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Sun, Sep 11, 2005

8 - The Grace Solution

by Robert Dean
Series:Basics 1: Foundation for Life (2005)
Duration:48 mins 9 secs

The Grace Solution

We are continuing our study on basic doctrines of the Christian life and we are focusing last week, this week and next week on the basics of understanding our salvation. 

 

What I find as a pastor is that it is important for people to think through salvation.  After 45  years as a believer, and at least 30 of that studying the Word, I find that every time I go back and study just the basic foundations of the gospel and salvation I come to a greater understanding and appreciation for everything the Lord has done for us.

 

 Just think about the fact that the gospel message, the work that Christ did on the cross, is so simple that you can sit down and explain it to a 4, 5, or 6 year old and they can comprehend the fact that Jesus died for them, that there is a penalty for sin and that Christ paid the penalty and that by simply trusting Him they can have eternal salvation. 

 

You can take that same gospel message that focused on the work of Christ and all the various dimensions of that work and you can sit in a doctrinal seminar at seminary level where you are tearing apart every Greek verb and noun related to every dimension and yet you come out of class still scratching your head trying to understand the dimensions of that salvation.  That alone is a testimony to us of the fact that this is something originated by God and not by man. 

 

Our society has become so dumbed down due to different factors such as the education system, failures in the home and numerous other issues, that  we have many people who read their bibles but cannot grasp the basics of salvation. As soon as they start running across the various words the such as regeneration, redemption, imputation, propitiation or justification that are rarely heard in everyday language anymore, you lose people. They don't have the basic vocabulary to grasp these concepts and this is a tragedy of our culture and the church and as a result, in many places, the gospel is not proclaimed. What is fuzzy in the pulpit is just a fog in the pew.

 

The problem that results is that most people just don't understand what happened to them at salvation so they proclaim a fuzzy or fraudulent gospel. They talk about this thing you have to do to be saved, and that thing you have to do to be saved, and inviting Jesus into your heart, or repenting for your sins, or getting baptized or whatever it is, and the whole gospel message gets lost, mired down in the confusion of misunderstanding of what the scripture says. So we are taking the time to break it down a little bit.

 

 The fact that salvation is simple means that you can explain it to anyone, even the most challenged can understand it.  A young child can understand it.  But there are more dimensions to it than simply, Jesus saves. While that is true, how do we understand salvation? We go back to where we started in this series by looking at our foundational verse when Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life. No man can come to the Father except through Me. Again and again I point out that this is a verse that for centuries has struck unbelievers like a slap in the face because of its claims to exclusivity. You often hear people say, well, I just don't believe that can be enough.  And ultimately, even if they don't express it that way, that is what they are saying, I don't believe that is enough. You see, what you really have is a juxtaposition of two faith positions:  I believe Christ is enough, or I don't believe Christ is enough. 

 

Ultimately it boils down to the issue of faith, what are you trusting in?  We have made the point that in order to understand salvation and in order to understand the exclusivity of the gospel, and why the Bible consistently has an exclusive one way only message of salvation, we have to understand why we are being saved.  We have to understand more than the surface issues related to salvation. 

 

And so we start with the person of God.  That is where we should always start, for He is the creator God and as the sovereign creator of the universe He is the one who has the right to make the rules. He made us the way we are. He created us in His image and likeness.  He is the only one who has the comprehension, the understanding, to know what makes man tick.  Furthermore we know that God is righteous, that He has a standard and it is the standard of His own character. When He applies that standard to His creatures this is related to His justice.  Because God is immutable, which means He never changes, that standard is applied equally to every human being whether they are born in India or Asia somewhere or Africa or North America, wherever a person is born they have the same opportunity to know God and to come to an understanding of the gospel. Because not only is God perfectly just, but in His omnipotence He is perfectly capable of getting the message to anyone who has a desire to know the answer. We know that God is truth, and in His truth He is going to express the conditions for salvation in a way that relates to  His absolutes. 

 

And furthermore, we know that He is love, and in His love He provided a perfect solution to the problem of sin.  For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

 

 So we start with the character of God, for in essence, salvation is the ability to have a close intimate relationship with God. We realize that the aspects of salvation, the facts of salvation, go far beyond what we may think in some superficial religious revivalistic concept.

