Summary: Third Sermon in the series, often called Limited Atonement by Calvinists. That sounds so wrong-- how can the incredible sacrifice of Jesus be limited in any way? There is nothing limited about Jesus, but there is no other name under heaven by which we are
This winter we are lingering on the topic of our salvation–learning about it, celebrating it. We began by talking about the human condition of sin–you can’t appreciate the cure until you know the disease. Our disease is sin, and it’s fatal. It has left us for dead. Last week we talked about the fact that our sinful rebellion has left us as spiritual orphans–cut off from our Father God.
But the good news is that we have a loving Father, God, who pursues us with a persistent, unending, love. He works to secure our adoption. In love, he chooses us before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1) and works to secure our adoption into his family. One way to understand the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is that he paid the price for our adoption. The Father loves you, Jesus has prepared a home for you, and he has paid the price. You basically have to show up.
That is the good news. That is the gospel (which means good news). Today, I want to begin by focusing on the fact that the . . . .
I. Gospel Unlimited
A. Jesus died for the sins of the world. Jesus' death is for the sins of the world- the whole world.
1. Scripture teaches this
a. 1 John 2:2 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
b. John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
c. 1 Timothy 2:6 Jesus, “who gave himself as a ransom for all men-- the testimony given in its proper time.”
d. 1 Timothy 4:10 “we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.”
e. This is not to say that every single person in the world is automatically saved by Jesus, but "whoever believes in him" in the entire world (not just Jews, middle east, etc)
f. Everyone, anyone, who calls on the Lord will be saved.
2. Romans 10:12-13 “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile — the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."”
3. There is a Reformed document from the early 17th Century in Holland called The Canons of Dort. It isn’t my favorite creed because it is so dogmatic in a negative way. But it clearly teaches this: Article 3: The Infinite Value of Christ's Death:
a. "This death of God's Son is the only and entirely complete sacrifice and satisfaction for our sins; it is of infinite value and worth, more than sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world."
b. We need nothing more to atone for our sins
c. If we try to add to it we take away from the value of the sacrifice
B. The sacrifice of Jesus is enough. Actually what I want to put is that it is absolutely perfect! Completely Sufficient! More than enough. Unlimited in its ability to save.
1. No more sacrifices for sin are needed–Jesus did it all, he paid the price in full, for all of eternity, for all mankind.
2. The most precious sacrifice in the history of the universe was Jesus crucified for our sins AND for the sins of the world.
Given that reality, it isn’t surprising that Jesus’ disciples took this message into the world. They didn’t just hang out in Galilee. They went to Jerusalem, the capital, Judea, Samaria, and beyond. They never stopped. They’re still doing it today!
Which brings us to the story of two men, Peter and John, disciples of Christ in the first century in the city of Jerusalem, not long after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven.
Peter and John are in Jerusalem, going to the temple to tell people that the Messiah has come, inviting anyone who will listen to accept the gospel of Jesus.
As they are entering the temple they see a crippled beggar, who asks them for money. These guys are preachers, so they say, Acts 3:6-8 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.”