The Love of God

Jun 28, 2016
R.B. Kuiper
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The particularistic view of the design of the atonement is in perfect agreement with the Scriptural teaching of the special love of God.
Occasionally one hears it said that God is good and benevolent to all the children of men, but that He loves only the elect. According to Scripture, however, it may be said without the slightest hesitation that God loves all men.
Did not Jesus say: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven . . . . Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:44, 45, 48)?
But what Scripture does not teach is that God loves all men equally. On the contrary, it tells us that His love for the elect differs qualitatively from His love for others.
Now it is to that peculiar, mysterious, sovereign, immeasurable love which passes knowledge, of which his own people, the Church of the first-born whose names are written in heaven, are the objects that the gift of Christ as Redeemer is time and again referred.
“Greater love hath no man,” said Jesus, “than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
“God commendeth his love toward us,” said Paul, “in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Speaking specifically of the elect, the same apostle said: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” And in almost the next breath he exclaimed: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:32, 35)
We also read in I John 3:16: “Hereby perceive we the love of God because he laid down his life for us” and “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10).

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