2nd Corinthians 5:14

2nd Corinthians 5:14-15 (see also Romans 5:15)
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.























Adrian Rogers explains: “One man sinned and got us into trouble; one Man died on the cross and got us out, plus He forgave every sin and promises us eternal life.” (Foundations for our Faith, p.17)

Adrian Rogers comments: “Now what Paul is saying is, ‘This is what motivates me. I’m not crazy.’ They were all dead, and Jesus died for all. He died for all. And if you don’t say that Jesus died for all, you might as well just (with the same logic) say that all were not dead, that in Adam, all did not die. But the Bible says that in Adam all died, even so in Christ, are all made alive. … Now the Hyper Calvinists, the Ultra Calvinists, will say, ‘No, if you say that Jesus’ death was for all, and all don’t get saved, then that makes His death ineffectual; it means that He is not sovereign.’ Well, I’d like to ask you a question: When God fed the children of Israel with manna in the wilderness, and some was eaten, do you think that some of it lay on the ground and did not get picked up? Of course. Does that mean that God didn’t do it, or that God was not showing love and mercy just because some manna was not taken?” (Dr. Adrian Rogers on Reformed Theology)





















The alternative to this, is what Calvinists believe, which is that the all who died, really means believers, which is in turn, used to infer the Calvinisticly elect:

Calvinist, Matt Slick, writes: The all who died can only be Christians. That’s how it goes biblically. Since he died for ‘all’ and the ‘all who died’ can only be the Christians, then those who he died for are the Christians.... the elect.” (Hey Calvinists! Did Christ die for all? Of course he did!, emphasis mine)

No, that’s not how it goes biblically. All died. Jesus is the remedy. Whoever believes receives.













In other words, Calvinists propose that the meaning of “all died” is not the type of death spoken of at Genesis 2:16-17 and Romans 5:12, as the type of death resulting from the penalty of sin, which indeed spread to all men, but the type of “death to self that believers experience. Paul states: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Paul also states: “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3) Calvinists infer this to be the intention of 2nd Corinthians 5:14-15, but it is not necessarily so.

Daniel Whedon writes: “How it is here that all died commentators differ. We think the correct reference is to that death which all died in Adam (Rom. v, 15) for which Christ’s death is a divine substitute. Paul’s reasoning is, that nothing less than our death could require Christ’s death. If he died, it was because we all died.” (Commentary on the New Testament, Vol. IV.: I. Corinthians - II. Timothy, p.165)














In other words, Jesus died for everyone because everyone needed His atonement, and the purpose for His death is not so that we might be free to do whatever we want, but whatever He wants. In this way, you have a perfectly logical way of rolling an Unlimited Atonement into the purpose for the Atonement.

John Goodwin writes: “That which is commonly given by way of answer to this...is not much considerable. They pretend that both the word ‘world’ and such terms of universality as ‘all,’ ‘all men,’ ‘every man,’ &c., in many places of Scripture used, and accordingly are to be understood in a restrained signification, as sometimes for many or greater numbers of men; sometimes for some of all sorts; sometimes for Jews and Gentiles, or the like. ...we answer...that there is no necessity at all in respect of any the respective contexts, nor of any circumstance in any of them, to understand the said terms of universality any otherwise than in their most proper, i.e. in their most extensive and comprehensive significations.” (Redemption Redeemed, p.53, emphasis mine)

In other words, take it at face value, unless there is an explicit contextual reference to demand that it be alternatively understood in a restrictive sense.

Goodwin adds: “‘Because we thus judge,’ saith he, ‘that if one died for all, then we are all dead: and that he died for all, that they who live,’ &c. Observe that clause of distribution, ‘that they who live.’ ‘We judge that Christ died for all, that they who live,’ i.e. that all they, without exception, who recover, and are, or shall be delivered from his death by Christ for them, ‘should not live unto themselves,’ &c. So then, if they word ‘all’ or ‘all men,’ for whom the apostle here judgeth or concludeth that Christ died, we shall understand the universality of the elect only, ‘for all men,’ i.e. for all the elect, and for these only, we shall grievously misfigure the fair face a worthy sentence, and render it incongruous and inconsistent with all rules and principles of discourse. For then the tenor of it must rise and run thus: We judge that Christ died for all the elect, that all the elect who shall live and be recovered from death by Christ, should not live, &c. Doth not the ears of every man’s reason, yea, of common sense itself, taste an uncouthness and unsavouriness of sound in such a texture of words as this? ... Doubtless, if by the word all, the apostle had meant all the elect, and these only, he would not have added, ‘that they who live,’ but rather, that they or these might live: for these words, ‘that they who live,’ clearly import a possibility at least, yea, a futurity also, i.e. that it would so come to pass, that some of those all, for whom Christ died, would not live, and consequently would be in no capacity of living from themselves to live unto him.” (Redemption Redeemed, pp.54-55, emphasis mine)

Goodwin adds: “...‘that they who live,’ i.e. that whosoever of those, for whom he thus died, shall be saved by this death of his for them, ‘should,’ in consideration of, and by way of signal thankfulness for such a salvation, ‘not live unto themselves,i.e. only and chiefly mind themselves whilst they live in the world, in their carnal and worldly interests, ‘but unto him who died for them and rose again,’ i.e. promote his interest and affairs in the world....” (Redemption Redeemed, p.55, emphasis mine)

In other words, by way of Christ’s death, those who escape the world should no longer live like the world, but instead promote the interests of the One who died to set them free.

Goodwin writes: “...Christ died for as many as were dead, and consequently for all, without exception, inasmuch as all, without exception or difference, were dead.” (Redemption Redeemed, p.57)

Goodwin writes: “If only the elect, so called, be recovered, this is no recovery of Adam’s fall, but only of a small or less considerable part of it, or rather of some few persons only who fell thereby.”  (Redemption Redeemed, p.313)

Compare with Romans 5:12:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.


Question:  What does it mean that all died?

Answer:  God said to Adam & Eve: From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die. (Genesis 2:16-17) Because of sin, death spread to all, and hence all died, as warned by God in Genesis, but Jesus died for as many as were dead. Knowing, therefore, that Jesus died for all, be assured that He died for you, and now that you have come to live through Him, you ought all the more to live for Him.
Calvinist paraphrase: For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all [believers], therefore all [believers] died; and He died for all [believers], so that [believers] who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on [the believer’s] behalf.
Arminian paraphrase: For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for [everyone], therefore [as it stands to reason, everyone must have] died [or were as good as dead, by virtue of the Law]; and He died for [everyone], so that [whosoever believe in Him] might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.