1st October 2023

Exploring the Extent of the Atonement

Passage: Luke 19:41-44
Service Type:

Automatically Generated Transcipt

Now, the topic that we've announced for today is about what is called the extent of the atonement. Now the atonement is Jesus' death on the cross and how that has worked for our salvation, how he bore our sins. And as commonly understood, it's really the question as to whose sins did Jesus take on him on the cross. And that isn't the only way to look at it, but it is about the fact of, well, who did Jesus die for? And the various opinions are a bit more varied than most people would realise. There's halfway positions. But if you know anything about the TULIP, which is T-U-L-I-P, total depravity, unmerited favour, or goes through limited atonement, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints. That second one is sometimes worded differently. But the one limited atonement is the idea that Jesus only died for the elect. And so that's the question that we have here. And we have the question per favour of a theologian, Burkoff, who wrote in his theology textbook. He's not the only one that had the idea of it; this is what he wrote. He said, "Did the Father in sending Christ and did Christ in coming into the world to make atonement for sin for the purpose of saving only the elect or all men, meaning all people?" So the question there, according to Burkoff, has to do with the purpose of Jesus going to the cross and his bearing the sin, whether it is for the sake of only saving the lost or for saving all men. Now, that's his definition of what the question is. And if he's correct, he goes on to say it's the only question you should allow, then his logic is correct. That if the purpose that God had in sending his son into the world, Jesus coming, in order to save only the elect and not all people, then certainly, that purpose would influence whose sins he bore on the cross. However, is the question right? And is Burkoff correct that it's the only way you should frame the question?

And true enough, to all the scientists and all the theologians who discuss this, the answer comes, no, it's the question that's wrong. And so another writer who was the systematic theology professor that I sat under overseas, he reworded the question. And his rewording was, "Did Christ purpose by coming into the world to make provision for the salvation of all people, realizing that the father would mysteriously draw the elect to himself and allow others to reject the provision made?" So just rewording it again, did Christ purpose by coming into the world in order to make provision for the salvation of all people, even though it could be the case that the father mysteriously drew the elect to himself but allowed others to reject the provision made? Now if we're going to be thinking about this issue, we should not do something which is a mistaken method, and that is to let the theologians get away with too much framing the question that actually influences what answer you have to come up with. Why that's not a good thing to do is because it's a reliance too much on logic, whereas it's a better thing to put our trust in what do the scriptures teach. There may be several verses that speak to it, and we have to work out how do the scriptures on the whole address the question what do they say.

So we'll look at a few scriptures tonight, and I obviously won't be able to, I end up too boring for you if I had 25 or 30 of them, so there is a limit to which ones I've chosen, but we'll start with something that Jesus said in John and chapter 19. So I'm relying on my people at the back to put up on the screen, John 19, and here we have starting at verse 41. Now the moment for Jesus was when he was coming into Jerusalem in a way that fulfills the Old Testament Psalms as to how one day their Messiah would come into Jerusalem riding on a donkey's colt, and Jesus was doing that. They had what was the original Palm Sunday, they wave the palms and says blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. They quoted there that Jesus was coming as the prophesied Messiah, but when he got nearer to the city Jerusalem he wept over it, and he said if you even you had only known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes.

The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side, and they will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave you leave one stone upon another because you did not recognize the time of your visitation, the old versions read, or the time of God's coming to you. So there is an event that's going on here that depending on your frame of mind you could interpret either way on this debate. Now generally speaking the more evangelistic evangelical thinking people have interpreted it to be that Jesus is saying that they did not take their opportunity, and the opportunity was there as he came, he was fulfilling the prophecies, there are many things in his ministry which were exactly what was said the messiah was going to do, and he did them, but instead of them turning to him they rejected him.

