Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Did Christ Die For?

John Owen was a brilliant Puritan theologian. Tragically, he and his wife had 11 children. Ten died in infancy and one daughter lived to adulthood. She was unhappily married, returned home and died shortly thereafter of consumption. (Tuberculosis).

John Owen presented this theological dilemma for which I am looking for a good Arminian answer: "Christ underwent punishment for either:

1. All the sins of all men - If this were true what of all the people in hell? If Christ died for all the sins of all men then no man would be accountable for his sin and no man would be deserving of hell because the penalty for his sin had been paid for. Would Christ pay for the sins of those he knew would never repent? Would he pay if he knew his payment would be ineffectual? Why are not all men free from the punishment of their sin if Christ did die and purchased their freedom? Christ died for no one's sins in vain!

2. All the sins of some men - If this be true then Christ did die for all the sins only of those he did know would repent and submit in obedience to him.

3. Some of the sins of all men - If this is true then all men have some sins to answer for and none can be saved.

Christ accomplished what he set out to do. Not a single person for whom he died has experienced eternal death. If this is not true then his sacrifice is at least partially ineffectual and this would compromise the very character of Christ's perfection.

Christ declared that some are saved because of their unbelief. If Christ died for the sins of all people then why would this particular sin of unbelief prevent them from salvation? Yet, if they are prevented by their sin of unbelief Christ must not have died for the sins of all people?

John 5:24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

Death to a Christian differs from the death of a non-Christian. A Christian's death is the candle being snuffed out at the dawning of an eternal day. A non-Christian's death is the continuation of eternal darkness.

Jack O’dell, “Salvation is moving from living death to deathless life.”

Christ declares that the penalty of sin is death. If, by his death, he paid the penalty for sin then a second penalty imposed would be double jeopardy. It would be unrighteous and injust for God to demand another payment after payment had already been received. Therefore, Christ would not have died and paid for everyone's sins, rather, he died only for those for whom his death was effectual. He died for those he knew would repent and submit to him.

It sounds pretty Calvinist but it also sounds pretty reasonable and logical.www.nazareneblogs.org/ kpprobst

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