The death and blood-shedding of Jesus Christ hath wrought, and doth effectually procure, for all those that are concerned in it, eternal redemption, consisting in grace here and glory hereafter. –John OwenThe doctrine of definite atonement is often presented in such a way as to produce a notion which whittles down the number of those saved to about 43. By contrast, when rightly framed it fits us to see that it, in fact, makes the sacrifice of Christ of greater preciousness to that great host of the Redeemed. John Owen, with exactness which only a puritan could execute, delineates and defends this great doctrine. This is a hallmark work which is quite helpful in framing how we should understand definite (sometimes called limited) atonement. I went very quickly through this one, but it is the sort of book I need to circle back around for a second sweep as there is a motherlode of helpful arguments and points in this one. Definitely add this to your “must read” column!
A Collection of Quotes
The death and blood-shedding of Jesus Christ hath wrought, and doth effectually procure, for all those that are concerned in it, eternal redemption, consisting in grace here and glory hereafter.
A Trinitarian Redemption
The agent in, and chief author of, this great work of our redemption is the whole blessed Trinity
The End of it All
The first [end/goal] is the glory of God, or the manifestation of his glorious attributes, especially of his justice, and mercy tempered with justice, unto us. The Lord doth necessarily aim at himself in the first place, as the chiefest good, yea, indeed, that alone which is good; that is, absolutely and simply so, and not by virtue of communication from another: and therefore in all his works, especially in this which we have in hand [the death of Christ], the chiefest of all, he first intends the manifestation of his own glory; which also he fully accomplisheth in the close, to every point and degree by him intended.
The Improbability of Captives Ransomed But Not Freed
It is contrary to reason that a ransom should be paid for captives, upon compact for their deliverance, and yet upon the payment those captives not be made free and set at liberty. The death of Christ is a ransom, Matt. xx. 28, paid by compact for the deliverance of captives for whom it was a ransom; and the promise wherein his Father stood engaged to him at his undertaking to be a Saviour, and undergoing the office imposed on him, was their deliverance, as was before declared, upon his performance of these things: on that [being done, that] the greatest number of these captives should never be released, seems strange and very improbable.
Christ Died to Procure Our Faith
Christ did not die for any upon condition, if they do believe; but he died for all God’s elect, that they should believe, and believing have eternal life. Faith itself is among the principal effects and fruits of the death of Christ; as shall be declared. It is nowhere said in Scripture, nor can it reasonably be affirmed, that if we believe, Christ died for us, as though our believing should make that to be which otherwise was not, — the act create the object; but Christ died for us that we might believe. Salvation, indeed, is bestowed conditionally; but faith, which is the condition, is absolutely procured.
Christ Drank the Cup
Certainly for whomsoever our Saviour did taste of [the cup of death], he left not one drop for them to drink after him; he tasted or underwent death in their stead, that the cup might pass from them which passed not from him. Now, the cup of death passeth only from the elect, from believers; for whomsoever our Saviour tasted death, he swallowed it up into victory.