Saturday, February 07, 2009

Did Jesus die for the sin of unbelief?

NOTE: This is now obsoleted by the above.
What is the proper answer to this question?

Let me define what "unbelief" means here. The word pertains to the rejection of the Gospel. This is not having doubts but it is an active putting down of the Gospel. So another way of putting it is like this: Did Jesus die for the sin of rejecting the Gospel?

My answer to this question is to say "No". I answer this way because of what I am seing the Bible say - for example the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the unpardonable sin, it is rejecting that Jesus is the Messiah and Messiahship pertains to the forgiveness of sins - see Mt 12:31 and Mk 16:16.

I notice that those who come from a Calvinistic background, and those following John Owen's idea of Limited Atonement answers this in the affirmative. So they say "Yes" Jesus died for the sin of rejecting the Gospel because there is no sin that Jesus did not die for; because to say "No" (which the way I would answer the question) means that there is some sin that Jesus left off undone and that would be blasphemous. Jesus died for the sins of the elect (not the sins of the whole world, so they say) and all the sins of the elect have been paid for including - unbelief in the Gospel.

I do not want to go off topic, but I think it really depends on where the blasphemy is being re-directed, i.e. which one is blasphemous? To say Jesus died only for some people in the world or Jesus did not die for the sin of unbelief? I guess this is where we are different from our Reformed brothers/sisters.

The purpose why I posted this essay is so I can be helped in clarifying my own thoughts.

I have answered "No" to this question, but I am not so clear yet if I have adequately accounted for the biblical data. So I like some feedback and proper position of a.) the question and b.) the answer. I hope I could hear some of your thoughts on this.

Here is my additional take on the matter why I answered "No".

  1. Firstly from the idea of the Means of Grace - Word and Sacrament. This is what God uses to create the condition of faith that receives God's gift of forgiveness. What I mean is that the unbelief in the Gospel is the rejection of the actual giving of the forgiveness of sins as transmitted to us (i.e. delivered to us by God) by God packaged to us by the Word and stated again to us in visible form by God through the elements of water, bread, wine, i.e. the Sacraments. So Jesus died for all of us as people. He also died for us as sinners. This is an accomplished fact. But the delivery of that thing that Jesus accomplished at the Cross is still on going. That is why Paul urges us to be reconciled to God - 2 Cor 5:20. What Jesus did happened in the past, what the H.S. is doing today is to deliver the benefit of that through Word and Sacrament in our here and now, so sinning against the H.S. is rejecting the reconciliation that God is giving to us today. It is rejecting the work of Christ. This is tied to Justification By Faith Alone (JBFA) or Justification Through Faith Alone. Jesus said in Mk 16:16 that those who do not believe (the Gospel) will be condemned. The point I make is that God is still justifying people today, the basis of that justification is the past, but that justification happens in our life time.
  2. To say "Yes" has several implications: It means that the elect's sin of unbelief in the Gospel has been paid for, hence, even if they abandoned faith, they have been paid for - so this means they are saved and may be saved without faith. This is not JBFA. It really makes faith irrelevant. Further, it makes the Means of Grace of no concern and hence, there is no necessity for it. This is why I think the Lutherans fathers have always claimed that in the end, Calvinism's Limited Atonement effectively denies the Means of Grace. The belief in the Means of Grace - Word/Sacrament encourages faith, a teaching that effectively for example, makes the Sacraments of no consequence, effectively also does not boast faith. Now, one can argue the elect will never abandon faith (what about Heb 6:4)? At any rate, I ask of this position, how does one know he is elect? They answer - through their (perceived) inward change/ or a changed life (I wonder why this is acceptable and that of the Mormon's burning in the bossom's is not). I have not heard from that school answer any other way but for the subjective experience, which for me is not reliable. Lastly I notice with this answer, they also collapse the categories of reconciliation with justification which I am not prone to do.
I like to hear some opinions here either pro or contra my position. Thanks for helping me.

NOTE: This is now obsoleted. Click here.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Lito,

May God continue to give you wisdom as you struggle with this topic.

Jesus died for all sins - for those who repent! Remember it is God's desire that all should be saved.
1 Tim. 2:3-4 (ESV)
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, [4] who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

However those who reject God's love and therefore His grace and forgiveness condemn themseves by walking away from God. This is the free will we have to reject His love.

