Sunday, March 14, 2010

John Owen: Christ's work of mediation is for His people, not for "all" and "everyone" who ever lived

It was his “church” which he “redeemed with his own blood,” Acts xx. 28; his “church” that “he loved and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church,” Eph. v. 25–27. They were his “sheep” he “laid down his life for,” John x. 15; and “appeareth in heaven for us,” Heb. ix. 24. Not one word of mediating for any other in the Scripture. Look upon his incarnation. It was “because the children were partakers of flesh and blood,” chap. ii. 14; not because all the world were so. Look upon his oblation: “For their sakes,” saith he, (“those whom thou hast given me,”) “do I sanctify myself,” John xvii. 19; that is, to be an oblation, which was the work he had then in hand. Look upon his resurrection: “He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification,” Rom. iv. 25. Look upon his ascension: “I go,” saith he, “to my Father and your Father, and that to prepare a place for you,” John xiv. 2. Look upon his perpetuated intercession. Is it not to “save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him?” Heb. vii. 25. Not one word of this general mediation for all. Nay, if you will hear himself, he denies in plain terms to mediate for all: “I pray not,” saith he, “for the world, but for them which then hast given me,” John xvii. 9.

... To me nothing is more certain than that to whom Christ is in any sense a Saviour in the work of redemption, he saves them to the uttermost from all their sins of infidelity and disobedience, with the saving of grace here and glory hereafter.

(John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ)

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