The Old Testament also points to limited atonement or particular redemption. Israel’s high priest offered atonement only for the people of Israel, not for Israel and those who remained outside the covenant community. From first to last, the Bible teaches that God’s work alone saves His people and that He always accomplishes the salvation of those whom He wants to save. This is a great comfort, for it means He cannot fail to complete the good work He has begun in us (Phil. 1:6).
God works through means. In justification, the sole instrumental means He uses is the faith He gives us to lay hold of Christ’s perfect righteousness—the sole ground of our being declared righteous before Him. We must trust Jesus alone to be saved. Yet salvation remains a free gift, one we do nothing to earn and to which we contribute nothing. It is all of grace, and we must not tire of proclaiming that glorious truth. We can be assured of our redemption only if it is the entirely free gift of the Lord.