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Problems of the Spiritual


III. You have no grounds for believing that ALL will ultimately be brought to God, from the words— "As in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive" (1 Cor. xv. 22 v.). The "all" is a LIMITED "all." The limiting phrases are, "in Adam" and "in Christ." These are not co-extensive terms. The "all in Adam" means quite a different multitude from the "all in Christ." We are in Adam by natural birth; we become in Christ by new birth. That makes the "all" of the second clause a very different thing from a UNIVERSAL "all," as you assert.

Quite so; your interpretation and limitation of this passage most certainly do make a vast difference between the two "alls"; to the exaltation of the power of Evil, and the depreciation of the power of Christ. The old theological conception accords to Adam the power of evilly affecting the whole human race, and to Christ the power of blessing and saving some only of that same human race. All die in Adam; but not all, only some, will be made alive in Jesus. Is this compatible, we ask, with the statement of Him Who said—"I will draw all unto Me" (John xii. 32 v.)? At the Consummation of the Divine Purpose, will the destroying and alienating force of Adam be found to be greater than the saving and drawing power of the Son of God? If so, has not the Scripture assigned too much to Jesus, in declaring Him to be "the Saviour of all mankind; more especially of those that believe" (1 Tim. iv . 10 v.)?

In that, grandest of all St. Paul's Epistles—the Epistle to the Ephesians—the Apostle writes— "That in the dispensation of the fulness of the times, He might gather together, under one Head, all things in Christ, both those things which are in the heavens and those things which are upon the earth; even in Him" (Eph. i. 10 v.). Here, we have a presentment in which the Christ is shown to be as co-extensively connected with the human race as was Adam. By reason of its relationship to Adam, that race became ruined and debased; by virtue of its relationship to Christ, it is ultimately to become restored and exalted. The terms "in Adam" and "in Christ" are in contrast. All, through the one, have been cursed; while all, through the Other, will be blessed. Adam stands as the Federal Head of the whole of humanity in regard to death; while Christ stands as the Federal Head of that same whole in regard to life. To assert that the "all in Adam" must be read in the sense of the universal, while the "all in Christ" must be taken only in the sense of the particular, is to make Christ less a Saviour than Adam was a Ruiner. According to this, Adam can exert an influence on the whole of mankind; Christ only on some. What is this, but to make the First Adam more powerful than the "Second Adam"!

Again, St. Paul, in 1 Cor. xv. 28 v., states that, at "the end" (i.e. the end of those aeons through which God will have been working out His great Purpose of salvation in Christ), He shall be "all things in all beings." If Christ will ultimately save only some, and not all, an insuperable barrier will be presented to the fulfilment of that glorious prophecy; for it is inconceivable to imagine God as being "all things" to irretrievably lost souls, and consequently, the Apostle's forecast would be wrong.

Every soul to whom God is "all things" is a saved soul, and every soul drawn to Christ is a blessed soul, and therefore we contend that His saving work will ultimately embrace every human creature, or His statement—" I will draw all unto Me," is untrue, and the statement of St. Paul also, to which we have just referred, is a glowing expectation never to be realized.

"We are in Adam by natural birth; we become in Christ by new birth," states the Questioner. We admit that; but what if the Purpose of God be that all shall ultimately become in Christ by new birth; that, after the punishment for sin, the pruning and the disciplining, all the lost sheep, the lost coins and the lost sons should be restored by Christ to the great All-Father!

That, surely, is a grander conception of the Gospel, than the one which pictures the Christ as unable to accomplish His mission as "the Saviour of all mankind"!

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Other Books by Rev. Chambers:

"Man and the Spiritual World" (1903 UK Edition)
"Thoughts of the Spiritual" (1905 American Edition)

Rev. Arthur Chambers Returns From "Death" To Speak Through The Zodiac Circle

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