The Gospel Mystery

The good news of Messiah’s resurrection changed the world (Ac 17:6), shattering the worldview of thousands overnight. There’s been nothing else like it, either before or since.

WildFlowerSunriseThe Resurrection points us to an awesome mystery: Messiah Yeshua dealt with human sin, bearing all the sins of all believers (1Pe_2:24), paying their sin debt in full (Is 53:11) and securing their eternal salvation. But He also offers salvation to all (1Jn 2:2), calling all people to believe on Him, to enter into His rest and be saved. (Ac 17:30). It’s a mystery (Ep 6:19) how He effectually and infallibly saves only a few by dying for them, while also being the Savior of all, even those who ultimately perish. (1Ti_4:10)

I believe the answer lies in God’s infinitude: He’s outside time and space (2Pe 3:8), ever present in every moment of time. Whatever God does He’s eternally doing — He only died once (He 10:10) but He can die for anyone at any time, because He’s still there — dying on that cross. He’s always been there, and He always will be.

The atonement of Christ is limited to believers, but He’s offering it to all; He will save everyone who seeks Him (He 11:6) and make them a new creature. On this day of Firstfruits, where we celebrate His resurrection (1Co 15:23), let’s enjoy the mystery, and glory in our God! (1Co 1:31) He sure is amazing!

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3 thoughts on “The Gospel Mystery”

    1. Thanks! Maybe not a traditional one though. I never found what I thought was a legitimate universal offer of the Gospel in Calvinism. 🙂
      Also, hope you noticed the influence of your last drash. It blessed me deeply. Thanks again.

  1. A challenge in the underlying article, Limited Atonement for All, lies in the reasonableness of believing in and relying on Christ if He has not already died for everyone, for the whole world.

    As the Calvinist doesn’t know for sure if Christ has died for him, since he claims Christ only died for the elect, and he has to hope that he is elect, but cannot actually prove this and might be deceived about it, doesn’t Time-Ex imply an equivalent presumption that Christ dies for me personally when I believe on Him? Isn’t it possible that I might believe on Christ even though He didn’t die for me, since He didn’t die for everyone?

    I think the key difference between Calvinism and Time-Ex here lies in the universal offer of salvation: Calvinism teaches that the set of souls redeemed by Christ is fixed and arbitrarily limited from eternity past, such that it is entirely independent of our practical experience of believing on Christ. We are either saved or we aren’t, and this has already been decided by God and effected by Christ outside of our experience. If we aren’t elect, then any belief in Christ is pointless, a vain hope, since the Calvinist doesn’t see the promise of salvation as a universal one, offered to and available to every single soul.

    However, Time-Ex ties the reality of the atonement itself to the practical experience of the believer, and admits that the scope of the atonement (the souls who are actually saved by the death of Christ) literally changes over time as more and more people believe on Christ. Time-Ex tells me that I am called to believe on Christ, that I am responsible to do so, that God will help me do this if I earnestly seek Him for it, and that I actually can know Christ died for me, because I know that I trust Him, and His promise is that those who trust in Him are saved by His death. (Jn 3:16)

    Once God gives me faith, that Christ has died for me, enabling me to trust in Him, this faith/trust/belief is fully grounded and established by the reality of the divine promise, because the promise excludes no one who believes. I can observe the faith He has given me and know that it is real, and I can be confident that this belief results in salvation based on God’s promise, producing hope that is an anchor of my soul, both sure and steadfast.

    “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.” (He 6:18-19)

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