Is 1 John 2:2 Really a defence of Universal Atonement?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by jne1611, Sep 25, 2006.

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  1. jne1611

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    The following is an exposition of 1John 2:2 Set forth by A. W. Pink.
    There is one passage more than any other which is appealed to by those who believe in universal redemption, and which at first sight appears to teach that Christ died for the whole human race. We have therefore decided to give it a detailed examination and exposition.
    "And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2).
    This is the passage which, apparently, most favors the Arminian view of the Atonement, yet if it be considered attentively it will be seen that it does so only in appearance, and not in reality. Below we offer a number of conclusive proofs to show that this verse does not teach that Christ has propitiated God on behalf of all the sins of all men.
    In the first place, the fact that this verse opens with "and" necessarily links it with what has gone before. We, therefore, give a literal word for word translation of 1 John 2:1 from Bagster’s Interlinear: "Little children my, these things I write to you, that ye may not sin; and if any one should sin, a Paraclete we have with the Father, Jesus Christ (the) righteous". It will thus be seen that the apostle John is here writing to and about the saints of God. His immediate purpose was two-fold: first, to communicate a message that would keep God’s children from sinning; second, to supply comfort and assurance to those who might sin, and, in consequence, be cast down and fearful that the issue would prove fatal. He, therefore, makes known to them the provision which God has made for just such an emergency. This we find at the end of verse 1 and throughout verse 2. The ground of comfort is twofold: let the downcast and repentant believer (1 John 1:9) be assured that, first, he has an "Advocate with the Father"; second, that this Advocate is "the propitiation for our sins". Now believers only may take comfort from this, for they alone have an "Advocate", for them alone is Christ the propitiation, as is proven by linking the Propitiation ("and") with "the Advocate"!
    In the second place, if other passages in the New Testament which speak of "propitiation," be compared with 1 John 2:2, it will be found that it is strictly limited in its scope. For example, in Romans 3:25 we read that God set forth Christ "a propitiation through faith in His blood". If Christ is a propitiation "through faith", then He is not a "propitiation" to those who have no faith! Again, in Hebrews 2:17 we read, "To make propitiation for the sins of the people" (Hebrews 2:17, R. V.). In the third place, who are meant when John says, "He is the propitiation for our sins"? We answer, Jewish believers. And a part of the proof on which we base this assertion we now submit to the careful attention of the reader.
    In Galatians 2:9 we are told that John, together with James and Cephas, were apostles "unto the circumcision" (i.e. Israel). In keeping with this, the Epistle of James is addressed to "the twelve tribes, which are scattered abroad" (1:1). So, the first Epistle of Peter is addressed to "the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion" (1 Peter 1:1, R.V.).
     
  2. jne1611

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    And John also is writing to saved Israelites, but for saved Jews and saved Gentiles.
    Some of the evidences that John is writing to saved Jews are as follows.
    (a) In the opening verse he says of Christ, "Which we have seen with our eyes.... and our hands have handled". How impossible it would have been for the Apostle Paul to have commenced any of his epistles to Gentile saints with such language!
    (b) "Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning" (1 John 2:7). The "beginning" here referred to is the beginning of the public manifestation of Christ—in proof compare 1:1; 2:13, etc. Now these believers the apostle tells us, had the "old commandment" from the beginning. This was true of Jewish believers, but it was not true of Gentile believers.
    (c) "I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him from the beginning" (2:13). Here, again, it is evident that it is Jewish believers that are in view.
    (d) "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us" (2:18, 19).
    These brethren to whom John wrote had "heard" from Christ Himself that Antichrist should come (see Matthew 24). The "many antichrists" whom John declares "went out from us" were all Jews, for during the first century none but a Jew posed as the Messiah. Therefore, when John says "He is the propitiation for our sins" he can only mean for the sins of Jewish believers.
    In the fourth place, when John added, "And not for ours only, but also for the whole world", he signified that Christ was the propitiation for the sins of Gentile believers too, for, as previously shown, "the world" is a term contrasted from Israel. This interpretation is unequivocally established by a careful comparison of 1 John 2:2 with John 11:51,52, which is a strictly parallel passage: "And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad". Here Caiaphas, under inspiration, made known for whom Jesus should "die". Notice now the
    correspondency of his prophecy with this declaration of John’s:
    1 John 2:2 John 11:51, 52
    "He is the propitiation for
    our (believing Israelites)
    asins".

    "He prophesied that Jesus
    should die for that) nation".
    "And not for ours only". "And not for that nation only".
    "But also for the whole
    world"— That is, Gentile
    believers scattered
    throughout the) earth.
    "He should gather together in
    one the children of God that
    were scattered abroad".
    In the fifth place, the above interpretation is confirmed by the fact that no other is consistent or intelligible. If the "whole world" signifies the whole human race, then the first clause and the "also" in the second clause are absolutely meaningless. If Christ is the propitiation for everybody, it would be idle tautology to say, first, "He is the propitiation for our sins and also for everybody". There could be no "also" if He is the propitiation for the entire human family. Had the apostle meant to affirm that Christ is a universal propitiation he had omitted the first clause of verse 2, and simply said, "He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world." Confirmatory of "not for ours (Jewish believers) only, but also for the whole world"— Gentile believers, too; compare John 10:16; 17:20.
     
