T.U.L.I.P. - Lesson 7

Limited Atonement

God's aim was the revelation of the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy prepared beforehand for glory. The apex of that glory is the glory of grace. The supreme demonstration of that grace was the death of Jesus. The atonement is the work of God in Christ, by his obedience and death, by which he cancelled the debt of our sin, appeased his holy wrath against us, and won for us all the benefits of salvation.

John Piper
Lesson 7
Watching Now
Limited Atonement

Limited Atonement

I. Definition of Atonement

II. Why is an atonement needed for God to save sinners?

III. Who limits the atonement?

IV. What's the dispute?

IV. Texts often used to deny limited atonement (e.g., 1 John 2:1-2)

  • Romans 8:28-30 focuses on the idea that God works everything together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose. The Bible holds up Romans 8:28 with foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification and glorification. The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of him. We imagine things about God and act as if they are true. Verses like Ephesians 1:4 and Revelation 13:8 refer to God's plans that were in place before the foundation of the world.
  • Dr. Piper explains his assumptions about the authority of scripture, the importance of understanding and applying what it teaches and the role of the Holy Spirit in making it possible. The five points of Calvinism were first articulated in response to five objections that Arminians had to Calvin's theology in the 1600's.
  • Irresistable grace means we are brought to the place where grace gives us faith. Conditional talk from God to us should not be taken to mean he is dependent on us to meet the condition or that we should consider ourselves self-reliant in meeting the condition he has laid out. He intends to enable us to meet the condition so he can act. If grace were not irresistable, we would not incline to God because of our condition of total depravity. In summary, total depravity means that apart from any enabling grace from God, our hardness and rebellion against God is total. Everything we do in this rebellion is sin, our inability to submit to God or reform ourselves is total, and we are therefore totally deserving of eternal punishment.
  • "Total" depravity doesn't mean you are as bad as you can be. The point of unconditional election is that there are no conditions we must meet to be among the elect. God chooses individuals he will bring to faith. The Arminian position is that God chooses a corporate entity, so that it is not that individuals are in the church because they are elect, but that they are elect because they are in the church. We don't belong to God because we come to Jesus, we come to Jesus because we belong to God.
  • We are unable to believe in Christ but we are accountable for doing so. In election, God had a design in mind when he chose the foolish, the weak and the low to populate his church so that no human could boast in his presence and so we would praise and exalt God.
  • Is God's election based on his foreknowledge of your faith, or is faith the effect of your election? (see Romans 8:28-30) Faith is the effect because all the called, believe. Romans 9:1-23 is an argument for the justice of unconditional election. The heart of the righteousness of God is his unswerving allegiance to always uphold his glory.
  • God's aim was the revelation of the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy prepared beforehand for glory. The apex of that glory is the glory of grace. The supreme demonstration of that grace was the death of Jesus. The atonement is the work of God in Christ, by his obedience and death, by which he cancelled the debt of our sin, appeased his holy wrath against us, and won for us all the benefits of salvation.
  • Even though believers are accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, and slavery to sin is broken, sinful desires progressively weakened by the power of a superior satisfaction in the glory of Christ, yet there remain remnants of corruption in every heart that give rise to irreconcilable war and call for vigilance in the lifelong fight of faith. All who are justified will win this fight.
  • It's important to determine theological truths by basing your ideas on scriptural texts, not just logic. These scriptural truths can encourage us to live our lives in relationship to God, worship him, tell others about him and look forward to his kingdom being realized on earth.

God is sovereign and has planned everything about our salvation from before the foundation of the world. Romans 8:28-30 focuses on the idea that God works everything together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose.

We are thankful for John Piper's willingness to share these lectures with us. Copyright 2014 by Desiring God Ministries. Used with Permission. For more information, please visit www.DesiringGod.org.

