Summary: This message examines the Apostle Paul’s use of the word "our."
The Apostle Paul’s Use of the Plural Possessive Pronoun OUR
Arminian Bible commentators teach that the plural possessive pronoun "our" is used in I Corinthians 15:3 in a universal, general, unlimited, unrestricted sense. They paraphrase the middle part of this verse in the following manner:
. . . Christ died for the sins of all human beings . . .
or . . . Christ died for sinners . . .
Here are some examples of Arminian Bible commentators who interpret the middle portion of this verse in this way:
“For men to be saved, they must receive by faith the Christ of the gospel message--the one who died for their sins according to the scriptures, was buried, and who rose again according to the scriptures (I Cor. 15:1-4)” (Robert Gromacki, _Salvation Is Forever_, p. 18).
“And what is the faith of the Gospel, the Gospel by which we are saved, that is, the essential doctrines that are involved in the saving Gospel? We are told what they are in I Corinthians 15:3,4 . . . Note that these essential doctrines are . . . that Christ died for sinners. That means that men are sinful, a fallen race, and that Christ died a substitutionary, atoning death . . . Also that Christ rose bodily from the dead and that proved His deity” (John R. Rice, _Dr. Rice, Here Are More Questions . . . _, p. 149).
“Have you heard the Gospel? The real Gospel, that is? Not a gospel of man’s imagination or of some religious institution, but the Gospel according to the Bible! Have you ever heard it? Has anyone ever explained it to you?
“The word gospel means “good news.” It is the good news message ‘that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures’ (I Corinthians 15:3,4) . . .
“ . . . Thank God for the good news! Christ died for our sins. You see, God hates your wickedness but He loves you! He cannot (and will not) overlook or excuse even one of your sins, yet He desires to save you from Hell and bring you into a personal relationship with Himself . . .
“ . . . As Jesus hung upon the cross almost 2,000 years ago, God the Father literally ‘made him to be sin for us’ (II Corinthians 5:21). Yes, Jesus took your place. He paid your debt--IN FULL!” ("The Gospel," Bible Baptist Church Publications, 1701 Harns Road, Oak Harbor, WA 98277).
The Apostle Paul uses the plural possessive pronoun "our" in 182 New Testament verses. Never, ever does he use this word in a universal, general, unlimited, unrestricted sense. Never, ever does he use this word to refer to all human beings in general, either actually or potentially. Always and without exception he uses this word in a particular, specific, limited, restricted sense. Always and without exception he uses this word to refer to some human beings in particular. He does the same thing in I Corinthians 15:3. Never, ever does the Apostle Paul say one thing and mean another. Never, ever does he practice such dishonesty and deceit.
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.