For Whom Did Christ Die?
Robert E. Fugate, Ph.D.
The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:
- All the sins of all men;
- All the sins of some men; or
- Only some of the sins of all men.
In which case it may be said:
a. If Christ died for only some of the sins of all men (# 3 above), then all men have some sins to answer for, and so none are saved (Ps 130:3; Is 2:20–21).
b. If Christ died for all the sins of some men (# 2 above), then Christ, in their place, suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world (and this is the truth).
c. But if Christ died for all the sins of all men (# 1 above), then why are not all men free from the punishment do unto their sins (i.e., universal salvation)?
Your answer, Because of unbelief; they will not believe. I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not?
- If unbelief is not a sin, then why should they be punished for it?
- If unbelief is a sin, then either Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not:
- If Christ died for the sin of unbelief, then why must the sin of unbelief hinder them from receiving the benefits of Christ’s death more than their other sins for which He died?
- If Christ did not die for the sin of unbelief, then He did not die for all their sins!
Adapted from John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, pp. 61–62 (= The Works of John Owen, 10:173–174).
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