"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." (1 Tim. 1:15)
What kind of world did Jesus Christ come into? What world did He die for? Did He die just for the “world of the elect?” Some would probably say yes. I believe the Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ died for all. 1 John 2:2 reads: “And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” This does not mean that the whole world will be saved. Jesus died for everyone, but only those who repent and believe will be saved. He is the Savior of every man especially or particularly of those that believe (see 1 Tim. 4:10). Atonement is unlimited in scope but limited in application. Your thoughts please…comment moderation is turned off. All are welcome.
Calvinists argue over the definition of "whole world." To quote the Geneva Bible notes: "For men of all sorts, of all ages, and all places, so that this benefit being not to the Jews only, of whom he speaks as appears in <1Jo 2:7> but also to other nations." It is a theological interpretation, nothing that can be seen from the meaning of "whole world." They will also argue "logically" by saying that they limit the atonement in its scope, but we limit it in its power. In other words, if Jesus appeased God's wrath for all the sins of the whole world, then why aren't those people's sins actually taken care of? They are saying that we limit the power of God. They further say that we then make the salvation dependent upon man, because we are the ones that determine who gets the power of atonement or not. That makes us synergistic when they are monergistic. God gets all the glory with them, in other words.
My answer. I just take the passage at face value. Instead of redefining "world," I take it at its plain meaning. It says whole world. That is a lot of power. We are not able to partake of the benefits unless we believe. Doesn't that seem simple? Does God get all the glory? Yes. It's not by works. Faith isn't a work. Faith comes from God's Word, so God still gets all the credit.
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