Efficiency of Sufficiency
(The following post was submitted for our Thriving Rural Communities Devotional Listserv by Rev. Mike Bass, an associate pastor and theologian with our partner congregation at Solid Rock UMC in Olivia, NC. Thanks, Mike!)
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 – For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. (NRSV)
It is not that Christ died only for those who would make it efficient, for the Greek word translated ALL includes all the forms of declension. That is, Christ died for any, every, the whole, of humanity. Therefore, if Christ died for ALL humanity, then the sins of ALL humanity have been forgiven without regard for belief. That is precisely the point of Christ dying for ALL!
However, only those who believe on this act of Christ dying for them receive the benefit of forgiveness. To say it another way: Christ died sufficiently for the sins of ALL humanity; ALL the sins of humanity are sufficiently covered under Christ’s death; but, only those accepting this fact receive right-standing-with-God. That is precisely the point of the fact that ALL have died!!
By means of Christ’s love God’s plan and purpose, then, is to restore and reconcile ALL to Himself. Jesus Christ died for ALL so ALL have opportunity to be in this relationship. But the individuals of the ALL must accept the means by which this relationship came. Thus, those who believe die to self and, thereby, make the love of Christ efficient.
The death of Jesus Christ is sufficient for ALL, but efficient only for those who believe!
Aren’t we urged, then, to proclaim the death of Christ to ALL?
If death came to ALL, shouldn’t ALL know why?
Though only efficient for a part, are we to withhold it from another part?
It is sufficient for ALL, to the exclusion of none!!!
Solid Rock UMC