I’ve been reading Steve Lawson’s Foundations of Grace and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand God’s grace in a Biblical, thorough, and exegetical way. Lawson starts in Genesis and goes through Revelation and has done an outstanding job of documenting many passages of Scripture that deal with God’s grace. Currently I am reading the chapter on the Gospel of John, which Lawson calls The Mount Everest of Theology. During my reading time this morning, I read the following:
Selective Choice. Christ has chosen His people out of the world of lost sinners. Because this divine choice does not include everyone, those who are not chosen hate the elect:
“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” – John 15:19
Jesus openly taught His disciples the doctrine of election. Making no apology, He cited this cardinal truth as a chief reason why the world hates them. (James Montgomery) Boice explains, “What is the meaning of this? It is merely the old subject of election. Christ elected the disciples to salvation. He chose them for a specific work in this world. Therefore, although the world rejects Christ’s salvation and despises His work, it hates those who have been chosen by Him for it. There is probably nothing that the world hates more than the doctrine of election. Certainly it was this more than anything else that caused the world’s virulent hatred of Christ during the days of His ministry…. Nothing so stirs up the hatred of the worldly mind than the teaching that God in sovereign grace elects some and does not elect others.” Of course, Christ’s choice was preceded by the eternal choice of the Father. (William) Hendriksen notes, “The act which took place in time was based upon an act which occurred in eternity (Eph 1:4).” The divine choosing by the Father and the Son distinguished believers from the world, stirring the hatred of unbelievers.
We all want to be liked and loved and certainly do not want to be hated. But this is just another area in which we Christians will be hated by the world. It isn’t pleasant, but it is to be expected.
Why Doctrinal Preaching (Has) Declined – During the last two or three generations the pulpit has given less and less prominence to doctrinal preaching, until today, with very rare exceptions, it has no place at all. This was written in 1939!
A SERMON DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING, AUGUST 8, 1858,
BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE MUSIC HALL, ROYAL SURREY GARDENS.
“You who love the Lord, hate evil.” Psalm 97:10.
THE Christian religion is a golden chain with which the hands of men are fettered from all hatred. The spirit of Christ is love. Wherever He governs, love reigns as a necessary consequence. The Christian is not allowed to hate anyone. “You have heard that it has been said by them of old time, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say unto you,” said Jesus, “Love your enemies, do good to them who hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you.” The word, “hate,” must be cut out of the language of a Christian except when it is used with one meaning and intention only and that, the meaning of my text. You have no right, O Christian, to tolerate within your bosom, wrath, malice, anger, harshness, or uncharitableness towards any creature that God’s hands have made! When you hate the man’s sins, you are not to hate him but to love the sinner, even as Christ loved sinners and came to seek and save them. When you hate a man’s false doctrine, you are still to love the man and hate his doctrine even out of love to his soul with an earnest desire that he may be reclaimed from his error and brought into the way of the Truth of God! Continue reading →