 

 Furthermore, we know that God is omniscient.  He knows all the knowable, and in His omniscience He knew all that would have to be done in order to provide a perfect salvation that could apply equally to every single human being in human history.  He designed the human race from the very beginning to have a certain integrated wholeness, an interrelatedness that makes us all a part of one another and related to our progenitor Adam.  We are not individual creations, there is a unity in the human race related to Adam.  God could provide a salvation through one human being that could apply to every human being in the same way Adam's one sin applied to every single human being. We will develop that as we go along. 

 

We are looking at why God's way is the only way, and the first thing that I pointed out is because God is the one who created man and defined his nature, his function, and his limitations. And second, we pointed out that God created man in His own image so that man is a reflection of who God is. When Adam sinned and sin entered into the human race it distorted that image but because we are still in the image and likeness of God we can understand God. Every human being has the capacity to understand the gospel, unless they are brain damaged, and to respond to the gospel.

 

I pointed out last time that you can break down this idea of sin into six different components.

First, there is the problem of sin itself, and this is the foundation of that which separates man from God. 

 

Second, there is the penalty of sin.  There is a judicial penalty that must be paid for the violation of God's provision, for the violation of God's mandate in the Garden. 

 

The third problem relates to who God is.  He has a perfect character, He has a perfect righteousness.  God is not like some lazy parent today in modern America who just has a bunch of children and goes down to the mall and lets them run loose so they can wreak havoc everywhere.  When God's creatures violate His standard it necessitates discipline, and that comes from His justice because He is a just God.  And so there is a necessary condemnation. Perhaps that is one reason many people have difficulty understanding the gospel, because they never had any discipline instilled in them in the home as they were growing up so they don't understand the basics of having accountability.

 

 The fourth problem is that we are born spiritually dead.  We are separated from God. There is a spiritual separation that occurred when Adam disobeyed God and that spiritual separation affected man constitutionally so that every descendant of Adam is born spiritually dead but physically alive.

 

 Fifth, we are born with a lack of righteousness. We have to have perfect righteousness in order to have a relationship with God. God is perfect and He cannot have a relationship with any creature that is less than perfect. 

 

And finally, there is a lack of eternal life.  We are time bound creatures. We are temporal and in order to have an eternal relationship with God there has to be a solution to the fact that we lack eternal life.

 

Let's review briefly what we went over last time. There is a barrier between God and man. Man was created in the image and likeness of God so that there was perfect rapport, perfect fellowship, perfect intimacy, between Adam and his creator. 

 

We read in the Genesis 2 and 3 account that God would come on a regular basis every day in order to spend time with Adam and the woman (she wasn't named Eve until after the Fall).  God came to spend time with them and He communicated with them and they talked.  I am sure that the man and the woman learned about creation and what God had done and God helped them understand and comprehend all the different aspects related to biology and botany and geography. We don't know how long they were in the Garden before they sinned, I don't think it was very long, it might have been months, a few years, I certainly don't think it was hundreds or thousands of years.  In fact, we know that Adam was in his nineties when he had his first son so we know it couldn't have been more than ninety years. 

 

But when Adam disobeyed, not when the woman ate the fruit, but when Adam disobeyed, because God designated him the head, and he was the primary responsible party, when he disobeyed God, a barrier was erected between man and God. This is seen in Genesis 3 when God came as He did daily to walk with the man and the woman in the cool of the day that they heard the sound of His voice and they ran and hid.  That indicated that something constitutional had happened to each one of them and they were now afraid. When God said, 'why did you run and hide?',  they said, 'we heard Your voice and we were afraid'. They had never been afraid before. Something had happened to them already and that is the fulfillment of that judicial principle that was laid down in Genesis 2:17  that in the day that you eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you will certainly die. The underlying Hebrew grammar in v. 17 is a statement of emphasis, that there was certainty that instantly there would be a penalty, not a day later, not two or three hours later when God showed up, but instantly there would be this penalty of death. Not nine hundred years later when Adam finally died physically, but at the instant he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 

 

So sin entered into the human race and we looked at that last time and we saw that sin permeates everything that we do. All of our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.  There is no good that we can do that measures up to God's perfect righteousness. Furthermore, Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

 

We addressed the question of what is sin.  I looked at some of the basic words in the original languages.  Chattath in the Hebrew means to miss the mark, to miss an absolute standard, to fall short of that standard.  Every human being has fallen short of that standard. 