We do not have the free will to accept God's love but God reaches down to our level and pulls us up to His kingdom and promise.

This is why it is so important to receive God's sacraments and align ourselves with His will so that this truth becomes clearer each day as we cleve away the pride and arrogance of human thinking.

Did Jesus die for unbelief? I agree that the answer is no. Repentence is open for all who wish to recant from their unbelief. However if one arrogantly remains in his unbelief and constantly rejects God's grace, then he has placed himself outside God's help. Repentence is always there for him if he just listens for God's Word.

I hope this simple posting helps you, and if you need more clarification please get back to me.

God Bless

Ray

L P Cruz said...

Thanks for the input Ray.

Right, I also see no evidence from Scripture that those rejecting the means of grace are covered. They are the ones God uses to produce faith, but if the instrument itself is rejected then how can faith be produced, unless of course one believe that faith is not mediated.

Calvinists who believe like Owen insist that those who do not have faith are people Jesus did not die for. Meaning they are reprobates. But that would mean that the cause of damnation is God who is good.

From our side, the cause of damnation is man who is sinful.

LPC

Dave Gosse said...

Hi Lito

I think you have conflated two separate questions here.

The first question is “Did Jesus die for all people?”

The second question is “Is the Calvinist doctrine of predestination true?”

The answer to the first question is “Yes, Jesus died for the whole world.” God desires that all be saved. We are saved through faith (trust) in the promise of God through faith (trust) in the atoning work of Christ.

The answer to the second question I am a little less qualified to answer because I am not very familiar with Calvinist doctrine. My answer will be superficial and quite possibly based upon a false understanding of Calvinism. As I understand it, Calvin’s doctrine of predestination is based upon the Scripture “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” and similar verses. From this Calvin determined that some are predestined for salvation and some are predestined for condemnation.

I think Calvin made an error here. He assumed that the predestination of believers to salvation is a capricious act of God. The other possibility, that God predestines everyone for salvation yet, contrary to God’s will, some are not saved, implies that God is not omnipotent.

I think that God, quite clearly, desires that all be saved, but He limits His field of action to those who do not resist His will. We were created in the image of God, with freedom to act independently of God, and God thinks that our freedom to act independently is very good. But the freedom God placed in us, our free will, entails a risk that we may act contrary to God’s desire. We might say that God’s will is held in a tension of contrary goods, the first good, that all be saved and conform to His will, is in tension with the other good, that we be capable of acting freely, independent of His will. Is the greater good conformity to His will regardless of what we desire, or is it freely submitting our will to His will? I think the Bible clearly reveals a God who will not coerce compliance to His will. He rewards, He punishes, He calls, He even sacrifices Himself, in the person of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to bring us to him, but He does not force us.

Luther insisted that, since the Fall, every exercise of our will is only sinful all the time, even when we are carrying out God’s will we do so imperfectly and therefore sinfully. Our salvation is confessing our inadequacy, repenting of our sin, and crediting the work of God through the Holy Spirit for whatever good results from our inadequate works. We are predestined to salvation, but we may reject that salvation through the stubborn exercise of our sin-corrupted will.
We are predestined to salvation, but God gave us some of His divine power, He allows us the capacity to thwart His will and condemn ourselves. This is not a capricious God who arbitrarily saves some and condemns others; He is a merciful God who will only bring to Himself those who will answer His call. We may turn our backs on Him, reject Him, crucify Him, but if, one day, we stop fighting long enough to hear His call, He will bring us home. But He doesn’t take those who willfully resist His grace.

Dave

Dizma said...

Anonimous said:
#1 Tim. 2:3-4 (ESV)
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, [4] who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.#

Dave said:
#The answer to the first question is “Yes, Jesus died for the whole world.” God desires that all be saved. We are saved through faith (trust) in the promise of God through faith (trust) in the atoning work of Christ."


Luke 2.1 (ESV):
"In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered."

Did registration take place in China, Mexico and South Africa too? Of course it didn't. We should very carefully deal with "all the world, all people, whole world" etc. If Jesus died for all sins he would also die for the sins of unbelief. If Jesus did not die for all sins he would not die for all people (I mean for every single people from the beginning until the end of the world).

