Acts 17:11 Archives

Grace, Love, and Election

A response by Dean VanDruff to an assertion that God's grace is universal, and that His love is unconditional.

Grace has no meaning unless it is "given", and this inextricably implies choice.

Ps 115:3 (NKJ) But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.

Ec 8:3b (NKJ) "Do not take your stand for an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him."

Ps 135:6a (NKJ) Whatever the Lord pleases He does.

God chooses; it is called "election" by some, "predestination" by others, "sovereignty" as well.

Rom 9:11,13 (NIV) Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad-- in order that God's purpose in election might stand... Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

Rom 8:28-31 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to HIS purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

God's love is not some bland, oxymoronic, "force" sort of ether.... God is real, not a gas. He makes choices, and this irritates the rebellious nature of unregenerate men. But for those submitted to Him, it redounds to His ultimate glory. God hates some, loves others. He has mercy on those He wants to have mercy on, and not on those He does not want to have mercy on. If God is real, rather than something we "make up" and "approve of" in our own minds, could it be any other way?

For those He loves, it is a pretty good deal (Rom 8:28-31, above). I want to be in the group He loves, not in the group collecting trivia about Him, passing judgment on him, trying to second-guess Him, calling Him to account as if we had created Him. Don't you?

Job 38:4 (NKJ) "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?.."

Rom 9:15-16 (NIV) For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort...

Why not just let God be God? In my experience, it meant a body slam of any pretense of intellectualism and ability to "figure" God out. <smiles> But I learned a lot, real quick.

Rom 9:19-22 (NAS) You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

God is. Let us make peace with "I am", rather than play around with idolatrous ideas about Him that we judge "OK" or not in our own minds. Such is no way to learn about God, or even consider Him. The fear of God is a good starting place... someone smart once said. Pray for it, and then receive it (rather than reject it) if and when He answers your prayer.

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