 

The second word was pesha, which means transgression. It means to revolt against a standard. Again you have that idea of an absolute that overrides everything. 

 

Then we have the third Hebrew word, awen, which means iniquity or guilt. The root idea means to bend, twist or distort a standard.  Throughout, the one thing these words have in common is that a standard is missed, it is broken, it is twisted. But there is an absolute overriding standard that is no longer met by the human race.

 

When we get into the New Testament we have the Greek word hamartia which means to depart from  Divine standards of righteousness.  It has the idea of wrongdoing, for example in 1 John 3:4 everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness and sin is lawlessness.  This is the root problem in the sin barrier, it is the foundation.

 

 We saw that the solution at the cross is unlimited atonement.  Jesus Christ died on the cross for every human being in history.  He paid the penalty for every single sin, and this is seen in various passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:3  For I deliver to you as of  first importance what I also received, that Christ died as a substitute for our sins. The word for in a context like this indicates substitution.  In the Greek it is the preposition huper, which means that somebody takes the place of someone else.  It is a real substitution.  For example, if I take you out to dinner and the bill comes and I pick up the tab and go to the cash register and pay the bill, you can't come along and pay it again.  It's already paid for.  It is amazing how many terms that are used to describe sin and salvation have an economic nuance to them.  It is a transaction that was accomplish on our behalf. 

 

When Jesus Christ finished the work on the cross He said it is finished.  He used the  Greek word tetelestai, which is the perfect tense in the Greek indicating complete action.  Tetelestai was  what you would write across the bottom of a bill, paid in full.  So there is a true payment, a full payment, He died as a substitute for our sins.  It is a real payment.  2 Corinthians 5:14,  For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that One died as a substitute for all therefore all died. We have the same preposition again in the Greek. It is a real substitutionary death, it pays the penalty for sin.  Atonement was resolved for every human being.  The word atonement means at-one-ment.  This applied to every human being. 

 

We now come to the second problem which we did not get to last time, the penalty of sin. The penalty of sin is first described in Genesis 2:17,  that you will surely die at the instant of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was a spiritual death that entered into the world through Adam.  Romans 5:12 says, Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin.  Now this is not physical death here, this is spiritual death because it is related to the sin penalty. 

 

There is a similar verse in 1Corinthians 15 that talks about in Adam all die, but in Christ shall all shall be made alive.  In that verse, it is talking about physical death because the context is physical resurrection.  But in Romans 5:12, where the context is spiritual death, the penalty that was spread to all men, death through sin and thus death spread to all men because all have sinned. The way the scripture presents this is that Adam was our representative head, he disobeyed God and ate of the fruit and as a result he died spiritually. 

 

Many people think that it's not fair, that was Adam's decision, I wouldn't have made that decision.  I'm smarter than that.  God in His wisdom created Adam as a representative and so the entire human race comes from Adam.  That gives us a genetic unity.  If you want to play the game of what if, what if Adam's sin did not apply to all of us, or what if we weren't all related, then Christ could not have died for all of us.  Because there is this unity in the human race because we all came from Adam, not only was Adam's sin of such a nature that it affected every human being, but Christ's redemptive work on the cross is of such a nature that it can also apply to every single human being.  So if you don't like the fact that Adam's sin affected you, the problem with that is that you end up losing your salvation if you get rid of Adam's representative headship.  Adam was our representative head, and in his fall we sinned.

 

In their primers teaching the alphabet to young children, the Puritans had a line for every letter of the alphabet, and for the letter A the children would memorize, in Adam's fall, we sin all.  They would learn basics of total depravity from the very beginning of reading.

 

We have a penalty of sin, spiritual death that spread to all men.  The penalty had to be resolved, there had to be a payment and that payment comes through the doctrine of what is called redemption.  Redemption has the idea of payment of a price, a penalty.  Whenever you are redeeming something you are paying something.  We have passages such as 1Timothy 2:6 which says He gave Himself as a ransom for all. The noun translated ransom is antilutron in the Greek.  The word lutron is a noun, lutrao is the verb and this entire word group speaks of making a payment. The prefix anti means substitution, it is a similar preposition to huper indicating substitution. 