In our home groups some of them we've been going through the story about the man who was born blind, and the question being asked was it this man that sinned in the parents womb, or was it some other cause of him being given, you know, was it something that caused him or his parents, did they do something wrong and the Lord and visited the wrath on their mistakes on the baby about to be born. Quite a horrific thought in my opinion that is. Now Jesus' answer shows that we shouldn't jump to quick conclusions about the nature of sin, and it's being put on to, you know, causing, obviously it's true to the rest of scriptures that things that go wrong can be traced back to the original sin of Adam and Eve, and how the whole human race has fallen away, not only the human race but the whole cosmic world has been affected by sin, including the animal kingdom, who, and the rest of creation that groans are waiting for to be fixed up, the result that came because of human sin.

However in the evangelistic set of folk who, with whom I'm used to mixing in my earlier days, I had an evangelist I used to admire and he had a favorite sermon of whose I used to copy a bit, and in the Living Bible, now you know how there is a living translation, once upon a time it was called the New Living Bible, just be aware of the difference, because I was quite familiar with a lot of the quotes from it, and it included this verse, these verses, and put into the New Living Bible it went something like this, eternal peace was within your reach and you turned it down and now it is too late, and it went on with the enemy armies coming against Jerusalem etc. Now the idea of it was within your reach and you turned it down is actually putting onto the issue of this verse something that actually isn't quite precisely stated that way, it actually says more accurately than we have in our ESV Bible, it says here but now is hidden from your eyes, which leaves you another investigation as to whether or not the people got hidden from the reality of who Christ was, and that's the reason why they didn't accept Jesus as the Messiah because they were just blind, and it's not quite an easy answer to say it was the Jerusalemites' fault that they missed their Messiah, so you then are given the task of searching back to see what the Gospels say is who's to blame for rejecting Jesus, and I need to tell you though that the result of that investigation will bring you to the point of seeing that those people, the Jewish leaders in particular, knew more than what they were letting themselves swallow, and the story that Jesus has of the, and I haven't got us to look at it on the screen, but the story that Jesus gave about the vineyard, and the vineyard is a symbol of how God had himself a vineyard in the people of Israel, and the vineyard was let out to others to look after until at last the owner of the vineyard sent servants, but the servants, as they came, came to call for fruit to be taken back to the owner of the vineyard, and they were either kicked out or beaten up or killed, and eventually in Jesus' parable, he's made up a story by Jesus to illustrate a truth he's trying to get across, at last the owner of the vineyard who stands for the father said, I will send my son, surely they will reverence, reverence means acknowledge and accept my son, but when the people who are running the vineyard, who want to keep all the grapes for themselves and be the ones in charge, recognize the son, they say to themselves, look, this is the son, he's the heir, let us kill him, and then we'll own the vineyard.

Now Jesus said that parable, and once again, we are faced with a question, what does it do when you add it to verses 41 to 44 there in Luke 19, where the wording is, their eyes were held, and was it that the Jewish leaders were not at fault because they just never recognized Jesus, and I think though Jesus' storyline about the vineyard shows that they really didn't know who he was, look, here's the son, he's the heir, let us kill him, and indeed that's exactly what happens in the history of Christ, that he was rejected by people out of their jealousy to be the one who kept the vineyard to themselves, and so if you bring that back to this passage, although the Living Bible was a very human attempt to put it in easily understood English, Ken Taylor, the man who wrote the Living Bible, when I say wrote, he actually did put that paraphrase into, through Tyndale House, I think it's Tyndale House, as something that people could read to make it simple to understand, he did it for his own children, and we have the New Living Translation, which now my phone doesn't let me see the Living Bible anymore, it only lets you in on the New Living Translation, or TLT, and because I've had a backlash at that translation I gave you where it's worded eternal peace was within your reach and you turned it down, and now it is too late, but I think nonetheless that Ken Taylor's choice was indeed something that is confirmed by Jesus' parables, and in our one of our home groups we've been going through the storyline of different things that Jesus said and the results in the argument that he had with the Pharisees and the leaders, that they were not without guilt, so if you really want to bring an conclusion to how this statement adds to the issue, it is that people are responsible for their response to Christ, and they were in the days of Jerusalem, who end up in a blindness, and the blindness is what happened to them as they continually heard Jesus teaching and rejected it. So there is such a thing that people can, and we often talk to those of us who are involved in evangelism about the fact that there is what is called gospel hardness. I don't know whether you've ever heard the phrase, and one of the things is that you have a long period of evangelism, you get two results. One is a lot of people eventually coming to Christ, but you also get people who don't seem to be able to hear the call of God like they might have at first. There's a hardness that comes of sitting under the gospel and never responding to it, and you lose the capacity to hear the Spirit of God's calling. In this church, because I've been here now 16 years, there were some amongst the young people, the age of most of you here, something that they would come and tell me, and they would say, Jim, when we first listened to you, we knew God was, I don't know how they worded it now, but they knew God was getting to us. But we don't feel it so much anymore. It would be an example of gospel hardening, at least that's one example that can cause such a thing, and I think that in theologies there can come about a sense of hardening to the Spirit if you set up an understanding that is entirely relying upon your intellectual capacity to use the logic.

