Lesson 17 – Particular Redemption
We have already stated that the doctrine of Particular Redemption teaches that Christ died for the elect and the elect only. Christ did not die for any that would perish in hell. Let us examine this teaching and see how reasonable and consistent it is.
All those for whom Christ gave His life as a ransom are either ransomed or they are not. It is very evident, from Scripture and from observation, that not all the human race is ransomed from the penalty of God’s law.
Now, if some for whom Christ gave His life are not ransomed then it follows that Christ at least partially died in vain!
This, of course, is absurd. Since we know that Christ did not die in vain, we must conclude that He did not die for every individual in the human race.
The very song of the redeemed in glory is a joyful song of election and particular redemption: “Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Revelation 5:9) The elect are said to have been redeemed out of or from among (Revelation 14:4) the mass of mankind. There is certainly no universal redemption taught here.
Consider further the fact that if there are people in hell for whom Christ died, suffering for their own sins, then God is demanding double payment. Christ paid for their sins on the cross, and they are suffering for the same sins in eternal torment. God does not operate like this. He is a God of justice. When His justice has been satisfied, those for whom satisfaction has been made go free. The elect are Christ’s by right of purchase. (I Corinthians 6:20; Galatians 3:13, etc.)
To teach universal redemption is to teach that Christ died for the damned in hell as much as for the saved in heaven!
This would make the atonement a very haphazard and loose arrangement. But the atonement (redemption) was precise and exact. God’s justice demanded that Christ pay the exact penalty of the sins of those who are saved.
There are many passages of Scripture where Christ is said to die for certain ones, not for every human being. Let us examine some of these.
1. John 10:11–Here the elect are called His sheep. Notice that in this chapter there are other humans mentioned who are called “thieves,” “robbers,” “hireling,” “wolf.” But Christ said that He laid down His life for the sheep. John 10:26 plainly says that some of the Jews were not His sheep. Therefore, He did not die for them. This Scripture alone is ample proof that Christ did not die for every individual in the human race.
2. Matthew 1:21–Here the elect are called His people. And the emphatic statement was that He would save them from their sins. He would actually save them–not just make provision for their salvation.
3. John 6:37, 39; John 17:9–In these passages the elect are spoken of as those whom the Father had given to Christ.
4. Hebrews 2:13–Here they are called the children.
1. If some for whom Christ died are not saved, what does this tell us about the work of Christ?
2. If Christ died for the sins of some people who will suffer for these same sins in hell, what does this tell us about the justice of God?
3. Did Christ die for those who will be in hell?
4. What are some of the names in Scripture by which those for whom Christ died are called?
We have memorized Matthew 1:21, John 10:11, and Matthew 20:28.
Let us memorize Hebrews 9:12.