Part 2 Chapter 3

Section 4—Romans 8:34.

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died.

The argument from these words, in favor of peculiar, and against universal redemption, stands thus: Those for whom Christ died are God's elect; and these in virtue of his, death are freed from condemnation, and may boldly say, Who is he that condemneth?But God's elect, are not all men, or all men are not God's elect; nor are all men freed from condemnation by the death of Christ; nor can they all say, Who is he that condemneth?It follows, that Christ died not for all men. That those for whom Christ died are God's elect, is evident from the connection of the words with the preceding verse: Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect: It is God that justifieth,that is, his elect; Who is he that condemneth?that is, the elect of God: It is Christ that died,that is, for God's elect. Should it be said,[1] as it is, that by God's elect are meant true believers; it should be observed, that they are not denominated God's elect from their being true believers, but they become true believers in consequence of their being God's elect. Besides, should this sense of the phrase be admitted of, it will be of no service; for if, instead of God's elect, we read true believers, the sense of the words will be this; Who shalt lay anything to the charge of true believers? It is God that justifieth true believers? Who is he that condemneth true believers? It is Christ that died for true believers. Now all men are not true believers, to whom Christ is precious; nor have all men that faith which works by love. Moreover, that all for whom Christ died are, by his death, freed from condemnation, and may say, Who is he that condemneth?will abundantly appear from these considerations; that Christ, by dying, has had the sentence of condemnation they deserved, executed on him, in their room and stead; sin, the cause of condemnation, is removed by his death, the full pardon of it procured, and a justifying righteousness brought in, with which the law and justice of God, are fully satisfied: and therefore, consistent with the justice of God, the persons for whom Christ died cannot be condemned; and should any of them be condemned, his death would not be a security from condemnation; for would it be a sufficient foundation for the apostle's triumph of faith. Now it is certain that all men are not secured from condemnation; there is a world that will be condemned (1 Cor. 11:32). Whence it follows, that Christ died not for all men. To this is excepted,[2]

1. “That this argument supposeth, that Christ died for none who shall hereafter be condemned” Which is very true; for should any be condemned for whom Christ died, his dying for them must be in vain and be no security against condemnation: and whereas it is asked, “Must it not hence follow, that none of the unbelieving Jews among whom Christ preached, nor none of the unbelieving world to whom the apostles preached, shall be condemned for not believing in him? Since they could never be obliged to do so for whom he never died which is contrary to John 3:18, Mark 16:16. “It may be replied, that the Jews and Gentiles to whom Christ is preached, are obliged to believe that Christ is God, the Son of God, the true Messiah, etc., according to the tenor of the revelation made to them; and may be justly condemned for not believing in him as such, even though he died not for them; for that he died for them, is what they are not obliged to believe, that being no part of the revelation made to them; nor will they be condemned for not believing that he died for them, but for their neglect, contempt, and unbelief of him and his Gospel, which is the sense of the passage alleged.

2. It is said,[3] that “there is no such proposition in the Scripture as this, that all for whom Christ died may say, who shall condemn them?but only that the persons there spoken of may say this, who were the sons and heirs of God,(vv. 14-17); had received the first-fruits of the Spirit (v. 23); loved God (v. 28); and were justified by him; (v. 33).” To which I answer, that though this proposition is not expressed in so many words in Scripture, yet it is strongly supported by the passage under consideration; and should it be admitted, that only the persons spoken of in the context may say this, yet it is certain, that all who are partakers of the same grace and have received the same Spirit, may also say so too; yea, all the elect, even all that Christ died for, may say so sooner or later: for though the elect themselves cannot say this till they have believed, yet as their faith and repentance do not interest them in Christ, nor in his death, nor in the benefits of it; so they do not say so, as is suggested, upon their faith and repentance, but upon the account of Christ's death. Besides, our argument does not barely rest upon the elect, or those for whom Christ died, saying,or being able to say this, but upon the doctrine contained in it; that all those for whom Christ died, are by his death secured from condemnation; if therefore, any of the sons and daughters of men shall be condemned, as multitudes will be, we conclude that Christ died not for them.


[1] Whitby, p. 46; ed. 2.45.

[2] Ibid. p. 151; ed. 2.148.

[3] Whitby, p. 152; ed. 2.148, 149.

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