I have written before on the relevance of Ephesians 5:25, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her," to the doctrine of limited (or particular or definite) atonement.
Most American evangelicals hold to the Arminian doctrine that teaches that God loves all men equally, without discrimination, contrary to, for example, Psalm 5:5 and Romans 9:13 (from Malachi 1:2-3). That belief runs into a major problem in this verse from Ephesians.
If the love of Christ for the church is the pattern for a husband's love for his wife, and if Christ loves everyone equally and indiscriminately, then logic requires that Paul's command is for a husband to love all women equally and indiscriminately. Obviously that is nonsense, but that is because the common evangelical doctrine is nonsense!
Just as the wife of such a husband would find no security in a husband's love that made no distinction between her and other women, the Christian can find no assurance in a Savior who makes no distinction between him and a rank unbeliever. The doctrine of a universal or general atonement could not be better designed to undermine evangelical assurance. Even if there were no biblical evidence against it, I would consider such a result a sure argument against such a doctrine.
39 Articles—Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude (4)
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