Sunday, February 10, 2008

What Zanchius and I believe about the Atonement

In Confession of the Christian Religion, Chapter XI, Zanchius writes:

For we acknowledge one only Redeemer, Jesus Christ, without whom, as there is no true God, so no true salvation. And one only sacrifice, the oblation or offering whereof being once made, not only all the sins of the elect were once washed away in the person of Christ, but also being yet continually washed away even unto the end of the world, are remitted to them that believe.


Likewise, in The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination Stated and Asserted, Chapter "Observations on the Divine Attributes," Position 9:

As God doth not will that each individual of mankind should be saved; so neither did he will that Christ should properly and immediately die for each individual of mankind; whence it follows, that though the blood of Christ, from its own intrinsic dignity, was sufficient for the redemption of all men, yet, in consequence of his Father's appointment, he shed it intentionally, and therefore effectually and immediately, for the elect only.
This is self-evident. God, as we have before proved, wills not the salvation of every man: but he gave his Son to die for them whose salvation he willed; therefore his Son did not die for every man. All those, for whom Christ died, are saved; and the divine justice indispensably requires that to them the benefits of his death should be imparted; but only the elect are saved; they only partake of those benefits; consequently, for them only he died and intercedes. The apostle, Rom. viii. asks, "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? it is God that justifies," i.e. his elect, exclusively of others: "who is he that condemned? It is Christ that died" for them, exclusively of others. The plain meaning of the passage is, that those whom God justifies, and for whom Christ died, (justification and redemption being of exactly the same extent,) cannot be condemned. These privileges are expressly restricted to the elect: therefore God justifies and Christ died for them alone.
In the same chapter, Paul asks; " He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, (i. e. for all us elect persons) how shall he not, with him, also freely give us all things ?" i.e. salvation, and all things necessary to it. Now, it is certain that these are not given to every individual; and yet, if Paul says true, they are given to all those for whom Christ was delivered to death; consequently, he was not delivered to death for every individual. To the same purpose St. Austin argues, in Johan. tract. 45. col. 335. Hence that saying of Ambrose, "si non credis, non tibi passus est," i.e. if you are an unbeliever, Christ did not die for you. Meaning, that whoever is left under the power of final unbelief, is thereby evidenced to be one of those for whom Christ did not die: but that all for whom he suffered, shall be, in this life, sooner or later, endued with faith. The church of Smyrna, in their letter to the diocese of Pontus, insist every where on the doctrine of special redemption. Bucer, in all parts of his works, observes, that "Christ died restrictively for the elect only; but for them universally."



No comments: