Tag Archives: 1 John 2:2

WARFIELD ON 1 JOHN 2:2 (3)

Cross and world“Jesus Christ the Propitiation for the Whole World” (3)
PMT 2015-0144 by Benjamin B. Warfield

[Gentry note: This is part 3 of an excellent article by renowned postmillennial Princeton scholar, B. B. Warfield.]

The Meaning of “Propitiation”

The expedient made use of by many commentators in their endeavor to escape from this maze of contradictions is to distinguish between Christ as our “Advocate” and Christ as our “Propitiation,” and to connect actual salvation with him only in the former function. Thus Richard Rothe tells us that “the propitiation in Christ concerns the whole world,” but “only those in Christ have an advocate in Christ,” with the intimation that it is Christ’s advocacy which “makes the efficacy of his propitiation effective before God.” In this view the propitiation is conceived as merely laying a basis for actual forgiveness of sins, and is spoken of therefore rather as “sufficient” than efficacious—becoming efficacious only through the act of faith on the part of the believer by which he secures Christ as his Advocate. This is the view presented by B. F. Westcott also, according to whom Christ is advocate exclusively for Christians, while he is a propitiation for the whole world. His propitiatory death on earth was for all men; his advocacy in heaven is for those only who believe in him. Here, there is a universal atonement taught, with a limited application, contingent on actual faith: “the efficacy of his work for the individual depends upon fellowship with him.” Continue reading

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WARFIELD ON 1 JOHN 2:2 (1)

Cross all men“Jesus Christ the Propitiation for the Whole World” (1)
PMT 2015-0142 by Benjamin B. Warfield

[Gentry note: This is an excellent article by renowned postmillennial Princeton scholar, B. B. Warfield.]

“And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.”
(1 John 2:2)

As a means of comforting Christians distressed by their continued lapses into sin, John, in the opening words of the second chapter of his first Epistle, is led to assure them that “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, a Righteous One”; and by way of showing how prevailing his advocacy is, to add, “And he is himself a propitiation for our sins.” There he might well have stopped. Continue reading