The truth of the scripture is something we should pray about God giving us, but not rely upon our own logic because we're all capable of not necessarily perceiving it correctly, and it's a spiritually given thing. And what I realized coming out of this passage is that Jesus and his arrival as the Messiah was something that was rather obvious at first. The crowds under John the Baptist's ministry really listened about Jesus being the coming one, but as time passed there gets to be some growing opposition to him and the rejection of him that finally has the crowds saying crucify him, crucify him. And I don't think it just was the sheer fact that they didn't catch on quick enough simply because it was beyond them or because of some other human factor and, you know, their leaders led the wrong way and they followed them in the wrong way. But there is a spiritual element in your discernment about even issues like this. And so I think that that Living Bible had the correct general idea, even if I don't always like paraphrases that give people interpreting the Bible and they're being pushed by their existing interpretations and not actually hearing what it's saying.

I think this passage is saying an awful lot about the capacity of the human being to be blinded to the truth of what the scriptures are saying. Well, we'll move on from there and because let's see more positively, as I've already just said, what counts is the actual scriptures that you can quote on the topic, not just the logic of your theology. And so we'll go, and I haven't got a lot of verses, I'm not going to push you through, but the next one is coming from Jesus' parables, which he kept on saying ones that perhaps have very much the same idea, but it is in Luke in chapter 19 and verses 41 to 44. No, that's what we just read, I think. Luke chapter 14, verses 14 to 24. That's why he, anyway, look up that one, please. Luke 14, 14 to 24.

And what you have here is, okay, I'll pick it up on verse 15, you've got it on the screen. When one of those who reclined at the table with him and heard these things, he said to them, this the man who was, or woman, said, blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God. So the awareness of the table talk on that occasion was that there is such a thing as the kingdom of God. Some of the gospels refer to it as the kingdom of heaven. It's the same thing. The kingdom of heaven or kingdom of God is something that was going to happen on earth, but it's going to be sourced from heaven and eventually will take us to heaven. So it does end up with us in heaven, but it is the coming of a Messiah who will be God's person to lead in that kingdom. This is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God. It's certainly not making any statement about the cuisine of heaven. It's talking about the fact that you get into the kingdom of God or kingdom of heaven here on earth.

But he said to him, I take that as Jesus said to him, a man once gave a great banquet. Now this is a storyline in order to illustrate and invited many. And at the time of the banquet, he sent his servant to say to those who'd been invited, come for everything is now ready. But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, I bought a field. I must go out and see it. Please have me excused. Another said, I bought a five yoke of oxen. I go to examine them. Please have me excused. Another said, I've married a wife. Therefore I cannot come. That's the most believable of the reasons. So the servant came and reported these things to his master and the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, go quickly to the streets and the lanes of the city and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame. Servant said, sir, what you command has been done. Still there's room. So the master turns up the screws on that request.