    #2 jne1611, Sep 25, 2006
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  3. Brother Bob

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    That is true but then again, He could of said it like he did. peace,
     
  4. jne1611

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    In the sixth place, our definition of "the whole world" is in perfect accord with other passages in the New Testament. For example:
    "Whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world" (Colossians 1:5, 6).
    Does "all the world" here mean, absolutely and unqualifiedly, all mankind? Had all the human family heard the Gospel? No; the apostle’s obvious meaning is that, the Gospel, instead of being confined to the land of Judea, had gone abroad, without restraint, into Gentile lands. So in Romans 1:8: "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world". The apostle is here referring to the faith of these Roman saints being spoken of in a way of commendation. But certainly all mankind did not so speak of their faith! It was the whole world of believers that he was referring to! In Revelation 12:9 we read of Satan "which deceiveth the whole world". But again this expression cannot be understood as a universal one, for Matthew 24:24 tells us that Satan does not and cannot "deceive" God’s elect. Here it is "the whole world" of unbelievers. In the seventh place, to insist that "the whole world" in 1 John 2:2 signifies the entire human race is to undermine the very foundations of our faith. If Christ is the propitiation for those that are lost equally as much as for those that are saved, then what assurance have we that believers too may not be lost? If Christ is the propitiation for those now in hell, what guarantee have I that I may not end in hell? The blood-shedding of the incarnate Son of God is the only thing which can keep any one out of hell, and if many for whom that precious blood made propitiation are now in the awful place of the damned, then may not that blood prove inefficacious for me! Away with such a God-dishonoring thought. However men may quibble and wrest the Scriptures, one thing is certain: The Atonement is no failure. God will not allow that precious and costly sacrifice to fail in accomplishing, completely, that which it was designed to effect. Not a drop of that holy blood was shed in vain. In the last great Day there shall stand forth no disappointed and defeated Savior, but One who "shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied" Isaiah 53:11).
    These are not our words, but the infallible assertion of Him who declares, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure" (Isaiah 64:10).
    Upon this impregnable rock we take our stand. Let others rest on the sands of human speculation and twentieth-century theorizing if they wish. That is their business. But to God they will yet have to render an account. For our part we had rather be railed at as a narrow-minded, out-of-date, hyper- Calvinist, than be found repudiating God’s truth by reducing the Divinely efficacious atonement to a mere fiction.
     
    #4 jne1611, Sep 25, 2006
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  5. Brother Bob

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    Got any Scripture that says that John 3:16 is not really the "whole" world? Or preach the Gospel to ever creature and he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved?
    Why preach to every creature is they don't even have a chance?
     
  6. jne1611

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    So rebut it. If you can.:D
     
  7. jne1611

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    Also by A. W. Pink.
    THE MEANING OF “KOSMOS” IN

