We come tonight to a wonderful theme in the Scripture, again the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. And for those of you, most of you, who are with us in our study of the gospel of Luke, we have been looking closely at the record of Luke, the historical record, as well as comparing the account of Matthew and Mark and John on the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have looked at the details of His dying.
Tonight we want to talk a little about the theology of His death and ask the question and answer it from Scripture, "For whom did Christ die?" This is a very, very important question.
Now I know you people very well and you are noble Bereans. You search the Scriptures to see if these things that I say are so. And I also know that if I don't cover every verse that weighs on this subject, you will line up afterwards to ask me about that verse. So in dealing with a subject like this, if I can borrow a French phrase, this needs to be somewhat of a tour de force(?), I need to cover the ground extensively so I can put your mind at rest because you are so incurably biblical. That, in case you didn't know, is a great commendation. I expect that, I rejoice in that.
To begin with, what I want to say is what I am going to teach you tonight about this application of the atonement, answering the question, "For whom did Christ die?" is the view that has reigned supreme in the true church since the New Testament. It, along with the other essential doctrines of Reformed Theology, or Augustinian, or Lutheran or Calvinistic theology, has been affirmed by the church since its inception. What I am going to show you tonight is essentially what the early church believed, of course, because you'll see it coming out of the New Testament. It is what was affirmed in the fifth century as being a true representation of New Testament teaching under Augustine against Palagius. It was again affirmed during the time of the Reformation by Luther in his conflict with Erasmus and further affirmed by Calvin in his conflict with Arminius. It has come down to us in our heritage which is Baptistic through the London Confession of 1689 and the Philadelphia Confession of 1743, being the substantial foundations for Baptists in America. And that is our tradition, our ecclesiology is baptistic rather than sacramental and Reformed. That's why we baptize adults who believe and not infants....
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Grace to You
John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as an author, conference speaker, president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry... gty.org