This post is an excerpt from the book review of Death of Death in the Death of Christ.
Owen’s Argument 13:
P1: Christ death satisfied the debt for all those He died for
P2: God cannot justly require satisfaction of one debt from two parties (i.e. us and Christ)
C1: Therefore, God cannot require satisfaction of the sin debt for anyone Christ died for
P3: God requires satisfaction of the sin debt of some people in Hell
C2: therefore, Christ did not die for everyone
Scripture Cited by Owen
“he oweth the ten thousand talents” Matthew 18:24
“Forgive us our debts” Matthew 6:12
“In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die,” Genesis 2:17
“The wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23
“Cursed is every one,” Galatians 3:10
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death Romans 1:32
“God set him forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood.” Romans 3:25
“his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,” 1 Peter 2:24
“By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities” Isaiah 53:11
P1 is false. Christ death can satisfy the sin debt of everyone, but it will only satisfy the sin debt of believers.
Christ is not the soul that sinned, but the law requires the death of the soul that sinned. Therefore, satisfaction of the sin debt requires two things: Christ’s death and the Father’s being merciful to us by accepting Christ’s death on our behalf. Christ died for all, but His death isn’t accepted by the Father on everyone’s behalf. Why not? Because Christ never asks the Father to. He only intercedes for believers.
Some “Wow” statements by Owen in this Section
Owen engages Groutus’s arguments in this section. In doing so he makes a statement which I wish adherents to limited atonement were more aware of. If they knew that Owen said this, and indeed that limited atonement requires this for consistency, I think they would drop limited atonement. Owen said that those Christ died for are delivered from the curse and have every right to the fruits of Christ’s death before they hear the Gospel and become aware of what Christ has done.
I find this amazing. It’s as if the elect are born without a sin debt and sin without incurring one. The elect never come to a point in their lives where they are forgiven, because they never need forgiveness. They can justly go to God and demand entrance into heaven. They have this right without ever having repented or coming to faith. Indeed they have nothing to be forgiven of when they repent and nothing to be justified from when they come to faith. WOW.