And the master said to the servant, go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in. That my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet. Now, I hope you can see there that there's illustrated two reasons why people get in or people don't come. And you better, in your interpretation, keep room for both. So when it comes to the question of election and issues to do with the whole question as to whether or not how people become Christians, you need to have open that there are two explanations possible in any given scenario. Don't jump to the conclusion out of this parable just on one side or the other. They're both there. Notice the ones that eventually come, come because the servants go out there and find people's arms around their backs and force them to come.

And there are some people that you'll meet who, when you get them to tell their story, they tell you a story exactly of that. They were never intending to be a Christian and they were setting their lives in the opposite direction. And God stepped up and he made them come in. And so that tells me that you always need to keep room for what is another part of the question that we are addressing tonight. And when we talk about the extent of the atonement, we have to also understand about God's election. In whatever way we seek to understand the extent of the atonement, we have to understand that God must still be left with a way in which his election can be what happens.

But the earlier part of the story is also going to tell us information. Remember this is a parable that Jesus told and the details of it are relevant to his thinking. He didn't make up parts of his storyline that went contrary to what he wanted the people to understand. He's giving a description of just what human nature is like when people make up excuses when God is getting at them to do something they're not wanting to do. Now if you're a Christian, surely you've had times when that was happening to you. Where God was getting on your goat or where he was wanting you to do something and it cut across your pet desires and you found yourself in a position where you actually were being actively rebellious against what God had been showing you. That's actually the note what sin is. I think we all know how that's true.

And so there are two sides to this question but whichever way you interpret you better make room for that to be possible. And so you have to put together a doctrine of election as well as the doctrine of the extent of the atonement. And don't just do one on its own without what it means to election. And I believe in the doctrine of election. We in our church have been through the book of Ephesians which you'd have to be very blind not to notice it's a major theme of the book of Ephesians and what he's done and his wisdom and his decisions and how he has made the new covenant etc. And in the case of the new covenant I've often heard when people discuss this there's some people who think the old covenant was for the Jews and the new covenant is for the church. That's completely wrong because the new covenant was prophesied and in the morning service we're looking at Jeremiah 31 and it's prophesied for Israel and Judea. What's this business of some people saying the new testament has the church is different from Israel and it's not Israel they don't have anything to do with the church. Well the answer is that what the book of Ephesians teaches is that God has got these two entities that are true about human nature and you know the fact that there is Jewish people and there are Gentile people. The ancient world had a lot of its major problems in the malignity or the anger between those two groups.

But what the Book of Ephesians greatest thing that it says is the theme all the way through the book. I sat in the class in New Testament by one of the greatest scholars of our generations on the Book of Ephesians, and his commentary is fantastic. But the point that really he brings out in that commentary, I'm talking on because I'm trying to remember his name but is the fact that God has made one group out of the two, and the middle wall of petition has been broken down. So there's not like Jews and Gentiles, there's just Christians.

And the first people to be called to get into the church, which is the Christians' Christian church, help me here. Who were the first group who in mass got a call to become the church, which is Christians? Come on, you probably all know this; you just haven't heard the question before. They have Pentecost. Exactly right, and most of them were Jewish people. As a matter of fact, the Day of Pentecost is when the Jewish people got into the kingdom of God properly with their Messiah.

Later on, the Samaritans, who are half Jews, that was later on when the Samaritans came to Christ. There might have been individuals who got drawn in earlier like the woman at the well, and then later on Gentiles at Cornelius's house. But the first group to get in were the Jews who many of them would be people who would otherwise still have been saved by their being Jewish people and following what the old covenant prescribed for them.

But they had to repent because they put Jesus on the cross or being guilty of that. It actually was a deeper sin that the Christian gospel requires people to repent of. It wasn't half, it wasn't, it was far more deep and demanding on people to become Christians after the Day of Pentecost because you had to repent of the deepest part of sin there is.

