‘It can be shown, using Calvinist principles for exegetical interpretation, that the atonement was limited, so limited that Jesus did not die for Calvinists.
Calvinists exegesis states that whenever a definite statement is made in the scriptures about who Jesus died for, it necessarily means that the atonement is limited only to that definite group mentioned.
For example, when Jesus said that he came “to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28), that this means Jesus did not die for “all.” (All people, apparently to Calvinists, would not be many people.)
Also in John 10:11 when Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep,” Calvinists exegete this to be support for limited atonement, saying that Jesus died only for his sheep and not for goats.
Calvinists like Charles Spurgeon, A. W. Pink, R C Sproul, Wayne Grudem John MacArthur, John Piper, James White, Matt Slick, etc, are adamant on this point.
The exegetical principle Calvinists use here is that whenever a definite statement is made in the scriptures about who Jesus died for, it necessarily means that the atonement is limited only to that definite group that was stated.
Lets adopt this Calvinist principle for interpretation and follow it to its logical conclusions.
Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Ah, so here is a definite statement about who Jesus died for – his friends. This means, given the Calvinist principle for exegesis, that Jesus did not die for his enemies. The atonement was limited to His friends only. (Just ignore Romans 5:10 that says Christ died for us while we were his enemies).
If the atonement is limited only to the friends of Jesus, who are his friends? The context gives us the key. In John 15:14 Jesus said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:13, taken in light of John 15:14, means that Jesus died for those who do whatever He commands.
Calvinists, by their own confession, do not “do whatsoever” Jesus commands, because by their standard and definition that would amount to “sinless perfection” which is “legalism,” “pride” and “self-righteousness.”
The Westminster Catechism says that no Calvinist “is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed.” Since Calvinists do not “do whatsoever” Jesus commands, but instead break His commandments every single day in their thoughts, words, and deeds, then given the Calvinist principle of exegesis, Jesus did not die for Calvinists. He only died for those who keep all of His commandments and Calvinists do not.
This is what it would look like in syllogism:
Major Premise: Jesus died only for His friends.
Minor Premise: His friends are those who do whatever He commands.
Conclusion: Therefore Jesus only died for those who do whatever He commands.
Major Premise: Jesus only died for those who do whatever He commands.
Minor Premise: Calvinists break His commandments every single day.
Conclusion: Therefore, Jesus did not die for Calvinists.
If Jesus did not die for Calvinists, who did he then die for? The Bible tells us.
Paul said, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
Here we see a definite statement that Jesus died for Paul. Remember, according to Calvinism, whenever we see a definite statement in the scriptures of who Jesus died for, His death is limited by that specification. Therefore we can conclude that Jesus ONLY died for the Apostle Paul.
What about the following verses?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, thatwhosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
“he by the grace of God should taste deathfor every man” (Heb. 2:9).
“Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim. 2:6).
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).
Calvinists have traditionally interpreted “world” “every man” “for all” and “whole world” to mean “only the elect.” But now we see that to be consistent with the Calvinist principle of exegesis, this is not limited enough. The atonement is even more limited. Phrases like “world” “for all” “whole world” do not mean all Calvinists. To the contrary, Jesus died for no Calvinists since they do not do whatsoever He commands. Such phrases actually mean “only the Apostle Paul.” Paul limited the atonement to only himself, according to consistent Calvinist principle, in Galatians 2:20.
Calvinists say “the good shepherd giveth his life [ONLY] for the sheep” (John 10:11), and therefore should be consistent and interpret other passages in similar fashion, like “gave himself [ONLY] for me” (Gal. 2:20).
What about the verses that speak of Jesus dying for those who still could end up in hell?
“Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died” (Romans 14:15)
“And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?” (1 Corinthians 8:11)
“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29)
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:1)
These verses are completely inconsistent with a limited atonement and therefore should be disregarded and ignored. They cannot mean what they say, as that would contradict Calvinist tradition, so let’s just pretend they are not in the Bible.
In conclusion we see that if Calvinists were consistent with their exegesis on the atonement, they would have to conclude that the atonement is more limited than they have traditionally thought – so limited that Jesus did not die for Calvinists at all but only died for the Apostle Paul. When the Bible speaks of “the elect” Paul was obviously only talking about himself. Paul is “the elect” and no one else, since Paul said in Galatians 2:20 that Jesus died only for him.
[This is a satirical piece stated tongue in cheek designed to be a reductio ad absurdum of Calvinist exegesis. The Bible clearly states that Jesus died for everyone, even those who end up in hell.]‘
source: Jesse Morrell, “Limited Atonement – Jesus Did Not Die for Calvinists?” (biblicaltruthresources).