Someone once said, “What you think about God determines everything else in life.” That is a profound statement, and it is very true. When I think of God I think of so many superlatives— great, majestic, sovereign, boundless, eternal—the list could go on and on. What I do not think of, when I think of God, is “limited.” All through the Word of God we are shown picture after picture of an unlimited God who loves us limitlessly.
Theologically we speak of the omnipresence of God, the omniscience of God, and the omnipotence of God. He is the living eternal Logos, without beginning and without end; in other words, He is unlimited. Personally we trust in His Word that tells us that He is a God of unlimited love, unlimited mercy, unlimited forgiveness, and unlimited grace. Never do we think of God in terms of limitations.
How could it be, with a God so limitless, that we would want to limit His greatest work, the work of Jesus Christ on the cross? Jesus stated in John 4:34, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” What was the Father’s will? “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40).
There is nothing limited about the Father’s will. There was nothing limited about the work of Christ. We are told in 1 John 3:8 that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. There is nothing in Scripture that even hints that the work of Jesus on the cross was in any way limited. He totally destroyed the works of the devil, having triumphed over sin, hell, and the grave. Neither was His atonement for sin limited. On the cross and at the tomb, Jesus was victorious and completed the will of the Father so that “whosoever will” may come.
John Calvin himself acknowledged the universal satisfaction of the work of Jesus Christ when he said:
Our Lord Jesus bore the sins and iniquities of many. But in fact, the word “many” is often as good as equivalent to “all.” And indeed our Lord Jesus was offered to all the world. For it is not speaking of three or four when it says “God so loved the world, that he spared not His only Son.” But yet we must notice what the Evangelist adds in this passage: “That whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but obtain eternal life.”
Ken Hemphill, with the mind of a scholar and the heart of a pastor, gives us a critical, scriptural understanding for belief in Unlimited God, including His unlimited atoning work through His Son, Jesus Christ. Ken has approached a difficult topic in a brilliant way by anchoring everything in God’s character. It is not argumentative in the negative sense but a very solid way to approach the subject. I am excited that Ken has written this study. The very nature of our unlimited God, biblically and logically, declares an unlimited atonement.
Mac Brunson, senior pastor
First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida
From Ken Hemphill’s Unlimited
Good Questions Have Groups Talking are available that go along with Ken Hemphill’s book, Unlimited. They are available on Amazon, as well as a part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service.