Was Paul a Universalist?

Could Romans 5:18-19 be used to argue for universalism?


00:00 Does Romans 5 teach that because of what

00:03 Jesus did, justification came to all men?

00:06 Sounds like everyone's saved. Not so.

00:12 In Romans 5, Paul teaches that through one act of disobedience, Adam's,

00:19 condemnation came to all men, but through one act of obedience,

00:22 Jesus', justification came to all men.

00:28 That sounds a little like all people are going to be saved. Hmm.

00:33 Well, not so. Let me tell you why.

00:35 First of all, that's one little verse in the entire book of Romans.

00:38 We have to take the book of Romans as a whole.

00:41 What is Paul doing in the book of Romans? He's explaining the plan of salvation,

00:48 and he starts at the beginning with everybody being fallen,

00:52 and then the problems that that caused and how we all need to have faith in Jesus

00:57 and receive the free gift of grace that comes through Jesus, etc., etc., etc.

01:02 That would make no sense for Paul to give all of this explanation of the

01:07 Gospel to rescue us when in fact, we're all rescued already, okay?

01:12 So that's the first thought.

01:14 Secondly, who is the one man again that he is talking about that brought justification

01:18 to all the rest of us apparently? Well, that's Jesus.

01:22 Well, what did Jesus have to say about this issue?

01:24 Go to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 6 or 7 or so,

01:29 and there you'll read Jesus weighing in on the issue, and He says

01:33 that the way is narrow that leads to life and few are those who find it, and

01:38 the way is broad that leads to destruction and many are those who find it.

01:45 And in fact, when you read just a little further in the text, Paul says

01:49 this about the situation, "...as through one man's disobedience the many were made sinners,

01:56 even so through the obedience of the One the many were made righteous."

02:00 I don't know, it doesn't seem to me that the text in the context itself requires

02:03 that everybody be saved. It wouldn't fit in the context of the entire book of Romans,

02:10 and it doesn't fit with Jesus' teaching on the issue.

02:14 So I am convinced this is not what Paul had in mind in Romans 5.

video |
Greg Koukl