Ted said:
In the 2Corinthians 5 verses, the Apostle is 'splainin' 'bout Christ's love for "all," having died (on the cross) for "all" "on their behalf." Now, you and I, bein' Calvinists, KNOW that the Apostle weren't talkin' 'bout some weak-kneed "offer" to all. And we know that the Apostle wasn't talkin' 'bout Jesus savin' EVERYONE, so . . . . . the Apostle MUST be talkin' about something -- in a general way -- that's come to "all" as a result of Christ's death on the cross. "Common grace," as you most graciously agreed with my earlier post!
I don't think so, Ted! grin To iterate my position, I do NOT think that it is proper to speak of Christ dying for all, due to the fact that in most every instance where the word for is used in the context of redemption, specifically in reference to the atonement, it has the connotation of "in behalf of", i.e., substitution. Scripture simply won't allow me to speak, therefore, of Christ's death having been for (in behalf of) all, i.e., in any way. Yes, there are residual benefits that flow from those who are recipients of that atonement, but there are none that come directly from it to the non-elect, IMHO. I think Ron made this point also.

Okay.... now on to the text of 2Cor 5:15:

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (ASV) "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died; and he died for all, that they that live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again."

First, the context of this passage is rightly seen in its overall context which is that Paul is not speaking of a relationship of Christ to all men but of Christ's relationship to His Church. Secondly, I would establish that the death of Christ, as described here, is undeniably one of "substitution" and not one merely of which expresses the love of God or any other such notion. The result of "one died" is that "all died"; because "A", therefore "B". There is a direct relationship between Christ's death and the "all died". Can it be said that those "all" (all without exception) for whom Christ died also died? Thirdly, there is also included a purpose in Christ's death which is that those for whom He died should no longer live unto themselves but unto Him. So likewise, can it be said that those for whom Christ died (all without exception) no longer live unto themselves but unto Him?

If one wishes to submit that the "all" used in this passage is indeed referring to every man, woman and child without exception, then one is forced to embrace Universalism; all men inclusively are saved. On the other hand, if one wishes to make the "for" to mean something other than substitutionary, then one is forced to embrace some form of synergism. In this case, Christ's death didn't actually secure anything other than the possibility of one being saved if they will do xxxxx.

Conclusion, the "all" in this passage is referring to the elect of God; the believers or those who will come to faith, in Christ. The atonement of Christ is not being dealt with in some general terms, but specifically with the end result that it brought about the death of all those for whom it was intended (efficient) and a new life which is focused upon living for the LORD Jesus Christ and not as it was beforehand; self-centered.

In His Grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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