God’s Election is God’s Love

Election is God’s love, and when the Bible talks about God’s love, it talks about propitiation. I John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” If all we can stipulate is that the appeasement of wrath will not work without our faith, then it’s not enough to add on that God sent His son to purchase our faith. The nature of the cross as a propitiation will not be proclaimed.

You can use the word without agreeing with the Bible about what it means. A propitiation for the non-elect amounts to nothing. Since there is only one propitiation, a propitiation for the elect which is also the same thing for the non-elect, amounts to nothing. We need to stop playing with words and tell the truth.

Does the Neo-Calvinist love the gospel of election, or does he hate the doctrine and suppress it? Yes, Christ loved the church, but the church in the non-election way of talking is not individuals written in the lamb’s book, but a class of people who put their trust in. So the Neo-Calvinist does not talk about Christ not dying for the non-elect, but about Christ not dying for those who don’t put their trust in Him.

The Neo-Calvinist wants you to give yourself to Christ without knowing anything about election. Then he will teach you that all who give themselves to Christ were given to Christ. The Neo-Calvinist will justify this as being the only perspective possible to us. We have to know we believe, before we can know if we are elect. I agree that knowing our election before we believe is impossible. Knowing our election is not our warrant to believe. (See Abraham Booth, Glad Tidings). But this is no excuse for leaving the doctrine of election out of the doctrine of redemption and propitiation by the cross.

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3 Comments on “God’s Election is God’s Love”


  1. Tianqi Wu–Adoption is a result of atonement, not a cause of it! Yes, the elect are predestined to be adopted, but they are not children until they are adopted. Some of them were adopted prior to the atonement was made, the same way they were justified. But the Gentiles were not in the “family” until after the cross happened and gospel came upon them

    Donald Macleod—It was no part of the work of Christ to make God love us, The very fact of his being on earth at all was proof of the divine love. The business of the atonement, therefore, was to propitiate the God who already loves us: to lay the foundation for an advocacy directed towards him specifically as Father (1 John 2: 1). God also provides the propitiation and God even becomes the propitiation. In that sense, the atonement is a transaction entirely internal to the trinity. But by virtue of the incarnation, it is also external. It takes place not in heaven, but on Calvary; not in eternity, but on Good Friday, p 71

    Torrance is surprised ) that Rutherford did not regard the death of Christ as the cause of the love of God, but as its consequence. John 3:16, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son’. The love came first and the sacrifice followed

    https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/the-creation-is-for-the-purpose-of-the-redemption-of-the-elect/

    Bavinck—“Christ is a gift of love from the Father and that love precedes the sending of the Son. The Son did not move the Father to forgiveness, because electing love originated with the Father Himself.” 2:365

    http://www.alliancenet.org/christward/does-god-the-father-love-you-because-of-jesus#.V6dq0LgrKM8

  2. markmcculley Says:

    sometimes rather loosely, Evangelical people especially are tempted to put this whole question of the atonement and of salvation in this way: that it is something the Son of God has done to effect the Father; and that the Son, having done the work, stands before the Father and pleads with Him and has to persuade Him to forgive us because of what He has done for us. Now that is a very terrible way of putting it, but it has often been put like that. There are some hymns that put it like that. I remember being brought up, in a sense, on a hymn in another language which very specifically and explicitely put it like that–that the Son was there pleading with the Father and saying, ‘I have died for them; let them live.’ Now that’s a terrible travesty of the Scripture. Though we realize that the work was done by the Son what we must never forget is this–that it was the Father who sent the Son to do it. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son;” “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself;” God is the actor. God is the prime mover. Salvation is of God the Father; and, therefore, I say it is very wrong to represent God the Father as being passive and being pleaded with and appealed to and persuaded by the Son and His work to grant us salvation and to grant us forgiveness. http://www.christwardcollective.com/christward/does-god-the-father-love-you-because-of-jesus#.V4eDQrgrKM9

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Berkhof (452)

    “It is sometimes said that the merits of Christ cannot be imputed to us as long as we are not in Christ, since it is only on the basis of our oneness with Him that such an imputation could be reasonable. But this view fails to distinguish between our legal unity with Christ and our spiritual oneness with Him, and is a falsification of the fundamental element in the doctrine of redemption, namely, of the doctrine of justification.

    Justification is always a declaration of God, not on the basis of an existing (or future) condition, but on that of a gracious imputation–a declaration which is not in harmony with the existing condition of the sinner. The judicial ground for all the grace which we receive lies in the fact that the righteousness of Christ is freely imputed to us.”

    Jonathan Gibson, From heaven, p 358—-Election and the Atonement do not operate on separate theological tracks. What God has joined together, let no theologian separate. Affirming union with Christ before the moment of redemption accomplished counters any disjunction between the effect of Christ’s death and the effect of His resurrection. Those who put union only after faith sound as if Christ’s death might lead to the death of some sinners, but not also to their resurrection.

    Jesus rejects many sinners as His guilty clients, because Jesus was never the mediator for many guilty sinners

    God’s election comes first before Christ’s atonement
    Atonement to satisfy justice is a result of God’s love for the elect
    God’s love for the elect is not a result of Atonement for the elect

    This means that election is not the same thing as the atonement
    This means that election is not the same thing as justification


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