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Definite Atonement in Romans

The reconciliation of man to God was not merely begun at the cross, nor was it only made possible; it was accomplished, and it was finished. That fact effectively determines how we must answer the question, é─˙For whom did Christ die?é─¨


Jesus died in order to reconcile all believersé─ţmentioned repeatedly here as é─˙weé─¨é─ţto God. Upon the cross, those who believe were truly reconciled to God:

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. é─ţRomans 5:10é─ý11

By its sin, mankind has alienated itself from God. The two partiesé─ţholy God and sinful mané─ţare declared enemies who are at spiritual war. Godé─˘s wrath is being revealed from heaven toward sinners (1:18), and mané─˘s rebellion and hatred toward God are being revealed, as well (3:10é─ý18). At the cross, Jesus stood between the two offended parties and reconciled God to man and man to God. A real reconciliation occurred there, not a possible one. But not all men are reconciled to God through Christé─˘s deathé─ţonly the elect. It was for these only that He died. Murray writes, é─˙Reconciliation is a finished work. The tenses in verses 18, 19, 21 put this beyond doubt. It is not a work being continuously wrought by God; it is something accomplished in the past. God is not only the sole agent but also the agent of action already perfected. . . . He was made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Christ took upon Himself the sin and guilt, the condemnation and the curse of those on whose behalf He died.é─¨

é─ţSteve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 363é─ý364.

Posted 2012·11·14 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Foundations of Grace · Romans · Steve Lawson
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