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Third Night: Nichols' First Affirmative PDF Print E-mail
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Proposition II

“The Scriptures teach that Christ died for all the sinful race of Adam, and that he offers the remission of alien sins, or salvation, to all alike, upon the conditions of faith, repentance, confession and baptism.”

Affirmative: Gus Nichols                                               Negative: J. D. Holder



Mr. Moderators, Honorable Opponent, Ladies and Gentle­men: I am sensibly conscious of the great responsibility that rests upon me in leading us tonight in this investigation of God’s eternal truth. It is our desire and prayer to God that we may have a better understanding of the truth as a result. I have no other interest in this discussion. I have no envy or ill-will against my opponent, and if there were no motive other than to “demolish” him, I would not be here. I am here in the interest of God‘s word, and I suppose that is true of my Worthy Opponent.

I am to affirm tonight and tomorrow night the proposition just read, that “The Scriptures teach that Christ died for all the sinful race of Adam, and that he offers the remission of alien sins, or salvation, to all alike, upon the conditions of faith, repentance, confession and baptism.” While I did not word the proposition, directly, as I remember it, it explicitly ex­presses the main difference between the Primitive Baptists on the one hand, and the churches of Christ on the other. This is the fundamental difference between the two bodies.

Since I am in the affirmative tonight, it is my responsi­bility to define the proposition, and to do it so clearly that there can be no misunderstanding of the issue involved. I mean by the “Scriptures” the Old and New Testaments—our Bible. I mean by “teach” that the Scriptures say such things, or use such words as to convey the idea, and the truth of my proposition.

I mean by “Christ,” the Son of God, our Saviour. That he “died for all the sinful race of Adam” —died for all mankind—that his atonement was made in view of all who would ever sin in this world; not just for those living at the time he died, but he died for my Honorable Opponent and me, and for you, and that nearly two thousand years before any of us were born into the world. His blood was thus deposited, as it were, and ready to save when we should come upon the scene and sin and become lost. His blood was thus shed for the sinful race of Adam, living before the cross and since. I mean by “alien sins,” the sins of the man who is an alien, outsider, stranger, not a child of God, not a Christian, not a saved person. By “remission” and “salvation” I mean salvation is just another definition of remission of sins. “To all alike,” I mean that God is no respecter of persons; and that Christ made a uni­versal atonement, and that the rich provisions of God’s grace in the gospel are for all mankind alike. By “upon the condi­tions of faith, repentance, confession and baptism,” I mean these are things to be done by the sinner in order to come to the point where God remits our sins, because of the blood of Jesus, and washes white as snow in that blood because of his grace.

I call your attention to the first part of my proposition, though we have gone over this matter already time and again in previous sessions of the debate. My proposition obligates me to prove, even yet in the discussion, that “Christ died for all the sinful race of Adam.”

I am calling attention to this chart: “CHRIST DIED FOR ALL.”

Christ Died For All

1. All families of the Earth. Gen 18:14; Gal 3:28, Ac 3:25

2. No Respecter of Persons Ac 10:32 Rom 2:5-11

3. Sent to be S. of the World. 1 Jn 4:14

4. That world might be Saved. John 6:27 Rom 3:19

5. Came to save World John 12:14

6. Died for all the Dead 2 Cor 5:14-15

7. For sins of the Whole World. 2 John 2:2

8. For the Life of the World. John 6:51

9. Mercy for all under Sin. Rom 11:32

10. A Ransom for All. 2 Tim 2:5

11. Death for every Man. Heb 2:9

12. All men Everywhere. Use no such. Ac 17:30-31

13. Destroy not him whom Christ Died. Rom 14:15

14. Perish for whom Christ Died. Elect? If not—1 Cor 8-11

15. Denying Lord that bought Them. Destruction! (elect? If not) 2 Pet 2:1

16. Died for all sins of Man. Else Elect could be Lost.  Mk 3:28-29 

Gen. 28:14. God made a covenant with Abraham in prom­ise, saying, “In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” And in Acts 3:25, instead of saying “all the fam­ilies” of the earth would be blessed in Christ, the seed, Peter quotes it: “And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” So, “All the families of the earth,” or “All the kin­dreds of the earth” were to be blessed in Christ, the seed. Gal. 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.

