For Whom Did Christ Die? C. H. Spurgeon
For Whom Did Christ Die?
C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Now, you are aware that there are different theories of redemption. All Christians hold that Christdied to redeem, but all Christians do not teach the same redemption. We differ as to the nature ofatonement and as to the design of redemption. For instance, the Arminian holds that Christ, when hedied, did not die with an intent to save any particular person; and they teach that Christ’s death doesnot in itself secure, beyond doubt, the salvation of any one man living. They believe that Christ died tomake the salvation of all men possible, and that by the doing of something else, any man who pleasesmay attain unto eternal life; consequently, they are obliged to hold that if man’s will would not giveway and voluntarily surrender to grace, then Christ’s atonement would be unavailing. They hold thatthere was no particularity and speciality in the death of Christ. Christ died, according to them,as much for Judas in hell as for Peter who mounted to heaven. They believe that for those who areconsigned to eternal fire, there was as true and real a redemption made as for those who now standbefore the throne of the most High.
Now WE believe no such thing. We hold that Christ, when hedied, had an object in view, and that object will most assuredly, and beyond a doubt, be accomplished.We measure the design of Christ’s death by the the effect of it. If anyone asks us, “What did Christdesign to do by His death?” we answer that question by asking him another––”What has Christ done,or what will Christ do by His death?” For we declare that the measure of the effect of Christ’s love, isthe measure of the design of it.We cannot so belie our reason as to think that the intention of AlmightyGod could be frustrated, or that the design of so great a thing as the atonement, can by any waywhatever, be missed. We hold––we are not afraid to say what we believe––that Christ came into thisworld with the intention of saving a multitude which no man can number;and we believe that as theresult of this, every person for whom He died must, beyond the shadow of a doubt, be cleansed fromsin, and stand, washed in blood, before the Father’s throne.
The greatness of Christ’s redemption may be measured by the EXTENT OF THE DESIGN OF IT.He gave His life a “ransom for many.” We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, becausewe say that Christ has not made a satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our replyto this is that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it: we do not. The Arminians say, Christ died forall men.Ask them what they mean by that. Did Christ die so to secure the salvation of all men? Theysay, “No certainly not.” We ask them the next question––Did Christ die so as to secure the salvationof any man in particular? They answer “No.” They are obliged to admit this, if they are consistent.They say “No; Christ has died that any man may be saved if”––and then follow certain conditions ofsalvation. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you. You say that Christ did not die soas to infallibly secure the salvation of anybody. We beg your pardon, when you say we limit Christ’sdeath; we say, “No my dear sir, it is you that do it.” We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured thesalvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ’s death not only may be saved,but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved.You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it.