Polhill:

1) Object. 3. If Christ died for all men, then he intercedes for all; but he intercedes only for the elect, therefore he died for them only. I answer that Christ doth in some sort intercede for all men; and this I shall clear several ways.

1. From the nature of Christ’s intercession; that is not a formal prayer, but an appearing in the holy of holies before the face of God as an advocate, and there presenting his blood and righteousness in their freshness and endless life of merit, with a will that all the grace purchased thereby may be dispensed to the sons of men; therefore Christ even in glory stands ὡς ἐσϕαγμενος, as one slain, (Rev. v. 6), showing his bleeding wounds to make intercession with God. Hence it follows, that his intercession (being a kind of celestial oblation) perfectly answers to his oblation on the cross; he is an advocate above, so far as he was a surety here below; his blood speaks the very same things in heaven as it did on earth, and his will stands in the same posture towards sinners there as here. Now how far was Christ a surety for all? Surely thus far, that all may be saved if they believe; else either they cannot be saved at all, which is contrary to the truth of the promise, or they may be saved without a surety, which is contrary to the current of the scriptures. But if he were so far a surety for all, then he is so far an advocate for all; for he appears an advocate in heaven for al those for whom he appeared as a surety on the cross. Hence the apostle saith in general, If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, (l John ii. 1); he saith not strictly, if the elect sin, but at large, if any man sin we have an advocate; and as the true groundwork of this general advocation, he adds, he is the propitiation for the whole world, (v. 2). So far forth as he was a propitiation for the world, so far forth he is an advocate for it. And another apostle affirms, that Christ is a mediator between God and men, (1 Tim. ii. 5); he says not, betwixt God and his church, but betwixt God and men; and the following words give the true reason of it. "Christ gave himself a ransom for all," v. 6), he is no less a mediator for all. than he was a ransom for all. Christ’s blood shed on the cross spake thus far for all men, that they might have their pardon on gospel terms; and after wards being carried to heaven, it speaks the very same language for them; for the voice or speech of that blood is its merit, and that merit is of an indeficient virtue. Hence that blood cannot be speechless, because it cannot be meritless; and so far on earth as it merited for al, so far in heaven it speaks and intercedes for all. Moreover, as Christ’s blood speaks the same things for them in heaven as it did on earth, so Christ’s will in heaven stands in the same posture towards them as it did on earth; wherefore, in a sort, he intercedes for all.

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Polhill:

1. The price is redemptive from the guilt of sin and wrath of God; and this in a more immediate way by itself. Now, albeit the entire price concur herein, yet because as to this there is a special reluctancy in some parts thereof, I shall only insist on give things, viz.,

1. Our sins were laid upon Christ.

2. He suffered the same punishment, for the main, that was due to these sins. . . .

There are two essentials of punishment of hell, poena sensus, et poena damni, and he suffered both: when the fire of God’s wrath melted into a bloody sweat, where was poena sensus; and when the great eclipse of God’s favor made him cry out of forsaking, there was poena damni. Christ suffered the same punishment for the main, which we should have suffered; the chief change was in the person, the just suffering for the unjust, the surety for the sinner. But you would say, Christ did not suffer the same punishment, for he neither suffered eternal death, not yet the worm of conscience.

As to that of eternal death, I answer by two distinctions.

1. In eternal Death we must distinguish between the immensity of the sufferings and the Duration; the Immensity is essential to it, but the duration is but mora in esse and accidental. Christ suffered eternal Death as to the immensity of his sufferings, though not as to the duration of them; he paid down the idem, as to essentials of punishment, and the tantundem as to the accidentals; what was wanting in the duration of his sufferings, was more than compensated by the dignity of his person: for it was far more for God to suffer for a moment, than for all creatures to suffer to eternity.

2. We must distinguish between punishment as it stands in the law absolutely, and punishment as it stands there in relation to a finite creature, which cannot at once admit a punishment commensurate to its offense; and so must ever suffer, because it cannot satisfy to eternity. Punishment as it stands in the law absolutely, is death punishment as it stands there in relation to a finite creature, is eternal death: the first was really suffered by Christ, and the second could not be justly exacted of him; for he paid down the whole sum of sufferings al at once, and so swallowed up death in victory.

