Sufficiency for all, efficient for some?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by benbooth11, Nov 15, 2017.

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  1. benbooth11

    benbooth11 Puritan Board Freshman

    I have read many Calvinists such as Watson, Edwards, Hodge, Boyce etc., say that Jesus died sufficiently for all but only efficiently for the elect. Is this really biblical and consistent with limited atonement, or is it better to say that the death of Christ would have been sufficient for all men had God intended?

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  2. KGP

    KGP Puritan Board Freshman

    The difference between the sufficient/efficient statement that you start with and the one you want to compare is that to simply say 'the death have Christ would have been sufficient...' speaks of the value or quantitative aspect of the atonement.

    The 'efficient' correlates to its power to affect a change; the scope of its 'effectiveness' and how/what it works necessarily; what it sets in motion.

    I think that any view of atonement that deals only with it's sufficiency(more narrowly speaking: it's value or worth or currency if you will) is incomplete.

    Different categories. I think that the 'sufficient/efficient' way of communicating is very satisfactory.

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  3. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Nothing about the atonement is hypothetical. Scripture always speaks in concrete, actual terms.

    "Sufficiency" conjecture opens the door for bad theology to creep in.

    I could say, hypothetically, Jesus died for aliens on planet Zeno. But that doesnt mean anything.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  4. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:18)

    "...and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thes. 2:10)

    "So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door." (Gen. 4:6-7a)

    "He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat;
    And with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you." (Psalm 81:16)

    If our system of theology cannot account for hypotheticals or account for men rejecting the atonement that is actually offered in the gospel, we have a problematic system not actually true to God's Word.

    Yes, the Scriptures absolutely infer that Christ's sacrifice was sufficient for all and no, this is not a denial of particular redemption. This distinction simply accounts for all biblical data.

    Hodge hits the nail on the head.
  5. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Saved or lost, repent or perish are not the hypothetical classes I'm referring to. Thats a non sequitur.

    Im referring to saying something about the Covenant of Redemption or Covenant of Grace God didnt say.

    God never said, my Son's atonement is of such infinite worth that it "could have" saved a million billion worlds.

    Scripture never speaks that way. It says he either did something, plans something or accomplished something. It never says Jesus could have saved aliens on plant Zeno.
  6. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    I agree that unchecked hypotheticals can get out of hand and quickly become unhelpful. But there is a difference between using hypotheticals that have a natural possibility and those which are completely speculative or have no natural possibility. Scripture says that those who do not believe could have been saved if they had believed (2 Thes. 2:10). The OT is full of these examples as well. We also have numerous examples of God giving people time to repent, even though in His divine wisdom He determined to withhold His Spirit from them rendering their rejection of Him certain due to the condition of fallen human nature. We also have example of Christ saying to the Jews that sought to kill Him that He "say these things that you may be saved" (John 6:34b).

    I question Owen's usage of sufficient and efficient, since He promotes a completely hypothetical and useless formula. But used biblically (and historically), the sufficient for all formula demonstrates a) God's great kindness to all of humanity, and when rejected by unthakful man b) demonstrates man's own responsibility for bringing condemnation upon himself (see John 3 and 12). Truly, man is responsible for condemning himself when he rejects what Christ's offers in the gospel!

    It is this kind of sufficiency that Dort clearly outlines. We need to be careful not to reinterpret Dort from a 21st century perspective. Historically, sufficiency in the sense described above is establishd in the confessions (Heidelberg 37, Dort 2nd head). As a subcriber to the Three Forms, I take this doctrine really seriously.
  7. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Natural possibility: if you repent, you will be saved.

    Unnatural hypothetical: Jesus' atonement is sufficient for all but efficient for the elect.

    Unnatural hypotheticals lead directly to Amyraldianism.

    This language is the only sloppy wording in the Canons, "more than sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world." It assumes something Scripture never admits, though Amyraldius was all over this.
  8. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    This is a distinction without a difference. What is actually offered and actually rejected in the gospel? If not sufficient for all, nothing is offered and nothing can be rejected.

