(c) The atonement of Christ has procured for all men the powerful incentives to repentance presented in the Cross and the combined agency of the Christian church and of the Holy Spirit, by which these incentives are brought to bear upon them.
Just as much sun and rain would be needed, even if only one farmer on earth was to be benefited. Christ would not need to suffer more, if all were to be saved. His sufferings, as we have seen, were not the payment of a pecuniary debt. Having endured the penalty of the sinner, justice permits the sinner?s discharge, but does not require it, except as the fulfillment of a promise to his substitute and then only upon the appointed condition of repentance and faith. The atonement is unlimited, the whole human race might be saved through it; the application of the atonement is limited, only those who repent and believe are actually saved by it.
Robert G. Farley: ?The prospective mother prepares a complete and beautiful outfit for her expected child. But the child is stillborn. Yet the outfit was prepared just the same as if it had lived, And Christ?s work is completed as much for one man as for another, as much for the unbeliever as for the believer.?
Christ is specially the Savior of those who believe, in that he exerts a special power of his Spirit to procure their acceptance of his salvation. This is not, however, a part of his work of atonement, it is the application of the atonement, and as such is hereafter to be considered.
Among those who hold to a limited atonement is Owen. Campbell quotes him as saying: ?Christ did not die for all the sins of all men. For if this were so, why are not all freed from the punishment of all their sins? You will say, ?Because of their unbelief ? they will not believe.? But this unbelief is a sin and Christ was punished for it. Why then does this, more than other sins, hinder them from partaking of the fruits of his death??
So also Turretin, loc. 4, qu«s. 10 and 17; Symington, Atonement, 184- 234; Candlish on the Atonement; Cunnningham. Hist. Theol., 2:323-370; Shedd, Dogmatic Theology; 2:464-489. For the view presented in the text, see Andrew Fuller, Works, 2:373, 374; 689-698; 704-709; Wardlaw, Systematic Theology, 2:485-549; Jenkyn, Extent of the Atonement; E. P. Griffin, Extent of the Atonement; Woods, Works, 2:490-521; Richards, Lectures on Theology, 302-327.
2. Christ?s Intercessory Work.
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