Did Christ Die For Everybody But Not for Anybody’s Sins?

In Taste and See (Multnomah,1999, p325), John Piper endorses the conditional false gospel. “Christ died for all sinners, so that IF you will repent and believe in Christ, then the death of Jesus will become effective in your case and will take away your sins. ‘Died for you,’ means that, if you believe, the death of Jesus will cover your sins. Now, as far as it goes, this is biblical teaching.”

Piper then goes on to disagree with Arminians for not teaching that Christ died to purchase faith for the elect. But he does not disagree with Arminians about propitiation and substitution and punishment. Piper’s false gospel does not teach that Christ was specifically punished for the elect alone. It still only has a punishment in general, to be assigned later to those who believe.

But can we call Piper an Arminian, since he does insist that Christ also died for the elect to give them something extra that He will not be giving the non-elect? It does not matter what we call Piper’s false gospel, if we see that it misses being gospel

The false gospel fails to report that Christ was punished specifically for the elect, and thus it will be heard every time as saying that there was enough punishment done to Christ to save even people who will nevertheless end up being punished.

Thus, even though it has punishment, this false gospel is not about punishment that REPLACES punishment for all whom Christ intended to save. We might call it “respresentative” punishment but we cannot call it “substitutionary” punishment. We could call it “penal” justice but with the qualification that no specific person’s sins were ever legally transferred to Christ. Indeed, the false gospel denies that any specific penality (let alone guilt) for anybody sins was transferred to Christ until “faith causes justification”.

The false gospel says that Christ died for everybody (but the fallen angels?) but it denies that this punishment was for the sins of anybody in particular. So “dead for you” means that now you have an open door, an opportunity to do something with Christ’s death which will lead to your salvation. And the false Spirit taught by the false gospel supposedly will help the elect to believe this false gospel.

Explore posts in the same categories: atonement, election


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6 Comments on “Did Christ Die For Everybody But Not for Anybody’s Sins?”

  1. Kenneth Hurst Says:

    This false gospel is preposterous and I just don’t know how to say it but one way. Piper is a man appeaser.and I guess he would make a great politician. in today’s world.

  2. fuddybuddy Says:

    This thing with Piper was sealed for me the day I read in his book “Desiring God” that if we don’t have enough good works to show Jesus at the day of judgment, then we will go to Hell even if we have been justified.


    Piper, future grace, works not only as evidence for us and other people but for God

    How then can I say that the judgment of believers will not only be the public declaration of our differing rewards in the kingdom of God, according to our deeds, but will also be the public declaration of our salvation – our entering the kingdom – according to our deeds? The answer is that our deeds will be the public evidence brought forth in Christ’s courtroom to demonstrate that our faith is real. And our deeds will be the public evidence brought fourth to demonstrate the varying measures of our obedience of faith. In other words, salvation is by grace through faith, and rewards are by grace through faith, but the evidence of invisible faith in the judgment hall of Christ will be a transformed life. (Future Grace, p 364)

    Several times Paul listed certain kinds of deeds and said, “those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). In other words, when these deeds are exposed at the judgment as a person’s way of life, they will be the evidence that their faith is dead and he will not be saved. As James said, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). That is what will be shown at the judgment. (Future Grace, p 366)

  4. markmcculley Says:

