Which is pretty much as the Op stated it was here.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.
No, that's not what I was saying. I was saying that I would interpret 1 John 2:2 ( the less clear Scripture) by using Romans 9 (the clearer Scripture).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.
Thanks for clarifying. I'm still having trouble understanding how Romans 9 helps you interpret 1 John 2:2, since Romans 9 deals with God's decree, not Christ's death particularly and the offer of the gospel. Consider Rom. 10:21 in light of this conversation.No, that's not what I was saying. I was saying that I would interpret 1 John 2:2 ( the less clear Scripture) by using Romans 9 (the clearer Scripture).
Ah, I see the connection you're making. You're saying that Rom. 9 explains that some were prepared for destruction, so propitiation cannot be referring to them. Since it cannot refer to them, John's usage of the word cannot refer to everyone. Is this a fair summary of your point?Roman 9:19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
"Christ is "the propitiation," because by his becoming our substitute and assuming our obligations he expiated our guilt, covered it, by the vicarious punishment which he endured." This is the gospel of 1 John 2:2. Romans 9 clarifies who the "whole world" is. In the OT, God had a chosen people from a specific nation. Now in the NT, (John needed to clarify that it wasn't just the nation of Israel anymore) God has a chosen people from all nations. All nations is the whole world, but he has a specific group of people within all nations. This is what Romans 9 clarifies.
All things, then, in this way, would include the Devil and all the demonic fallen angels then, so that has to be explained and reconciled in that line of thought.If "all things" are clearly all created things, what was reconciled to God through Christ's blood? All of creation (including man) is reconciled to God in a sense.
Luke 8:31-32:All things, then, in this way, would include the Devil and all the demonic fallen angels then, so that has to be explained and reconciled in that line of thought.
"In a sense" is vague and I don't know what that means.
Scripture is concrete. Either reconciled, or not.
(This is just an observation.)
I've been careful to speak of the sense of this mercy. In the sense that Christ permitted demons to enter swine rather than the abyss, yes, He was merciful to them. What do you prefer to call it?Just so I'm clear, God shows mercy to demons. "God shows temporal mercy to all of creation through Christ's death. In this sense, He sets aside the full extent of His wrath."
Is it worse or better for those demons in lieu of God's judgment to go into the swine or not?
How does one deal with that?
Your arguments are backwards. You are looking at the end result and interpreting what God does in time through the end result. God does all things for His glory. He is glorified in demonstrating His kindness to all of creation. He is glorified in preserving this creation for the sake of the elect.What is God's intention in the postponement?
Yeeeeaaaaahhbhhhh. Ok. That's what we Christians called "God's decrees."Your arguments are backwards. You are looking at the end result and interpreting what God does in time through the end result. God does all things for His glory. He is glorified in demonstrating His kindness to all of creation. He is glorified in preserving this creation for the sake of the elect.
Tim,Ah, I see the connection you're making. You're saying that Rom. 9 explains that some were prepared for destruction, so propitiation cannot be referring to them. Since it cannot refer to them, John's usage of the word cannot refer to everyone. Is this a fair summary of your point?
Some things to consider.
1. It says that Christ is the propitiation (appeasing God's wrath), not that He has turned away His wrath from everyone. Christ is the propitiation that is offered for mankind in the gospel. God's wrath is not turned away from anyone (even the elect) until they believe. Again, sufficiency does not equal application. Therefore, it is no contradiction to say that He is the propitiation for all of mankind, yet many are still under the wrath of God.
2. But in another sense, to receive providential benefits from God is to not be under His wrath in the full sense of the word. For example, we know that the "living God" is "the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe" (1 Tim. 4:10b). Is He the savior of those in hell? I don't think so. Providential blessings are extended to unbelievers only in this life. So even though they are in many ways under God's wrath even now, in another sense, they are being saved (preserved) by God in His present kindness. I've quoted Col. 1:15-20 below verbatim with some comments in brackets:
"15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. [It's clear that the context defines all things as all created things, including the invisible.] 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist [God upholds all of his creation as our confessions state]. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. [The church is included so that there is no question in our minds concerning His authority.] 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross."
If "all things" are clearly all created things, what was reconciled to God through Christ's blood? All of creation (including man) is reconciled to God in a sense. This sense has to do only with temporal salvation-- the preservation we may call general providence.
