Romans 9:18 says, “So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.” People often argue that God ought to have mercy on all men, as though all men were entitled to His grace. To put it any other way, they say, would make God less “fair” or “loving” than He is. But, the dictionary defines grace as, “unmerited and undeserved favor.” When grace becomes something God owes to all men and something all men are entitled to, it can no longer be defined as unmerited and undeserved favor, and therefore, it cannot be called grace. To many, grace (unmerited favor) is what we all deserve, equally. While justice (just and fair treatment) is an offense contrary to the character of God and something He is obligated to spare us all from. This is backwards.
In his book “The Holiness of God,” R.C. Sproul wrote: “In two decades of teaching theology I have had countless students ask me why God doesn’t save everybody. Only once did a student come to me and say, “There is something I just can’t figure out. Why did God redeem me?” We are not really surprised that God has redeemed us. Somewhere deep inside, in the secret chambers of our hearts we harbor the notion that God owes us His mercy. Heaven would not be quite the same if we were excluded from it. We know that we are sinners, but we are surely not as bad as we could be. There are enough redeeming features to our personalities that if God is really just He will include us in salvation. What amazes us is justice, not grace.”
(HT:Symphony of Scripture)
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