Home > Brian's Blogs, Theology > The Canons of Dort Part 5: Limited Atonement

The Canons of Dort Part 5: Limited Atonement

Continuing my series on the Canons of Dort, today I want to briefly summarize the content of the second main point of doctrine: limited atonement.

As usual, I’ll save my comments and any further explanation for the next post. Today let’s let the Canon’s speak for themselves:

Sin Must be Punished

  1. God is both merciful and just, but his justice requires punishment of sin. Furthermore, “we cannot escape these punishments unless satisfaction is given to God’s justice.

Christ Takes the Punishment for Our Sin

  1. Since we cannot provide satisfaction for our own sin, Christ “was made to be sin and a curse for us…in order that he might give satisfaction for us.” This is a clear reference to 2 Corinthians 5:21.
  2. Christ’s sacrifice is complete: “it is of infinite value and worth, more than sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world.”
  3. The reason Christ’s sacrifice is “of infinite value and worth” is that Christ is both man and God.

Calling for Faith in Christ’s Work

  1. Everyone should be told about Christ’s sacrificial work on our behalf: “this promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be announced and declared without differentiation or discrimination to all nations and people, to whom God in his good pleasure sends the gospel.”
  2. Not everyone who hears this gospel will respond, and that lack of response is their fault!
  3. Some who hear this gospel will respond in faith, and this faith is a gift from God.

Christ’s Work Not Applied to Everyone

  1. God limits the effectiveness of Christ’s work to the elect: “For it was the entirely free plan and very gracious will and intention of God the Father that the enlivening and saving effectiveness of his Son’s costly death should work itself out in all his chosen ones.”
  2. God’s chosen people (the elect) will receive the application of Christ’s work “all in their own time.”
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