If Jesus really died for me / Then Jesus really tried for me
How do you say the first line with conviction without the second line sounding like a well-meaning but ineffectual gesture? That's at the heart of the debate between limited and universal atonement. Well put Robbie.
Pity the song's rubbish.
I like the way Peter put it:
4 to whom coming -- a living stone -- by men, indeed, having been disapproved of, but with God choice, precious, 5 and ye yourselves, as living stones, are built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore, also, it is contained in the Writing: 'Lo, I lay in Zion a chief corner-stone, choice, precious, and he who is believing on him may not be put to shame;' 7 to you, then, who are believing is the preciousness; and to the unbelieving, a stone that the builders disapproved of, this one did become for the head of a corner, 8 and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence -- who are stumbling at the word, being unbelieving, -- to which also they were set. (1 Peter 2:4-8, Young's Literal Translation)
Christ through His cross is really set forth as Cornerstone. And His proper office is to build up a spiritual house. But, get this. His effect (in an accidental rather than proper sense) is also to determine those in unbelief. Not even unbelievers can 'set themselves' against Jesus. Instead they are set in their unbelief. They do not avoid the Stone, but stumble over Him. They cannot escape His atonement. They cannot free themselves from the Stone. Either they fall on Him or He crushes them (Luke 20:18). One way or another they are determined by Him. In fact they find that even their rejection of Him makes Him to be the Capstone. The cross is precisely the point where rejection is made to further not thwart His saving agenda. Through His cross, Christ shows Himself to be so great His enemies serve His purpose. This is the universal effectiveness of the cross. What a crazy gospel! But wonderful. The Lord has done this and it is marvellous in our eyes.
Therefore Christ's atonement is for universal salvation - that is its proper effect. Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save it. There is though an accidental and incomprehensible effect - rejection. Yet even this rejection is taken up at the cross and through the cross to serve the saving purposes of God. It is universally effective.
Jesus really died for you. And Jesus more than tried for you. At the cross He has entirely determined your existence..