A Short Study of Romans 3:26
“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
Without a doubt it can be said that Christ died for all who truly believe. God is “just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” It is often easier and less offensive to state the extent of Christ’s death this way but is it the way it is most often set forth in the scriptures? I don’t think so. At best it is only a partial declaration of what is true of God’s word and may be a withholding of that which actually confronts man with God as He is in His sovereignty and glory.
Christ declared the design of His redeeming death in this precise and particular way: “I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:15); “the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
This He did before and apart from anyone since then believing.
Paul told the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
Again he tells us in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
These and many other texts show Christ as having accomplished the redemption of His people in His cross death without His success in doing it depending in any way upon what they do or don’t do! What He DID is the cause of what they DO! He redeemed THEM and THEY will be brought by His Spirit to believe, believe the truth about His death! “All Israel shall be saved..” The definite death of Christ for a particular people is part of what Paul calls “the offense of the cross” but it is at the same time what distinguishes Him from “another jesus” and ascribes to Him that great glory! Christ died for all who believe is true but is it the whole truth? Is it all “the counsel of God?” The efficacy of Christ’s death is in itself and not dependent on anything, even His people’s believing in Him. There is no guile in God who states this blessed truth clearly and repeatedly. Let there be none in us. The sheep for whom He died will hear His voice and follow Him! They will all sing to Him, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood OUT OF every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9)