L P Cruz said...

Dave,

The other expositions are well and good.

So did Jesus die for the sin of unbelief? That is the single question I am wanting to hear the answer to.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

Dizma,

If Jesus died for all sins he would also die for the sins of unbelief. If Jesus did not die for all sins he would not die for all people

You are on to something here and I see some logical connection in what you say, but then again...

If Jesus died for the sin of unbelief as you would say...
then all should be saved and all should go to heaven.

If Jesus died for the sin of unbelief of some people, then these people are saved by decree and faith is immaterial to the situation. Faith becomes a nice thing to have but not the means through which salvation is grasped.

As a Lutheran I believe the Bible teaches JBFA. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Faith is the instrument and when the very means is rejected, how else can a person grasp what is offered.

Not all have faith so the Scripture says.

Both Reformed and Lutheran are non-universalists but both have different answers as to why people are damned.

LPC

Dizma said...

##Faith is the instrument and when the very means is rejected, how else can a person grasp what is offered.##

Yes LP, faith is an instrument of God's grace.

Greetings form Slovenia :)

Dizma said...

P.s. Would you explain me the abb. JBFA? Thanks.

L P Cruz said...

Dizma,

It stands for Justification By Faith Alone (JBFA). In short 'sola fide'.

How is the weather there in Slovenia, is it winter?

Today we received the hottest on record for our state - 46 degrees Celsius.

LPC

Raggedy Lamb said...

Jesus died for all sins and for all people. In John 3:16, we know that "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes would not perish but have eternal life."

Believe in Jesus as the only way for your sins to be forgiven. Unbelief will result in unforgiven sins. Because the Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity who gives life, who causes one to turn to Christ in repentence, only those who do not spurn His attempts to woo us to our Lord and Savior will receive His full pardon and Life with Him forever.

Matthew 12:31 & 32
And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. C.F.W. Walther wrote, "for unless the Holy Spirit brings us to faith, we shall never
attain it. Whoever rejects the Holy Spirit is beyond help, even by God." [Law and
Gospel, p 395]

There are people who may commit this sin, for example, Peter denied He knew Jesus, but they sin out of fear or ignorance. Then there are those who persist in their desire to put themselves or something else above God, whose hearts are completely closed, such as Pharaoh or King Saul. The Peter types repent and are forgiven, but the Pharaoh/King Saul types remain in their stubborn sin and will have nothing to do with God. Then, God will let them have their way. He will not force anyone that does not love Him to be with Him.

DRB said...

LPC,

If Jesus did not atone for unbelief, Paul never would have been forgiven. The unforgivable sin is not merely final unbelief, but also willing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit with full knowledge of doing so. So the real question is whether Jesus died for the unforgivable sin.

If you say no, then you must also say with the Calvinists that those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit do not repent because God does not offer them grace. No, the deficiency is not in the atonement, but in their rejection of the atonement.

Also, if you do not believe Christ died for all the sins of the world, then how do you know whether Christ died for all of your sins? That is the very question Calvinists cannot answer without examining themselves to see if they really have faith, to make sure they have not committed the unforgivable sin, etc. Lutherans do not have this problem since we believe the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world.

Lastly, the unforgivable sin, like all actual sins, flows from the sinful nature inherited from Adam. You are no less sinful than one who commits the unforgivable sin. Christ atoned for original sin (according to Romans) and thus for all actual sins proceeding from it.

For more on this, see Pieper's Christian Dogmatics, Volume 1, 571-577.

L P Cruz said...

RL
Thanks for the input,that comment sits not too far if not exactly where I am.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

DRB,

Thanks for the input.

That is the very question Calvinists cannot answer without examining themselves to see if they really have faith, to make sure they have not committed the unforgivable sin, etc. Lutherans do not have this problem since we believe the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world.

Agreed.

You are no less sinful than one who commits the unforgivable sin. Christ atoned for original sin (according to Romans) and thus for all actual sins proceeding from it.

Agreed as well.