    This is simply not true. Shedd, Hodge, Dabney and many others who employ what you call "unnatural hypotheticals" vehemently oppose Amyraldianism. We could also say that the doctrine of reprobation leads to hyper-Calvinism. Well, yes, it does it we do not account for the whole counsel of God.

    I'm sorry you feel this way...
  9. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    So far you havent provided one Scripture that says Jesus' death is sufficient for all but efficient for the elect.

    Where exactly is that chapter and verse? Where exactly does God tell us this?

    What this kind of talk does is place good men in compromising positions, not to mention it was the hallmark of Amyraldius' thought.

    If we engage in this kind of thinking, we can hypothetically say anything we want, without crossing the line.

    Lets try that.

    God could have saved people through Christ's atonement only on cloudy days.

    God could have saved people through Christ's atonement if they wore white clothes during their conversion.

    God could have saved people through Christ's atonement only while they were riding pink unicorns if God had made pink unicorns.

    God could have even saved aliens on planet Zeno if God created aliens on planet Zeno, had them fall, and provided Christs atonement for them too.

    God could have saved people through Christ's atonement only if choose the hypothetical.

    All this kind of talk leads absolutely nowhere and is a complete waste of time and has no implicit or explicit inference. The explicit or implicit inference one finds this is the same place in the Bible Amyraldius found it.

    If you want to deal with a natural hypothetical, make it at least according to what Scripture tells us.

    If we want to enter into conjecture, I'm going to insist pink unicorns and aliens should be in the mix. They are equally valid in any conjecture.


    God infallibly secured salvation for the elect, through Christ's atonement which was of infinite value because Adams original sin, and the limited number of the elect's sins were so heinous against an infinite God that it required a satisfaction which propitiates and expiates sin and wrath so effectively that God's righteous judgment would be satisfied through that infinite atonement. Its value is decreed and determined due to its actual work for which God intended. The atonement MUST be of infinite worth because my sins alone were infinite in their affect against an infinitely holy God. (Now we can find lots of Scriptures for all that.)

    In my studies, I just haven't come across pink unicorns in Scripture.

    In fact, the atonement CAN'T "could have saved everyone" because it didn't.

    One simply has to ask: what did God intend in Christ's atonement, to know what direction Scripture moves in.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  10. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    John Murray (Collected Writings, 4:255-256):

    It has been maintained that the Assembly formulated at least one section so as to allow for an Amyraldian doctrine of the atonement. The Minutes of the Assembly give no support to this contention. There are three principles enunciated in the Confession that exclude the Amyraldian view. The first is that redemption has been purchased for the elect. 'The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience, and sacrifice of Himself ... purchased, not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto him' (chapter 8, section 5). The second is that impetration and application are coextensive. 'To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same' (chapter 8, section 8). This excludes any form of universal atonement. The redemption purchased includes, as the preceding quotation implies, the purchase of an everlasting inheritance, and this is therefore said to be communicated to all for whom redemption was purchased. If all were included then all would be the partakers of the everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, a position clearly denied in the Confession elsewhere. The third principle is the exclusiveness of redemption. 'Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only' (chapter 3, section 6). In the preceding sentence the elect are said to have been 'redeemed by Christ'; now it is said that they alone are redeemed. Other lines of argument could be elicited from the Confession to show that it allowed for no form of universal atonement, not even the hypothetical universalism propounded on the floor of the Assembly. But the foregoing principles are sufficient to show that the particularism in terms of which the whole doctrine of salvation is constructed is not sacrificed at the point of the atonement.​

    Cunningham (2:332) on the use of the oft quoted "sufficient for all, efficient for the elect".

