devotion, God willing, will be next Tuesday, June 10, the day after my birthday.

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers Chapter 3.  Here is a link to this Scripture – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+3&version=NASB

I quote the following verses.

“1 Now these are the records of the generations of Aaron and Moses at the time when the Lord spoke with Moses on Mount Sinai. 2 These then are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.  3 These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed priests, whom he ordained to serve as priests.  4 But Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord when they offered strange fire before the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai; and they had no children.  So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests in the lifetime of their father Aaron.

5 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 6 “Bring the tribe of Levi near and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may serve him. 7 They shall perform the duties for him and for the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, to do the service of the tabernacle. 8 They shall also keep all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, along with the duties of the sons of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle.  9 You shall thus give the Levites to Aaron and to his sons; they are wholly given to him from among the sons of Israel.  10 So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons that they may keep their priesthood, but the layman who comes near shall be put to death.”

11 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “Now, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the sons of Israel instead of every firstborn, the first issue of the womb among the sons of Israel. So the Levites shall be Mine.  13 For all the firstborn are Mine; on the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, from man to beast.  They shall be Mine;  I am the Lord.”   …

39 All the numbered men of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron numbered at the command of the Lord by their families, every male from a month old and upward, were 22,000.

40 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Number every firstborn male of the sons of Israel from a month old and upward, and make a list of their names.  41 You shall take the Levites for Me, I am the Lord, instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the cattle of the sons of Israel.”  42 So Moses numbered all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, just as the Lord had commanded him;  43 and all the firstborn males by the number of names from a month old and upward, for their numbered men were 22,273.

44 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel and the cattle of the Levites. And the Levites shall be Mine;  I am the Lord.  46 For the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels apiece, per head; you shall take them in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), 48 and give the money, the ransom of those who are in excess among them, to Aaron and to his sons.” 49 So Moses took the ransom money from those who were in excess, beyond those ransomed by the Levites;  50 from the firstborn of the sons of Israel he took the money in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, 1,365.  51 Then Moses gave the ransom money to Aaron and to his sons, at the command of the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.”  Numbers Chapter 3:  Verses 1-13 and 39-51.

—————————–

Isn’t 22,000 close enough to 22,273? 

Moreover, you have 22,000 good Levites to swap for 22,273 ordinary firstborns.  Certainly, that is a fair exchange! 

I guess not.

“For the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites, you shall take five shekels apiece, per head;  you shall take them in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), and give the money, the ransom of those who are in excess among them, to Aaron and to his sons.”  Verses 46-48.

Today’s Scripture leads us to consider “Limited Atonement”, the “L” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

Many lazily and wrongly think that Christ died for all and that Christ did not die for anyone particularly but just for everybody.  They don’t care to reason that if Christ died for everyone then all would be saved.  They just like that comfortable thought that Christ loves everybody and that it is up to the individual man to determine for himself whether or not he will be saved by his own free-will.  They also don’t think it out that it may be a bad idea to put salvation in the hands of totally depraved men dead in sin.

But, today’s Scripture emphasizes the exactness of redemption.  22,000 is not close enough to 22,273.  There is an exact number of firstborns to be redeemed.

“For the redemption of his soul is costly, …”  Psalm 49:8.

Payment is due for exactly 273 souls.

“So Moses took the ransom money from those who were in excess, beyond those ransomed by the Levites;  from the firstborn of the sons of Israel he took the money in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, 1,365.  Then Moses gave the ransom money to Aaron and to his sons, at the command of the Lord, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.”  Verses 49-51.

Article 8.   For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation: that is, it was the will of God, that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby he confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father; that he should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death; should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing; and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them free from every spot and blemish to the enjoyment of glory in his own presence forever.  Canons of Dordt SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE  Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby.

 

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