He said not, And to seeds, as of many: but as of one, And to thy seed which is Christ.” So, Christ is the “sees” of Abraham and in him all the families—all the kindreds—of the world are to be blessed. That blessing is salvation in Christ. Acts 3:26, in speaking of Christ, says God, “sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” So the blessing in Christ is conditional upon men turning away from their sins. Peter says, “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, and in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” (Acts 3:25). So, the blessing of salvation is provided in Christ for all who have any connection with “families of the earth” or ‘‘all the kindreds of the earth, hence universal provisions is made.

Then again, Arts 11:34—35: ‘‘Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him.” The American Standard Version says, "is acceptable to him.” And so “God is no respecter of persons.” No doubt, we shall have more to say about that later.

In 1 Jn. 4:14, “We have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” So Christ came to be the Savior of the WORLD. Christ himself said, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Lk. 19:10.) Are the ‘elect’ only the “world”? Are the ‘elect’ the only ones lost? He came “to seek and to save that which was lost.” Again: “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (Jn. 3:17.) He came to make provisions so the ‘‘world’’ through him ‘‘might” be saved—and not to make it certain that all would he saved, if the word “world” there means only the ‘elect,’ then the ‘elect’ “might be saved”—and it is not certain they would be saved, according to that idea. Again, Jesus says, “I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” (Jn. 12:47.) Yes, he came “to save the world.” And “the whole world lieth in wickedness.” (I Jn. 5:19.) So, he came to save time ‘world’ that lieth in wickedness.

Again, “We thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.” (2 Cor. 5:14.) Here he died for all who were dead in sin. My opponent never did notice these Scriptures which I presented while he was in the affirmative proposition, this one in particular.

Then, in I Jn. 2:2, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” So Jesus came to make a satisfactory atonement “for the sins of the whole world.” “He gave himself a ransom for all.’’ (I Tim. 2:6.) That is, he paid the ransom price “for all.” When we meet the conditions of pardon, we obtain that redemp­tion which he has obtained for us in his death. (Heb. 9:12.) Jesus said, ‘‘the bread that I will give is my flesh, which 1 will give “for the life of the world” (Jn. 6:51.) Remember the ‘‘world” means all the lost of Adams race. ‘‘The whole world lieth in wickedness. (I Jn. 5:19.) He is the propitia­tion for time ‘‘sins of the whole world,’’ and he gave his flesh for ‘‘the life of the world”—for the life of all without spiritual life, and thus were dead in sin. Also mercy is provided for all under sin. Paul says, “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” (Rom. 11:32.) Yes, “upon all.” That certainly is not limited to the ‘elect.’ Surely they are not the only ones in “unbelief!” Heb. 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” “For every human being,” says the 20th Century Translation—“for every human being.” “For every man,” King James Version. But my friend says the word “man” is a supplied word. It is “for every”--something; it cannot be for less than for every one, “Every man,” or “Every human being,” so that he might save them from past sins, and then bring them, as sons unto glory—unto heaven above.

There are commands for all. “And now commandeth all men every where to repent.” (Acts 17:30.) The apostle says this is “because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness.” (v. 31.) Here “all men every where” that are to repent, equals “the world” that is to be judged. All who are to be judged are commanded to re­pent. My friend said they were to repent for legal reasons; but not so: they were to repent in view of a coming judgment, and not a matter of mere morality.

Rom. 14:15. This is another passage my friend has ig­nored for two nights. Paul said, “Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.” (Rom. 14:15.) If the one here who could be “destroyed” is one of the ‘non-elect,’ then Christ died for the ‘non-elect’—f or all, as I teach. But if it is one--the ‘elect,’ then the ‘elect’ could be “destroyed,” and the possibility of apostasy is established! Let my opponent take either horn of the dilemma that he wants to take and try to explain the passage! Again, “And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, FOR WHOM CHRIST DIED.” (I Cor. 8:11.) If it means by “brother” any man—brother in general, then Christ made a general atonement and some may fail to obey, and perish. But if it means a saved “brother”—a brother in Christ, then a “brother” in Christ could so sin as to “perish;” for it says, “And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother PERISH, FOR WHOM CHRIST DIED.”

