Article 3: The Infinite Value of Christ's Death
This death of God's Son is the only and entirely complete sacrifice and satisfaction for sins; it is of infinite value and worth, more than sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world.
At this point, the Canons deal with the question of the value (efficacious nature) of Christ’s satisfaction upon the cross. Since the Reformed “limit” the benefits of the death of Christ to the elect only, it is important for the authors to clarify that Christ’s death is not at all limited when we consider the question of the value of the death of Christ in removing the guilt and the stain of sin so as to satisfy God’s justice.
The Reformed position is that the death of Christ is of such value (infinite) that it is completely sufficient to satisfy God’s justice toward all sins. Christ’s death is indeed sufficient to remove the guilt of every sin committed by every person, who has ever lived, in each and every age.
But the limit placed upon the atonement does not lie in the power of the cross to remove [or expiate] sin. If God had chosen to save all men and women without exception, Christ’s death would be sufficient to save all—he would not need to be punished longer, or shed more blood so that more could be saved.
Christ’s death is beyond all measurable value in its power to remove sin and satisfy God’s justice. And this is why the authors state: “This death of God's Son is the only and entirely complete sacrifice and satisfaction for sins; it is of infinite value and worth, more than sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world.”
But the Reformed do argue that God sent Christ not to make the world savable (potentially), if only sinners do what is necessary for them to be saved. Instead, the Reformed contend that the intent of the death of Christ is to save God's elect, since Christ’s satisfaction is more than sufficient for all their sins.
Christ’s death does exactly what God intended it to do. Simply put, Christ satisfies God’s justice and his anger toward his elect through his death for them upon the cross. The Reformed reject the universalist notion (typical of Arminianism), that Christ’s death makes sinners “savable” under certain conditions since it shows forth God’s love for a lost and fallen world. Instead, the death of Christ actually satisfies God’s justice so that God’s elect can be saved, it does not merely render people "savable."