Archive for November 15, 2011

They Want Us To say that the Atonement was Already Our Justification, Because They want to Delay the Atonement Until Our Justification

November 15, 2011

The accusers of John Owen claim that those who teach substitution only for the elect should agree that the elect can go free before they are converted and believe the gospel. They want to put those who teach effective atonement in that box, so they can then deny that the death of Christ is the effective difference between saved and lost.

This is not only a tactic against definite atonement. This is what many “Calvinists” have sincerely come to believe—if the cross has no efficacy to set free before faith and without faith, then the cross has no legal efficacy by itself. They locate the efficacy, the reality of “atonement” not in propitiation, not in Christ’s bearing the sins of the elect, but only in the efficacy of “regeneration” and an “union with Christ” which is not legal but is instead transformation by the Spirit.

These folks don’t think there’s any “double jeopardy” until after a person has been married to Christ by faith. Then, and only then, they say, could you say that two persons were dying twice for the same sins of one person. So “union with Christ” comes to mean that you can stop counting, that you can stop talking about imputation when you talk about the justice and righteousness of God.

These folks have confused the accomplishment of atonement with the application of the atonement.Not only have they minimized the legal application of the atonement, they have collapsed accomplishment and application into one, as if there were no atonement before justification.

Thus the attempt to put John Owen in a box. Either say that the justification was at the atonement, or agree with them that the atonement is not until the justification.

And thus they stand in front of churches, elect and non-elect (covenant children and non-covenant children), and teach everybody that “Christ is dead for you” . But according to them, that “died for you” doesn’t necessarily mean that Christ has died to propitiate God for your sins.