Saturday, January 12, 2008

Is Jesus Blood Wasted On Those Not Saved?

It has been some time since posting to this blog having abandoned it in a manner of speaking. Hopefully, I can make better use of the resource in the coming months. While perusing several threads on the Arminian-Calvinist board on CARM I came across a somewhat rhetorical question presented by one of the Calvinist participants. It was asked in response to an Arminian challenge to a posting related to limited atonement. These sorts of arguments are a routine occurrence on the board as are the standard rhetorical replies. However there was a response to the question that struck me as absolutely wonderful and I cannot get it out of the way without first offering some thoughts on the matter.

The question was "Is Jesus' blood wasted on those not saved?" This is not the first time I had seen the question asked nor will it be the last. I can think of several occurrences over the years where that question or one similar had been asked as if the question itself was a showstopper, a ringer if you will that is intended to bring to a grinding halt any intellectual challenge of one's opinion. Another participant answered the question with a question of his own. "How much of Jesus' blood was needed to save just you?" Now, Calvinists have long argued that if the atonement is not limited in some fashion, it must logically follow that Jesus either failed in his mission or some aspect of His finished work was wasted on those not intended to benefit from that work. The initial question was an extension of that common argument. Yet, by turning the question around, the premise of the original inquirer is stripped of any importance. How is a single drop of Christ blood wasted if it is applied to you and I?

The clear answer to the second question is "all of it". Yes, all of Jesus Christ's blood was needed to save just one single soul without a single drop of it going to waste. Whether for one or one hundred million souls, every single ounce or drop of the shed blood of the Lamb of God was put to a perfecting use. Not a single spec of His poured out life left His body without being applied for the benefit of mankind. Now, we can argue limited atonement vs. unlimited atonement until the second advent of Christ and I am sure we will however whether unlimited or not, the blood of Christ is not wasted under either opinion.

This is often the case with rhetorical devices employed against rational discourse. Such questions make for a good sound bite in a debate format but as the reply demonstrated they fall just as quickly and loudly as when uttered.