Dr. John Piper
Limited Atonement
Lesson Transcript


[00:00:00] The following message is by Pastor John Piper. More information from Desiring God is available at www.DesiringGod.org. Before I pray, I wanna pose a question now, as we're moving into the section on the atonement, and the question is, what is all of this about? What's the meaning of everything that we're talking about in this seminar on Tulip? Why did God create the universe? Why does he govern the universe the way he is governing it? What's the point of it all? Is Jesus coming and dying and rising? A means to that point. Or that point. Himself. The answer to that question is not simple. When human beings fail, became rebellious, began opposing their creator. Instead of worshiping their creator, they needed, at that moment, a redeemer. They needed a substitute. They could never save themselves and recover the possibility of worshiping God and enjoying him forever, ever again. They were doomed. And there had to be a remedy for the fall. And Jesus is that remedy. Jesus became a means to the end that a people could be saved and fulfill the ultimate end of seeing and savoring and displaying the glory of God, which the universe was created to manifest. So Jesus, at the center of that story is the remedy of the fall. The means to the end of a people magnifying God by seeing and savoring him forever. However, in the moment, the 33 years in which he stood forth as a God man. Jesus became in his person and in his work, especially on the cross. The supreme manifestation of the glory of God, namely the glory of His grace. Therefore, in the very act of becoming a means to the end of achieving the purpose of the universe, he became the end.

[00:03:30] Because he has enabled us to be redeemed. Forgiven, Justified, Glorified. Enjoying God forever because he has done that in the very doing of it. He will become the focus where we will direct all of our attention. Forever and ever. As increasingly we behold the riches of the glory of God. So the answer to the question, did Jesus become the means to the end of the universe or the end of the universe is yes. What we're about to spend some time on in the Atonement is simply huge. It's not a little side event in history so that the main thing could happen. It is a means to the main thing. And it is the main thing. God's aim was the revelation of the riches of His glory for the vessels of mercy prepared beforehand for glory. At the apex of that glory is the glory of grace. And the supreme demonstration of that grace was the death of Jesus. Let's pray. So, Father, here we are now to attempt not to fight any doctrinal battles as an end in themselves. But to reverence Christ to reverence and stand in awe of his great work. Please help me. Who? Who is sufficient for these things? It's great that we all together. Would have the mind of Christ. And grasp something of the glory of your grace. In the giving of your son. You. In his name, we pray. Amen. Yes. One further comment. A blog pointed me to Google Sky, the new thing that Google is doing. Basically, you can look at the universe through the Hubble and other ways. And so I was doodling in the universe yesterday. And you have to ask. God. Why is this so big? Because we're small. There's no evidence that anybody has that there's another planet like the Earth in the universe.

[00:07:06] I mean, somebody could speculate there is, but we don't know about it. And it's really tiny. And then there's the solar system, and then there's the galaxy and there's billions of galaxies. And then there's these galaxies bumping into each other. And you just want to say, Lord, shouldn't the universe be about, I don't know, 80,000 miles across, just kind of suitable to contain man. Well, what's the point? The point is. That man is incredibly tiny. What is, man? Oh, God. You should care for him. And the universe is huge, and it is telling the glory of God. So I'm 19, verse one, and we are to learn both from the Bible and from the Google Sky and Hubble Telescope. That God is something like that. So as I prayed this morning, I felt. Ridiculously small and wondered, Are you really listening to me? This universe is breathtakingly big and you slug it out like this with your finger and spoke it into being In order to say that's a little bit like me, you got to listen to me. The sport. To listen to my prayer for my little girl as she goes off on her trip to day care by her. So in order to comprehend what Jesus did in the cross as the revelation of the apex, the highest point of the glory of God, you need to make sure you see it in its proper proportions, because what Christ achieved is greater than the universe. The revelation of the riches, of the glory of God do not reach their apex in the. Galaxies. But on the cross. A good place to start again, I think will be to read what we affirm in the elder affirmation of faith at Bethlehem. So I'm going to read the three paragraphs concerning the saving work of Christ.