 

This was a substitutionary ransom.  It was paid not for some, not for only those who believe, but for all.  Jesus Christ death on the cross solved certain elements of the sin problem for every human being.  This is why it is called unlimited atonement or unlimited redemption.  2 Peter2:1 makes the same statement, But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and there we have the word agorazo which has as it's root the Greek word agora  which was the word for the marketplace.  Again, this is an economic term to make a financial purchase, to pay for something. Agorazo means to buy something in the marketplace.  There is another form of this word that is used, exagorazo.

 

I am not going to go through all the different group words, there are three of four Greek words used for the redemption and most all of them are translated into English as redemption and the idea simply is to purchase something. So here you have false prophets who deny the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who  bought them. He actually paid the price. This tells us that there were elements of the sin problem that were paid for everyone, and we shall see as we go through our study that doesn't mean that everyone is saved. 

 

There are two dimensions, one has to do with the universal sin problem in the human race and the other has to do with the personal individual dynamics that have to be resolved. The words that are used in the Old Testament are interesting in understanding the concept of redemption. 

 

The first word that is used is the word padah which has the idea of paying  a price to free someone from a state such as slavery, death or destruction. It always emphasizes the payment of a price. The thrust is freedom, the price is paid so people can be free. 

 

The second word that is used also helps us understand the concept of redemption, and that is the word Go'el.  It means redemption but it is applied for example to Boaz in the small little book of Ruth. 

 

Boaz was her kinsman and under the concept of the leverite marriage in the Old Testament if a woman's husband died and she was left destitute, then a relative of the husband had the responsibility to come and he could marry her to take over her care.  This was the principle of the kinsman redeemer which foreshadowed the fact that the redeemer of the human race had to be our kinsman.  He had to be one like us.  He couldn't be just an angel.  God Himself couldn't come and simply come down and provide some salvation work. It had to be someone who was related to us, someone who was as true a human being as Adam was. So the Go'elemphasizes the responsibility of a blood relative to provide for and protect blood relatives. Again, it emphasizes the unity of the human race. 

 

When we get into the New Testament we have that word group lutroo, antilutron, we just mentioned from 1Timothy 2 is part of that word group and it means to pay the ransom price, to deliver by ransom, to liberate.  It is very similar to that Hebrew word padah. It is used in 1 Peter 1: 17 and 19, We were not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver and gold from our empty manner of life but with the precious blood as of a lamb without spot or blemish.

 

Agorazo is the other word we have already discussed from the word agora meaning the marketplace.  And Christ paid the price to purchase those out of the slave market of sin so that we could have eternal life. And exagorazoindicates the removal of that curse and they are purchased from the slave market, Galatians 3:13 and Galatians 4:5. 

 

The Old Testament picture is very helpful to understand redemption. In the Old Testament the writers always go back to the Exodus event when the Jews were redeemed from slavery in Egypt. 

 

 God set this up historically so that the event of the Jews going into slavery in Egypt, then His miraculous delivery of them when they were brought out of Egypt would be a picture for all time of His redemptive work. As part of that there is the final event with the tenth plague when the angel of death came down, and the way to survive was through the application of the blood of the lamb. 

 

The whole picture of the Exodus event is a picture for us of salvation.  Because so often, as I have pointed out, these term:  justification, redemption, expiation, imputation, are terms that are abstract. The Old Testament gives us concrete  images we can bring over into the New Testament which flesh out these abstract doctrines that we find developed in the New Testament.

 

 Exodus 6:6 the Lord said, Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem (that is the verb Go'el)  you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.And Exodus 15:13,  And Thy lovingkindness, (that is in Your grace, Your faithful loyal love), Thou hast led the people whom Thou hast redeemed, it had already taken place at this point, in Thy strength Thy hast guided them to Thy holy habitation. 