If God is going to extend mercy, it cannot be at the expense of justice. We all maintain this doctrine in the eternal salvation of the elect, but often neglect it when we consider all mercy extended by God.
So in the sense of the creation's reconciliation to God in Col. 1, to be reconciled is to have God's wrath appeased. Again, this is not to say that His wrath is appeased in the fullest sense of the word, or that God is propitiated and has no reason to be angry with man at all. I'm only trying to demonstrate a fuller picture of these doctrines in Scripture.
In my view, 1 John 2:2 is most likely referring primarily to the first point above-- that God is the propitiation offered in the gospel indiscriminately, which flows out of the sufficiency of the atonement. But I certainly would leave room for understanding how God's wrath is appeased concerning all of creation because of the peace brought about by the blood of Christ.
He gets into much more detail in his book Reprobation Asserted than what you see in this quote:I recently read a book by Bunyan that I thought was pretty good. It was on the intercession of Christ.
But, in light of this thread, I have a question regarding a quote from the book. Was Bunyan wrong to write what he wrote here, and did he have Amyraldian leanings?
"The duration of Christ's intercession, as it is grounded upon a covenant betwixt God and him, upon an oath also, and upon his life; so it is grounded upon the validity of his merits. This has been promiscuously touched before, but since it is an essential to the lastingness of his intercession, it will be to the purpose to lay it down by itself.
Intercession then, I mean Christ's intercession, is, that those for whom he died with full intention to save them, might be brought into that inheritance which he hath purchased for them. Now then, his intercession must, as to length and breadth, reach no further than his merits. For he may not pray for those for whom he died not. Indeed if we take in the utmost extent of his death, then we must beware. For his death is sufficient to save the whole world; but his intercessions are kept within a narrower compass. The altar of burnt-offerings was a great deal bigger than the altar of incense, which was a figure of Christ's intercession. But this, I say, his intercession is for those for whom he died, with full intention to save them: wherefore it must be grounded upon the validity of his sufferings. And indeed, his intercession is nothing else that I know of, but a presenting of what he did in the world for us unto God, and pressing the value of it for our salvation. The blood of sprinkling is that which speaketh meritoriously; it is by the value of that, that God measureth out, and giveth unto us grace and life eternal; wherefore Christ's intercessions also must be ordered and governed by merit. "By his own blood he entered into the holy place, having (before by it) obtained eternal redemption for us," for our souls.
And that you may see it yet the more for your comfort, God did at Christ's resurrection, to show what a price he set upon his blood, bid him ask of him the heathen, and he would give him the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. His blood then has value enough in it to ground intercession upon; yea, there is more worth in it than Christ will plead or improve for men by way of intercession. I do not at all doubt but there is virtue enough in the blood of Christ, would God Almighty so apply it, to save the souls of the whole world. But it is the blood of Christ, his own blood, and he may do what he will with his own. It is also the blood of God, and he also may restrain its merits, or apply it as he sees good. But the coming soul shall find and feel the virtue thereof, even the soul that comes to God by Christ; for he is the man concerned in its worth; and Christ ever liveth to make intercession for him.
Thanks. I appreciate your thoughts.
And smarter people than I am have affirmed what I'm saying, too. I'm not going to conclude that my confessions have sloppy wording because Dr. McMahon said so.Tim,
smarter people than I am have answered you so I won't carry on trying to explain my position. Parts of reformed theology can be hard to come to grips some times. But I would encourage you to be a searcher for the truth and not be satisfied with what you know. I had to do that with the Sabbath. When I first became reformed I thought everyone was wrong about the Sabbath, and I spent months trying to prove them wrong. I had what I thought were good arguments, but in the end, God changed my view.
Lane, another aspect of the WMO is that we are not able to discern who is Elect and who is not. I agree that there is a justice factor to consider in the uninhibited preaching of the Gospel, but there is also an effectual call going out to those who will believe. Only the Elect will believe, but the non-Elect will hear the imperative to repent and believe. For them, it will be an aroma of death. For the Elect, it will be their moment in time when they pass from death to life.The dilemma of the WMO becomes clear when we observe that if God knows the non-elect will never believe, and that it was not God's intention to save them, then how can it be "well-meant?" The key here, I believe, is in defining what "well-meant" means. Can God offer something to someone knowing that the person will reject it, and still have it be well-meant? The answer is yes. The key here is that when the non-elect reject the gospel, they will be to the praise of God's glorious justice, just as when the elect believe, they will be to the praise of God's glorious grace. This is the intent behind the WMO of the gospel to the non-elect.
