All means All


I’m wondering if I’m wrong here and I’m hoping on getting some clarification on my position.

I’ve argued with Joe (Alex’s buddy) and on Facebook that God binding all men over to disobedience has larger ramifications than usually interpreted.

When Paul writes: For God has bound all men over to disobedience, that he might have mercy on them all.

I argue that whether one interprets it Jew and Gentile or every individual, there’s really no difference. For if God bound Jews over to disobedience then who among Jews were not hardened? And if God bound Gentiles were bound then who among the Gentiles escapes being bound?

Now I realize Paul is referring to the fact that mercy has been extended out to the gentiles but I would say that means every person who’s not a Jew. And if God has extended mercy out to all Jews then it is every person who’s not a Gentile. Thus I find it inevitable that Paul is arguing that literally EVERY SINGLE PERSON IS A SINNER FOR THE PURPOSE OF HAVING MERCY.

I argue that in Matt 25 the nations will be brought before him and separated like sheep and goats. Why would we think that some people will not? Yes it’s referring to nations but ALL people fall under those categories. Now if Jew and Gentile tantamount to ALL PEOPLE then why would I conclude that SOME PEOPLE HAVE NOT BEEN BOUND TO DISOBEDIENCE BECUASE THEY’RE REALLY GOOD GUYS.

I obviously am using other references to Paul’s theology, but I’ve got no problems with that. In fact I think Paul thinks WERE ALL WRETCHED SINNERS and I hear Paul saying THAT HE MIGHT SHOW US HIS LOVE BY HAVING MERCY ON US.

Anyways, if anyone has any thoughts I’d love to hear them.



I agree, I thought it was established that everyone, at sometime, were bound to disobedience. I think it’s very helpful for Paul to explain why God did that (otherwise one might find it odd that he didn’t just bind everyone to obedience) i.e. so that God can have mercy on everyone.


They could still say that the mercy refers to the offering of salvation to all that has to be recieved.


We’re currently studying through Ephesians in church. Paul does a similar thing there:

Eph 2:14-16 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both (Jew and Gentlie) to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

Eph 3:6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Now in church, my pastor was careful to say “All Jewish Christians, and all Gentile Christians” are members of one body. And that’s true in the sense of what we now are able to perceive, but the text does not limit it in that way. The text itself is comprehensive. The promise is to all, but of course there is an order. The “being built together” into The Temple of God is a process beginning with the cornerstone, Christ, and the foundation, the apostles and prophets, and then all the rest added when their time comes until the whole is complete.

Even among Christians we don’t see the unity that Paul says is ours in Christ–the building is not very impressive yet. But when we look at the plan/mystery that God has made known we can break out into praise with Paul:

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen!"