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Doctrine of Christ: The Atonement III

November 28, 2021 Series: Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Scripture: Ephesians 1:3–23

Scripture -> Ephesians 1:3-23


Today we will be completing our discussion on the Doctrine of the Atonement.

In our past several sermons we have noted that Christ was the redeemer

  • Who atones for the sins of his people
  • Who provides righteousness, justification, and the pardon for sin that is needed
  • Who secures the gift of the Spirit
    • which includes regeneration
    • which includes sanctification
  • Remember
    • this a promise God gave to the Son in the covenant of redemption
    • to send the Spirit as a seal of redemption to the elect

The Economy of Salvation (v3)

We have seen the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are identified in redemption.

  • They agreed prior to creation to redeem those whom God will elect.

Here we see the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ is the one who has blessed us.

  • Here is sovereign administration
  • Here is the unilateral concept of the covenant God – demonstrated
  • We do not bless Him

Notice that the blessing, is itself, a blessing

  • It is a spiritual blessing in heavenly places.
    • There are some in churches today that would be very disappointed with spiritual blessings in heavenly places.
    • They would like instead, their best life now. Right?
  • They want carnal blessings in earthly places.
  • That is what they think blessing is from God.
  • But let us remember that carnal blessings in earthly places are often visited upon the wicked, like in Psalm 73.
  • So, let’s focus on being content with the blessings that God has deemed best for us – the ones He is giving visiting upon us right now.

But God does bless us with spiritual blessings:

  • We receive the fullness of the Spirit in the redemption promised to Christ.
  • We are blessed in the heavenly places in Christ, positionally, as the elect of God.
  • We have been secured in the promised redemption of the seed of the woman

The Choosing of the Elect in Christ (v4a)

His Father (the Father) hath chosen us.

  • That is, we who are the elect in Him.
  • That is, we are chosen in Christ.
  • His Father hath chosen us such that when Christ goes to the cross…
    • He goes with the explicit intention for us to receive the full benefit of redemption, to receive the full benefit of His sacrifice

The Purpose of God and His redemption (v4b)

It took place before the foundation of the world

  • That He should redeem us as a people
  • That He should reconcile us unto himself


  • That we would be holy and without blame before him
  • That our sins would be forgiven
  • That we would be restored aright and afresh and anew in the covenantal relationship with God
    • Not as law breakers
    • But as law keepers through Christ
      • based upon the work of His righteousness

The Adoption of Children through Christ as Surety (v5)

We are predestined, unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself

  • We are placed in the family of God through the redemptive work of Christ
    • the word adoption means to place as a son, to put within the family, legally

This is the whole concept of Christ as the surety of the Covenant

  • Christ legally, through his death, mandates that we be placed in the family of God.
    • It was predestined
    • It was foreordained
    • It was decreed by God from eternity
  • We are placed as a son in the covenant of redemption.

The Motivation God's Unmerited Favor (v6)

  • God's grace in love (v4)
  • The good pleasure of His will (v5, 9)
  • According to the grace of the glory of His grace (v6)
  • He hath provided redemption according to the covenant of grace
  • He hath saved us to the praise of the glory of His grace.
  • He hath shown His honor and glory due God through His unmerited favor
  • He hath bought us who did not deserve redemption.
  • He hath provided and brought us into redemption

Redemption and the Setting Aside of our Sins (v7-8)

  • It is through the shedding of blood and the forgiveness of sins our sins have been set aside.
  • It is according to the riches of His Grace
  • that our sins have been actually forgiven.
  • that our sins have been covered in the blood
  • according to the riches of His grace
  • according to God's purpose in bestowing us redemption wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence
  • It is given to us out of the counsel of His own wisdom and prudence

The Mystery of His Will (v9-12)

The mystery is the reconciliation of sinners unto God

  • that is how we are to come into a relationship with Him, through the mediator Jesus Christ
  • how this takes places is revealed to us
  • that it is not by chance but by a predetermined act of God.

That He might gather together in one all things in Christ

  • which are in heaven
  • which are on earth

That He might gather in Christ in the dispensation of the fullness of time

  • This is referring to the end of time Christ will gather.
  • Both physically and spiritually in the dispensation of time.

This is related to the work that He does upon the cross in which he as the mediator has affected the redemption of all things both in heaven and earth.

  • This is where the confession speaks that even though Christ does not die until an appointed time in history

Redemption is secured

  • for all those elect prior to his actual physical sacrifice

How does God work all of this out?

  • He works it out after the Council of His own will
  • For what purpose?
    • That we should be to the praise of his glory
    • That God's good pleasure may be fulfilled
    • That we glorify God

The Gospel of Your Salvation (v13)

How did salvation come about?

How is salvation applied?

  • In the hearing and trusting of the word of truth
  • In the hearing and trusting of the gospel of your salvation

How is the gospel of our salvation applied?

