The Father’s Will


I came across an intriguing line of Calvin about the ‘love of God’ in Packer’s Concise Theology. Calvin said: ‘In an inconceivable way he loved us even when he hated us’ (p 132). Here’s what Packer wrote:

“Every member of our fallen and rebellious race is by nature ‘hostile to God’ (Rom 8:7) and stands under God’s wrath (ie the punitive rejection whereby as Judge he expresses active anger at our sins, Rom 1:18; 2:5-9; 3:5-6). Reconciliation of the warring parties is needed, but this can occur only if God’s wrath is somehow absorbed and quenched and man’s anti-God heart, which motivates his anti-God life, is somehow changed. In mercy, God the angry Judge sent his Son into the world to bring about the needed reconciliation. It was not that the kindly Son acted to placate his harsh Father; the initiative was the Father’s own. In Calvin’s words, ‘in an inconceivable way he loved us even when he hated us,’ and his gift to us of the Son as our sin bearer was the fruit of that love (John 3:14-16; Rom 5:5-8; 1 John 4:8-10). In all his mediatorial ministry the son was doing his Father’s will.”

Leave a Reply