Connection between Offering and Intercession – Christ’s Death and Intercession (Part 2/5)

, posted by Godismyjudge

This post is an excerpt from the book review of Death of Death in the Death of Christ.

Owen’s Argument #1

P1: intercession is inseparably connected with oblation
P2: Christ’s intercession is made for the elect alone
C1: Therefore, Christ’s oblation was made for the elect alone

Scripture support for P1:

“By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities,” . “He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors; Isaiah 53:11-12

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Romans 8:32-34

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Refutation

P1 & P2 are valid, but the conclusion does not follow. Just because Christ died for everyone that He intercedes for does not mean He did not die for others. Oblation is the basis of intercession, so it‘s true that intercession is connected with oblation. But it doesn’t work the other way around. Just because there’s oblation, doesn’t mean there is intercession. The passages quoted do prove that Christ’s death is the basis for justification, but Owens’s conclusion does not follow.

Owen’s Argument #2

P3: Christ died with the intent of justifying those He died for
P4: not all are justified
C2: therefore, either Christ’s aim failed, or He did not die for all
P5: Christ’s aim cannot fail
C3: therefore, Christ did not die for all

Scripture support for P3:

“He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Romans 4:25

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Refutation

P3 requires clarification. If Owens means Christ died with the intent of immediately justifying those He died for, or justify them without also interceding for them, P3 is false. The scripture passage does not say immediately, or without intercession and based on passages teaching justification through faith we know that justification is not immediate and that Christ does intercede. But if Owens means that Christ died with the intention of everyone coming to faith and being justified, then P3 is true.

P5 is false. Christ did come to save the world (John 3:17), but not everyone is saved. If God wants to do something, no one can stop Him, but if He wants us to do something (i.e. believe) it may or may not happen.

Owens Argument #3

P6: Christ’s oblation was for an equivalent number of people as His intercession
P2: Christ’s intercession is made for the elect alone
C1: Therefore, Christ’s oblation was made for the elect alone

Scripture support for P6:

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Romans 8:32-34

(link)

Refutation

P6 is false. The passage’s scope is limited to people who have been justified. There is no reason to work backward from it and exclude everyone else from Christ’s death. No one doubts that Christ’s death for them and that His blood have been applied to them through intercession. The passage does not address those who have not been justified. So while the passage does prove that Christ died for everyone He intercedes for, it does not prove that He died for no one else.

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