    A distinction was generally employed by the schoolmen, which has often been adverted to in this discussion, and which it may be proper to explain. They were accustomed to say, that Christ died sufficiently for all men, and efficaciously for the elect, — sufficientur pro omnibus, efficaciter pro electis. Some orthodox divines, who wrote before the extent of the atonement had been made the subject of full, formal, and elaborate discussion, and Calvin himself among the rest, — admitted the truth of this scholastic position. But after controversy had thrown its full light upon the subject, orthodox divines generally refused to adopt this mode of stating the point, because it seemed to ascribe to Christ a purpose or intention of dying in the room of all, and of benefiting all by the proper effects of His death, as an atonement or propitiation; not that they doubted or denied the intrinsic sufficiency of His death for the redemption of all men, but because the statement — whether originally so intended or not — was so expressed as to suffest the idea, that Christ, in dying, desired and intended that all men should partake in the proper and peculiar effects of the shedding of His blood. Calvinists do not object to say that the death of Christ — viewed objectively, apart from His purpose or design — was sufficient for all, and efficacious for the elect, because this statement in the first clause merely asserts its infinite intrinsic sufficiency, which they admit; whereas the original scholastic form of the statement, — namely, that He died sufficiently for all, — seems to indicate that, when He died, He intended that all should derive some saving and permanent benefit from His death.​

    Sebastian Rehnman, 'A Particular Defence of Particularism,' Journal of Reformed Theology 6 (2012) 24-34:

    ...the mere presence of a plurality of views in session does not imply a plurality of views in confession. Clearly, the final formulation should interpret (the outcome of) the earlier discussion and not the earlier discussion the final formulation. Although WCF could be ambiguous or alternatively rendered on this subject (as on some other ones), it is actually precise and clear about the strictly particular divine intention.​
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  11. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Since it was God actual being put to death on the Cross, would not that sacrifice been enough to have saved all sinners though?
  12. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Your assessment on this seems to be pretty much biblical accurate.
  13. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    The death of Jesus itself was of infinite worth, correct?
  14. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    Dear AMR and Rev. McMahon,

    1. If I had $100 and offered it to someone who rejected, I have dealt in honesty and the rejection is on the one who rejected the offer. If I don't have $100 and offered it to someone who rejected it, I have not dealt honestly because I offered somehting I didn't have or intend to give. If Christ offers salvation based on His atonining blood to those who reject it and there is no sufficiency for them, God deals dishonestly.

    Cunningham acknowledges this difficulty and does not try to resolve it, speaking concerning God's "revealed will" as "the only rule" which "ought to be held to be the sufficient warrant for all that we do..." He acknowledges that "we are bound to believe that they [the free offer and the strict particularist view of the atonement] are consistent with each other, though we may not be able to perceive and develope this consistency..."

    The sufficient/efficient view of the atonement simply takes away the problem that Cunningham admits in his own system.

    2. If you do a Strong's search for sufficient/efficient, yes, it does not come up. But neither does the word Trinity. You know as well as any Reformed person that we develope vocabulary to describe and summarize Christian doctrines.

    3. Concerning pink unicorns... The bible is full of hypotheticals. If your system cannot deal with them, your system is the problem. The Scriptures never speak about pink unicorns, but speak about men rejecting salvation. If not sufficient, there is nothing to reject. Period.

    4. I'm not an advocate of hypothetical universalism or Amyraldianism. But, in part, these were developed because of your speculative particularist view of the atonement. Both are a result of the pendulum swinging too far in either direction.
  15. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    It has to be because of 2 things Scriptures teaches us 1) God is infinite, infinitely angry at sin and all my sins are infinitely heinous against him. 2) The Divine Son is infinite, and all his work in the Covenant of Redemption is infinite for the elect. His death is of incomprehensible worth.
  16. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    That's the very argument (the first part of it) that the Remonstrants had at Dordt.

    Where did this efficient / sufficient language come from?

