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Jesus Christ’s Limited Atonement Opposed By Titus 2:11?

Posted by Job on November 17, 2007

While the video below makes an excellent case, to me it does not adequately deal with Titus 2:10b-11: – “that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things, For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”  Were the Reformed Christians themselves not the one making the proposition of common grace – the grace that is given to all men – is not saving grace – the irresistable grace given to the predestined elect to bring about their salvation – I would make nothing of Titus 2:10b-11, especially since my employment of this scripture violates my own rule of only using scripture in context, as the passage in which it appears seems to be more about how those already saved should live than about salvation. Yet Titus 2:10b-11 does exist, so it must be dealt with.


18 Responses to “Jesus Christ’s Limited Atonement Opposed By Titus 2:11?”

  1. HannahJ said

    If you don’t mind, I’ll summarize the Lutheran take on atonement/justification.

    Universal justification: God loves the world, i.e. every person, regardless of whether they believe or not (Jn 3:16, for example). He offers the opportunity to receive (passive) Jesus Christ.

    Individual justification: each person who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved, i.e. viewed as righteous in God’s sight and therefore en route to heaven.

    The Book of Concord explains this in much more detail and much better than I can.

    BTW–what does L.I.L.A.C. stand for? (TULIP I know, but LILAC I do not.)

  2. HannahJ: L.I.L.A.C. is the derisive acrostic to describe free will Christianity developed by Reformed theologian and pastor John Gestner. It stands for Limited Depravity, I Choose Christ, Limitless Atonement, Arrestible Grace, Carnal Security.

  3. djenk23 said

    do you have any links or books for LILAC? I’ve been looking on the net but a lot of the stuff that I’ve come across is really negative ie LILAC is a damnable heresy…

  4. djenk23:

    Well, when you consider that LILAC was created by free will OPPONENTS to rather uncharitably (and somewhat inaccurately) describe the doctrine of their opponents then that is not a surprise :-). I only myself discovered the term yesterday on a hardcore Calvinist weblog. I created the tag hoping to lure some of them into the discussion. I do not hold the position that free will Christians worship a false Christ and are going to the lake of fire.

  5. Healtheland, my brother whose name I strongly feel is in the Lamb’s Book of Life and on your way to Heaven. I feel you are of the elect even if you deny there is an elect 😀 .

    Titus 2:11 loses its meaning if you take just that single verse. (Same with if you only view verses 10 and 11.) Consider it in the context of that entire passage of scripture:
    Titus 2:9-15 (King James Version)

    9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;

    10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

    11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

    12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

    13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

    14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

    15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

    The “all” in verse 11 is to let saved slaves know that their being slaves on earth did not mean they were not saved. The grace of God came in the form of Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 1:4, and was seen by even those who rejected Him because they were not His sheep, John 8:44, John 10:26. Yes common grace extends to all, but saving grace is for the elect alone and they are the ones who we see from our vantage point as individuals who honestly accept Christ.

    Notice verse 14 says “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” It does not say Christ gave himself for the world, but for us. To redeem not the world, but us and purify to himself a peculiar people. That is the elect. Christ said Himself, he was laying down his life for the sheep, John 10:11. All are NOT His sheep as I’ve already noted. While Christ’s sacrifice offered propitiation for the sins of all, 1 John 2:2, it only brings redemption to those who are the predestinated sheep, Ephesians 1:5-6. All others will refuse Christ if told of Him and Christ’s sacrifice will only ensure they are reconciled via judgment and eternity in the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:15, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10, Mark 9:42-50.

    Universal atonement only justifies universalism. Charles Spurgeon was correct that atonement was limited to the predestinated sheep, not the goats, Matthew 25. Those who are the Lords do His will because God draws them to His Son and they hear Christ’s voice, John 6:44.

    Some other notes about Titus 2:9-15, Paul does not tell debt slaves a financial blessing is coming to bring them physical freedom. This scripture also proves the prosperity doctrine to be false. Also, God through Christ by way of the Holy Spirit, has Paul to note our Savior as God (verse 10) and Jesus Christ as God (verse 13). Affirming the deity of Christ and affirming God is triune in nature, because as Christ told us His Father sent Him and Christ said He’d have the Father send His Holy Spirit which testifies of Christ, all are God. (That’s “all” as in all 3, not “all” as in everyone is God 😆 .)

