There's a popular saying that seems to be growing the further away from the truth the church gets: "God loves me just where I am." This saying sounds great, it gives us the warm fuzzies, but it's far from true. God doesn't love me where I am, He loves me in SPITE of who I am. It's not by anything I have done, not any merit of mine, but all because of who HE is! God doesn't choose me because I am special, or my sin is less than others, God's great love is all about the love HE gives me. God gives it to me because of His capacity for love. The Entirety of Scripture is all about the centrality of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. No where does it point to the works man can do (though some verses, even Jesus' own teaching, heavily suggest that the byproduct of Faith is the works we do). Paul is no difference. His "humility" is written in Greek style to Greek hearers and is in contrast God's glory and greatness. The issue of Predestination serves one purpose, and one alone: that God has done the work, it's not by works you or I can do, and God deserves all honor, glory, and power for what He has done through you. So many of us get in to arguments that, in the long run, don't matter. We nitpick points of scripture, different theologies, denominationalism, etc., but when it all comes down to it, that is us trying to place God in a place we can better understand Him. Our finite brains cannot scratch the surface of the depth of our infinite God. We need to stop playing these games, stop speaking for God, and get in to the infallible word of God. We need to explore God's word, not to defend our position, but to get closer to God, to seek Him out in all we do, and to be immersed in His love, goodness, and righteousness. Friends, it's not because of us that God loves us. It's the opposite; He loved us anyway. Shouldn't we give all to Him? Romans 5: Peace with God Through Faith
1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, wea have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have also obtained access by faithb into this grace in which we stand, and wec rejoiced in hope of the glory of God. 3Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Death in Adam, Life in Christ
12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all mene because all sinned— 13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
15But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18Therefore, as one trespassf led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousnessg leads to justification and life for all men. 19For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Footnotes: a 1 Some manuscripts let us b 2 Some manuscripts omit by faith c 2 Or let us; also verse 3 d 2 Or boast; also verses 3, 11 e 12 The Greek word anthropoi refers here to both men and women; also twice in verse 18 f 18 Or the trespass of one g 18 Or the act of righteousness of one