[00:10:40] This is what we're about in these next minutes. We believe. That by his perfect obedience to God and by his suffering and death as the immaculate LAMB of God, Jesus Christ obtained forgiveness of sins and the gift of perfect righteousness for all who trusted in God prior to the cross and all who would trust in Christ thereafter. Through living a perfect life and dying in our place, the just for the unjust. Christ absorbed our punishment, appeased the wrath of God against us. Vindicated the righteousness of God in our justification and removed the condemnation of the law against us. We believe that the atonement of Christ for sin warrants and impels a universal offering of the Gospel to all persons. So make sure you hear that as we come toward this word, limited atonement. All right. We believe that the atonement of Christ for sin warrants and impels a universal offering of the gospel to all persons so that to every person it may be truly said, God gave his only begotten Son so that whoever believes in him might not perish, but have eternal life. Whosoever will may come for cleansing at this fountain and whoever does come. Jesus will not cast out. Third paragraph. We believe, moreover, that the death of Christ did obtain more than the bona fide offer of the Gospel for all. It also obtained the omnipotent new covenant mercy of repentance and faith for God's elect. It's very important. When Christ died. I'm arguing. He secured. Faith and repentance for his own. He bought it. It will be theirs by virtue of the cross. He didn't just buy the possibility of it for the elect. He bought the actuality of it for the elect. Will argue for that from texts shortly.

[00:14:04] Christ died for all that is in our affirmation of faith. Let it be said, but not for all. In the same way in his death, Christ expressed a special covenant love to his friends, his sheep. His bride can hear text behind each of those words. Greater love has no men this than that. He laid down his life for his friends. For them. He obtained the infallible and effectual working of the spirit to triumph over their resistance and bring them to saving faith. So there's the summary of the way I understand and the elders embrace the doctrine of the atonement. Call it limited. Call it definite. Call it a combination, whatever you want to call it. That's the sum of it. And now we need to probe into its biblical foundation. Why is the atonement needed for God to save sinners? Don't you just do it because you sin. I forgive you. Then it is bloody cross. Why not? Here's one of the most important paragraphs in the Bible. Romans 323 to 26 all have sinned. All of us, all humans have sinned and in sinning fall short of the glory of God. Which means we're not living up to that purpose to display the glory of God by enjoying him forever. We have other things that we prefer to God, and we have scorned God's glory by demeaning its value, by having it assume such a small place in our affections. Being justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God displayed publicly. God displayed Jesus publicly as a proportion in his blood through faith. So this word redemption connotes purchase. It is read release from bondage at the payment of a price. And our bondage is the wrath of God and our own sin.

[00:17:41] And he's paying a price here. And he is propositioning satisfying the wrath of God in the death of his son as the son absorbs God's wrath on our behalf and that wrath is spent and that justice is satisfied. And now here comes the the reason for why it's all happening. This was to demonstrate. His righteousness. Because in the forbearance of God, he passed over sins previously committed. For the demonstration, I say of his righteousness. At the present time so that he would be just righteous. Same stim. Just can't see it in English and justifier of the one who simply has faith in Jesus. And we will linger over that for a few minutes just to make sure that we understand the deep inner dynamics of the atonement. In putting Christ forward as a proportion, a punishment bearing wrath, absorbing justice, satisfying substitute. He was demonstrating God's righteousness. Now, why did it have to be done that way? Because in God's forbearance, he was passing over sins previously committed. Does that mean that means in the Old Testament God had treated people way better than they deserved? He was constantly passing over sins, was forgiving them through blood sacrifices in Israel, and he was causing the rain to fall and the sun to shine on pagan tribes that are in Arch Rebellion against him and should have been wiped out the moment they came on the scene. And he lets them go on and gives them seasons of fruitfulness and abounding pleasures and and he's treating this world way better than it we deserves. Now, why is that a problem for his righteousness? That's what's being demonstrated. This was to demonstrate his righteousness because in his forbearance he passed over the sins previously committed. Why is passing over sin calling his righteousness into question? The world is a struggle with this.

[00:21:02] The world doesn't lose any sleep over God's kindness to them as excessive and unjust. Nobody in the world is wrestling with how God can be. Just treat them so well. And Paul was that was his major problem. How can God treat sinners so well and still be righteous? Now, why? Why? Why was that calling his righteousness into question? Now I'm going to create an arc here between this and our argument in a previous session concerning the defense of the righteousness of God in Romans 914. Is there then on righteousness, on God's part in choosing Jacob over Esau? And you remember the nature of my argument. The argument was God's freedom in choosing whom He will is an essential part of His glory. His righteousness consists in always upholding His glory and vindicating His glory and displaying His glory and treating His glory as of infinite value. And if he doesn't do that, he's not righteous because he's not treating the infinitely valuable as infinitely valuable there is for he's wrong, but he's not wrongs right, and therefore he's righteous in always upholding the infinite value of his glory. Now, when God passes over sins, what does it look like He's doing? Because sin is a falling short of his glory. So basically what it looks like God is doing when he passes over sins is scorning his glory. He's saying no big deal. You despise me, ignore me, belittle me, demean me. I'll make the sun rise on you tomorrow. No big deal. I don't get been a shape when people. Treat me badly. That's what it looks like. That would be the essence of unrighteousness, because he would be treating his glory as though it were of no great consequence. So humanity can stiff arm the glory of God, exalt their own glory.