And whereas the people who had the law, as long as you kept the law the way it's prescribed by Moses, you could walk around thinking you're pretty good, though the law didn't teach that by my saying the law was pretty strict and the fact of us being sinners.

But what I'm trying to say here is that there is this need to recognize that the new covenant was not like a lessening of things in terms of God's holiness, not like a, you know, cutting it all down so anything goes. The new covenant was actually stricter. Just look up Jesus' statements about, or you know, what is wrong and what you know about what makes us in, and he drives the whole conviction that would come further deeper into our thoughts, not just what we actually do but our thoughts.

And that was quite a shock to Jewish people listening to him, including, I believe, the leaders of the pack of Pharisees. So don't look at the new covenant as making it easier. It's actually demanding a much higher standard, one so high that the very gospel understanding that the only way you could meet it is that you can't. And the only way you can get in is because Jesus did.

And so the stress is not so much in your obeying all the commandments, but the stress is on the fact that you will always be found out as unable and not having done it, but that Jesus did it for you.

It brings me to another question. When did the first people get into the new covenant? I already told you the answer, the Day of Pentecost. Or you did, thank you. But think about that answer. The Day of Pentecost is when people could first get in, but what about Jesus? Under which covenant did he, now depends on my next word, under which covenant did Jesus operate and why? Or have I asked my question not successfully? Under which covenant did Jesus live might not be quite the same as which covenant well, he represented. I don't know that my questions are very good here, but help me out. Which style of living did Jesus represent? I think you know the answer to that. Which style of living did Jesus represent? Was he a good example of maybe you don't know of the old covenant being kept or was he someone who's a good wonderful representative of being in the new covenant that we should copy? I think you're correct in the gist of it too if you have to say, but the truth is both.

I'll tell you why both is because he's still in the era of the old one because he came to die under its legislation on the cross. He took the fact that we were all failures even if we didn't live back then under the old measurements old covenant, and he died under the law. The Bible tells us that he was under, he was born under the law and had to live out, and that was what his whole life of his of keeping being tested by the devil and not doing the wrong thing and eventually following the Father's will and the great sacrifice Jesus was under the old law, but he represented the best person represent that can represent the new. He's the author of the new just as Moses was of the law. Jesus is the leader of the new.

So it's the case, and that's why we call, when I say we, generally theologians will call the time of Jesus' ministry is a transition period. He neither represents only the old nor does he represent people becoming Christians because that's actually not recognizing that he had to live out completely successful obedience under the law and then go to the cross and pay for the fact that we haven't.

And by his positive living of out the law and he's dying on the cross in order to take us out from being under the condemnation of the law by paying for our sins. Jesus is in this transition period, and unless you understand that when you read through the Gospels, you'll make lots of mistakes or you'll notice things you can't explain well, like the second, is it's a kiss the little bug who went up the tree and Jesus called him down, and at the end, the man makes lots of repayments of things that he's done.

And Jesus says that this fellow was restored to Israel or to that effect. It isn't only that he got salvation, which I believe he did, but salvation being something that occurs to anybody that God saves from the penalty of sin. And that's happened right back in the case of Noah. You can find a verse. I did think about putting it in my long list. Then I had too many verses for one sermon. But what about who are the people who were saved through the flood?

And the answer is going to be Noah and his children and their wives, eight souls, I think it is saved through the flood. Now, how far back is that? That's actually so far back as before the old covenant was even given by Moses. But salvation is happening. What about Enoch? Do you think Enoch is in heaven still? I do, yeah. And he did it by his good behavior and his loving God. He was a sinner like the rest of us, but he got saved. The Bible tells us that, and so there's lots of room for God rewarding good behavior. He's not against people doing the right thing, but salvation eventually is all done because of what Jesus did.

