Jesus Died For All
Limited Atonement argues that Jesus died ONLY for the elect, not for all. While I believe
the effect of His Atonement work is limited to the elect, I also believe that He died for
all, not just the elect. It is clear the effect of the atonement is limited in that not
all go to Heaven. Scipture is very clear that Heaven is attainable in Jesus Christ alone (Matthew 7:13-14, through Him in John 3:17, John 6:29, John 14:6, Romans 10:9, 1 Timothy 2:5, and others).
I used to argue from verses in Hebrews that Jesus died for all people, but while the theology
is correct, the use of that verse was errant. Let's take a look.
Hebrews 10:10, NIV: "And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of
Jesus Christ once for all."
In Greek: http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~fisher/tmpdir/gnt/191010.gif
en o thelemati egiasmenoi esmen dia tes prosphoras tou somatos Iesou Christou ephapax
10en o thelemati egiasmenoi esmen dia tes prosphoras tou somatos tou
iesou christou ephapax
εν ω θεληματι ηγιασμενοι εσμεν της προσφορας του σωματος ’Ιησου Χριστου εφαπαξ
TRANSLATION from http://biblos.com/hebrews/10-10.htm:
en = By
o = this
thelemati = will
egiasmenoi = sanctified
esmen = we are
dia = through
prosphoras = offering
tou = the
somatos = body
Iesou = of Jesus
Christou = Christ
ephapa = epi + hapax = above + once, over + once, upon/on + once, time + once = once above, once over, once upon/on time.
Therefore, this can imply for all people, but is more so related to once for all time - that it is finished and permanent.
However, arguments can be made for once for all people with these verses:
1 John 2:2 (holos kosmos = whole world)
2 Corinthians 5:15 (panton = all/every and the Greek can imply men)
1 Timothy 2:4-6 (v.4 pantas - used like above + anthropous = all men; panton - used like above in v.6)
1 Timothy 4:10 (panton anthropon = all men)
2 Peter 3:9 (pantas - same word for all used in above verses)
John 3:16 (kosmon - world)
So, while I cannot use Hebrews 10:10 to argue that Jesus died for all people, the list of verses
above are clear that He did die for the whole world, for all men. His atonement is not limited, but
the effect of His atonement is limited in that no one comes to the father except by Him (see John 14:6).
Refer to the chart below:
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