[00:23:31] Pay no attention to the glory of God, exalt God demeaning sins, whether it's on NPR or anywhere else. And God just. Keep giving him life. Keep blessing them. Looks like what? I guess God doesn't value His glory after all, that's what's at stake here. He has to demonstrate that that's not true. He has to elevate and magnify his righteousness because it looks like he has simply allowed his glory to be trampled underfoot by the way he passes over sins. So how does he do it? He takes the most exalted, magnificent, beautiful, precious being in the universe. And covenants with him to bear a demonstration of the kind of fury that God feels against those who belittle His glory. And he pours everything out on him and says, That's the way I feel about my glory being trampled in the dirt. There will be consequences. And for us, the consequence is either hell, which is a fitting response to belittling the glory of God, or, if we will have it, a substitute. Who bought it in our place. So that's the atonement. The atonement is is driven by this dual commitment of God to save a people for the enjoyment of his glory and to vindicate his righteousness that that very salvation seems to call into question. So that. He could be both righteous. And the one who declares righteous. Those who have faith in Jesus. They're not righteous in themselves. They are putting their faith in the righteous one, the one who bore their sins and absorbed their wrath and satisfied God's justice and provided their righteousness. That faith is connecting them with Jesus. Jesus is their only hope of redemption. Redemption. Second Corinthians 521 describes the event and the accomplishment like this God made him who knew no sin to be sin.

[00:26:52] On our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. So our scene is counted as being Christ's season as he dies. That's why our season has been punished. And his righteousness, that is his his total unswerving allegiance to live for the glory of God in the fulfillment of the law and all righteousness is counted as our having lived that way, which is what we are required to do. And we don't do it. And in the miracle of the Atonement, his achievement, both of that substitution theory, death and that perfect God honoring righteousness is counted as ours through faith alone. This is right at the heart of why the universe exists, that God would do this, that he could do this. And we we will spend eternity plumbing the depths. Of this achievement in vindicating God's glory and saving sinners forever. It's good to get a good start on it during Holy week, year by year. Let yourself have some time to meditate on these things. Or first Peter. 318 For God also died for sins. Once for all the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God. There's the substitution again. He was just. We weren't. He took our place. Died for our sins. We didn't die for our own sins. He becomes the hell experiencing one. We don't have to be the hell experiencing once and all of it for this end. Bring us to God. The goal of the atonement is the seeing and savoring and reflecting of God, which we could have never done had you left us in our sins. And he is the clearest manifestation of the God we will see forever. Just a couple more. Romans five, much more than having now been justified by his blood.

[00:29:50] We shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. For if we were enemies, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more having been reconciled. Shall we be saved by his life? Or a 32? He who did not spare his own son but delivered him over for us all. How will he not? Also with him freely Give us all things. It's near the top of my favorite verses. He didn't spare his own son. And then the argument is. How then in view of that, will he not also freely give us all things? If this has happened, this must happen. If he gave his son. On our behalf. It would contradict the worth of the son if he withheld everything we need. Make that the foundation of your life. Just preach that logic to yourself every time you're in a crisis. Every time you think he's not for you, every time you think he's dropped the ball, every time you're facing something that you simply can't handle. Say to yourself, If he didn't spare his son for me, he will not spare any effort to help me. Therefore, I'm seeing things wrong here, but making wrong judgments. I'm dishonoring the sun, I'm dishonoring the cross with my anxiety, with my murmuring. All things are mine because of the cross. He is working everything together for good here. There is no lapse in God's love for me here. The cross is the final logic and proof and foundation of his total being. For me, he's never anything but for me. I said that all things in place. It is the foundation of our life. Every day. Every day. Building on the gospel every day. Preaching the gospel to ourselves.

