Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 34) - 2Co 5:14-15; 2Co 5:19-20; 2Co 13:5Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.
For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse. For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace 82. 2Co 5:14-15 A. "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15) And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again." (2Co 5:14-15) B. Do these verses teach that Christ died for the entire human race? i. Since there are plenty of instances in scripture where "all" refers to "all of a given thing" or "all in a given context" (ex: Mar 1:37; Mar 5:20 - See Section II,11,A on Universal Language), it is necessary to compare scripture with scripture to determine who the "all" are for whom Christ died. ii. As has been proven before (See Joh 1:29 - Section III and 1Co 15:22 - Section III), the "all" that Christ died for were His sheep (Joh 10:15) whom the Father had given Him (Joh 17:2) who are comprised of people out of every nation, kindred, and people (Rev 5:9). C. In what way "were all dead" for whom Christ died (2Co 5:14)? i. First of all, all that Christ died for were spiritually dead when He died for them (Rom 5:6-8). ii. Secondly, our "old man" (our old sinful nature) was crucified with Christ (Rom 6:6), and therefore is dead with Him (Rom 6:7-8). iii. Those that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts (Gal 5:24) and they continue to die to themselves daily (Luk 9:23; 1Co 15:31). iv. We are crucified with Christ and live by Him and unto Him (Gal 2:20 c/w 2Co 5:15). 83. 2Co 5:19-20 A. "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." (2Co 5:19-20) B. Did God reconcile the entire human race to Himself in Christ? (2Co 5:19) i. Reconcile v. - I. 1. a. trans. To bring (a person) again into friendly relations to or with (oneself or another) after an estrangement. ii. World n. - III. The inhabitants of the earth, or a section of them. iii. The "world" whom God reconciled to Himself cannot be all the inhabitants of the earth for all time for the following reasons: a. This reconciliation is a completed action: God hath reconciled us to Himself (2Co 5:18). b. Those who were reconciled do not have their sins imputed to them (2Co 5:19). c. If God did this to the entire human race then they all have their sins forgiven and are all saved eternally. d. This is most definitely not the case (Mat 25:41; Rev 20:15). e. God is not in friendly relations with most of the human race (Psa 7:11; Isa 57:21). iv. Therefore the "world" that God reconciled must be a section of the inhabitants of the earth. (See Joh 1:29 - Section III) v. The "world" that Christ died for were His sheep (Joh 10:15) whom the Father had given Him (Joh 17:2) who are comprised of people out of every nation, kindred, and people (Rev 5:9). C. Is the reconciliation of men to God dependent on their compliance or action (be ye reconciled to God)? (2Co 5:20) i. There are two aspects of reconciliation under consideration in 1Co 5:18-20. ii. There is the eternal aspect which God alone accomplishes. a. This aspect of reconciliation is complete and God is the only active party: God hath reconciled us to himself (2Co 5:18); God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself (2Co 5:19). b. Christ made eternal peace between God and His elect by the blood of His cross (Col 1:20-22). c. This eternal reconciliation was accomplished for sinners long before they had a choice in the matter. d. This reconciliation happened when we were enemies of God, not penitents seeking peace (Rom 5:10). iii. There is also the temporal aspect, for which man is responsible. a. God has given to His ministers the ministry of reconciliation (2Co 5:18) and the word of reconciliation (2Co 5:19). 1. Ministry n. - 1. The action of ministering; the rendering of service; the performance of any office or labour for another. 2. Word n. - 1. Things said, or something said; speech, talk, discourse, utterance; esp. with possessive, what the person mentioned says or said; 3. In other words, God has given His ministers the work of telling God's children about what God has already done for them. b. God sends His ministers, who are His ambassadors, to His people beseeching them in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God (2Co 5:20). c. God's children reconcile (to bring into friendly relations with) themselves to God by believing Him (Jam 2:23) and by keeping His commandments (Joh 14:15 c/w Joh 15:14). d. Keeping God's commandments and doing those things that are pleasing in His sight (1Jo 3:22) appeases God's anger toward His children, thus reconciling them to Him temporally. e. Any parent knows what this type of reconciliation is all about. 84. 2Co 13:5 A. "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2Co 13:5) B. Does being in the faith cause one to not be a reprobate? Do we need to continually examine ourselves so that we don't go to hell? C. Reprobate - 1. One rejected by God; one who has fallen away from grace or religion; one lost in sin. D. Having Christ in oneself is the opposite of being a reprobate. i. If a man is a reprobate, then Christ isn't in him. ii. If Christ is in a man, then he isn't a reprobate. E. This is an exhortation for self-examination, which we should all do (Lam 3:40; Psa 139:23-24). F. If a man has the Spirit of Christ in him (Jesus Christ is in you - 2Co 13:5), then he is a child of God and a joint-heir with Christ (Rom 8:9-17). i. God's elect have the Spirit of adoption within them (Rom 8:15). ii. God sent the Spirit into the hearts of His elect because they are His sons (Gal 4:5-6). iii. Notice that being a son preceded the Spirit being sent into their hearts (Gal 4:6). iv. They became sons of God by God choosing before the foundation of the world to adopt them as His sons in Jesus Christ (Eph 1:4-5). v. Therefore, if Jesus Christ is in a man, he is not a reprobate (2Co 13:5), but rather an elect child of God. G. A man can know that Christ is in him, and he in Christ, if he is in the faith; hence the reason to examine himself (2Co 13:5). i. Those who walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh are in Christ Jesus and have no condemnation (Rom 8:1). ii. Walking in the Spirit is bearing the fruit of the Spirit in one's life which shows that one is Christ's (Gal 5:22-25). iii. Those who believe that Jesus is the Christ are born of God (in other words, they are the sons of God, which proves that Christ is in them) (1Jo 5:1). H. Examining oneself doesn't put Christ in oneself; only God can do that (Gal 4:5-6 c/w Eph 1:4-5). I. Examining oneself rather gives one the assurance that Christ is in him and that he is not a reprobate (2Pe 1:10-11). For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace