Michael H. wrote:

> The Calvinists of the Synod of Dort explained the atonement this way:
> Christ's death was sufficient for all, but efficient only for the elect.
> The atonement enables God to ethically show common grace to all men and
> saving grace to those who repent of their sin and surrender to
> Jesus Christ
> as Lord and savior by virtue of his bloody, sacrificial death.

The "sufficient for all" and "common grace" theories are nonsense. There is no biblical evidence for either.

To say that Christ's death was "sufficient" to save the reprobate is to put forth a hypothetical universalism. Jesus came to earth to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21), not make it possible for the reprobate to be saved in case they believed.

The atonement in no way, to no degree, enables God to show grace to the reprobate. The atonement is just that -- the atonement. Atonement means reconciliation. Christ's blood atoned -- it achieved reconciliation between God and the people for whom Christ died (2 Corinthians 5:19). It did absolutely nothing for the reprobate.

God's grace is His unmerited favor. Where there is no imputed righteousness, there is no favor. God is holy; he cannot show favor toward anyone who is not as holy as He is. The only ones to whom He shows favor are those who have been covered with the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Marc D. Carpenter


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