On Apollinarianism and Limited Atonement

St. Gregory of Nyssa ca. 335-395

“The Father raises up the dead and gives them life, and the Son gives life to whom He will.” (Jn. 5:21) We do not understand by this that some are rejected by the will of the Lifemaker. Because, however, as we have heard and do believe, all things that are the Father’s are the Son’s also, it is obvious that we perceive in the Son the will also of the Father, which is one of these things. If, therefore, the paternal will is in the Son, but the Father, as the Apostle says, “wills that all men be saved and come to knowledge of truth” (1 Tim. 2:4), certainly He that possesses all things that are the Father’s and has the Father wholly in Himself, has entirely within Himself along with the other good things of the Father the whole salvific will. If, therefore, He does not lack the perfect will, it is fully evident that those whom the Father wills to make live He too makes alive. He does not skimp in any way in the loving-kindness of His will toward men, as Apollinaris would have it; He does not will that only some and not all should be made alive. It is not the will of the Lord that is the reason why some are saved and some are lost; were that the case, the cause of their perdition would have to be referred to His will. That some are saved and some perish depends rather upon the deliberate choice of those who hear the word. (Refutation of Apollinaris 29: Jaeger, p. 176)

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