[00:32:24] If he didn't spare Jesus. If he did this to Jesus. If Jesus bore this for me, then this. Okay, so there's the atonement in summary, and now the the issue of its limitation. Who limits the atonement answer. Both Calvinists and Armenians. Armenians limit the effectiveness of the atonement by denying that it purchased the promises of the New Covenant for irresistible grace. Come back to explain that and to give texts to show what I mean. But Armenians limit the atonement in that they say there was no design in it to actually achieve the securing and the purchasing of faith and repentance for Gods elect. That's not what happened in the cross. It doesn't have that effect. It's limited and doesn't include that. Calvinists also limit the atonement. Calvin's affirm this purchase of the promises of the New Covenant to give us a new heart, bring us irresistibly to Christ, and therefore limit the full blessings of the atonement to those who and to those God irresistibly brings to faith. So the word full is key there. The fullest possible experience of the atonement was by design for God's elect, not denying that there are other dimensions of the atonement that are there for everyone, but are other names for limited atonement. Definite atonement, meaning that it is designed for definite individuals who are effectively saved by it, or particular redemption, meaning that God has a particular people in view in the design of the atonement to purchase all the blessings of salvation for his people. It's another name for unlimited atonement, universal redemption, meaning that God's design in the Atonement is the same for all individual humans. The design is the same for all. That would be what I don't believe. There are designs that are the same for all and designs that art do.

[00:35:20] Calvinists water down. John 316. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. No, because John 316 affirms that God love the world so that anyone who believes will be saved by the death of his son. Both Calvinists and Armenians affirm this all who believe will be saved by the atonement of Jesus. Now, let me set up the issue more completely and then look at the text with you briefly. Here's the here's the way I set up the issue. Armenians take all the passages which say the death of Christ is for us. For his own sheep, For the church, for the children of God. For those who are being sanctified. And they say that the meaning is that God designs and intends the atonement for all people in the same way. That's a key phrase right there. All people in the same way. But that God applies it as effective and saving only for those who believe and become part of us. Become part of us by by their believing and the sheep and the church and the children of God. In this view. Then the sentence Christ died for you means Christ died for all sinners. So that if you will repent and believe in Christ, then the death of Jesus will become effective in your case and will take away your sins. Now, as far as it goes, this seems to me to be acceptable teaching, right? That's right. Teaching. But then Armenians deny something that I think the Bible teaches. They deny that the texts about Christ's dying for us or his sheep or his church or the children of God were intended by God. They deny that they were intended by God to obtain something more for His people then the benefits they get after.

[00:38:03] They believe. They deny specifically that the death of Christ was not only intended by God to obtain benefits for people after they believe which is true, but even more Christ death was intended by God to obtain the very willingness to believe. In other words, the divine grace that it takes to overcome our hardness of heart and become a believer was also obtained by the blood of Jesus. For God's elect, there's no dispute that Christ died to obtain great saving benefits for all who believe this is no dispute there. We agree on that. Moreover, there's no dispute that Christ died so that we might say to all persons everywhere. Without exception, God gave His only begotten Son to die for sin, so that if you believe on him, you may have eternal life. The dispute is whether God intended for the death of Christ to obtain more than these two things saving benefits after faith and a bona fide invitation that can be made to any person to believe on Christ for salvation. Specifically, did God intend for the death of Christ to obtain the free gift of faith and repentance? Did the blood of Jesus obtain both the benefits after faith and the benefit of faith itself? Does historic Armenian interpretation of any of the universal texts on the Atonement necessarily contradict this? More than I'm affirming about God's intention for the death of Christ. I don't think so. In other words, I think you can affirm everything the Armenian affirms about the cross, making salvation universally available to all who believe you can affirm that. And all the texts that used to warrant that do not contradict this more that I think the cross was designed to achieve. Armenians historically are just as eager as Calvinists to avoid saying that these texts teach universal salvation.

