Summary: A question was asked, “Did Christ die for the sins of all people, or just certain ones?” Christ died for everyone in the world for all of time, but this salvation is only valuable or of benefit to those who believe. That is one of the wonders of redempti
We are continuing our examination and discovery of what the Word of God teaches concerning our redemption. We saw in the last lesson, that even the prophets who penned the teachings of the Old Testament inquired and searched diligently trying to acquire all the details of God’s redemptive program. However, theirs was an incomplete revelation of God’s redemption. They were content with the information given by God and God’s revelation instructed them that there was more to come.
As with the prophets of old, we too will never exhaust the truths presented in the Word of God. However, we are to "live what we know", and continue to grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ.
It is important what you
about redemption, because what you
about redemption will control what you
and what you
will dictate how you
By the way, if you have questions about the subject material in one of the lessons, please ask. I prefer the questions in writing. In that way, I can give more careful preparation before answering them. Some of the questions, I will answer personally, others I will weave into the lessons themselves.
There is no way, in a presentation of such a vast subject, that we can clearly present this information without leaving some questions hanging. There are many reasons why this happens. It is with great personal agony that I give you the first two reasons. I hope you won’t take them to heart, and will quickly have a memory lapse, so I can maintain my status of perfection (ha!).
Some of the reasons why questions linger…
1. I don’t know all the answers.
2. I may not (perish thought) present the information clearly.
3. In a presentation, I may understand what I am saying, but others may not.
4. We cannot cover such a vast subject in any one lesson.
5. In presenting this information, we must touch on other Biblical subjects, but do not expound them, because they are not the object of that lesson.
6. You (on VERY rare occasions) may not be tuned in to the presentation.
7. You may have seen or heard some outside material that brought confusion.
Just such a question was brought to my attention this week, and this would be a good time to touch on it. The question was, "Did Christ die for the sins of all people, or just certain ones?"
The question arose because someone wrote that Christ died only for the sins of those who would be saved. The writer referred to these as the elect of God. This concept is often referred to as "Limited Atonement". As strange as it may seem, this writer used John 3:16 as the text to prove such a statement, supporting limited atonement.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
This particular writer said that the "whoever" did not apply to all people, but only the ones who were chosen to be saved. This writer said that the whoever or whosoever in John 3:16 should read "every one who".
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever [every one who] believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
If left as printed, that would not be a real bad translation. But the author, who spurred the question, indicated that it should not be "whoever", because it would indicate that anyone and everyone COULD believe in Christ, if they so desired.
However, this author held that it should be "every one who", because Christ did not die for the sins of the whole world, but just for the sin of those chosen, therefore they were the only ones who would believe.
To fully answer such a presentation and the questions that it generates would take many lessons. Let me first answer the question as to proper translation, then we will move on to a few of passages that will put to rest the thought that Christ died for a select few, instead of all the world.
Whosoever = (Greek) All, any, every, the whole.
The Greek word translated here "whoever or whosoever" is a very simple straight forward word in the Greek and looks like "pas". The Greek word for whosoever ALWAYS means the same, UNLESS the passage clearly specifies that it is referring to a particular group. Then, it would mean all in that particular group. No such specification is made here or in other references to salvation.
Look at six of 1050 uses of this Greek word in the New Testament. In the first two, there is a particular group specified.