  6. IndependentConservative:

    Yeah, I acknowledged that my invocation of the verse in this manner was destructive to the context. I was primarily concerned with verse 12: “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Looks like Paul was saying that the same grace that saved you will instruct you in daily Christian living. Since we know that the work of the Holy Spirit that develops and keeps the Christian is not the same as the work that regenerates the Christian, it is reasonable to infer that the work of common grace to all men is not the same as the work of saving grace to the elect. Well, so now I am in worse shape now than I was when I started. Will keep trying. I am still waiting on the first hyperCalvinist to participate in this thread though 🙂

  7. Brian said

    You have to read the entire letter to Titus. not just 2:11.Paul left Titus in crete to teach others sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it 1:5-9.Some jews were telling the gentiles they had to be circumsized and keep the law(become a jew)1:10,11 and 3:9.So what paul is saying in 2:11 is that salvation has appeared to all men not just ethnic jews(all types of men from every tribe, tongue,nation and people).

  8. Brian: So … how are your local evangelism efforts going? Hopefully know what I am talking about. If not, I will drop the issue 🙂

  9. Brian said

    God has blessed,I have started a bible study in my home.some of my mormon friends and neighbors are curious about covenant theology,so please pray that God would open their eyes and ears to the truth.

  10. Brian:

    GOD BE PRAISED! Another Bible study fellow. Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, please bless His ministry to do Your Will and be fruitful, and may the gates of Hades not prevail against it! Now about this covenant theology of which you speak, I have only heard the term used about once or twice. The last time I was made aware of it, it was a brief reference to how covenant theologians start reading the Bible at the gospels, progress through the New Testament, and then take up the Old Testament. As such, the New Testament is primary and the Old Testament is backwards – interpreted through it. Is that correct? If so, I hear that covenant theologians arrive at different conclusions from people like me, who start at the Old and use the Old to interpret the New.

  11. Eden Hadassah said

    There is a difference from biblical old testament and Talmud Torah. It is exactly what Yeshua was against. The talmud as many well know is the commentary, but in his day’s it was held up as the “law.” It is what he came to put an end to. It was the pharasaical laws which are very different, and makes one want to vomit! Here is a link to different Babylonian Talmud sayings, and why Yeshua was so opposed to the pharasees.

    The talmud is a book of “hate speech and violence against gentiles and children” if ever there was one. I wonder what the ADL will do when it is completely exposed as such.

  12. Brian said

    How did the seven churches in The Revelation of Jesus Christ interpret what was written to them?

  13. Brian:

    Ummm … that is a question that is beyond my expertise. I would suppose that since they did not have a complete New Testament at the time save some of the gospels and a few epistles that they might have relied heavily on the Old Testament. As a matter of fact, we can presume the same to be true of the vast majority of Christians until about the middle of the second century.

  14. Brian said

    correct, let scripture interpret scripture.I gotta go to work, please go to for more on covenant theology.

  15. Brian: Oh, I am sola scriptura all the way! But you are aware that there are, er, ways to do it? 🙂

  16. Jean-Louis said

    The errors in this video are subtle, but immense. The older man at the end is quite a spin doctor.

    “Did the birth of Christ bring joy to the Pharisees?” The answer is YES, but they rejected that joy, as did Pilate, and so on. I shall explain:

    Romans 1:16. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
    > Does “everyone” mean every one? Of course. “Jew first and also to the Greek” Is figurative for every one in the world.

    A word search for “Elect” (with repetitions between Gospels omitted)
    New American Standard Bible
    Mark 13:
    v. 20. Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days.
    v. 22. for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
    V. 27. “And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.

    Luke 18: 7. now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?

    Romans: 8: 33. Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;

    Who are the “Elect” ?

    Romans 3: 22. even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

    Acts 8: 37. And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

    Who are NOT the “Elect” ?

    Luke 7: 30. But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.

    Obviously, even though God offers his joy and salvation to EVERY ONE, even the ones He PURPOSED to receive it can REJECT it. So while yes, there is predestination, meaning the saved are predestined to go to Heaven, every one is given the choice to believe or reject. Calvinism is now unequivocally proven false, and thus the prophecy is true:

    1 Timothy 4:
    v1. But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
    v2. by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
    v3. men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

    May God be with you.

  17. Job said

    Jean – Louis: I prefer Hebrew to Gaelic

  18. Jean – One day you might know the truth, that the elect are compelled to the Lord, all otherwise reject it.

    No One Can Come to Jesus Christ, Unless…

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