    The article in their remonstrance against the Synod of Dordt is this: “The price of redemption which Christ offered up to his Father was not only in itself and by itself sufficient for the redemption of the whole human race." (Acta Synodi Nationals . . . Dordrechti [1619-20], 1:129) and see Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology (Vol. 2), on Christ's mediation.
    This was the first half of the Arminian argument.

    I'd ask, first, to understand this, what is your intention in this - to give everyone $100 or just a few people, or one person? If your intention relies on your magical ability to draw people to you to give them $100, then only those who you magically draw to you (in your illustration) get the $100. That does not make the offer invalid to everyone. It just means your intention in the offer is limited to the few whom you draw. (i.e. the myriad statements in John's Gospel alone that deal with drawing, and seeing, and electing, etc.)

    Not remotely the same thing. There is no wiggle room on the fundamental doctrine of the Trinity. We can prove this from Scripture quite easily, and we would both agree on that doctrine because its clear, direct and through the Bible. The other has nothing to prove God's intention that he had any inkling towards "all men" in that way. (i.e. we don't do Arminianism or Amyraldianism).

    You've misconstrued, then, God's intention, (now its includes hypothetical salvation) and the doctrine of reprobation, as well as God's decree. Decrees won't be decrees in this way.
    What is God's intention in the Covenant of Redemption? Is it not to save the elect, Period? :hunter:

    I didn't say you were, nor would I imply it.

    I am saying that Scripture's view of God's Covenant (either way one takes the CoR or CoG) is never hypothetical. It's always specific with decreed intentions.

    So when we use Arminian/Amyraldian language, pink unicorns and aliens from planet Zeno are equally in.
  17. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    This is wonderful and makes so much sense! You're right in that I've never seen a Scripture which states that Christ's atonement was sufficient for everyone. I guess people have believed this because they needed to express his infinite sufficiency of his atonement. But you have just expressed the accuracy of where that sufficiency lies and why it needed to be infinite sufficiency. Thank you for this! Do know if Calvin believed this?
  18. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    It is quite wonderful, and yes, it remains in the sense of the intention of God in saving the elect the Scriptures.

    On Calvin, keep in mind, everyone wants Calvin on their side. They really try to squeeze things out of him as much as they can.

    Calvin said he "allowed the use of the phrase" (which was a little different that what has been quoted in this thread) by others but didn't himself expound on it at any length. Generally one finds him dealing with others who are saying it, and generally in his commentaries. One of the authorities on Calvin's view of the atonement is Dr. Roger Nicole (a mentor of mine in the 90s), who wrote extensively on this topic, and on Amyraldianism. He said, "Calvin makes it quite plain that he views repentance and faith and all other recreative benefits of salvation to have been merited for the elect by Christ. What Christ has accomplished on the cross is not so much to secure the salvability of all humans, as actually to accomplish the salvation of those whom he does redeem." See this article for a full and fair dealing by Dr. Nicole.
  19. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    I only ask because when I read what you wrote to my mom, first she didn't clearly understand it and then quickly stated, "How can one man be right and all of our forefathers like Calvin be wrong?" I reminded her that man is fallible even Calvin, but I didn't know what Calvin taught about this to tell her.
  20. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Calvin does not use that phrase in the Institutes, which, in his own words, is his final authority on what he thought and wrote. See his section in the Institutes 2:16:1-19. He just speaks in concrete terms as to what Christ did in his atonement.

    And he says concrete things like this throughout the Institutes: "There is great force in this word propitiation; for in a manner which cannot be expressed, God, at the very time when he loved us, was hostile to us until reconciled in Christ. To this effect are all the following passages: “He is the propitiation for our sins;” Calvin, J., & Beveridge, H. (1845). Institutes of the Christian religion (Vol. 2, p. 76). Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society.

    You just have to take, overall, how Calvin speaks about the indiscriminate call to repent (which is not hypothetical, just indiscriminate), and the intention of God to save only those for whom Christ died and election has chosen.