Jesus died for Enoch's sins as well as anybody else's. I'm getting off my track a bit, sorry. Sundays are very big days for me, and so I have a little hint here. My next Bible verse, I've not got too many. Let's go to 1 John 2 in verse 2. 1 John 2 in verse 2. Now, there's several verses that are very pointed about this question of the extent of the atonement, and this is one which I don't know why anybody could ever go the wrong way if you just look at it. Here's the propitiation for our sins. By the way, propitiation means the removing the offense of our sins. It is paying the cost, for example, if you get a speeding fine, you can expiate it by paying money and they just lift out the form and put it in the bin and it's been removed.

But that won't propitiate the anger if you get too many of those speeding tickets propitiate the anger of society against you for being dangerous or whatever it is that you've done. Propitiate is what you do to a person, and the propitiation of our sins is the removal of that which makes God angry at us. And as we had a communion service this morning where the major point was the wrath of God and Jesus by his blood has paid the propitiation for our sins, this is what the verse says right. So I was talking about removing the anger of God at our sins, but then it says, they're not for ours only but also the sins of the whole world.

I don't really know how people get around well, I do know actually how people try to get around it, but they say this is the whole world of the elect or they say we're looking just at the area here, but the whole world have all got elect people in it, and Jesus is propitiation not just of us here in Jerusalem but also out there in the diaspora. But they've got to do something about the ours, but I think the plain obvious meaning of the word ours—ours only—has to do with the propitiation of our sins. Who are they? They, the writer John was writing to. Who's had their sins propitiated? Well, not ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. So you've really got to make a walk on four legs not to accept this obvious meaning of it.

Now, the next verse we'll look at, and I've just got a few I've chosen, is that one was in 1 John, the next one is in 2nd Peter 2 verses 1 to 3. So 2nd Peter 2 verses 1 to 3, and this I think according to my professor that I studied under over in Dallas is the most hardest one to miss the point. But false prophets also arose amongst the people, that's the Old Testament people, just as there will be false teachers amongst you in the era of the church, in the New Testament church, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them, the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed, they'll exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep, meaning it's coming their way.

Now it clearly is saying that the false teachers are going to be lost. They're not a part, they're not a part of the elect because they're not, they're going to be lost. Now in answer to that, people who want to cling to the idea of limited atonement say it's because the word that's used here of them, whereas false teachers, them denying the master who bought them, is a reference to the fact that Jesus Christ died for them too. But the way to get out of having that to apply to the false teachers who are going to go to hell is to say that the word in the Greek for master is the word despot. It's then we get our English word despot, and therefore, you shouldn't apply it to Jesus. He's not a despot. Trouble with that's just a logical argument based on the wrong premise about words, especially words used in Greek back in 200 years ago.

The word despot is used of God the Father and of Jesus in other verses, and it only gets to have a very terrible meaning if you say someone's a despot. You're probably saying that they're someone who is a tyrant, you know, Hitler or someone like that, a despot. But the word didn't mean that back then. It means something that you'll see in these other verses. So let's look up, for example, some verses fit, um, and those verses are, if I can find the right spot, um, in Revelation. I did write this down, um, the book of Revelation, and I think it's in chapter six, verses nine to ten. Oh, good, thank you. Uh, this is the martyrs who in the some of the tribulation time, get a martyr. They're carrying the gospel around everywhere, and the Antichrist is killing him off as quick as he can. And so there's a lot of people martyred.

"And when I opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who've been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, 'O Sovereign Lord,' that's the word despot, holy and true. So he's not the despot, but it's not holy, holy and true. How long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" And you know that Christ is the judge of all men, all men everywhere, a call to repent because God the Father is appointed the day when Jesus the Son will be the judge of all people. And there's a judgment coming for these ones who've been murdering the Christians. "How long will you before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" So the despot's used for the one who is the judge.

