Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 25, 2016

Good Friday: “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her”

This is a special post on this Good Friday dedicated to help us better understand the meaning of Christ’s death on the cross for us.

Reformed Doctrine teaches “Limited Atonement”, the “L” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

In the briefest nutshell, “Limited Atonement” summarizes Scripture that Christ died only for the elect, not for everyone in the world. 

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.  So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.”  Ephesians 5:25-28.
This is a peculiar love, a special love just for His church.  Just as a husband should not love and give himself up for all women, but only for his own wife, Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for only His church, not for everyone in the world.
Christ laid down his life for only His sheep.  “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father;  and I lay down My life for the sheep. ”  John 10:14-15.
“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;  The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.” Isaiah 53: 5.
When we believe that Christ died only for us, His elect, not for everyone in the world, then His love and substitutionary sacrifice is appreciated more by us.  We appreciate all the more His passion, suffering, and death, because it literally took away our sins, not for everyone in the world, but for only us the elect.  We appreciate all the more the total effectiveness of His death which did not just possibly take away our sins depending on our works or our alleged free will or depending on whether or not we get and keep faith till our death.
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.   SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE  Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby of Canons of Dordt.
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