The Berean Expositor
Volume 6 - Page 146 of 151
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would simply create nonsense. Are we to believe then that the Lord Jesus meant to say
that by reason of His death and the manner of it, He would forcibly drag all towards
Himself? Yes, that is so, but such a way of putting it may lead to false conclusions apart
from the great safeguard--the context. The Lord has said:--
"Now is a crisis (or judgment) of this word, Now shall the Prince of this world be cast
out, AND I (kag§, emphatic, and in strong contrast), if I be lifted up from the earth, will
drag all men towards Myself."
Light upon the Lord's meaning will be found in Luke 11: 20-23.
"If I by the finger of God cast out demons (cf. cast out the Prince of this world), no
doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. When the strong one fully armed guardeth
his own court, his goods are in peace, but when a stronger than he shall come upon him,
and overcome him, he taketh from him his whole armour wherein he trusted, and divideth
his spoils."
By the death of Christ all men are taken by force from the tyranny and bondage of the
evil one. Contend as he will, a stronger than he has come upon him, and "through death
has destroyed (or rendered powerless) him who has the strength of death, that is the
devil." This does not necessarily imply that forgiveness, life and glory are therefore the
possession of all. Faith is not spoken of in this passage. While in various other ways the
death of Christ is referred to in John, these two passages are all that use apothnesk§ in a
doctrinal connection. John 18: 32; 19: 7 are the only other references that need be
mentioned in this Gospel. It will be seen, as far as we have gone, that the death of Christ
is here connected with two related phases of God's purposes.
(1) The national blessings of Israel.
(2) The overthrow of the authority of Satan.
These aspects of truth need to be kept well before the mind lest we confuse things that
differ, and limit the great offering of Christ to the salvation of the elect, as is the case
with those who rigidly adhere to what is called Particular Redemption, a truth indeed in
its place, but an untruth when exalted to a place never intended for it in the purpose of
the ages. The Acts of the Apostles does not use the word in reference to Christ. The
remaining occurrences are found in the writings of Paul, a large number of which come
in the Epistle to the Romans. These references we must consider in our next paper as the
subject is too important to deal with briefly.