I have been having a conversation that I think is worth noting. It is from my irishanglican who is a friendly antagonist of mine. We were discussing Calvinism point of view that only a select are chosen to be saved. I will give his address to me first then my reply. I would like to know if you think there is more evidence for my friends position or for mine and why?
This is from the blog New Creation Person
God has as He said: “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.” (Rom. 11: 32) So God does see all men as “sinful” both Jew and Gentile, but His mercy is only shown to “all” those whom He alone has chosen for Himself (note Acts 13: 48). Only those “appointed to eternal life believed.” This is what we call in theology as Sub/Post or Infralapsarian, God chooses to save an “election of grace”, after the Fall of man. For not “all” men are going to be saved! And only those are “saved” that are chosen and “elect” by God, from both Jews and Gentiles…”there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.” (Rom. 11:5, note verse 6 also in this context & argument!)
This was my response,
Thank you for the reply and not a quote. It means a lot to me.
I whole heartedly agree with you that we are bound to disobedience, sinful nature if you will, so we can be shown God’s mercy. Again scripture shows us the desire of God’s heart towards us in that we can participate in His incomparable riches of His grace for His good pleasure alone.
(Eph 2:6-7 NIV) And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
So I say, amen brother.
I agree again, whole heartedly that not all men will be saved. In fact many on the narrow path will not be saved. Those who remain on the wide path are doomed already, but many on the narrow path are doomed to0. It is not good enough to be on the path, we have to enter the narrow door.
(Luke 13:24 NIV) “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.
It is the blanket of grace that we don’t see eye to eye on. Is it a blanket that covers all mankind or is it only a few that it covers? Another way to ask it, is the blanket determined only by those who cover themselves or is it what it is, no matter who does or doesn’t cover themselves with His grace?
Your first verse quoted says that God has handed us all over to disobedience so that He may show mercy. This we agree on. But is it to all or only those who, through free will or not, receive it. Your Bible and mine says that He may show mercy to all.
God has done as He said: “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.” (Rom. 11: 32)
We know that all are bound to sin no matter who we are and were and when we lived. I think we agree this is universal to all mankind. So how are we to assume that God wanting to show mercy to the same “all” in the same sentence is anything but a universal concept?
I know you know or know somebody that knows Greek. Is the word “all” as in disobedience the same Greek word for ‘all” as in God showing us mercy? Or is the better translation from the Greek to be the word elect, chosen, remnant?
This is why I advocate what is in plain language. All means “all” which does not contradict God reconciling the world (all) to Himself.
(Col 1:19-20 NIV) For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
The scripture you used is consistent with another verse that speaks of the universality of sin through one man Adam. It also speaks of the justification to “all men” through the new Adam who is Christ. Two universalities in one concept and one sentence. Or is something hidden in the Greek?
(Rom 5:18 NIV) Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.
We have the confirmation that God justifies all men and brings life to all men again when scripture says, in plain language, that God through Christ reconciled the world to Himself, not counting men’s sins against them.
(2 Cor 5:19 NIV) that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
This is why I believe Christ is the savior of the world, that He died for the sins of the world, that He took upon Himself the sins of the entire world.
To me the question isn’t the blanket of His grace for plain language says it is for all men. What needs to be understood is God’s election.
What do you think, is there an example we have in scripture of God’s election?
(Rom 9:4-5 NIV) the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
As an honest question to you, what example do they serve to us in election, since we are grafted into them and not they into us?
Thanks for the great conversation.
So what do you think? Did Jesus die for the sins of all men or only a few? No matter how I look at it I see that He died for all mankind.