    JOHN 3:16


    It may appear to some of our readers that the exposition we have given of John 3:16 in the chapter on “Difficulties and Objections” is a forced and unnatural one, inasmuch as our definition of the term “world” seems to be out of harmony with the meaning and scope of this word in other passages, where, to supply the world of believers (God’s elect) as a definition of “world” would make no sense. Many have said to us, “Surely, ‘world’ means world, that is, you, me, and everybody.” In reply we would say: We know from experience how difficult it is to set aside the “traditions of men” and come to a passage which we have heard explained in a certain way scores of times, and study it carefully for ourselves without bias Nevertheless, this is essential if we would learn the mind of God. Many people suppose they already know the simple meaning of John3:16, and therefore they conclude that no diligent study is required of them to discover the precise teaching of this verse. Needless to say, such an attitude shuts out any further light which they otherwise might obtain on the passage. Yet, if anyone will take a Concordance and read carefully the various passages in which the term “world” (as a translation of “kosmos”) occurs, he will quickly perceive that to ascertain the precise meaning of, the word “world” in any given passage is not nearly so easy as is popularly supposed. The word “kosmos,” and its English equivalent “world,” is not used with a uniform significance in the New Testament. Very far from it. It is used in quite a number of different ways. Below we will refer to a few passages where this term occurs, suggesting a tentative definition in each case: 1. “Kosmos” is used of the Universe as a whole: Acts 17:24 - “God that made the world and all things therein seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth.” 2. “Kosmos” is used of the earth: John 13:1; Ephesians 1:4, etc., etc.- “When Jesus knew that his hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world He loved them unto the end.” “Depart out of this world” signifies, leave this earth. “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.” This expression signifies, before the earth was founded—compare Job 38:4 etc. 3. “Kosmos” is used of the world-system: John 12:31 etc. “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the Prince of this world be cast out”—compare Matthew 4:8 and 1 John 5:19, R. V. 4. “Kosmos” is used of the whole human race: Romans 3:19, etc.— “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” 5. “Kosmos” is used of humanity minus believers: John 15:18; Romans 3:6 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.” Believers do not “hate” Christ, so that “the world” here must signify the world of unbelievers in contrast from believers who love Christ. “God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world.” Here is another passage where “the world” cannot mean “you, me, and everybody,” for believers will not be “judged” by God, see John 5:24. So that here, too, it must be the world of unbelievers which is in view. 6. “Kosmos” is used of Gentiles in contrast from Jews: Romans 11:12 etc. “Now if the fall of them (Israel) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them (Israel) the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their (Israel’s) fullness.” Note how the first clause in italics is defined by the latter clause placed in italics. Here, again, “the world” cannot signify all humanity for it excludes Israel! 7. “Kosmos” is used of believers only: John 1:29; 3:16, 17; 6:33; 12:47; 1 Corinthians 4:9; 2 Corinthians 5:19. We leave our readers to turn to these passages, asking them to note, carefully, exactly what is said and predicated of “the world” in each place. Thus it will be seen that “kosmos” has at least seven clearly defined different meanings in the New Testament. It may be asked, Has then God used a word thus to confuse and confound those who read the Scriptures? We answer, No! nor has He written His Word for lazy people who are too dilatory, or too busy with the things of this world, or, like Martha, so much occupied with “serving,” they have no time and no heart to “search” and “study” Holy Writ! Should it be asked further, But how is a searcher of the Scriptures to know which of the above meanings the term “world” has in any given passage? The answer is: This may be ascertained by a careful study of the context, by diligently noting what is predicated of “the world” in each passage, and by prayer fully consulting other parallel passages tothe one being studied. The principal subject of John 3:16 is Christ as the Gift of God. The first clause tells us what moved God to “give” His only begotten Son, and that was His great “love;” the second clause informs us for whom God “gave” His Son, and that is for, “whosoever (or, better, ‘every one’) believeth;” while the last clause makes known why God “gave” His Son (His purpose), and that is, that everyone that believeth “should not perish but have everlasting life.” That “the world” in John 3:16 refers to the world of believers (God’s elect), in contradistinction from “the world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:5), is established, unequivocally established, by a comparison of the other passages which speak of God’s “love.” “God commendeth His love toward US”—the saints, Romans 5:8. “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth”—every son, Hebrews 12:6. “We love Him, because He first loved US”— believers, 1 John 4:19. The wicked God “pities” (see Matthew 18:33). Unto the unthankful and evil God is “kind” (see Luke 6:35). The vessels of wrath He endures “with much long-suffering” (see Romans 9:22). But “His own” God “loves”!!
     
  8. Brother Bob

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    My rebut is the way the Scripture is written and not the spin you put on it.
    For starters:
    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    1 Timothy 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

    Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

    Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

    1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.


    Honestly if all people deserve hell then to what purpose was creation? Who would be to blame? Man? God? Who? Hyper-Calvinism and it's Hard Determinism ultimately blames God for a failed creation that only serves to demonstrate His authority? Are we to believe that God chief attribute is vanity?
     
  9. jne1611

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    What would you say to someone who said "Why preach about holiness if you cant lose your salvation?" "It is settled anyway." I'll bet your answer would be. "God said to live holy."
     
  10. jne1611

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    Your very confused. It is Arminianism that says God failed. It's doctrine says "God did not want this to happen! But alas! It did!" And now He is picking up the pieces trying to straighten out something He could not prevent in the first place.
     
  11. jne1611

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    Bro. Bob. Your Scriptures are very good. I don't have a problem with them.
     
  12. Brother Bob

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    ko/smov is the original word for world in John 3:16
    Definition =
    the world, the universe the circle of the earth, the earth the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family
     
  13. jne1611

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    So let me get this straight. When Christ died. Did he die for those in hell?
     
  14. Brother Bob

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    I can only tell you what the word says and that is that time and chance has happened to all men.
     
  15. jne1611

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    Where does it say that?
     
  16. Brother Bob

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    Ecc 9:11I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

    Rev 2:21And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
     
  17. jne1611

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    And this is supposed to prove that Christ died for every single person born?
     
  18. jne1611

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    No doubt, because only God can give repentance. A space does not procure repentance itself.
     
  19. Brother Bob

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    He died for all but we must believe to receive that blood applied to our soul and wash away our sins.
    1 Timothy, chapter 2
    5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    6: Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
    7: Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
    8: I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting

    2Cr 5:15 And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    1 Timothy 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

    Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

    Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
    1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.


    1 John, chapter 2
    1: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
    2: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    3: And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
     
    #19 Brother Bob, Sep 25, 2006
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  20. Jarthur001

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    Mind if I pop in? :)

    Was the atonement in the NT for all the nation or just part?
     
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