    (BTW - this is a lot of what The Two Wills of God was about that I wrote at length, and in an easy version.)
  21. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    As Matthew observes above, intention is what is operative here. The offer goes out to all sinners as sinners (sinners qua sinners). You are importing volition will of God into your statement, that there is some desire on God's part to save "all" men. Any "universal desire" theory makes God's offer to be less than genuine. By extending the desire of God to save to "all men" it makes makes that desire ineffectual and casts doubt on the promise of God to save those who believe.

    God has not purposed salvation for all men. God has no unfulfilled desires, He will accomplish all that He wills to do (Job 23:13).
  22. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior


    There are many scriptures which talk about Christ dying for all. Reformed folk often qualify all to mean "all of the elect." Problem is, the scriptures never say that there is anyone for whom Christ did not die.

    Consider 1 John 2:2. Look up John's usage of "whole world," particularly in his later books and ask yourself, "is 1 John 2:2 the anomaly?"

    Read Calvin's commentary on Romans 5:18.

    Hope this helps...
  23. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    So you believe that John is speaking of the whole human race in this Scripture? If this Scripture were the whole of the Bible, then I would agree with you. However, I believe less clear Scripture should be interpreted by clearer Scripture. I would use Romans 9 to start off with to interpret 1 John 2:2
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  24. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    Their is no disagreement between 1 John 2:2 and Romans 9. If you read Romans 9 in the context of Romans, there is not any issue with what John says...
  25. Joshua

    Joshua Administrator Staff Member

    She didn't claim that there was disagreement between 1 John 2.2 and Romans 9. She agrees that those passages agree. She is asserting that there is disagreement with your interpretation of 1 John 2.2. She is arguing for a proper hermeneutic guided by the Analogy of Scripture.

    The interpretation (by some godly men, no doubt) that God has sincerely offered (in a one to one, even God-to-reprobate sense) salvation to those Whom He has decreed not to save, instead of that general offer to penitent sinners who come to Him by faith in Christ alone, sets God against Himself and makes Him unsure in His doings. This is illogic by its very definition. Contradictory. And interpreting Scripture in such a way that paints this picture of God is very poor hermeneutic.

    1 John 2.2, for example, very clearly -in light of all the passages that speak to the subject- can mean:

    1. "Not for [Jew's sins] only,"
    2. "Not for [the elect in this time period] only, but for all the elect from the begging to the end of time."

    It is out of according with God's impassibility and eternal satisfaction with His own decree to understand such passages in a way that posits God of "desiring" one thing which is incommensurate with that which He has "decreed."
  26. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm still trying to figure out where planet Zeno is. . .
  27. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    It is a huge planet with a large, powerful spacegoing navy which is inhabited by humanoids. It is in the Milky Way.

    I've never visited there. ;)
  28. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    Dear AMR,

    I hope you know that I have deep respect for you. I love reading your posts and have learned a lot from you sharing your knowledge. But in this issue I respectfully disagree.

    Of course, it is difficult to separate the WMO from the discussion. I will try to keep it separate. :)

    I believe that you have an underlying presupposition in your statement above that needs to be addressed. You've limited "intention" to the efficacious salvation of the elect. Dabney addresses this issue well when he notes that "we see, that, along with the actual redemption of the elect, [Christ's death] works out several other subordinate ends."

    Dabney further repudiates the false dilemma that you set up:

