FOR WHOM CHRIST
"Even as the Son of man came
not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His
life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28.
The Bible teaches that when Jesus Christ
came into the world, He came to fulfill a purpose, and this
purpose was accomplished by His death on the cross. Isaiah
said, "He shall see the travail of His soul, and be SATISFIED."
Therefore, it is error to teach that Christ died for all without
exception, in that all are not being saved by His death. It
is nothing short of blasphemy to say that He failed to accomplish
His purpose, and cannot save those for whom He suffered. It
is absolute atheism to say that God the Father required payment
for offended justice at the hands of Christ, and then at the
hands of those who perish in hell. It is to know nothing of
justice, or the holy nature of God. If He was satisfied in
Christ, He is not looking for satisfaction in those whom Christ
represented I say Christ as the Surety of a people made certain
their salvation through His obedience. He did not fail in
His death, but is calling into life those for whom He died
on the cross. For clear elucidation of this subject, and to
show that Christ's atonement is of power to save all for whom
it was intended, I quote in full the prince of Baptist preachers,
"Now, you are aware that there are different
theories of Redemption. All Christians hold that Christ died
to redeem, but all Christians do not teach the same redemption.
For instance, the Arminian holds that Christ, when He died,
did not die with an intent to save any particular person;
and they teach that Christ's death does not in itself secure,
beyond doubt, the salvation of any one man, living. They believe
that Christ died to make the Salvation of all men possible,
or that by the doing of something else, any man, who pleases
may attain unto eternal life; consequently, they are obliged
to hold that if man's will would not give way and voluntarily
surrender to grace, then Christ's atonement would be unavailing.
They hold that there was no particularity and no specialty
in the death of Christ. Christ died, according to them, as
much for Judas in hell as for Peter who mounted to heaven.
They believe that for those who are consigned to eternal fire,
there was as true and real a redemption made as for those
who now stand before the throne of the most High. Now WE
believe no such thing! We hold that Christ; when He died,
had an object in view, and that object will most assuredly,
and beyond a doubt, be accomplished. We measure the design
of Christ's death by the effect of it. If anyone asks us,
'What did Christ design to do by His death?' We answer that
question by asking him another 'What has Christ done,
or what will Christ do by His death?' For we declare that
the measure of the effect of Christ's love, is the measure
of the design of it. We cannot so belie our reason as to think
that the intention of Almighty God could be frustrated, so
that the design of so great a thing as the atonement, can
by any way whatever, be missed of. We hold we are not
afraid to say what we believe that Christ came into
this world with the intention of saving 'a multitude which
no man can number;' and we believe that as the result of this,
every person for whom He died must, beyond the shadow of a
doubt, be cleansed from sin, and stand, washed in blood, before
the Father's throne. We do not believe that Christ made any
effectual atonement for those who are forever damned; we dare
not think that the blood of Christ was ever shed with the
intention of saving those whom God foreknew never could be
saved, and some of whom were even in hell when Christ, according
to some men's account died to save them...
"The greatness of Christ's redemption
may be measured by the EXTENT OF THE DESIGN OF IT.
He gave His life a 'ransom for many.' We are often told that
we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ
has not made a satisfaction for all men, or all men would
be saved. Now, our reply to this is, that, on the other hand,
our opponents limit it; we do not. The arminians say, Christ
died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ
die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say. 'No,
certainly not.' We ask them the next question Did Christ
die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular?
They answer 'No.' They are obliged to admit this, if they
are consistent. They say 'No; Christ has died that any man
may be saved if and then following certain conditions
of salvation. We say, then, we will just go back to the old
testament Christ did not die so as beyond a doubt to
secure the salvation of anybody, did He? You must say 'No;'
you are obliged to say, for you believe that even after a
man has been pardoned, he may yet fall from grace, and perish.
Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you!
You say that Christ did not die so as to infallibly secure
the salvation of anybody. We beg your pardon, when you say
we limit Christ's death; we say, 'No, my dear sir, it is you
that do it.' We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured
the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through
Christ's death not only may be saved, but are saved, must
be saved, and cannot by any possible run or hazard of being
anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you
may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it...
"Leaving controversy, however, I will
now answer a question. Tell me then, sir, who did Christ die
for? Will you answer me a question or two? and I will tell
you whether He died for YOU. Do you want a Saviour?
Do you feel that you need a Saviour? Are you this morning
conscious of sin? Has the Holy Spirit taught you that you
are lost? Then Christ died for you, and you will be saved.
Are you this morning conscious that you have no hope in the
world but Christ? Do you feel that you of yourself cannot
offer an atonement that can satisfy God's justice? Have you
given up all confidence in yourselves? And can you say upon
bended knees, 'Lord, save, or I perish?' Christ died for you!
If you are saying this morning, 'I am as good as I ought to
be; I can get to heaven by my own good works,' then, remember,
the scripture says of Jesus, 'I came not to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance.' So long as you are in that state,
I have no atonement to preach to you. But this morning if
you feel guilty, wretched, conscious of your guilt, and are
ready to take Christ to be your only Saviour, I cannot only
say to you that you may be saved, but what is better still,
that you will be saved! When you are stripped of everything
but hope in Christ, when you are prepared to come empty-handed
and take Christ to be your all, and to be yourself nothing
at all, then you may look up to Christ, and you may say, 'Thou
dear, Thou bleeding Lamb of God! Thy griefs were endured for
me; by Thy stripes I am healed, and by Thy sufferings I am
pardoned.' And then see what peace of mind you will have;
for if Christ has died for you, you cannot be lost. God will
not punish twice for one thing. If God punished Christ for
your sin, He will never punish you. 'Payment, God's justice
cannot twice demand, first, at the bleeding Surety's hand,
and then again at mine.' We can today, if we believe in Christ,
march to the very throne of God, stand there, and if it is
said, 'Art thou guilty?' we can say, 'Yes, guilty. . .'We
can answer,'Great God, Thy justice and Thy love are both guarantees
that Thou wilt not punish us for sin; for Thou didst punish
Christ for sin for us."