God’s selective grace and particular love

Does God love everyone? Does God show grace to all men?

Have you ever really pondered the idea about how you chose your spouse? There were many fish in the sea, many with admirable traits. But out of all the other human beings in the world, you decided to marry and spend forever with that certain individual. And only because you thought they were worthy of your love and possessed something you wanted. Now think about God and His choosing you for salvation. It is quite remarkable. God choosing to set His love on an individual. There was no good in you. No worthiness. No holiness or something that set you apart from the others. You were just as lost and miserable as the rest.

The word “foreknow” as used in Romans 8:29 is used as a verb and “speaks of a predetermined choice to set His love on an individual and establish an intimate relationship.” (John MacArthur)

A friend recently told me ”God’s selective grace is beautiful.” And you know what is so crazy about that? The majority don’t see it that way. Usually when this topic is brought up, the glorious beauty of it is not spoken of but you hear things like “You mean God doesn’t choose everyone?!” Instead of marveling on the fact God chose to save any men. We are all deserving of hell and the wrath of God. Many view this truth as offensive, cruel, and unfair. Augustine says this- “Since man of himself can do nothing good, all power to do good must be the free gift of God, that is “grace.” Out of the mass of the fallen race God chooses some to receive this grace.” I recently memorized Ephesians 1. It amazed me to see how many times the kindness of God is talked about related to the doctrine of election.

“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,..” Ephesians 1:5

“Thinking on the topic of God’s love, with the exception of John 3:16, not once in the four Gospels do we read of the Lord Jesus telling sinners that God loved them. In the book of Acts, which records the evangelistic labors and messages of the apostles, God’s love is never referred to at all! The first thing to note in connection with John 3:16 is that our Lord was there speaking to Nicodemus- a man who believed that God’s mercies were confined to his own nation. “God so loved the world” signifies God’s love is international in scope. In other words, this was Christ’s announcement that God had a purpose of grace toward Gentiles, as well as Jews. This does not mean that God loves every single individual.” -A.W.Pink

Let me ask you a question. If it’s true that God loves every member of the human family then why did our Lord tell his disciples in John 14:21- “The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and (B)the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will (C)reveal Myself to him.”

Or how about Proverbs 8:17? ”I love those who love me, and those who seek me early shall find me.”

And we know that love is described as “keeping no record of wrongs”in 1 Corinthians 13:5 yet those who are thrown in hell are put there because their wrongs/sins have been held against them. They have not had the slate wiped clean and their wrongs pardoned by Christ. He has kept record of their wrongs.

Bottom line- God shows love and mercy to whom He chooses. (Romans 9:16) While there may be a general love for His creation, it is not the same as His particular, saving love for the elect. So many wrongly judge God instead of praising Him for this glorious truth! He could rightfully have chosen to send all mankind to hell since we have all fallen short of the glory of God and deserve His wrath (Romans 3:23)

If you have fallen into this category of misjudging God for His right to show grace and love to certain individuals, two things are in order.

  1. Repent. Repent for judging God’s lovingkindness as harsh or unfair. There is only one reason we take this view and that is pride. Pride won’t let us acknowledge that God has every right to choose some and not all. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14
  2. Ask the Lord for wisdom regarding this truth. Ask Him to open your eyes. Go to the Scripture and see if this is not truth. God chose Israel. God chose His prophets. God chose His disciples. And God chose whom He would save before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) It is His prerogative to do so. He is sovereign over all souls.
  1. Here are some passages to help your studies- “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’sown possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9 “just as (A)He chose us in Him before (B)the foundation of the world, that we would be (C)holy and blameless before [a]Him. (D)In love5 [b]He (E)predestined us to (F)adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, (G)according to the good pleasure of His will,” Ephesians 1:4-5 But we should always give thanks to God for you, (B)brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because (C)God has chosen you [a]from the beginning (D)for salvation [b](E)through sanctification [c]by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13
    Let us gather together in thanksgiving to the Lord and openly praise Him for His sovereign grace, His choosing of us, His particular love, our redemption, and that He will keep us until the end.

Author: lauranlou

Teaching women to study Scripture, love theology and to glorify Christ!

2 thoughts on “God’s selective grace and particular love”

  1. Hello again, Lauran.

    The title of this post is, to be a little blunt, rather depressing. I never would have thought that even an ardent Calvinist such as yourself would use the phrase, “selective grace” in denoting just limited God’s love is for his creation. I’ve shared before how, according to the Calvinist’s doctrine of unconditional election, God’s grace only extends to ‘maybe’ 4% of the world’s population. Your meme would seem to agree with this.

    It was interesting last Christmas holiday to observe a huge commonality between Calvinism’s belief that God sovereignly decrees all that is to pass and how my four-year-old granddaughter plays with her dollhouse. She puts the furniture where she wants it. She clothes and places her dolls where she wants them. She initiates and maintains the conversations between the dolls. It’s fascinating to watch. Sometimes things are pleasant and sweet. Sometimes things are innocent and funny. And sometimes things get, well, nasty and one of the dolls is in a heap of trouble. This little girl exercises her complete sovereign will over those dolls. And considering how completely Calvinist doctrine stipulates that EVERYTHING is ordained by God, I can’t help but sense that within Calvinism’s doctrines we, as God’s creation, are nothing more than puppets to him. God moves us where he wants us and we’re powerless to do otherwise. God dresses some with righteousness (i.e. being elect – like you). To others God dresses in disease & pestilence, suffering and want or perhaps anguish and misery (like my best friend who recently died from colon cancer). For others, God does not clothe them. Instead, he leaves them naked in their natural state (i.e. being reprobate – like me). For many, God chooses to stuff them into a suitcase and toss them into the deepest part of the closet never to be loved or cared for until finally, sometime later, they’re simply done away with – well, the non-favored ones, anyway. A few of the dolls are indeed favored and highly treasured. Most, however, are insignificant and of no importance.

    In short, I can’t help but think that some of the underlying difficulties and within the doctrines of grace aren’t rising to the surface and over time it will become more difficult to support them with scripture.

    To which, you still owe me a promised response as to how you interpret various verses in your support of divine sovereignty and unconditional election. As you know, I keep score and you lost 10.5 to 1.5. Many of those verses are listed within this article so I won’t belabor and add to the length of this response here but will instead link to my blog – if that is acceptable to you.
    And just curious if you ever did make those flax biscuits? Take care and be well.



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