 

First, the redemption of Christ on the cross delivered us from the curse of the Law, Galatians 3:13.  Man is no longer under the Law, Jesus Christ was the end of the Law.  No one was ever saved by keeping the Mosaic Law. Its purpose in the Old Testament for Israel was not to give them a way of salvation but to demonstrate that no one could fulfill the Law. No human being could meet it perfectly and so man stood in need of a savior.  Galatians 4:4 and 5 says But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 

 

Second, redemption is the basis for the forgiveness of all sin.  Isaiah 44:22, Colossians 1:14, Hebrews -9:15.  And Ephesians 1:7 says, In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 

 

Redemption, furthermore, is the basis for our justification.  Christ had to pay the penalty before that which was necessary to fulfill the work of justification. Redemption is the basis of justification, Romans 3:24, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Justification is through redemption, so logically the price had to be paid before justification could be accomplished. 

 

Redemption is an objective payment of a price, but justification is the subjective application of Christ's righteousness to man. So we draw this distinction between that which is the universal objective problem and that which is the internal subjective problem in each individual. 

 

Fourth, redemption, then, is said to be the basis for the eternal inheritance for all believers. Hebrews 9:15, And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. Redemption pays the price, it purchases us from the slave market of sin.  The purpose of redemption is to prepare a people for eternity. 

 

The purchase price was the death of Christ on the cross.  1Peter 1:18  knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold you're your futile way of life inherited from you forefathers 19, but with the precious blood, as a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.  This verse goes back to the Old Testament and picks up that imagery from the Passover, the atonement sacrifices, the imagery of the lamb that was perfect, sinless, impeccable, fully qualified, therefore to be the sacrifice.

 

 The imagery of blood is used because of the Old Testament teaching that life was in the blood.  Blood was a physical symbol, a physical representative, it is a physical reality but it represented life itself. What is interesting is that in the Greek lexicons and grammars it is recognized that the phrase, the blood of Christ, is an image. The phrase is not a literal phrase or literal term, it does not mean that the literal hemoglobin and plasma and everything else that make up blood is what saved us.  It was a picture of a violent death. In fact, I can illustrate it very easily:  go back into Genesis 9 when God established His covenant with Noah.  He said in the middle of that Noahic covenant, If anyone sheds mans blood by man his blood will also be shed. That is the basis for capital punishment down through the centuries.  But does that mean,  when he talks about if anyone sheds mans blood,  that it only applies to violent death, where blood is physically shed?  Or does it apply to any kind of homicide?  Blood does not have to actually be shed to kill someone. They can be strangled, hit over the head, poisoned,  there are any number of ways that a person can be  killed without causing them to bleed.

The  phrase 'shedding of blood' became an idiom for a violent form of death.  When you get into the sacrifices talking about the shedding of blood it is an image, a phrase,  an idiom that means violent death.  It is a metaphor for death. 

When we come to Jesus Christ's death on the cross, it was not the physical shedding of blood.  In crucifixion very little blood is actually shed.  But the term shedding of blood is a picture of death, it is an idiom for violent death. This is indicated in any number of classic grammars on Greek, Arndt and Gingrich, that this is a picture of His spiritual death.  He finished the payment for sin before He died physically, before the Roman soldiers stuck the spear in His side, before the blood and water came out. 

The penalty was paid during those three hours between 12 noon and 3pm when it was dark upon the face of the earth and God the Father imputed to Jesus Christ the sins of the world. That is when the price was paid.  So the penalty of sin is taken care of through a payment.  The payment of Christ's death, redemption.  He paid the penalty for every sin in human history. 

The third factor that has to be understood in a universal sense is the character of God.  Because God is perfectly righteous, because that is the standard of God's character, He can't have a relationship with individuals who don't meet that standard. You may be nice, have a great personality, be quite attractive, but God looks on the heart and if we do not match His perfect righteousness, if we don't live up to that standard, then there cannot be a relationship. 

 

There has to be a solution to that problem, God's righteousness has to be satisfied so that His justice can bless mankind.  Romans 3:23 tells us, that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  We have to have the satisfaction of God's standard and this is the aspect of salvation called propitiation. 

 

The key word to understand propitiation is the English word satisfaction.  God's righteousness had to be satisfied so that His justice could bless man.  By definition propitiation is that aspect of the saving work of God through the substitutionary spiritual death of Jesus Christ on the cross whereby the justice and the righteousness of God are satisfied concerning the sins of mankind. 

