Friday, November 18, 2005

Doctrines of Grace Misrepresented (Pt 2)

This installment really does build on the last as it still deals with the atonement. The statement that Mr. Cloud makes here is:

12b. Jesus died for the sins of all men, not just some who are pre-chosen (1 John 2:1-2).

As I dealt with the word “all” in the last installment I will not deal with that here. Again the issue is what one sees Christ’s propitiation as. Did Christ actually shed blood as a payment for sin for particular people on the cross, as the Bible makes clear , or did He in some way simply sort of pay for sin for some, at the time, undefined people. If you believe, as the Bible clearly states, that Christ’s blood was shed on Calvary as a propitiation for sin (Rom 3:25 and Heb 2:17) then you are left with a choice that either all men are saved (not viable biblically), there are people in Hell that have had their sins paid for (not what a just God would do) or that a particular peoples whose sins were paid for, at the cross, will be saved. If you feel that Christ merely died for the possibility of salvation I am not sure how one would deal with those verses that speak of something actually being accomplished, finished, on the cross. So the statement that Jesus died for the sins of “all” men can not mean the entirety of humanity but must mean He secured the salvation for His sheep and those who are not of His sheep did not have their sins paid for and thus Christ’s sacrifice was actually effectual to save.

It is from looking at the atonement that we see that Christ did not die for the entire world, meaning every person equally, as a means of salvation but died in stead for His sheep from every tribe tongue and nation.

One other thing is that there is a sense in which Christ did die for the entire world but not in the same way, not in a salavific way. The unbeliever does benefit not only from the God’s general grace to all but also they benefit from those that are believers by the way they live and interact. However this is not what most would be trying to say when it is said that “Jesus died for the sins of all men.”

Next time:

c. God has ordained that every person who believes on Christ will be saved (Jn. 6:40).

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