If you say no, then you must also say with the Calvinists that those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit do not repent because God does not offer them grace. No, the deficiency is not in the atonement, but in their rejection of the atonement


I do not follow how I should say the same thing with the Calvinist. I am not in the same boat with him. Faith is created by God by means. Atonement is for all, the instrument of receiving the atonement is faith, if that is being rejected then it is not because there was no Atonement (which the Calvinist says) it was because the offer rejected. Limited Atonement says there is no atonement for some people. I do not collapse atonement with the giving of faith, that is why without faith one is damned. If every one's unbelief has been paid for then no one should be damned, this becomes universalism.

The answer here lies in the Law - seems to me, as this is what Jesus answers for us.


Unbelief is a knowledge the thing to be true, but suppresses it as unrighteousness Paul's case was not this, it was out of ignorance. He did not know.

The Means of Grace makes the person know - those who blaspheme the HS know Christ to be Messiah but reject him.


LPC

DRB said...

This is summarized by the Christian Cyclopedia's entry on the unpardonable sin, especially the last paragraph:

"This sin is unpardonable, not because of any unwillingness in God, or because His mercy and Christ's merits are not great enough, but because of the condition of him who commits it: he continues to the end (the action of his sin is linear, rather than punctiliar) in obdurate rejection of the Word of God, divine grace and mercy, and Christ's merits; cf. 1 Jn 5:16. Augustine of Hippo calls it final impenitence. One who does not repent does not receive forgiveness; cf. Rv 2:22."

DRB said...

"I do not follow how I should say the same thing with the Calvinist."

Consider a man who committed the unforgivable sin but who has not yet died. Let's call him Caiaphas. Why doesn't he repent of his sins and trust in Christ's atonement for all of his sins, even the blasphemy against the Spirit? Here are two possible answers:

a. Caiaphas cannot trust Christ for forgiveness of that sin because Christ did not die for that sin and offers no forgiveness of that sin.

b. Christ died even for that sin and sincerely offers Caiaphas forgiveness of that sin. However, in rejecting the work of the Spirit through the means of grace, Caiaphas rejects the forgiveness offered.

Consistent Calvinists pick answer (a): God's atonement is limited. Consistent Lutherans pick answer (b): Caiaphas rejects the benefits of the unlimited atonement.

Dizma said...
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Dizma said...

Dear LP, thank you for your explanation. Yes it is winter now here, but not too cold. It is 6°C and it rains occasionally.

Dizma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dizma said...

Dear R. Lamb,
do you also believe that registration in Luke 2.1 took place all over the world?

Regards, Diz.

DRB said...

Diz said, "Did registration take place in China, Mexico and South Africa too? Of course it didn't. We should very carefully deal with 'all the world, all people, whole world' etc. If Jesus died for all sins he would also die for the sins of unbelief. If Jesus did not die for all sins he would not die for all people (I mean for every single people from the beginning until the end of the world)."

I guess since the registration didn't take place here in North America, Jesus didn't die for my sins after all. At least now I know we're not supposed to read Scripture in context.

Raggedy Lamb said...

Dizma,

We need to consider which definition of the word is the one being used and how it fits in regards to the authority appointed by God.

In the historical account of Luke, Caesar Augustus had the authority to conduct a census throughout his entire Roman Empire. When an official report is made to a king or emperor, the language used would refer to all of his territory as “all the world.” World in this case being defined as (see link above): “5 a: the concerns of the earth and its affairs as distinguished from heaven and the life to come b: secular affairs.”

According to Matthew 28: 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” As creator of heaven and earth, He is the authority over all He has made. So, world in the case of John 3:16 as defined as (see link above) “2: the earth with its inhabitants and all things upon it.”

Brett Meyer said...

Did Jesus die for the sin of unbelief? Scripture declares that everyone has been born with original sin. This sin separates us from God and His wrath over sin abides on all who are carnaly minded, under the law and dead in sin. Romans 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" 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."

We are all born with the sin of unbelief. Everyone is by nature guilty of this sin. Unbelief is not unforgivable. Romans 11:23, "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again."

