The article below, and the next few articles on Fundamental Faith, will be from a book which was published in 1971 by Elder Wiley W. Sammons, in his book titled: “IDENTITY OF THE TRUE BAPTIST CHURCH, Doctrine Precept & Practice, From 1701 – 1971, In West Tennessee, North Carolina and Alabama. The five Primitive Baptist Elders who contributed to this effort were: Wiley W. Sammons of Tennessee, C.M. Mills of North Carolina, Guy Hunt of Alabama, T.L. Webb Jr. of Arkansas, and E.B. Watts of Alabama.

While we will only publish a few of the well-crafted articles from this book, we want to take all care in giving credit to these men who labored to produce such a work. Fundamental of Faith is so very important for the child of God to be well-grounded in the “rudiments of truth,” and we commend these good brethren for their efforts to furnish the generations of the Lord's people with sound fundamental teachings.

This book would be a great addition to the library of every “Old School Primitive Baptist,” with a desire to seek after the truth.

Elder John P. Young – Editor


By Elders Wiley W. Sammons (dec.) and C.M. Mills (dec.)

The Baptists in America believed and preached that the Atonement was special or limited until the last half of the 18th century when Andrew Fuller, Martin Carey, and others began to advocate and preach that Christ made the Atonement for the elect and the rest of mankind. This is recorded in Benedict's History, Volume 2, page 456, Dr. Fuller's piece entitled "The Gospel Worthy of Acceptation" which represents the atonement as general in its nature but particular in its application.  Hassell gives this account in his history on page 536, "That Andrew Fuller, of England, who may almost be considered the founder of the New School or so-called Missionary Baptist and who in this work in 1784 modernized and moderated Calvinism by maintaining a general atonement with special application!"

The reader will also find in this volume where the above is clearly brought out by Elder C. M. Mills history of the Baptist under the title "The Original Bear Creek Association in North Carolina!" In the minutes of the Kehukee Association, which is one of the oldest in America, shows that they declared against the new doctrine, "Universal Atonement," and would not preach any of the ministers who preached or believed this new doctrine.

Perhaps for the young people or those who are not familiar with the scriptures, we should define the word "Atonement." Atonement means reconciliation, especially, the reconciliation of God and man through the death of Jesus Christ. "In theology, the expiation of sin made by the obedience and personal suffering of Christ" satisfying divine justice so man could be brought back into the presence of God. It will be needful to go the Genesis account where God's word shows the necessity of an atonement. Genesis 2:7: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of Life: and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:21: "And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; verse 22, And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto man." They were placed in the Garden of Eden to dress the garden and keep it. God told them that all the trees of the Garden they could freely eat but "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil Thou shall not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die."

Adam and Eve had the ability to obey the law of God before their transgression, but by transgressing the law of God, they fell into a state of sin and death. They came under the powers of sin and corruption and lost their former standing and ability. God warned them that this would be the result. God did not prefix or prearrange it so that Adam had to obey the law—if so, he couldn't have transgressed the law. Neither did God prefix or prearrange it so that Adam could not obey the law; if so, he had to transgress the law. Adam and Eve willingly transgressed, being warned of God that they would die as a result of their transgression. Now you can understand what made the atonement necessary.

God is just and unchangeable; so the price required because of the transgression had to be paid and the penalty was death. In order to satisfy his justice a perfect offering was required. The only way possible to have a perfect offering was to send his only begotten Son, who was perfect, to make the Atonement for sin by dying for his people in their room and stead- to redeem them under the law of sin and death.

The atonement was made at the exact time that God promised it would he through the prophets. This was fulfilled according to God's purpose and, of course, his purpose was according to the covenant between God and his Son. Jesus Christ, before man was ever created. This is called election, which we will not deal with at this time. The reader will find an article in this book that gives more information under the heading "Election." lust remember these details at this time: God did the electing and he has foreknowledge as well as perfect knowledge, and he did the choosing and that was before man was made or before the foundation of the world. He gave them to his Son, Jesus Christ, in the covenant of grace before the foundation of the world. What we mean by a special or limited atonement is that they are limited to all that God gave him. Jesus said in the book of John, "I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gayest me to do." Another place in his prayer in John 17, "As thou has given him power over all flesh that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him." Thus the atonement was for all that the father gave him.

How many did the Father give Christ? "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Revelation 7:9, 10.