And the way that the translation has it, just sovereign Lord, which is the actual meaning of despot. And the idea of relying on that to take God out of a reference is silly because it's just a misunderstanding of the language as it meant back then. And the other spot that I had, which is another reference you've got down there, I think it is in, uh, where is this? We're in the gospel somewhere. Let's see what I told you. All right, I think it is. It might be Jude 4. No, or else it's 2nd Peter 2. Let's see what we've got to you there. We are. Oh no, we've just done, no, that's the one we've had. The word, the master who bought them. And that's the spot where it's talking about him being a despot, the master who bought them, Jesus is Sovereign Lord.

The other reference, you can look it up at home. I won't take us to us now. It's in Acts, and I think in chapter four, where the church is praying, having been threatened by the Jewish leaders, and in their prayer, they pray to Jesus. "Oh, despot is Sovereign Lord." And so you can't use that out to get away from what this passage in 2nd Peter is saying, that the master who bought them is Jesus who paid for their sins. And he made, I think this is proving the definition that is a better one, that Christ, Father sent Christ into the world, and Christ came for the purpose of making it possible for the salvation of all people, even though God would know of his own election, that Jesus would know of the power of God's election, and that in God's own way, he may achieve election even though we can't quite explain how. And that's where I'm at on this issue. I believe that Jesus died for all people, even though I can't tie that into election. I believe both: God elects and Jesus died for the world.

My other reasons for believing Jesus died for the all, just in summary, is for these things. They're some theological reasons, having looked at the Scriptures. And one theological reason is because the Scriptures teach about Jesus' death that it's effective cosmically. Even nature is going to be redeemed, and it's achieved by Jesus getting rid of the offense of human sin. Nature groans waiting for the revelation of God's sons because they all get released, and the beasts in the wild who live terribly biting and devouring each other will have release because of Jesus' death. And sin infecting all of human history and infecting all sorts of things that we struggle with in our climates and whatever is going to be rescued because Jesus' death on the cross was a cosmic rescue of the whole world and all of its systems as well as just our sins.

Another reason is not only that Jesus' death is a cosmic remedy is because of the preciousness of Jesus' blood of Jesus' death, that Jesus being the God-man is a person whose sacrifice is worth far more than just a collection of all the sins added up. I don't think there can be any finite measure of the value of Jesus shedding his blood. It shouldn't be a matter of saying, you know, some people have the idea that every single one are all counted up, and Jesus must give a wince on the cross or suffer something that adds up to every sin being catered for. It's a bit of a silly idea in any case because Jesus' death was said by him to be finished, and yet there were more sins that even the Pharisees and the Roman soldiers were to do in their lives after Jesus has said it is finished.

But what he finished was the pain for the sin of the whole world. And then my final reason is that not only the value of Christ in his sacrifice but what it is attached to achieving is an expression of the love of God. And now, favorite verses for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. In that verse, there's a little bit of the value of Christ. God loved the world this much. They didn't get his top angel to come and pay for it. He gave his only Son. The whosoever believes in him should not perish, and the whosoever has its meaning coming out of God gave his Son. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life. And so the very gospel and the call on us to be totally taken over by the task of communication of the gospel, the universal offer of the gospel talks about there being Jesus dying for the sin of the whole world. That's why the Great Commission, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel," or Mark's version, "to every creature." I don't think he really means to get together all the animals and preach at them. But the effect of the gospel is to be taken to all persons, whoever is taken as a creature. So the universality of our command in the Great Commission tells me that Jesus' death is for everybody.

So that's my take, and I hope you did notice that it's not because I don't believe in election. It's just that I don't know how to tie the two together. I just believe both. Thank you. We better have a prayer. Heavenly Father, thank you for the topic and thank you for the fact that your word is filled with so many statements. We're amazed at your word and how much it teaches and leads us. Help us to humble ourselves under the Word of God and not make our logic or make our theologies as being what we're so proud of. Keep me to be a person that's under the Word and not someone that wants to say that here's what I make it say. I ask that in Jesus' name. Amen.

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