Presbyterians/1 Tm 4:10


Hello Pastor G,
here I am again.
I've been studying about limited atonement for the last couple of days. One of the Bible verses that has been a bit harder for me to explain is 1 Timothy 4:10, specifically this part: "...who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe."

How can I show someone that believes in unlimited atonement that the above verse does not support unlimited atonement?

Hello, Nathan!

There are so many things that could be said about this topic, but in the interest of time, I'll limit myself to your question regarding that specific verse.

I think that it is important to understand that a savior actually does something - he actually saves. A savior does not make salvation possible. He actually saves.

If this verse supported an "unlimited" atonement, I would expect that it would say, "who COULD BE the savior of all men." Instead, it says that he IS the savior of all men.

The verse, then, says that Jesus actually saves all men. The question then becomes "how?"

After man fell into sin, the only reason judgment did not fall immediately is because of God's promise of a savior - "the seed of the woman who would bruise the serpent's head" (Gen 3:15).

If it because of the plan that the Son of God would become the savior that the human race was not annihilated at the moment of the fall.

The reason why God's judgment did not fall immediately is because of the promise of a Savior. So Jesus is in that the sense the Savior of all men. But he is ESPECIALLY the Savior of believers, because their salvation and deliverance from God's wrath will not be merely for time, but for eternity.


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Pastor G


I am glad to answer questions about the Scriptures, Systematic, Biblical and Historic Theology, New Testament Greek, Biblical Hebrew (although my Greek is stronger than my Hebrew); and I am also glad to give pastoral advise and counsel.


A minister ordained in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church since 1993. Prior to that I served as an elder. Former Senior Police Chaplain. College and Seminary-level lecturer.

B.A. Psychology and Theology, M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary D.Min., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Law Enforcement Chaplaincy certification, ICPC

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