Scripture teaches that Christ died for all sin, the sins of the whole world. This includes unbelief. John 1:29, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." This verse shows that Christ's death was payment for the sin of the world (for every sin ever committed) and His resurrection confirmed that Christ's perfect sacrifice was accepted by God the Father. Isaiah 53:6, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." and Titus 2:14, "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." The Lutheran Confessions confirm this and how and by whom it is received, "1. That the human race is truly redeemed and reconciled with God through Christ, who, by His faultless [innocency] obedience, suffering, and death, has merited for us the righteousness which avails before God, and eternal life. 2. That such merit and benefits of Christ shall be presented, offered, and distributed to us through His Word and Sacraments. 3. That by His Holy Ghost, through the Word, when it is preached, heard, and pondered, He will be efficacious and active in us, convert hearts to true repentance, and preserve them in the true faith. 4. That He will justify all those who in true repentance receive Christ by a true faith, and will receive them into grace, the adoption of sons, and the inheritance of eternal life." Formula of Concord, SD, XI. #15. Of God's Eternal Election. Concordia Triglotta

LPC, you state, "To say "Yes" has several implications: It means that the elect's sin of unbelief in the Gospel has been paid for, hence, even if they abandoned faith, they have been paid for - so this means they are saved and may be saved without faith." I disagree with this statement for the following reasons. As noted above Christ paid for all sin including the sin of unbelief. Everyone's sin of unbelief was paid for including those who never come to faith in Christ alone (this may not be what you're saying but you've isolated the statement to 'the elect'). You've slipped into UOJ doctrine when you say that since Christ paid for unbelievers sins then they are saved. As you noted elsewhere Christ's righteousness is ours only through faith. Christ is only our mediator (propitiation) through faith. Romans 3:25, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" Outside of faith we remain carnaly minded, dead in sin and under the law.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

David Cochrane said...

Brother Lito,

It is my understanding that Jesus died for every sin and every sinner. The unforgivable sin would not be one undied for but rather that which would keep a person from receiving forgiveness.

In Eph 2 St Paul said "by grace through faith." If a person refuses, which we all do by nature, to believe they do not receive this forgiveness. John 3:18 Jesus speaks quite clearly to this that one is condemned not because he or she is undied for. Not because they have a sin undied for. But rather for unbelief.

Great question and discussion.

God's peace. †

Dave Gosse said...

Hi Lito

Christ died for the sin of unbelief, but for us to receive His salvation we must accept (believe) in His salvation. This is why I think you are conflating two different questions. The Calvinist argument is that you are saved (predestined) whether you believe or not whereas scripturally I think you must beleive to be saved, but in that case you are saved from your unbelief. "I believe, help me with my unbelief."

So, the unbeliever is not save unless he comes to belief.

the 'Jerk" said...

One does not accept God. God accepts them. He does this in baptism. (Acts 2)

No one seeks for God. (Romans)

Key words..."no one".

Jesus said"I chose you, you did not choose me."

I thought that Jesus died for all sin. If one repents (by the grace of God) of unbelief, will not that sin be forgiven?

I thought that the only unpardonable sin was the one against the Holy Spirit.

Not exactly sure what that sin is (not being the holy Spirit).

Dave Gosse said...

Hello the 'Jerk"

I think you misunderstand my use of the word accept. I am not suggesting decision theology here. We come to Christ because He seeks us out and calls us to Him. We respond to His call or we reject His call. The response is a surrender of our will to His will, the rejection is the assertion of our will.

accept
c.1360, "to take what is offered," from O.Fr. accepter from L. acceptare "take or receive willingly," freq. of acceptus, pp. of accipere "receive," from ad- "to" + capere "to take"

the 'Jerk' said...

Dave,

Thanks for the clarification.

I know that as a Christian, I still reject Him everyday. But He leads me to repentance and forgives me...and then I "accept" Him again...until I reject Him again...three minutes later (sometimes).

Dave Gosse said...

Yea, I catch your drift...

L P Cruz said...

Brett,


Thank you so much for your input.

Did you read my definition of unbelief? I have been equating it with the sin of blaspheming the HS. I am not talking about doubt here.

Everyone's sin of unbelief was paid for including those who never come to faith in Christ alone (this may not be what you're saying but you've isolated the statement to 'the elect'). You've slipped into UOJ doctrine when you say that since Christ paid for unbelievers sins then they are saved.

I am quite sad that you misunderstood me here and equally sad that I could have not been so clear.