People lose sight of the atonement, being special or limited, because they fail to understand the difference in the Old Testament day and the New Testament age. The Old Testament was before Christ came and made the atonement by dying on the cross and fulfilling all that the law required, In the Old Testament age, everything gendered to death because the atonement had not been made—the New Testament age genders everything to life because Christ has made the atonement by the sacrifice of his life and perfectly satisfied for the sins of his people, the requirement of the law, and the justice of God. "I am he that was dead but am now alive forevermore." Satan cannot accuse them anymore because he paid the death penalty and redeemed them! The Bible plainly states that their sins and iniquities will he remember against them no more a debt once paid cannot be collected again in any court in the land.

Let's use an illustration here to show what was required in the atonement, and the difference in faith and the atonement which has confused so many. A woman owes $1000 and has nothing to pay with so she is in great anguish and despair. The debt cannot he paid with $999, it takes $1000. So someone paid the debt for her, but she doesn't know it therefore she is still in great despair, because she doesn't have the price to pay. Jesus Christ has paid our sin debt in full but many of the Lord's people do not know about it and they are like the woman in much anguish and despair. They are still trying to pay with good works of their own. Where the knowledge of salvation brings so much relief is where the Holy Spirit reveals and enables us to receive the truth that the debt has been paid. The benefits of the atonement save us from eternal damnation. The faith God enables us to exercise saves us from despair and that is the phase of salvation which is by faith. The atonement required the precious blood of Christ and we can see it by faith and rejoice in it by faith, but faith did not pay the sin debt— Christ did. There isn't a court of justice in the land that will require a debt to be paid twice and surely God is just and doesn't require an individual to pay what Christ paid by the atonement.

There isn't any man on earth that can remove guilt from a man. A father can't remove guilt from his son, nor the son from his father— the only one who can remove the guilt of sin is God and he would not do it unless the death penalty was paid. That required the shed blood of Jesus Christ, who was sinless and perfect, yet he bore the sins of his people in his body. There was a covenant entered into be¬tween God and his Son before the foundation of the world, and was fulfilled in Christ, who made the atonement for the sins of his people. In him we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sin through the riches of his grace. If you have the forgiveness of sin you have the benefits or redemption. Where the blood has been applied on all for whom Christ died for, all are justified in the eyes of the law. The atonement brought justification.

Atonement is mentioned only once in the New Testament but Redemption is mentioned many times. Redemption is the result of the atonement. Redemption means to buy back something that has been your property. You cannot redeem something that has never been owned by you. God gave these people, in covenant, to his Son before the world was. No one can redeem but a prior owner. This is like paying off a mortgage when the price is paid the right and title is given to the prior owner. "You are bought with a price; you are not your own, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which arc God's.

To redeem something you must be the prior owner—therefore we must recognize the doctrine of election. God chose his people in Christ before the foundation of the world. They were the Son's by election and all that God gave to his Son was exactly all that must be bought back or redeemed. Why they needed redeeming was because the fore-parents had transgressed and fallen under the death penalty. The atonement brought about redemption. Christ entered into the Holy of Holies and obtained redemption for us. We are not only redeemed and made free from sin and death, but we have the earnest of the spirit while we live here on earth and have the privilege of enjoying his church kingdom here on earth, when we abide in him and keep his commandments.

The individual receives the benefits of the atonement today in the same way that God has always made the application by his spirit, the third person in the Godhead. This work is done sovereignly by his grace according to God's purpose and will. This was the way God applied the benefits before the coming of Christ; it was the same way while Christ was in the earth in an earthly body and is the same way today, and will continue until the time when Christ will come and raise the dead from the graves and make them immortal in his own image and carry them to live with him in eternal heaven.

When a person receives the benefits of the atonement is when the benefits of the shed blood of Christ is applied. This work, which is done solely by God by his spirit, cleanses the person and gives them divine life (which is eternal life). He sheds his love abroad in their heart, and makes them a new creature, and gives faith, hope, and a desire for spiritual things, which causes them to pray to God and beg for mercy and seek to know what the Lord God would have them to do. They are now capacitated to do good works that will honor God and give him all the glory. The ministry is commanded to feed, edify, and instruct this kind of person in righteousness. When they obey the preaching of the true gospel and study the Bible, to find out the many good works that have been commanded, they can and should honor God in their body and spirit, which is God's. These blessings and benefits come because Jesus Christ made the atonement.