Mk. 3:28-29. Christ died for all the sons of men, or else the ‘elect’ could commit the unpardonable sin and be lost. Je­sus said, “All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies where withsoever they shall blaspheme. But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never for­giveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.” (Mk. 3:28-29.) Now, who are “the sons of men” whose sins may be forgiven? If it means men in general, then Christ has made an atonement for men in general; for there could be no sins forgiven without the atonement. Hence, he has made an atonement for the “sons of men”—all mankind! But if “sons of men” means the ‘elect’ then they might “blaspheme against the Holy Ghost” and “never” have “forgiveness” but be “in danger of eternal damnation.” Let him tell us who “the sons of men” are.

My proposition not only obligates me to prove that Christ died for all the race, but that the gospel is essential to the salvation of men. Because faith is included in my proposition, and faith depends upon the gospel. Peter says, “Ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.” (Acts 15:7.) So the gospel is necessary to faith and the bless­ings in Christ. Paul says the mystery was now revealed, “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.” (Eph. 3:6.) All the promises of salvation in Christ are to be had “by the gospel.” That is what it says.

2 Pet. 2:1. False teachers “bring in damnable heresies.” If heresies can damn the people, it seems next to blasphemy to say the truth could not have saved them.

2 Thess. 2:13-14, “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth, whereunto he called you by our gospel.” And so we are chosen of God, elected and saved, through “belief of the truth”—called to salvation by the gospel.

 Saved By The Gospel

1. Heresies damn? Truth can Save. 2 Pet 2:1; 1 Thes 2:13-14

2. Quickened by the Word. Ps 119:50; Eph 2:1

3. Perfect Converting the Soul. Ps 19:7; Rom 8:1

4. Begotten with the Truth. Jas 1:19

5. Born again by the message. 1 Pet 1:13,25 (RV)

6. Saved by the Gospel. 1 Cor 15:2

7. The Power unto Salvation Rom 1:16

8. Saved by “Words.” Ac 11:13-14

9. Seed (word) Indispensable. Lk 8:11-12

10. Preaching in the plan. Rom 10:13,14,17

11. Speaks the might be Saved 1 Thes 2:16

12. Saved through Preaching. 1 Cor 1:21

13. Message to all the People. Lu 2:10; Mk 15:15

14. Commands for all men. Everyone to Obey Ac 17:30-31; Heb 5:9

Ps. 119:50, “Thy word hath quickened me.” Hence, God‘s word quickens sinners dead in sins. Eph. 2:1 says, “And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.” God’s word does a perfect job of converting sinners. ‘‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.’’ (Ps. 19:7.) It is called ‘‘the sword of the Spirit.’’ (Eph. 6:1.7.) It is through the word that the Spirit operates in converting the souls of men. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Rom. 8:2. Again, ‘‘Re­ceive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (Jas. 1:21) ‘‘Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” (1 Per. 1:23) “And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”  (v. 25) Again, “Of his own will beget he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” (Jas. 1 18) So, ‘‘begot­ten with the word of truth.” “born again . . . by the word of God.” Thus, it is conditional on man’s part. We are saved by the gospel. Paul says, ‘‘Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which ye have received, and wherein ye stand: by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have be­lieved in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:1-2.) “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:3-4.) So, that is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by it these Corinthians had been saved, That is what the Bible says. Paul says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” (Rom 1:16-17.) Here we are told that the gospel is the power of God unto the salvation of the lost. That is why Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mk. 16:15.) Hence, we are saved by words: the angel of God said unto Cornelius, “Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” (Acts 11:13-14.) The sinner must hear the word to be saved. The word is as indispensable as seed. Jesus said, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God” (Lk. 8:11.) “Those by the wayside are they that hear; then corn eth the devil, and taketh away the WORD out of their hearts, LEST THEY SHOULD BELIEVE AND BE SAVED.” (Lk. 8:12.) Here, the salvation of men depends upon believing the word, and the devil knows that; so he tries to get the word out of their hearts to keep them from being saved. My friend’s doctrine does that—takes the word out of your hearts to keep you from obeying the gospel—causes you to wait, and wait, for God to do it all!