[00:40:22] That is, everybody will be saved in the end. So they do not teach that the death of Christ for all saves, all rather, they say. Here's a quote from Millard Erickson. They say, God intended the atonement to make salvation possible for all persons. Christ died for all persons. But this atoning death becomes effective only when accepted by the individual. Then, Erickson says, this is the view of all Armenians. I chose his statement, not mine. Here's the statement of all Armenians. The atonement makes salvation possible for all persons. In Christ died for all persons. But. But very important. But got to qualify what that means. But this atoning death becomes effective so it doesn't produce the effect. It makes possible salvation. It becomes effective only when accepted by the individual. Now, I totally agree with that. Right. So I'm with the Armenians at the level of what the cross achieved by way of making salvation available to all with a bona fide offer. If you believe you will be saved, we may look every person in the eye and say that. So I'm with them. And my only question left is did it do more, not less? This is why the word limit the tone, which seems kind of odd at this point. I'm arguing a go with you this far, and then I'm going to just say, But I see some texts where the cross by its design does more than that. So just get this. Piper doesn't say, Oh my God, what a big wonderful view of the cross Armenians have. I wish I could have that, but I have a little view. I say, okay, here's their big, wonderful view and I'm with them. I'm standing there and I'm preaching to everybody on the weekends believing you because they don't care who you are or what socioeconomic level or what race you are.

[00:42:45] I don't care if you believe it'll be saved. It's designed to make that possible for you. Preaching like an Armenian, right? I'm just believe in something else. Also was designed in the cross. What is. What is that? What has become clearer to me as I have pondered these things is that Armenians do not say that in the death of Christ, God intends to effectively save all for whom He died. They just say that. They only say that God intends to make possible the salvation of all for whom Christ died. But this interpretation of these universal texts does not contradict the Calvinist assertion that God does intend to obtain the grace of faith and repentance for a definite group by the death of Christ. Armenians may deny the assertion, but they cannot deny it on the basis of their interpretation of the universal texts of the Atonement. That interpretation simply affirms that all may have salvation if they believe. I don't dispute that. I only go beyond it. Here's the rub. If God did this more. He didn't do it for everyone. And so at this level, the atonement becomes limited. And this is what Armenians stumble over. Is there anything that God would do to get some unbelievers saved? That he would not do for all. Is there some design in the cross for the elect? This limitation implies a choice on God's part to save some and not all, which leads, of course, to the U. Unconditional election, which. Armenians do not believe and therefore they'll back away from what I'm about to show you from texts. Texts supporting the assertion that the atonement obtained the grace of faith. First there's several arguments and. First, the blood of the New Covenant. According to Luke 2220.

[00:45:40] In the same way Jesus took the cup after he had eaten, saying This cup, which is poured out for you, is the New Covenant in my blood. Or you could take that word in there to mean by my blood. In other words, what he's saying is, when I shared my blood, tomorrow I am going to purchase, obtain, secure the New Covenant. I'm going to seal the New Covenant. That's my blood. Is the blood of the covenant. Now, what did the New Covenant promise? Moreover, I will give you. I will give you a new heart. I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you and cause you. To walk in my statutes and you will be careful to observe my ordinances. That's the sum of the New Covenant in the Old Covenant. We were required to do these things and God didn't do them. In the New Covenant, it says. I'm coming in and I'm taking over for my people. I'm changing their hearts. I'm taking out the heart of stone and putting in the heart of flesh. I'm taking out the old rebellious spirit. I'm putting in the new spirit. I'm giving them eyes to see. I'm bringing them to myself and I'm holding them. And my argument is, Jesus. But that. I didn't just happen. In the cross. There was a design to purchase and secure that. But that doesn't happen to everybody. And you can't say you get it if you choose to get it because it's the choosing that was bought for you. It's the new heart that was bought for you. It's the taking out the heart of stone that was bought for you.