Actually, I have not so limited "intention". When speaking of intention, we must speak of volition, the faculty of using one's will. Will here being the mind choosing.You've limited "intention" to the efficacious salvation of the elect.
This is uncharitable on so many levels and I am not going to respond to this point by point. Speaking now as Moderator, I would ask that you dial down this type of rhetoric you have demonstrated in this thread. It may play well to the hoi polloi, but I have a real problem with persons constructing straw men of my views by claiming I operate from the same presuppositions they do and therefore believe about my beliefs what they believe about my beliefs. This approach leaves no hope for honest discussion.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.
There are general blessings from God towards the lost due to the Cross, as he is not right now judging all sinners, has not sent Jesus back in the Second Coming , and the death and resurrection of Jesus also bought sinners resurrected eternal bodies.I think there is room for middle ground here, and I will make the attempt to find it. I believe that Matthew is correct when it comes to God's intention about the atonement as applied to the elect. The intent to save is completely limited to the elect. Jesus laid down His life for His sheep.
The WMO does not need to imply that, somehow, it was God's intention to save the non-elect. God knows that the non-elect will never believe it. Therefore God's intention behind the WMO has to be something other than salvific. We do know that the Gospel is to be preached indiscriminately. We also know that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18 and other places). So why is the gospel to be preached to the non-elect?
The dilemma of the WMO becomes clear when we observe that if God knows the non-elect will never believe, and that it was not God's intention to save them, then how can it be "well-meant?" The key here, I believe, is in defining what "well-meant" means. Can God offer something to someone knowing that the person will reject it, and still have it be well-meant? The answer is yes. The key here is that when the non-elect reject the gospel, they will be to the praise of God's glorious justice, just as when the elect believe, they will be to the praise of God's glorious grace. This is the intent behind the WMO of the gospel to the non-elect.
Is there a preservative function of the gospel that is also non-salvific? Perhaps. A case can be made. When Jesus commands His followers to be salt and light in the world, we know that the metaphor of salt as preservative is probably in the background there. God's people are surely to show the world what a difference the gospel makes.
Two other distinctions have an impact on this discussion, I believe. The first one is the difference between God's revealed will and God's decretive will. Which one can be broken or disobeyed? Obviously, only God's revealed will. God commands many things in His revealed will that are disobeyed. Similarly, when God is said to desire the salvation of all men (like in 1 Timothy), this can be said to be God's revealed will (different classes of humans are also in view, rather than a view of the whole human race without exception). God's decretive will cannot possibly have as its intention the salvation of all men, or else all would in fact be saved. For no one can thwart God's decretive will. This distinction is implied in Deuteronomy 29.
Another distinction that is helpful (and somewhat related to the previous distinction) is that of the difference between how God thinks of the situation and how humans can think of it. It seems to me that how Matthew has been describing the situation is more like how God views the situation, whereas how Tim has been formulating things is more on the human level. I am not saying both are correct. I would say that there could be some degree of talking past each other due to this factor.
I will try to ask more questions rather than put words in anyone's mouth. Please forgive me for this.This is uncharitable on so many levels and I am not going to respond to this point by point. Speaking now as Moderator, I would ask that you dial down this type of rhetoric you have demonstrated in this thread.
I agree. I would like to further what i believe God intends in a sufficient atonement. It'll get too complicated if both topics are combined, though the temptation is certainly there.Tim,
I think the whole WMO topic has been discussed at length previously on the site. I know it is difficult to speak of the sufficiency/efficiency related to the atonement without brushing up against WMO topics. But I have no desire to derail the thread into this specific topic. Feel free to respond if you are so provoked to do so, but I do not want to take up the topic once more in this thread.
To my limited understanding, the Death of Jesus was enough in and of itself to have God able to save all sinners, but he intends to save only those whom He called to be elect in Christ.I agree. I would like to further what i believe God intends in a sufficient atonement. It'll get too complicated if both topics are combined, though the temptation is certainly there.