Note that I was deliberating what happens if you answer "yes" to the question.

It was not me who is saying that eventually all are saved, remember I am in the "no" position based on my present understanding.

I am saying that if one says "yes" Jesus died for the sin of rejecting him, i.e. the sin of rejecting the Gospel, then why are those who rejected the Gospel go to hell if Jesus died for their rejection of him?

This is the question I am asking those in the "yes" position.

I appreciate your time in helping me out and the time you spent forming a reply. I appreciate your critique.


LPC

L P Cruz said...

Steve (the Jerk),

I like this alias, it speaks about me.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

Dear friends,

Thank you so much, I am trying to consider all your comments and for what it is worth, they are helping me, either to solidify my position or loosen it, all of them will eventually help.

As a follow up, would you consider this post as well...
http://extranos.blogspot.com/2009/02/thanks-for-input-but-let-me-clarifydid.html

LPC

DRB said...
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DRB said...
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DRB said...
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DRB said...

"I am saying that if one says 'yes' Jesus died for the sin of rejecting him, i.e. the sin of rejecting the Gospel, then why are those who rejected the Gospel go to hell if Jesus died for their rejection of him?"

LPC, the distinction Lutherans have made between objective justification and subjective justification may help you here:
Objective justification versus subjective justification

Even those who commit the unforgivable sin have been objectively justified by the atonement (2 Cor. 5:18-19). However, since they refuse to ever receive the forgiveness the Spirit offers them in the means of grace, they will not be subjectively justified, either in this age or in the age to come (Matt. 12:32). May God keep us from that sin!

Why is it this way and not some other way we find more reasonable? Do you have a right to ask, O man?

"All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Amen.

Brett Meyer said...

LPC, it is incorrect to equate the word unbelief to the sin of blasheming the Holy Ghost which is unto death. As shown initially Scripture states that unbelief is forgiven through faith, Romans 11:23. Note that the Bible doesn't state there is an unforgivable sin. Scripture says there is a sin that is unto death. 1 John 5:16, "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it." I would agree with Mueller's Christian Dogmatics on the sin that is unto death. Since Christ died and paid for all sin then there is no sin which is not removed when Christ's righteousness is obtained through faith. Since it is only by the grace of God that he works faith in us through Word and Sacrament then the sin unto death is the sin in which the Lord determines not to then bring someone to faith. God would have all men come unto the knowledge of the truth. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. It is His will who He calls to faith. These are all truths of Scripture.

By your response I see that my initial post was correct. LPC, in your reply you state, "I am saying that if one says "yes" Jesus died for the sin of rejecting him, i.e. the sin of rejecting the Gospel, then why are(do) those who rejected the Gospel go to hell if Jesus died for their rejection of him?" This question is answered by the fact that even though Christ died and paid the sin of all those who reject Him the righteousness which avails before God for these sins is in Christ. Christ's righteousness is not ours and does not benefit the sinner except through faith worked by the Holy Ghost through Word and Sacrament.

I have followed your comments on UOJ in the past and this specific issue has been your difficulty. You correctly identify the false doctrines in UOJ but continue to fall back on believing (or at least proposing) that if Christ has paid for sins than they are forgiven. Hebrews 10:26, "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,"

LPC, if you mean something different by 'unbelief' (as you explained you were defining it specifically to your point) I would recommend finding another word to use since Scripture speaks directly to the word you chose. Romans 11:32, "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." Also consider that it is not that there is a sin Christ didn't pay for or that his righteousness wouldn't cover or cleanse. But that God at His will determines who He will bring to faith. Romans 9:16, "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy."

May the Holy Spirit lead you into all Truth, His Word is Truth.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

L P Cruz said...

Hi Brett,

Thanks again...

LPC, it is incorrect to equate the word unbelief to the sin of blasheming the Holy Ghost which is unto death.

If I am wrong in equating, then I am wrong with the 'no' answer, so fair enough, I should answer 'yes' to the question. My whole premise is wrong so my conclusion is wrong too.


Note that the Bible doesn't state there is an unforgivable sin

I am wondering about what you say here, may I quote Mt 12:31.
."(AH)Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven..


This read unforgivable to me. Upon much research, it does not mean that the person may not repent and seek forgiveness and be forgiven it means that to die in the state of un-repentance and no faith makes this unforgivable in that sense.

