Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

God's Universal Love and Unmerited Mercy

"Our minds cannot find calm repose, until we arrive at the unmerited love of God. As the whole matter of our salvation must not be sought any where else than in Christ, so we must see whence Christ came to us, and why he was offered to be our Savior. Both points are distinctly stated to us: namely, that faith in Christ brings life to all, and that Christ brought life, because the Heavenly Father loves the human race, and wishes that they should not perish. And this order ought to be carefully observed; for such is the wicked ambition which belongs to our nature, that when the question relates to the origin of our salvation, we quickly form diabolical imaginations about our own merits. Accordingly, we imagine that God is reconciled to us, because he has reckoned us worthy that he should look upon us. But Scripture everywhere extols his pure and unmingled mercy, which sets aside all merits"

John Calvin (from Calvin's Commentary on John 3:16)

We can see from this that Calvin detected no contradiction at all between God's universal love for mankind on one hand, and His unmerited mercy toward the elect on the other hand. Let us never conclude that the two are mutually exclusive. Calvin affirms both, and so must every true Calvinist.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, Derek. Still, some Calvinists strongly object to telling people generally that God loves them.


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