Edward Polhill, The Divine Will Considered in its Eternal Decrees in, The Works of Edward Polhill (Morgan PA.: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1988), 153 and 154. [Some spelling modernized; italics original; and underlining mine.]

[Credit to Tony for the find.]

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My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2: 1-2

The aim of this essay is to draw out the implicit forms of the argument which are normally assumed in arguments for limited satisfaction based on 1 John 2:2. My goal is to make these implicit arguments or assumptions explicit.1 As with many of the arguments for limited satisfaction, the basic form runs along the lines of a modus tollens axis.2 A premise is alleged, and then a modus tollens argument is enlisted. More formally the argument looks something like this: If Christ died for a person, that person cannot fail be saved.3 This is then simply generalized or converted into a universal statement:

If Christ died for the whole world, then the whole world will necessarily be saved4
It is not the case that the whole world is saved
Therefore, it is not the case that Christ died for the whole world

I argue that sort of argument lies at the back of the arguments for limited satisfaction based on 1 John 2:2.

The overarching goal of this essay is to remove the alleged logical impediments enlisted to restrict or limit the meaning of “whole world” in 1 John 2:2.

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Revisiting John 17 and Jesus’ Prayer for the World

Regarding Jesus’ prayer in John 17, these facts are always alleged, assumed, and asserted, even though they are never supported by any confirming evidence:

1. That this is a specific and effectual high priestly prayer on the part of Jesus.
2. That the “world” of 17: 9 respects the world of the reprobate.
3. That those “given” in verse 9 represent the totality of the elect.
4. That the extent of the high priestly intercession delimits the scope of the satisfaction.
5. That the two parallel clauses in verses 21 and 23 are systemically overlooked or misread.

This short essay will not attempt to answer 1-4, specifically, but focus on 5: That the two parallel clauses in verses 21 and 23 are systemically overlooked or misread.

The verses read:

17:21: “that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe [πιστευω] that You sent Me

17: 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know [γινωσκω] that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.

Or in short:

21 so that the world may believe [πιστευω] that You sent Me.

23 so that the world may know [γινωσκω] that You sent Me.

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5
Feb

Leon Morris (1914-2006) on John 1:29

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in John 1:29

Morris:

The verb "takes away" conveys the notion of bearing off.62 It is perhaps not specific enough to point to anyone particular means of atonement, but it does signify atonement, and that by substitution. "Jesus bears the consequence of human sin in order that its guilt may be removed" (Hoskyns). It is removed completely, carried right off. John speaks of sin,63 not sins (if. I John 1: 9). He is referring to the totality of the world’s sin, rather than to a number of individual acts. The expression "the sin of the world" does not appear to be used prior to this passage. The reference to "the world" is another glance at the comprehensiveness of Christ’s atonement. It is completely adequate for the needs of all men. Right at the beginning of his Gospel John points us forward to the cross and to the significance of the cross.

Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1971), 148. [Some minor reformatting; some spelling modernized; footnote values and content original; and underlining mine.]

[Credit to Derrick Merkel for the find]

 

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62The verb is αἴρϖ, which John uses more than any other New Testament writer (26 times). It is found with the object ἁμαρτημα in I Sam. IS : 25, and ἀνοημα in I Sam. 25: 28, both times in the sense "forgive." The idea of bearing sin in Heb. 9 : 28; I Pet. 2 : 24 is conveyed by αναϕερϖ, but there is not likely to be a great difference in meaning. MacGregor, agreeing that the verb αἴρϖ means not "take upon oneself", but "take out of the way," yet says, "But the latter thought, while enriching the former, also includes it, for a lamb can only ‘remove’ sin by vicariously ‘bearing’ it, and this Christ did." J. Jeremias sees two possible meanings of the verb in this passage: "to take up and carry" and "to carry off". He says, "In both cases it is a matter of setting aside the guilt of others. In the former, however, the means of doing this is by a substitutionary bearing of penalty ; in the latter sin is removed by a means of expiation" (TDNT, I, pp. 185f.). In the Johannine manner probably both meanings are in . mind. For the concept of sinbearing see my The Cross in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, 1965), pp. 322ff.

63John’s interest in the sins of men should not be missed. He uses the noun ἁμαρτια 17 times, the same total as in i John. The only New Testament books which use the term more are Romans (48 times) and Hebrews (25 times).