[00:47:43] It's the pudding in a new spirit that was bought for you. It's the cause of you to walk in a statue that was bought for you. That's what the blood of the covenant means. So that's argument number one. Argument number two, the ingathering of the children of God. I'm starting with a problem text here. This text is usually brought up as a problem for limited atonement, and I'm going to turn it on its head and make it an argument for it. First, on to two. He himself is the perpetuation of our sins, and not for ours only, but for those of the whole world. Now, that sounds like God effectively bore the wrath for. Everybody. And he did in the sense that it's available to everybody if they would believe. But. What's John's thinking behind this verse? And it's the parallel with John. 11 5252 that is so striking. And I commend it for your consideration. Here again, we saw this in previous session, Caiaphas, the priest talking, it's expedient for you to the Jews that one man die for the people die. They'll get the death here, for the people, the whole nation not perish. Now, Caiaphas did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, die for the nation, and not for the nation only. Sound familiar? Not for ours only, but for. But in order that he might gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. Now, I think the structure of that sentence there paralleling the structure the sentence here means John is thinking similarly in those two situations, so that when he says he is the perpetuation for our sins, it's like he will die for the nation.

[00:50:10] And then he says, But not for hours only. But not for the nation only. But for now, the question is who this sends of the whole world. And here he says he died to gather together into one the children of God scattered abroad. So that means that the death of Jesus is by design. A people gathering. Yes, he is going to achieve the conversion of the children of God. They're scattered out there. They're sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I'll lay down my life for the sheep and you go find the sheep. And my death will be the triumphant means by which I gather my sheep. I think that's the way he's thinking in first John Tutu. So that the whole world here doesn't mean every single individual in the world. It means every tribe and tongue and nation where the children of God are scattered. Go find them and bring them in. Jan 1011. I'm the good shepherd. Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me as the father is not even as the father knows me. And I know the father And I lay down my life for the sheep, for my own. There is a special covenant purchase. Of the sheep in the design of the atonement. Same thing in Revelation five nine, and they sang a new song saying, Worthy are you to take the book and to break a SEALs for you were slain and you purchased. For God with your blood men from. You purchased men from every tribe and tongue and people. So think about that. You purchased men from. It would be a strange way to talk if you didn't think there was a special design in the purchase.

[00:52:37] For some among every nation, rather than all among every nation. He died so that you could say to every nation, anyone who believes in this tribe will be saved. And this text says he died in such a way that there will be some from those nations because the death secures the new covenant fulfillment of the promise. And his by his wounds. I think I'll skip over that one. You just draw one more text and then we'll take our break. The death of Christ for the elect is the ground of their assurance. Those whom he knew. He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son so that he would be the first born among many brethren and these whom he predestined. He also called. And those whom he called. He also justified. And these whom he justified, he also glorified. Now, so far, there's no mention of the death of Jesus or the atonement. You've just got this. Iron chain that cannot be broken from four knowing to predestination to calling to justification, to glorification. And nobody is missing this achievement of the glorification of the elect. Is rock solid? Sure. The question is, how does the death of Jesus figure it? What do you say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? That's what we just seen is for us. Now he undergirds it with the death of Christ. He who did not spare his own son but delivered him over for us all. How Shelly not also with him freely Give us all thanks. I'm going to end my argument here that all things here. Is. Predestination, calling, justification, glorification. That is pure. How can you know it? Sure, you're a sinner. Answer. He did not spare his own son.

[00:55:26] Therefore, it's the blood. It's the death that secures the rock solid chain of foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification and glorification. Which means my being called, my being predestined. My being chosen was all purchased for me. It was all secured by the blood. And therefore, this design is precious. It is New covenant design. It's the difference between me standing up on the sun and saying to all the women of Bethlehem, I love you. We live our life for you. And saying, But I love Noel. Differently. There's a covenant. And God can say to the world, I love you. I love you. And I gave him my son so that whoever believes among you of any kind would be saved. But I have a bright. And I tried from abroad differently. I paid a price for her. I secured her by covenant infallibly. And she is mine from eternity to eternity. Father, I pray that the atonement would be precious to us, in some measure proportionate to its infinite worth. Jesus. Thank you for listening to this message by John Piper, Pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Feel free to make copies of this message to give to others, but please do not charge for those copies or alter the content in any way without permission. We invite you to visit desiring God online at w WW dot desiring God dot org. There you'll find hundreds of sermons, articles, radio broadcasts and much more all available to you at no charge. Our online store carries all of Pastor John's books, audio and video resources. You can also stay up to date on what's new at Desiring God. Again, our website is w WW dot desiring God dot org. Or call us toll free at 1888346 4700.

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