 

We have looked at atonement and redemption, those were man ward. But when we look at propitiation, it relates to the character of God.  God in His absolute righteousness has to be satisfied with the payment for sins. So it is very different than the first two that we looked at.  What we learned from the scriptures is that propitiation, just like redemption and atonement has the specific verses that apply to all, every human being.  That universal terminology is not used when we get the next three. But when we look at these first three, the bible clearly spells out their application of the solution for all. 

 

Let's break it down by looking at the Greek words.  Hilasteriosis used in verses such as Romans 3:25 and it means to propitiate.  Sometimes it is translated to expiate, to appease or to satisfy.  The best idea is the one to satisfy, God's righteous standard has to be met.  The Greek concept is based on the older Old Testament concept and there the noun that was used was kapporeth,  which referred to that which was propitiatory, or the mercy seat

 

Now what in the world was the mercy seat?  The mercy seat was the top element on the Ark of the Covenant.  It is described in Exodus 25:17&18, "You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide.You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat. (slide of picture of mercy seat). The acacia wood overlaid with gold is a picture of the humanity and deity of Christ.  On top of the box there was a lid set, and on that lid were two angels, a particular class of angels called cherubs. The cherubs are always associated in scripture with the justice and righteousness of God. Inside the box were placed certain symbols that represented Israel's sins, the Ten Commandments that were broken, the manna that they complained about and Aaron's rod that budded that took place when they rebelled against the authority of Aaron.  Those were placed inside the box so these angels are looking down on the lid and they are, as it were, looking down at these symbols of Israel's sin.  Once a year, on the Day of Atonement the high priest would come in and he would  place a bowl of blood from the sacrificed lamb, so you see the connection here between atonement, the connection to redemption and this blood is placed on the mercy seat. The lid of the box was the kapporeth the mercy seat.  When the blood was placed there, the cherubs representing the holiness, of God, His righteousness and justice, are satisfied.  The righteousness of God is satisfied so that the justice of God can then bless mankind.  Romans 3:25 says, Whom God displayed, talking about Jesus Christ, publically as a propitiation, as a satisfaction, in His blood, literally it is an instrumental dative, by means of His blood, through faith.  The blood of Christ is the means of payment, the means of propitiation as well, this was to demonstrate His righteousness.

 

The cross is a demonstration of the righteousness of God. You see, so often when we are explaining the gospel to people, folks sometimes will say, well, how in the world can a loving God send His creatures to the Lake of Fire?  And the issue is not how can a loving God send His creatures to the Lake of Fire,  the issue is how can a righteous God let sinners into heaven? Jesus Christ is sent forth as a propitiation to demonstrate the standard of God's righteousness and that it must be met before He can allow anyone into heaven.

 

 Hebrews 2:17 says, therefore He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that means true humanity, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God to make satisfaction, to make propitiation, for the sins of the people.  In 1 John 2:2 we see the universal dimension of this, He Himself is the propitiation of the satisfaction for our sins, but not for ours only, ours being believers, but also for those of the whole world.  And in John 's terminology the world relates to believers and unbelievers.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. There is this universal dimension to the propitiation of Christ's sacrifice on the cross. 1 John 4:10, In this is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Propitiation relates to God, it is satisfies His righteous standard so that His justice in turn can bless us. 

 

We have seen that sin is solved by unlimited atonement that applies to all.  The penalty of sin is solved universal redemption.  He pays the sin penalty for all.  And His character is satisfied by the propitiation of Christ which goes for all. 

 

But not everyone is saved.  Because you see, these only relate to universal dimensions of the sin problem, but the next three that we will look at, the problem of our lack of righteousness, the problem of each individual being spiritually dead, and the problem of the fact that we are positionally in Adam can only be resolved by our individual appropriation of Christ's work on the cross. 

 

There is the universal aspect and there is an individual aspect.  The three individual aspects mean that every person has to make a decision, has to choose to put their faith alone in Christ alone. Salvation is not automatic, you don't get saved because you are born in the right family, you don't get saved because you get baptized, you don't get saved because of any non-volitional circumstance. You are saved because you trust Christ alone for your salvation. 

  Him we have

."