    "We have no occasion for such questionable, and even perilous exegesis, as even Calvin and Turrettin feel themselves constrained to apply to the last. Afraid lest God’s principle of compassion (not purpose of rescue), towards sinners non-elect, should find any expression, and thus mar the symmetry of their logic, they say that it was not Messiah the God-man and Mediator, who wept over reprobate Jerusalem; but only the humanity of Jesus, our pattern. I ask: Is it competent to a mere humanity to say: “How often would I have gathered your children ?” And to pronounce a final doom, “Your house is left unto you desolate?” The Calvinist should have paused, when he found himself wresting these Scriptures from the same point of view adopted by the ultra-Arminian. But this is not the first time we have seen “extremes meet.” Thus argues the Arminian: “Since God is sovereign and omnipotent, if He has a propension, He indulges it, of course, in volition and action. Therefore, as He declares He had a propension of pity towards contumacious Israel, I conclude that He also had a volition to redeem them, and that He did whatever omnipotence could do, against the obstinate contingency of their wills. Here then, I find the bulwark of my doctrine, that even omnipotence cannot certainly determine a free will.” And thus argues the ultra-Calvinist: ” Since God is sovereign and omnipotent, if He has any propension, He indulges it, of course, in volition and action. But if He had willed to convert reprobate Israel, He would infallibly have succeeded. Therefore He never had any propension of pity at all towards them.” And so this reasoner sets himself to explain away, by unscrupulous exegesis, the most precious revelations of God’s nature! Should not this fact, that two opposite conclusions are thus drawn from the same premises, have suggested error in the premises? And the error of both extremists is just here. It is not true that if God has an active principle looking towards a given object, He will always express it in volition and action. This, as I have shown, is no more true of God, than of a righteous and wise man. And as the good man, who was touched with a case of destitution, and yet determined that it was his duty not to use the money he had in giving alms, might consistently express what he truly felt of pity, by a kind word; so God consistently reveals the principle of compassion as to those whom, for wise reasons, He is determined not to save. We know that God’s omnipotence surely accomplishes every purpose of His grace. Hence, we know that He did not purposely design Christ’s sacrifice to effect the redemption of any others than the elect. But we hold it perfectly consistent with this truth, that the expiation of Christ for sin–expiation of infinite value and universal fitness–should be held forth to the whole world, elect and non-elect, as a manifestation of the benevolence of God’s nature. God here exhibits a provision, which is so related to the sin of the race, that by it, all those obstacles to every sinner’s return to his love, which his guilt and the law presents, are ready to be taken out of the way."

    In agreement with Dabney, you seem to make the same mistake in logic that the Arminian makes, albeit on the other side of the argument. Reducing God's plan in Christ's death to only the salvation of the elect is short-sighted. It certainly accomplishes that, but it also paves the way for the indiscriminate offer of salvation, and, I would argue along with Witsius, Turretin, Cunningham, Hodge and many others that Christ's death is that which preserves all of creation.

    Lastly, your arguments imply that any "unfulfilled desire" in God is anthropomorphic, yet exclude anthropomorphism from understanding His decretive will. In doing this, you seek to understand God's will through creaturely limitations and effectively pick and choose which manifestations about God's nature and will are actually descriptive of Himself.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  29. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    Correct me if I'm wrong, Sarah, but weren't you saying what seems to be the case in 1 John 2:2 is not when you read it in conjunction with Roman's 9.

    Concerning arguing "for a proper hermeneutic," this hermeneutic funnels Christ's death through God's decree concerning election. If our hermeneutic is not anthrocentric and we do not make Christ's death only about the efficacious salvation of the elect but rather look at the bigger picture and multiple purposes God ordains through Christ's death as revealed in His Word, there is no issue.

    Please see my previous post where I quoted Dabney.
  30. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    God speaks of the "whole human race" in terms of the sufficiency and "suitableness" of the sacrifice. Heidelberg 37:

    If there is any question what was meant in the statement, read Ursinus's commentary on the Heidelberg (I think he addresses the point in question under Q&A 40). I'd be happy to provide the text if you'd like.

    The "double-jeapardy" argument often cited againt this does not account for the process of application of Christ's merits. In short, God in Christ makes the sacrifice of universal fitness for (in sufficiency) the "entire human race." It is applied (efficacious) to those who believe and belief is given by God to all of the elect. It's a very simple doctrine that doesn't have to funnel Scripture, and it is thoroughly Reformed.
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