“All” means everything there is, right? If you have all the marbles then there are no marbles for anyone else. But consider the example: “With all due respect?” Suddenly there seem to be degrees of “all.” If you only get all of the respect you deserve, there might in fact be more respect out there to be had.
If there are degrees of “all,” then is it possible that “Christ died for all” can mean that Christ died for some-for example, those who would listen? Now we are free to love some of our neighbours but leave others outside.
But this way of thinking runs contrary to Christ’s life and ministry. It tempts us to play judge and jury, and to try to determine who is in and who is out. And this is a dangerous game to play.
Paul was convinced that Christ died for all, and when God goes for all the marbles, God gets all the marbles, even those who don’t act like new creations in Christ.
Lord God, thank you for coming into creation for all of creation. Give us hope that your love will overpower all division. Help us to reach out to all creation as the new creation we are. Amen. — SB