    first thing they want you to agree to is that it’s not the gospel ware—-a first-order discussion of a second-order doctrine. The contributors to this volume agree that the question of the extent of the atonement falls short of being placed in the top tier of doctrines central and non-negotiable to the Christian faith, yet they also rightly see the importance of this doctrine for faith and practice. Hence, the discussion here is spirited yet charitable, firm yet gracious
    Happily the dire predictions of what lies at the bottom of the slippery slopes situated on either side of this debate are rarely realized
    The debate on the extent of the atonement of Jesus Christ has long been expressed as a debate between correspondence (exegesis) and coherence (theology). On the one hand, many texts suggest a general atonement, announcing, apparently, that Christ has borne in common the sins of the whole human population (Isa 53:6; John 1:29; 3:16; 12:32; 2 Cor 5:14–15, 19; 1 Tim 2:4–6; 4:10; Titus 2:11; Heb 2:9; 10:29; 2 Pet 2:1; 3:9; 1 John 2:2; 4:14; etc.). Too often those who hold to particular redemption dismiss such texts or respond with exegesis that smacks of special pleading.4 On the other hand, those promoting universal theories of atonement sometimes dismiss the theological tensions that their positions raise: the nature of substitution, the problem of double jeopardy, and the specter of universalism. All too often justification for this dismissal comes in the form of the trump card of biblical correspondence: the Bible says Christ died for all people, so whether or not this makes sense, it must be true—absolutely clear statements are not threatened by the theologian’s inability to coherently harmonize them with the systematic whole. Rather, such theological antinomies stand as monuments to the mysterious character of the Creator, whose thoughts and ways far exceed those of his creatures. This does not mean that those adhering to a definite atonement have no supporting texts or that those adhering to a general atonement have no theological concerns.
    • On the particularist pole we could have added at least two views: (1) the so-called “commercial view,” a minority variation of particularism that denies the atonement’s infinite value and excludes common grace from the atonement,9 and (2) the “eternal application” model that sees the accomplishment and application of atonement as simultaneous—either in eternity past or on the cross.10
    9 Thomas J. Nettles argues for this less common particularist understanding (though without using the commercial label) over and against Andrew Fuller’s more widely held historical expression of particularism (By His Grace and for His Glory: A Historical, Theological, and Practical Study of the Doctrines of Grace in Baptist Life, rev. and exp. 20th anniversary ed. [Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, 2006], 335–59). 10 Once a rare view even among hyper-Calvinists (see, e.g., John Brine, A Defence of the Doctrine of Eternal Justification from Some Exceptions Made to It by Mr. Bragge, and Others [London: A. Ward and H. Whitridge, 1732]), this view has few if any modern proponents
    mark— i am in on #1, but not #2, but most people assume 2 if you have 1
    at least four distinct views associated with a general atonement position: (1) that Christ’s death secures the expiation of all sins and with it prevenient grace so that all may either accept or reject that expiation;11 (2) that Christ’s death simply provides for the expiation of all sins except unbelief, which is a separate category;12 (3) that Christ’s death merely satisfies God’s wrath without properly substituting for each sinner;13 and (4) that Christ’s death expiates for all, universalism
    11 This view is common among professing Arminians who reject the governmental view of atonement. Grant Osborne ably defends this view in this book. 12 Robert P. Lightner, The Death Christ Died: A Biblical Case for Unlimited Atonement (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1998), 101; David L. Allen, “The Atonement: Limited or Universal,” in Whosoever Will: A Biblical-Theological Critique of Five-Point Calvinism, ed. David L. Allen and Steve W. Lemke (Nashville: B&H, 2010), 88. 13 Anselm’s satisfaction view, which still dominates in Roman Catholic circles, arguably fits this description.
    g., P. L. Rouwendal, “Calvin’s Forgotten Classical Position on the Extent of the Atonement: About Sufficiency, Efficiency, and Anachronism,” WTJ 70, no. 2 (Fall 2008): 317–35. 17 E.g., Bruce A. Ware, “The Extent of the Atonement: Select Support for and Benefits of a ‘Multiple Intentions’ Understanding,” outline presented at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (November 18, 2010). See also a thesis prepared by Gary Shultz under Ware’s tutelage: “A Biblical and Theological Defense of a Multi-Intentioned View of the Atonement” (PhD diss., Southern Baptist Theological