Again, I call your attention to Rom. 10:13-17: “For who­soever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? . . . so then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Salvation is conditional on man‘s part. There are conditions to be performed by man. Paul, in speaking of his persecutors, said, “Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved.” (1 Thess. 2:16.) Here the salvation of the Gentiles depended upon the gospel’s being spoken or preached unto them. For had God said he “would justify the heathen (the American Standard Version says “Gentiles”) THROUGH FAITH.” (Gal. 3:8.) Men are saved through preaching: “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that be­lieve.” (l Cor. 1:21.) The message is for all people: at the birth of Jesus the angel said, “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” (Lk. 2:10.) My friend wanted to know last night if this was good news to old Herod. Well, it should have been. It was not God’s fault if it was not. The truth of Jesus is good news to all who will accept it. Of course, if a hundred thousand dollars were deposited in the bank in escrow for my friend, and he refused to believe the announcement of it, it would not be good news to him, but if he would believe it then it would be good news to him. It is good news anyway if it is for him, whether he believes it or not. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mk. 16:15.) Here is “gospel” or good news for every creature in the world. So, I have good news for all men, in the gospel of Christ. There are commands for all to obey. “Now command­eth “all men every where to repent.” (Acts 17:30.) So, God has commands for “all men every where.” You have heard our good old Primitive Baptist friends, whom I like very much, say that God‘s word and commands are for nobody but the ‘sheep.’ My opponent has no message for anybody else. But God “commandeth all men every where to repent.” (Acts 17:30.) Then, speaking of Christ: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Heb. 5:8-9.) Remember, he saves “THEM THAT OBEY HIM.” It is conditional on our part.

Again, the sinner must hear in order to be saved. (I shall have time for only a few points on this topic now.) God says, “O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord.” (Jer. 22:29.) Does the “earth, earth, earth,” here just mean the ‘elect’? Let my friend answer! In Acts 2:14 Peter said, “Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words.” Yes, Judea, and “all” at Jerusalem were called upon to hear. I challenge my friend to say all of them were saved! That “all” at Jerusalem and in the nation of Judea were saved and the ‘elect!’ Again, Peter said, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words.” (Acts 2:22.) Again, “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly . . .” etc. (Acts 2:36.) So, all are to hear. “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3:22-23.) That would not be fair if they were designed from all eternity to be lost for ever, if God made no provisions for them, never loved them, and Christ never died for them, then destroy them for not hearing Christ; when they were dead as a stone (according to my friend) and could not hear! But I must pass on.

The sinner must believe in order to be saved. “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:30-31.) “For by grace are ye saved.” (And I want my friend to remember that I believe in salvation by grace as much as he does, for it says, “By grace are ye saved.”) My friend thinks that ends it right there, with no condition on our part. But it says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith.” (Eph. 2:8.) Now, if we are saved “through faith” then the faith must be there before we are saved, so we can be saved “through faith.” Then the next verse says, “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:9.) Hence, faith is put over against works of boasting—works of the old law. Again, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Rom. 5:1-2.) So, no faith, no justifi­cation, nor access into grace. Again, “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace.” (Rom. 4:16.) Hence one is not saved without faith. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been bap­tized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal. 3:26-27.) My friend says in his little booklet, page 50, that this means “water baptism.” (I want you to buy a copy and see how many mis­representations of my brethren there are in it. I want you to see what a man will write.) Again, Paul speaks of those who would “believe on Him (Christ) to life everlasting.” (1 Tim. 1:16.) Again, “Every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life.” (Jn. 6:40.) And Peter says, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43.) Who has heard my opponent quote that verse in the last two nights? I used this argument about the first verse I used in the debate. Then he thinks I do not answer his arguments! But it is my intention to take up every argument he makes and reply to it. But again, “These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (Jn. 20:31.) One must believe in order to have the life. John says, “He that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (Jn. 3:36.) Then in John 3:18, “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (Jn. 3:18.) Again, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn. 3:16.) Rev. 21:8, “The unbe­lieving . . . shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Then, to the believers asking what to do, Peter said, “Re­pent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” (Acts 2:38.) Here both re­pentance and baptism in the name of “Jesus Christ” are “for the remission of this.” And my friend has said that means “unto, “with a view to,” or “in order to” the remission of sins. Notice the word “Christ” is not in Mk. 1:4 where “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of re­pentance for the remission of sins.” The word “Christ is used as a noun, and “he” as a pronoun in “What think ye of Christ? whose Son is he?” (Matt. 22:42.)

Moderator: Rapped for time.

Nichols: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. Be sure to listen attentively to my friend.

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