"Enough for as many worlds of men as there are men in the world."
Some Reformed Christians hold to a view that is essentially that Christ's blood was theoretically sufficient for all of humanity. This view lacks Biblical support.
I came across this view recently in reading commentaries on 1 Peter 2:1. Compare Gill's thoughtful commentary, with Henry's off-handed remarks on the same verse:
not the Lord Jesus Christ, but God the Father; for the word κυριος is not here used, which always is where Christ is spoken of as the Lord, but δεσποτης; and which is expressive of the power which masters have over their servants (i), and which God has over all mankind; and wherever this word is elsewhere used, it is spoken of God the Father, whenever applied to a divine person, as in Luke 2:29 and especially this appears to be the sense, from the parallel text in Jude 1:4 where the Lord God denied by those men is manifestly distinguished from our Lord Jesus Christ, and by whom these persons are said to be bought: the meaning is not that they were redeemed by the blood of Christ, for Christ is not intended; and besides, whenever redemption by Christ is spoken of, the price is usually mentioned, or some circumstance or another which fully determines the sense; see Acts 20:28 whereas here is not the least hint of anything of this kind: add to this, that such who are redeemed by Christ are the elect of God only, the people of Christ, his sheep and friends, and church, and who are never left to deny him so as to perish eternally; for could such be lost, or deceive, or be deceived finally and totally by damnable heresies, and bring on themselves swift destruction, Christ's purchase would be in vain, and the ransom price be paid for nought; but the word "bought" regards temporal mercies and deliverance, which these men enjoyed, and is used as an aggravation of their sin in denying the Lord; both by words, delivering out such tenets as are derogatory to the glory of the divine perfections, and which deny one or other of them, and of his purposes, providence, promises, and truths; and by works, turning the doctrine of the grace of God into lasciviousness, being disobedient and reprobate to every good work; that they should act this part against the Lord who had made them, and upheld them in their beings and took care of them in his providence, and had followed them with goodness and mercy all the days of their lives; just as Moses aggravates the ingratitude of the Jews in Deuteronomy 32:6 from whence this phrase is borrowed, and to which it manifestly refers: "do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise! is not he thy Father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?" nor is this the only place the apostle refers to in this chapter, see 2 Peter 2:12 compared with Deuteronomy 32:5 and it is to be observed, that the persons he writes to were Jews, who were called the people the Lord had redeemed and purchased, Exodus 15:13 and so were the first false teachers that rose up among them; and therefore this phrase is very applicable to them:
The above is Gill's commentary on the verse. Compare Matthew Henry's short excursis on the verse:
They reject and refuse to hear and learn of the great teacher sent from God, though he is the only Saviour and Redeemer of men, who paid a price sufficient to redeem as many worlds of sinners as there are sinners in the world.The statement that Christ "paid a price sufficient to redeem as many worlds of sinners as there are sinners in the world" makes for a catchy phrase from the pulpit, but does not find support in Scripture. Instead, in Scripture we see much more precision in the counting of payment (Cf. Matthew 5:26 and Luke 12:59) and even so when the payment is a sacrifice (Cf. Exodus 23:18, Exodus 29:34, and Leviticus 19:6).
Consider also the Lord's disgust with "vain oblations" (Isaiah 1:13).
So then, shall we imagine that even one drop of Christ's blood was spilled in vain, or that Christ suffered any more than precisely the amount necessary to save His people?
After all, if God can ordain the army of Babylon so that every arrow counts:
Jeremiah 50:9 For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.
Even so must the sacrifice of Christ be of even more well-targeted efficacy.
It is only with that understanding that we can truly affirm what Paul preaches, namely:
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Christ's death had no measure of vanity, and there is no reason to suppose from Scripture that it was anything other than the perfect sacrifice.
He is the fulfilment of this sacrifice:
5And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will. 6It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire. 7And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted. 8Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the LORD: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
And likewise, he is the Manna from heaven, which was precisely sufficient for the needs of the people (see Exodus 16).
And we need not rely only on external texts, the text itself does not hint at mere hypothetical sufficiency: the word for bought used here is αγορασαντα. It's an aorist active participle. It does not say that a sufficient price was paid to purchase them, it say they were bought. Whether Gill's explanation above is correct, or whether Peter is relating their claim, there is nothing hypothetical about the word that is used here.
And I think that if Matthew Henry had studied the verse in more depth he would no doubt have come to the same conclusion.