Over the next few weeks I'm going to be talking to you on some subjects that are on my heart. Kind of a...a little bit of chain of things that the Lord has laid on my heart that basically come out of some of our most recent studies. It was a few weeks ago at a Sunday morning communion service that I gave a message on the atonement. It had a very good reaction, I think, at least so far all has been positive. But more than that, it had a very wide reaction. I had an awful lot of feedback to that message about the fact that Jesus Christ died a real death, an actual atonement was provided for all who would believe. Not a potential atonement, but an actual atonement that Jesus didn't die for everybody potentially, He died for His own specifically, and actuality. That is a view of the atonement that is historic, that is the New Testament view of the atonement, first of all, and has been held through the ages by those who rightly understood the New Testament.
Jesus died an actual death, paid an actual penalty for all who would believe. He died for His own people. He laid down His life, He said, for His sheep. He knows His sheep, He said in John 10, and His sheep know Him eventually. It is for them that He died.
Now this death that Jesus died is prompted by the love of God. "God so loved the world...that is humanity... that He gave His only Son." Obviously that love for humanity has a specific and particular application to those who believe. God loves all men in some ways, but He loves His own savingly....