"I Will Have Mercy On Whom I Have Mercy" - God

Church Family: What Biblical doctrine has created some of the most heated controversy and division since the 4th century? Still today if you hear this phrase within Bible believing Christ followers it can bring heated division. What is the phrase? “God elects some to salvation.” Very often the idea that God chooses some and does not choose others creates within believers and unbelievers alike disgust. As believers we are quick to demand that God must do for all what He does for some. This is exactly the opposite of what Scripture teaches from its beginning to its end (Rom. 9:1-11:36; 8:28-30; Eph. 1; John 6:44; Gen. 12; 21; 25; Deut. 7; Mal. 1:2-3; Ex. 33:19; etc.). God says, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Rom. 9:15).

What is really meant by God’s sovereign election in salvation? For God to “elect”means, God chose out from among others. He did so with perfect loving deliberation and thoughtful purpose not out of haphazard randomness or carelessness. God knew exactly what He was doing when He chose one but not another. As difficult as it is to accept, God really does say, "Though they (twins - Jacob and Esau) were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of Him who calls - she (Rebekah) was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” (Rom. 9:11-12). Before either were born, God really did choose Jacob but not Esau. That is very tough to receive, but this doctrine of divine election is what the Bible clearly teaches from Genesis to Revelation.

Why do so many in the Church dislike the doctrine of God’s election? Most likely because we think that we know better. It is difficult to fully submit to God working His sovereign purpose in the lives of people differently than how we think He should be doing it. Submitting to the doctrine of God’s divine election requires an understanding that God is God and we are not. We want to be sovereign over our own soul and others. The doctrine of election makes us submit to Christ's teaching, "No one can come to me (Jesus) unless the Father who sent me draws him" (John 6:44).

Also, many see God’s unconditional divine election as displaying God as either unjust or unloving, or both. But don’t forget, no human being has ever deserved or has ever been owed anything by God except eternal death because of sin (John 3:17-18; Romans 3:23). None of us can claim that God is indebted to us to owe us something, especially salvation. Therefore, when God gives to one what He withholds from another, we are to understand that neither one deserves eternal life. But God has the pleasure of His sovereign choice to give mercifully the gift of eternal life to some but not all. Some receive mercy and others receive justice, but no one is treated unfairly or with injustice (Rom. 9:14).

What is our response as God's elect? First, pray for God to use us boldly in His work of bringing others to salvation. Second, praise God with glory and honor as "His chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy" (1 Peter 2:9-10).

See you Sunday, worshipping the God of our Salvation! - Steve

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