1) Yet it will be seen at a glance that if the actual redemption of the elect is not discussed under “The Work of the Holy Spirit,” this topic may be treated very briefly; since nearly all that may properly be said upon it has either been anticipated in speaking of the divine authority and inspiration of the Scriptures, or will be embraced necessarily in a discussion of the subjects comprehended in “the doctrine of redemption,”–the word “redemptionbeing used to signify the application of the atonement to those who are saved. Alvah Hovey, A Manual of Christian Systematic and Christian Ethics (Boston: [Henry A. Young] 1877), 241. [Underlining mine.]

2) But the fact which is fairly implied in the words of Peter seems to be directly affirmed by the Apostle John: “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.”1 Here the sins of believers are contrasted with those of the world; and the propitiatory death of Christ is said to have respect, not to the former only, but also to the latter. Moreover, as the word propitiation refers to the sacrificial death of Christ, it is distinguishable from redemption, since it does not imply an actual deliverance from wrath. For when the Jewish high priest, on the great day of Atonement, made reconciliation for all the people, a way was opened for them to come before God with acceptance; but if they refused to do this and despised his service, his indignation still burned against them. The same is true of Christ. He was set forth as a propitiation, to exhibit the righteousness of God, in order that God might be just while justifying the believer in Jesus. And even if the word “Advocate” has reference to believers only, the word “propitiation” may well have a wider reference; for the apostle’s thought may be thus expressed:

My little children, I write these things to you, that ye may not sin. But I do not forget what I have just said, that no one of us has avoided every sin. Yet the Christian, who has fallen into sin, need not despair of pardon; for though, as transgressors, we cannot come ourselves before a holy God, we have an advocate with him, even Jesus Christ who is righteous, and who evermore intercedes for us. And this he can do with far greater effect than the Jewish high priest, who entered the holy of holies with another’s blood, for he comes with his own blood, an ample basis for his plea in our behalf, since it was offered by him as a suitable expiation for our sins, and indeed not for ours only, but for the sins of all mankind, our own included.

This view of the apostle’s thought is favored by the word “whole,” prefixed to “world,”–the “whole world,” meaning all mankind, without exception. Alvah Hovey, God With Us: Or, The Person and Work of Christ (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1872), 174-175. [Some reformatting; footnote value and content original; and underlining mine.]


11 John ii. 2.

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