Tianqi Wu — Being a human death does not mean that Christ’s death has saving value for all human beings. If Christ did not bear someone’s sins, then his death has no saving value for specific sinners.
Many people think it sounds pious to separate Christ’s death from the imputation of specific sins to Christ and say that Christ’s death has “intrinisic value” because of His “infinite deity” . But apart from God’s imputation of specific sins, Christ’s death is not a sin offering. No matter how much you seek to praise the dignity of the person of Christ, if his death is not a sin offering for someone, then Christ’s death is not the objective reality which saves any sinner from God’s wrath.
Some will agree that Christ’s death is not sufficient for angels because Christ did not take angelic nature but human nature. They do not say, Christ’s death has “infinite value” and therefore is sufficient for angels as well. Yet they assume that Christ’s death was also sufficient for non-elect humans. To them what matters most is Christ’s incarnation and all that matters is that Christ died a human death. To them, imputation is something the sinner is enabled to do.
But dying a human death, in itself, does not mean salvation for anybody at all. For a sinner to be justified, Christ had to die the death that is the punishment for their sins. For this to happen there must be a transfer of guilt of their sins to Christ. This transfer of guilt happened only if Christ is their representative, which relation happened only if their election in Christ was ordained by God’s counsel.
The sufficient but efficient distinction attempts to fudge this, by making Christ’s death have a less specific nature under the cover of “infinity”, and at the same time introducing conditions for using Christ’s death. Thus regeneration becomes the specific grace which enables the elect to make Christ’s death work for them. In this view, Christ’ ‘s death is not a propitiation for specific persons