  • We have trusted the prophet who have spoken to us on behalf of God
  • We have read his word and we have accepted it.
  • We are sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise
    • The Spirit of promise was the spirit promised by Christ
    • The Spirit of promise was the Spirit that was promised in the covenant of redemption

The Covenant of Redemption, remember…

  • God would choose those elect that would be appointed unto salvation
  • Christ would secure the salvation of the elect through His redemption
  • The Spirit would be given unto to seal them in Christ’s work
    • The Spirit of promise is the seal of Christ's redemption.
    • The Spirit of promise is the earnest of our inheritance
    • You were sealed until the redemption of the purchased possession under the praise of His glory

It is Christ that secures the gift of the spirit

  • Which includes all of his benefits all of his works
  • Which includes Regeneration & Sanctification

The Fullness of the Spirit (v14)

The fullness of the Spirit is given when we are regenerated

  • Nothing more can be added to that work of Christ
  • He is given to us because Christ hath redeemed us
  • He is given to us and all that pertains to the work of regeneration and sanctification of life

Some teach that there is a separate blessing of the Spirit - a better one

  • But we reject that teaching - There is not a second baptism
  • There is one true baptism of the spirit and regeneration
    • This would detract from the centrality of Christ
    • This would be pointing to the Spirit when the job of the Spirit is to point to, to testify of Christ
    • The Spirit will not testify of Himself

Limited and Focused Atonement – Ephesians 5:25-27                     

Christ loves the church as a husband loves His wife

  • There is a redemption and a love based in the covenant.

Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church.

  • The direct nature of the Atonement can be seen here
  • The direct nature of the Atonement is shown through Christ
    • In that He gave Himself for the church
    • In that He gave Himself to sanctify the church with the washing of water by the word
    • In that He gave Himself that He might present the church to Himself glorious
    • Not having spot or wrinkle
    • But only that it should be holy and without blemish        

Christ loved the church

  • The Armenian -> "That's true only in the sense that God loved the world and since the church is a part of the world God loved the church as well"
    • But that is not what the Bible says.
    • If that is what God meant, then God would have said
      • “Christ loved the world and since the church is part of the world, then He loves the church also and redeems the church.”
    • But the purpose of redemption is not to redeem the world.
      • The world of unbelief does not come as holy and without blemish before God
      • The world of unbelief comes rather to receive its condemnation and destruction.         

Furthermore, the Bible says

  • Not -> "As a husband loves his wife...not because a husband loves all the women of the world, and his wife happens to be one involved in the world."
  • But -> "But a husband loves his wife because he has chosen to give her his attention and affection."

So, this is an example of how Christ also loved the church

  • The church is his bride whom He has chosen to be His own
  • That He might sanctify her and cleanser her
    • by the washing of water by the word
    • by the cleansing work of the Spirit
  • That he might present her to Himself as a glorious church

There is a Security for the Believer – John 10:11-24

This does not mean there is a general knowledge of the existence of sheep

  • This means there is an intimate relationship with them.
  • The elect have been secure in Christ from the foundation of the world
  • They were Christ's because the father gave them to Him
  • They were Christ's because He knows who are His
  • They were Christs' because He has an intimate relationship with Him

This is an intimate relationship

  • It is compared to how the Father has known Christ
  • It is compared to how Christ has known the Father
  • Christ and the Father have covenanted together to redeem the elect
  • And so, as Christ is known of His sheep – the sheep know Christ

Christ has given Himself and laid down His life for them.

  • There are other sheep not of this fold
  • The is a reference to the fact that the gentiles will also be brought into the household of faith grafted into the olive tree.

You do not believe because you are not Christ's sheep

  • I am the Good Shepherd.
  • I am the Redeemer.
  • I am the mediator.
  • I am the one who sent from God to do the will of the father to redeem those who are under the promise of his government.

Summary and Conclusion

For whom did Christ die?

  • for all men?
  • for no men?
  • For the some of the sins of some men?
  • For all the sins of some men?

The last – for the sins of SOME men

  • That they through His redemption would receive the forgiveness of sins
  • That they through His redemption would receive the eternal inheritance that is promised in Jesus Christ our Lord.

It is the purpose of Christ through His atoning death to accomplish that which he came to do to seek and to save those for the elect of God.

  • There is a purpose in the atonement of Christ

There is a certainty in the Atonement

  • There is not just the possibility of salvation.
  • There is actual and real salvation in the work of Christ
  • There is absolute salvation of His elect

Christ came to reconcile without distinction all those whom the Father hath given Him unto Himself.

  • By which he attains eternal salvation for them by going to the cross
  • By which he attains eternal salvation for them by shedding his blood.
  • By which he attains eternal salvation for them by dying that they might have life through him

All of this to the praise of the glory of His grace ---- All Glory to God!

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