This question is answered by the fact that even though Christ died and paid the sin of all those who reject Him the righteousness which avails before God for these sins is in Christ. Christ's righteousness is not ours and does not benefit the sinner except through faith worked by the Holy Ghost through Word and Sacrament

This is much helpful comment and I can see where I am tagging along the reasoning of the Calvinist friend who asked me this question and it would be wrong to do that.

Thank you I can see now where I should no go where he leads.

I have followed your comments on UOJ in the past and this specific issue has been your difficulty. You correctly identify the false doctrines in UOJ but continue to fall back on believing (or at least proposing) that if Christ has paid for sins than they are forgiven

Brett, in some sense you are correct in here.

First let me comment where I am, I do not think I collapse reconciliation with justification.

The reasoning I was giving when a person says 'yes' to the question is a reasoning paradigm from a Calvinist friend who wanted to show to me that Limited Atonement is taught in the Bible and it follows John Owen's reasoning.

As I realize now, I should not be controlled by their manner of reasoning. It is a wrong paradigm of reasoning and I should not fall into that hole. It is like asking "when did you last beat your wife"? It already presuppose something in the question.

So, I confess Jesus died for me. I believe that is the Gospel, I receive the benefit of that death upon faith in that fact, my justification/acquittal forgiveness come at that point and not before.

However, you are also correct in pointing something of which I need more clarity.

Here is a passage I am certain is used by UOJ.

Luke 23:34
And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments.

Could you explain the proper understanding to this text because I believe this was what CFW Walther was alluding to in his Easter Sermon.

May the Holy Spirit lead you into all Truth, His Word is Truth.

Thanks for your prayers.

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

LPC, my understanding of Luke 23:34 is that Christ was consistent with his approach to those who persecuted Him throughout His life on earth where He did not repay in kind but was a perfect example of God's command spoken of in Romans 12:14, "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not." Christ was also described in Psalms 103:8, "The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy."

Paul Kretzmann in his Popular Commentary on the Bible - New Testament Vol. 1, p. 394, states, "With His Savior's heart going out to them in the blindness of their crime, Jesus calls out over the heads of His tormentors: Father, Forgive them... And therefore the Lord prayed for them all here, and He had patience with them once more afterwards. He had His apostles go and preach the Gospel of His resurrection to them. And it was only after they had rejected this Gospel absolutely and finally that He carried into execution upon them the sentence of destruction."

Note that Christ Himself did not say, "I forgive you" from the cross but prayed His Father in heaven to forgive them. This was a merciful request made to the Father and I think Kretzmann is correct in understanding that the means by which He has to forgive them is through Word and Sacrament if they would not reject it.

I believe the full context of Walther's easter pronouncement of the justification of the world removes any possibility that he was only making a request of the Father as Jesus did. (if this is what you are considering).

LPC, may you by the grace of God continue in the one true faith unto life everlasting. The Day of Judgement is fast approaching, Matt. 24:13, "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

L P Cruz said...

Brett,

I am satisfied with your explanation. Thanks so much for this reply.

Yes, may God save, defend and comfort us in the days ahead.

LPC

steve martin said...

Yes.

He died for all sin.

L P Cruz said...

Thanks Steve,

From one jerk to another, I agree.LOL

LPC

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Eric Glover said...

"Also, if you do not believe Christ died for all the sins of the world, then how do you know whether Christ died for all of your sins? That is the very question Calvinists cannot answer without examining themselves to see if they really have faith, to make sure they have not committed the unforgivable sin, etc. Lutherans do not have this problem since we believe the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world"

In my opinion you are missing so much scriptural context in regards to calvinistic teaching. Most of the questions you have asked are indeed straw men and are not representing what a true understanding of scripture yeilds. Please tell me how you deal with Romans 9 without eisegetically explaining away the text to help it fit lutheran presuppositions.

L P said...

Eric,

I would love to answer your question, but before I do, can you please
a.) read http://extranos.blogspot.com/2009/02/thanks-for-input-but-let-me-clarifydid.html

b.) comment there again to see if you still want me to deal with your question.

My position has been corrected by those who commented here.

LPC