Arminian preachers preach that the Lord Jesus Christ “paid the price” for the sins of all mankind when he was crucified at Calvary.
This preaching may seem to be very wonderful when you first hear it, because they present Jesus as having accomplished a great thing for every fallen human being. All fallen, sinful human beings deserve to be sent to Hell by God on the Day of Judgment, for their sins—but Christ’s death on the cross was a substitutionary atonement1 for the entire human race, and this self-sacrifice of Christ has paid the redemption-price for everyone.
But then they go on to say that this redemption through the atonement does not, in fact, save every fallen human being. The Redeemer ‘kind-of’ redeemed mankind—but didn’t, really. The Atonement reconciled everyone to God—but only in a hypothetical way2. It is left to you and me to “make it real” or effectual for ourselves by believing in it.
That’s what they proclaim in their preaching, evangelism, tracts, and so many of their songs and hymns. Christ died for the sins of all mankind. He suffered all the punishment that all mankind deserves, there on the cross. This is arguably their main message.
All those whom Christ has redeemed shall be saved
Does the Bible anywhere speak of a person who is redeemed by Christ but not saved? Did the Lord Jesus Christ pay the price that actually bought people back from their being condemned to Hell for their sins, or not?
Christ paid the price that actually bought people back from their being condemned to Hell for their sins.
Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ can confidently affirm:
• “In [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).
• “By his [Christ’s] own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us…And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that that by means of [his] death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:12, 15).
• “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13,14; see also verse 8).
The bolded words above all emphasise that something happens (redemption, forgiveness of sins, receiving Gospel promises) in inevitable consequence of something else having happened (the bloody sacrifice of Christ on the cross—the substitutionary atonement). Not merely “maybe” or hypothetically or potentially, but actually and inevitably.
What Christ accomplished in his redemption is what is bestowed upon those whom he redeemed.
The plain Gospel truth is:
• All those whom Christ has redeemed shall have forgiveness of sins from God.
• All those whom Christ has redeemed shall have the promise of eternal inheritance.
• All those whom Christ has redeemed shall have the blessing of Abraham (i.e. justification by faith) come upon them.
• All those whom Christ has redeemed shall be saved.