Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Definite Atonement

According to Dr. Steven J. Lawson and the Bible, it teaches a “Definite Atonement or Limited Atonement.” This is one of the great doctrines of grace, flagged by Total Depravity, and Unconditional Election on one side, and on the other side Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. He says that the importance of fully understanding the Doctrines of Grace (T.U.L.I.P) is found in the L or Definite Atonement. If you have never gone to his website, (, you need to listen to some of his great expository messages.

The message that I want to review is entitled, “10 reasons to believe in the Definite Atonement: The Unity of the Godhead.” I only will give one of his points.

1. The Unity of the Godhead. (John 6:37) “All that the Father gives me will come to me.” This is a great promise! All of the deity works together to save the elect. (John 10:22) Jesus teaches on election in this section.

-(John 10:22-30)--At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." 25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one." (ESV)

-Note he replies that because the Father and the Son are one the Bible teaches a “Definite Atonement."
It is rooted and grounded in the Doctrine of Election. According to J.I. Packer in his forward to John Owens’s book you either believe all of the points of Calvinism or none at all. There is really only ONE point to believe, in other words there is no such thing as a one, two, three, or four point Calvinist. Lawson states, "The one who believes in the doctrine of election has more reason to praise God." This makes perfect sense to me! One cannot help, but praise the sweet Savior who saved them from hell.

-(Ephesians 1:3) Begins with a Trinitarian praise

Ephesians 1:3-14

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

-Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

(Notice the “In Him” in the verses)
-4-6 deal with God the Father
-7-12 deal with God the Son
-13 and 14 deal with the Holy Spirit

God not only chose us by Himself, but for Himself! He chose us in Christ, He chose us because of what Christ would do on the cross.

May you be shocked and stand in awe of God’s saving His children today.


Exist~Dissolve said...


The one who believes in the doctrine of election has more reason to praise God.

Why is this so? I would argue that those who hold to a Calvinistic conception of election have little reason to praise God at all.

Anonymous said...

This is what Dr. Lawson said in his message.

I will tell you my opinion, when one is born-again and saved from their sins, he or she is made a new creation in Christ; upon repentance and calling on the name of the Lord to save them he or she is made a precious child of God. One in whom Christ died.

When a person understands the payment that Christ paid on their behalf they can not help but praise God for taking the wrath of God for them. This is what I think he meant by saying we have great reason to praise God.