Destroyer and Deliverer

Alan C. Clifford on page 81 of his book Atonement and Justification quotes Calvinist Charles Simeon:

“To say that he died for the elect only, is neither scriptural nor true. He died for all: according as it is elsewhere said: ‘we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all …’ (2 Corinthians 5:14,15) If all be not ultimately saved by his death, it is not owing to any want of sufficiency in his sacrifice to procure acceptance for them, but to their own impenitence and unbelief … Here … we see the propriety of interesting ourselves with God in behalf of all, since for all without exception did Jesus die.88

88 Horae homileticae (London, 1833), xviii. 501-2.

Charles Simeon believes that Jesus Christ died for those who will perish under God’s wrath. He has the temerity and unmitigated gall to say that this would not be “owing to any want of sufficiency in his sacrifice to procure acceptance for them.” Simeon’s blasphemous words carry a multitude of necessary implications. The Lord willing, I’ll go over just a few.

“For what if some did not believe? Will not their unbelief nullify the faith of God? Let it not be! But let God be true, and every man a liar” (Romans 3:3-4).

Simeon steps up to this text and says, YES — their unbelief WILL nullify the faith of God. He would say no, of course. But he can only say that because he believes that acceptance before God is NOT procured by the sacrifice of Christ alone, but requires the sinner to establish his own righteousness to make it effectual (Romans 10:3). Let God be true, and Charles Simeon a liar.

“Because if you confess the Lord Jesus with your mouth, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

What does it mean to confess the Lord Jesus? One thing this confession includes is that Jesus is God (John 8:58; Revelation 19:11-16). If Jesus was not God He could not have furnished a sacrifice of sufficient value to meet the demands of God’s justice. And this is exactly what Charles Simeon denies. He does not believe that the God-Man Mediator’s death on the cross was sufficient in and of itself to SATISFY God’s law and justice. Simeon believes that the sinner’s impenitence and unbelief cannot be overcome by the Almighty God who is the DESTROYER of the devil’s works and the DELIVERER of those children whom the Father gave to Him (Hebrews 2:13-15). Simeon would affirm superficially that Jesus delivers all whom the Father gave to Christ, but he denies that Jesus delivers all for whom He died. Simeon’s is the type of insidious Calvinism that affirms that Jesus died for the reprobate in a “different sense” than He died for the elect. In this particular Calvinistic view the death of Christ is NOT the sole grounds of procured acceptance with God. Thus concludes Charles Simeon’s denial of the deity of Christ.

Simeon would call Jesus “The Mighty God” by name. Yet this great name is denounced and denied when he affirms that for those in hell He was crucified.

Okay so what does it mean to “believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,” and how does Charles Simeon deny this confession?

“Because if you confess the Lord Jesus with your mouth, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

God raised Christ from the dead. Why? What did this raising from the dead signify? It was proof that God the Father was TOTALLY SATISFIED with the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. He was totally satisfied because Jesus Christ accomplished exactly what He set out to accomplish, which was the full salvation and deliverance of everyone for whom He died. Jesus Christ fully satisfied the demands of God’s law and justice. Had Jesus Christ NOT fully accomplished salvation and procured acceptance for everyone for whom He died, He would NOT have conquered death, and He would have remained in the grave. Charles Simeon affirms the antecedent. He does NOT believe Christ’s death fully accomplished salvation and procured acceptance for everyone for whom He died. Thus Simeon’s confession denies that Jesus destroyed and conquered death and affirms that He remained in the grave. And to remain in the grave is to undergo corruption and remain accursed (cf. Acts 2:27; Galatians 3:10-13). To believe like Calvinist Charles Simeon that Jesus Christ died for those in hell is to affirm that Jesus is a curse. It is to be woefully and abysmally ignorant of the ONLY righteousness God accepts (Romans 10:1-4).

“Because of this I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, Jesus is a curse. And no one is able to say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3).

The reason Jesus Christ could NOT be held by death is that He had totally, absolutely defeated death in fully atoning for the sins of EVERYONE FOR WHOM HE DIED. The true confession of Charles Simeon is that the so-called “elect” are enabled and animated by the spirit of antichrist to ADD TO and ASSIST the work of Christ to give it a supposed “efficacy.”

If there is or will be even ONE PERSON for whom Christ died who is suffering or will suffer the second death, then death was NOT defeated, and Jesus Christ was NOT raised as the victor over death. To truly believe resurrection is to believe the full, accomplished atonement of Jesus Christ with which God the Father was fully satisfied that was effectual to save everyone whom Christ represented. God the Father exalted Jesus Christ at His right hand as the Savior of His people who made full purification of their sins. There would have been no resurrection and no exaltation had there been even one person for whom Christ died who would end up in hell. And this wonderful truth is what Charles Simeon and all who believe like him deny (cf.

“But when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality, then will take place the Word that has been written, Death was swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory? Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law; but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).

“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, so that He might deliver us out of the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory to the ages of the ages. Amen” (Galatians 1:3-5).

“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).