The question is not: why would God save some and not others? The question is: why would God save any of us at all?
When the boots are on the ground, after we understand this high theology, how does this play out? How does this work in the world? And what was it that changed God’s disposition so that He could have mercy on some?
What is the problem with the world? They are sons of Adam. The problem with the world is that the people of the world are Lo-ammi. They are not My people.
What does the Bible say except that the image bearers of God are sons of wrath, Ephesians 2:1-3. Paul says again in Romans that the wrath of God is poured out on all unrighteousness, and we should note, all are unrighteous, Romans 1:18. And again in Colossians, Paul reminds us that we are to put away all of our sin, because on account of our sin the wrath of God is coming on all the sons of disobedience, Colossians 3:5-6.
The world is filled with rebellious image bearers, and His covenant people turn away from Him.
God does all things for His people, His son Israel, the church, and we turn our face from Him, spurns His gifts, and God declares, Lo-ammi, Not My People.
This is the problem with the world. The people of this planet are unrighteous and the people of history are so predictable they always spoil good and perfect gifts. The problem here is that God’s children are disobedient, covenant breakers. There is no hope for them. They have nothing to offer God except their sin and rebellion. God looks over the world and sees nothing but disobedience and His wrath is brimming.
And so, since we cannot do anything about this, we are weak and enslaved to our sins, God decided to do something about it, right?
He made promises to Abraham that cannot fail. The seed of Abraham certainly fails, we have a good record of that. So, how can the promises be fulfilled. How can the wrath of God be turned? Where is the faithful seed? Where is the faithful Son? Where is the obedient covenant-Keeper?
What God is after is a Son who loves Him. So, He sends His own Son into history.
Israel, the disobedient son can’t bear the Law of God. They can’t uphold the covenant. They may follow the precepts at times, but their hearts are far from God. We fall into this trap too, don’t we? We come to church and go through the motions. We sit with our families at the table and we pray again, because that’s what we do right?
The commandments are broken right, left, and center.
We can’t atone for our sins. Scripture is plain about this, isn’t it? Hebrews 10:4 says, “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” And yet, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” Hebrews 9:22.
We are faithless and we all know it is impossible to please God without faith, Hebrews 11:6.
We are a people who are far off from God, Ephesians 2:13. We were people who were once alienated and hostile of mind toward God, Colossians 1:21.
Titus 3 tells speaks the truth when it says, “We ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another” Titus 3:3.
And just to make this point clearer, “We have already charged that all, both Jew and Greeks, are under the power of sin…none is righteous, no not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:9-12.
With the whole world under the wrath of God what hope is there?
“She will bear a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
And the angel proclaimed, “Behold, I bring good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord!” Luke 2:10-11
Isaiah reminds us, “Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His Kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore” Isaiah 9:7.
You see, family, apart from Christ. We are children of disobedience. We are children of wrath. We are the disobedient sons and daughters without a place to stand before God. We have no inheritance before Him save His wrath and judgment.
We were, what Hosea says, Lo-ammi. We were not God’s people.
So, Christ came, born of a virgin and under the law. Christ came to be the true Son, holy and acceptable and pleasing to the Father.
Christ came to be the Obedient One. Christ came to establish and uphold and confirm the covenant.
Christ came to take sins away. Christ came to extend God’s Kingdom to envelope all the nations.
All the places that Israel failed as the son of God, Christ succeeded as the Son of God. All the places where the wayward and rebellious Gentiles sinned against their Maker, Jesus stayed the course obedient to His Father.
We who were once alienated from God in our unrighteousness have been made the righteousness of God through Christ.
This is the greatness of the Incarnation. God’s obedient Son has come to make us sons and daughters.