For Whom Did Christ Die?
"The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son
underwent punishment for, either:
1. All the sins of all men, or
2. All the sins of some men, or
3. Some of the sins of all men.
In which case it may be said:
a. That if the last be true, all men have some
sins to answer for, and so none are saved.
b. That if the second be true, then Christ, in
their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole
world, and this is the truth.
c. But if the first be the case, why are not all
men free from the punishment due unto their sins?
You answer, Because of unbelief. I ask, Is this
unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the
punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder
them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did
not die for all their sins!"
Dr. John Owen (1616-1683), Vice Chancellor of Oxford
University (cf. "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ," Works,
vol. 10, pp. 173-174).
John Owen: "Neither let any deceive your
wisdoms, by affirming that they are differences of an inferior nature
that are at this day agitated between the Arminians and the orthodox
divines of the reformed church ... you will find them hewing at the very
root of Christianity ... one church cannot wrap in her communion
[Augustine] and Pelagius, Calvin and Arminius ... The sacred bond of
peace compasseth only the unity of that Spirit which leadeth into all
truth. We must not offer the right hand of fellowship, bur rather
proclaim ... ‘a holy war,’ to such enemies of God’s providence, Christ’s
merit, and the powerful operation of the Holy Spirit" ("A Display of
Arminianism," Works, vol. 10, p. 7).