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Predestination And Free-Will – What Does The Bible Teach About Justification?

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Predestination And Free-Will

What Does The Bible Teach About Justification?

What exactly did Christ accomplish at Calvary? Did He just open the door to heaven for everyone as Catholicism teaches? Did He make it “possible” for all men to be saved? Was His death a complete payment for the sins of all men even those who will end up in hell? Are men in hell simply for rejecting the gift of salvation that Christ supposedly bought for them or are they in hell because of their sins and because it was not God’s plan to have mercy on them? To know the biblical answer to these questions we must determine what the Bible teaches about justification. Did Jesus suffer the exact and complete punishment demanded by God’s justice, for each person Christ came to save? What does the Bible say?

Romans 4:7 – “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”

Can we say that the sins of the goats, the non-elect, are covered? The Bible clearly teaches that the sins of the elect are covered by the precious blood of Christ, that Lamb without spot or blemish. We know that the elect are referred to as “blessed” throughout the Bible (Mat 5:3-10, Rom 4:7&8, Rev 14:14, 16:15, 19:9, 20:6, 22:14).
Where does it teach that the non-elect are covered? The transaction that occurred at Calvary was an act of God’s mercy at great expense to God. That act of mercy made peace with God for the elect and the elect alone – those whom God would grant the gift of faith to, at some point in their lives:

Romans 5:1 – “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”


We get some more insight into limited atonement in the Old Testament:


Exodus 12:13 – “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”

Not everyone in Egypt was spared the wrath of God. If Jesus died for everyone then the non-elect cannot go to hell. God says He will pass over those who have the blood of Christ on them… The elect have been washed clean of their sins by the blood of Christ:

Revelation 1:5 – “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood

If Jesus died for everyone, wouldn’t He have washed everyone of their sins? Note also that Revelation 1:5 says “him that loved us”. Does God love everyone or only the elect?
We see another picture of the atonement in the Old Testament – and revealed in the New Testament:

Hebrews 7:27 – “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.”

Did the high priest offer up sacrifices for all people of the whole world or just for the people of Israel? There is no biblical evidence that the high priest presented sacrifices for the heathens. Similarly, Christ did not offer up Himself for the non-elect, but rather strictly for the Israel of God – His people, His sheep.
The elect have been redeemed by the blood of Christ:

Revelation 5:9 – “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation”

Have the non-elect been redeemed? What is redemption? Is it not the purchasing of something at a specific price? What is the price of sin? From Romans 6:23 we know that the wages of sin is death – eternal damnation. Is that not the price that Christ had to pay to redeem each of the elect? Could an infinite God suffer the equivalent of eternity in hell for each of the elect in the brief time that He was here on earth? Christ must have paid such a price because that is what Divine justice required. At Calvary there was no room for mercy for Christ. As the scapegoat for the elect, He had to endure the full wrath of God for each person being redeemed – the complete penalty that the elect would have had to pay for their sins.
The Bible says that the elect are accounted worthy of eternal life:

Luke 20:35 – “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage”

Can the non-elect be accounted worthy? Is a person accounted worthy because of something THEY do? … because THEY exercise THEIR faith in Christ (i.e. by believing in Christ or accepting Christ) OR are they only accounted worthy because of what Christ did specifically for them at Calvary? So, with this Bible knowledge of the atonement, can we honestly proclaim to all people that Jesus died for them? I think not.
Summary: This article is a section of a much larger article on the Bible doctrines of Election and Predestination called “Who accepts Whom?“. You are urged to check out that larger article for many other thought provoking questions pertaining these “Doctrines of Grace”. — RM Kane


Featured Gospel Message

Christ Died For The Ungodly

by Horatius Bonar

The divine testimony concerning man is, that he is a sinner. God bears witness against him, not for him; and testifies that "there is none righteous, no, not one"; that there is "none that doeth good"; none "that understandeth"; none that even seeks after God, and, still more, none that loves Him (Psa. 14:1-3; Rom. 3:10-12). God speaks of man kindly, but severely; as one yearning over a lost child, yet as one who will make no terms with sin, and will "by no means clear the guilty." <continued>

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