Back Issues

Volume 2, Issue 1:

The Electing Love of God

Election having once pitched upon a man, it will find him out and call him home, whereever he be. It called Zaccheus out of accursed Jericho; Abraham out of idolatrous Ur of the Chaldees; Nicodemus and Paul, from the College of the Pharisees, Christ's sworn enemies; Dionysius and Damaris, out of superstitious Athens. In whatsoever dunghills God's elect are hid, election will find them out and bring them home.
- John Arrowsmith
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
- 1 Peter 1:1-3
Can you, O rejector, cast election out of the Bible? Would you be like the woman at the feet of Solomon, and have the child rent in halves, that you might have your half (1 Kings 3:26)? Is it not here in Scripture?
- C.H. Spurgeon
You begin at the wrong end if you first dispute about your election. Prove your conversion, and then never doubt your election. If your cannot yet prove it, set upon a present and thorough turning. Whatever God's purposes be, which are secret, I am sure His promises are plain. How desperately do rebels argue! `If I am elected I shall be saved, do what I will. If not, I shall be damned, do what I can.' Perverse sinner, will you begin where you should end?
- Joseph Alleine
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
- Deuteronomy 29:29
So one of the main reasons why the words of Moses and Paul are not taken in their plain sense is their `absurdity.' But against what article of faith does that `absurdity' transgress? And who is offended by it? It is human reason that is offended; which, though it is blind, deaf, senseless, godless, and sacrilegious, in its dealing with all God's words and works, is at this point brought in as judge of God's words and works! On these same grounds you will deny all the articles of the faith, for it is the highest absurdity by far...that God should be man, a virgin's son, crucified, sitting at the Father's right hand. It is, I repeat, absurd to believe such things!
- Martin Luther
Our spiritual estate standeth upon a sure bottom: the beginning is from God the Father, the dispensation is from the Son, and the application from the Holy Ghost. . . . It is free in the Father, sure in the Son, ours in the Spirit.
- Thomas Manton
God, from all eternity, did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
- Westminster Confession
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, `I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.' So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
- Romans 9:14-16
And mark, my reader, the apostle readily saw the doctrine he had formulated would raise this very objection, and unless what we have written . . . provokes . . . the same objection, then it must be either because we have not presented the doctrine which is set forth in Rom. 9, or else because human nature has changed since the apostle's day.
- A.W. Pink
[And what does the denial of of election do, but make-DW] the grace of God to lacquey it at the foot, or rather, the will of man? that makes the sheep to keep the shepherd? that puts God into the same extremity with Darius, who would gladly have saved Daniel but could not (Dan. 6:14)?
- Christopher Ness

Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, `Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?' But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, `Why have you made me like this?' Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
- Romans 9:18-21

The text above includes an common objection against the electing love of God. I was in the Christian ministry for many years before I ever heard this objection made against my teaching on the grace of God. No one ever said to me, `Well, if what you are saying is true, then we are all puppets! And if we are puppets, then why does God still find fault with us? He is the puppet manufacturer!'

After I came to embrace the Bible's teaching on God's love for His people, established before time, I found myself confronted with this objection all the time.
Carnal explanations of election have a lot going for them. They fit with common sense, they go down smoothly, they ruffle no feathers. This one thing they lack; they do not place us at the apostle's right and left hand during the question and answer session.
Not only do modern Christians avoid answering this impudent question, they find themselves frequently asking it. Most of the people who have charged me with imputing unrighteousness to God have been Christians. But unrighteousness can no more come from God than darkness from the sun, and this truth in no way prevents the apostle from asserting, in this objection-provoking way, the discriminating love of the Father for His people.
As those who profess Christ, let us not ruin ourselves in a quarrel with God. As Christopher Ness put it, `This is to suck poison out of a sweet flower; to dash against the Rock of Ages; to stumble at the Word, whereunto they were appointed (1 Pet. 2:8).' The rock may be used as a cornerstone for building; but there are also those who are crushed by it.
We must carefully consider what we are asked, and even more importantly, what we ask.
- Douglas Wilson

Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
- Acts 13:48
If God would have painted a yellow stripe on the backs of the elect I would go around lifting shirts. But since He didn't I must preach `whosoever will' and when `whosoever' believes I know he is one of the elect.
- C.H. Spurgeon
We know there is a sun in heaven, yet we cannot see what matter it is made of, but perceive it only by the beams, light and heat. Election is a sun, the eyes of eagles cannot see it; yet we may find it in the heat of vocation, in the light of illumination, in the beams of good works.
- Thomas Adams
Should any here, supposing themselves to be the children of God, imagine that there is some reason in them why they should have been chosen, let them know that as yet they are in the dark concerning the first principles of grace, and have not yet learned the gospel.
- C.H. Spurgeon
People who are not well grounded in the Bible take umbrage at the idea that God actually hardened Pharaoh's heart. Now, it is interesting to note that Pharaoh did not complain that God had hardened his heart. Pharaoh was quite satisfied. But others complain for him.
- Gordon Clark

Back to top
Back Issues

Copyright © 2012 Credenda/Agenda. All rights reserved.