    For these a definite atonement is no less essential a piece of the Reformed system than, say, justification by faith or any of the other four “points” of Calvinism
    Brian Armstrong’s dissertation, “The Calvinism of Moïse Amyraut: The Warfare of Protestant Scholasticism and French Humanism” (ThD diss., Princeton University, 1967), available in a more popular format as Calvinism and the Amyraut Heresy: Protestant Scholasticism and Humanism in Seventeenth-Century France (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969). This view gained considerable popularity in 1979 with the publication of R. T. Kendall’s dissertation, Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979). Among other works sympathetic to this thesis, two stand out as key sequels to these earlier treatments: Alan C. Clifford, Atonement and Justification: English Evangelical Theology 1640–1790—An Evaluation (London: Oxford University Press, 1990); and G. Michael Thomas’s The Extent of the Atonement: A Dilemma for Reformed Theology from Calvin to the Consensus (Carlisle, England: Paternoster, 2002). Most recently, Kevin D. Kennedy has furthered this theory by condensing salient portions of an earlier Peter Lang publication as “Was Calvin a Calvinist? John Calvin on the Extent of the Atonement,” in Allen and Lemke, Whosoever Will, 191–212
    Many today who hold to a general atonement also teach a substitutionary view of atonement (a marked advance on the governmental and moral influence views that were formerly more common in Arminian circles). Particularists, however, see this claim as inconsistent: while advocates of general atonement may hold to an atonement that involves penal satisfaction, it is not accurate to call this a penal substitution, except in some potential sense.
    Nowhere does Scripture say Christ merely made provision to expiate sin, propitiate wrath, or reconcile people to God. Rather, he actually took away sins (John 1:29), bore God’s wrath (1 John 2:2; 4:10), redeemed us (Gal 3:13–14), and reconciled us to God (Rom 5:10– 11; 2 Cor 5:18–19). For this reason, then, the title of Murray’s little book is not Redemption: Provided and Applied, but Redemption: Accomplished and Applied
    For advocates of universal atonement, God did accomplish all that he intended. But God did not intend to effectually redeem anyone; he simply intended to provide redemption for everyone. And in this, they claim, God was perfectly successful. 3 The precise relationship of faith to atonement is a matter of debate among advocates of universal atonement. All agree, however, that faith delimits the application of the universal atonement.
    Details about the source of this faith vary between advocates of general atonement. Some suggest that all people possess the native capacity to believe (Pelagianism), others that faith is made available as a manifestation of prevenient grace (Picirilli and most Arminians), and still others see faith as connected with an efficacious call (Lightner and many “four-point” Calvinists). In any case it is the sinner’s failure to believe that limits the application of atonement.
    Christ died to make simultaneously both a “universal atonement” and a “limited redemption.”44 Historically, this centrist view finds its greatest early Protestant endorsement in the school of Saumur and its greatest early champions in John Cameron and especially Moïses Amyraut.45 Amyraldism, which is properly a minority variation of Calvinism, early on adopted Peter Lombard’s understanding that Christ’s death was “offered . . . for all with regard to the sufficiency of the price, but only for the elect with regard to its efficacy, because he brought about salvation only for the predestined.”46 The connotative elasticity of the phrase “sufficient for all but efficient for the elect” proved useful as a vehicle of mediation at Dordt, where in 1618–19 a mixed body of both “high” Calvinists and Amyraldians crafted a united response to the threat of the Arminian Remonstrance—the famed Canons of Dordt, from which the wellknown “five points” derive.

    • markmcculley Says:

      Amyraut—“Sin seems to have changed not only the whole face of the universe, but even the entire design of the first creation, and if one may speak this way, seems to have induced to adopt new councels”

      and thus God becomes the God who declares not the end from the beginning but the end from the fall

      the fall is conditioned on the sinner, and the creation is either plan a or no plan at all

      did God make the world, and then decide (after man decided) what to do with the world

      why must we deny that death is God’s work also?

      why must we deny that the fall of Adam is God’s work also?

      why must we keep talking about what Adam “could have done” or “might have done”?

      was God’s plan a to be glorified in a church of human Adams who never sinned? (Ephesians 3:20)

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