The Gospel in Malachi

April 08, 2019

by Iain Duguid

God’s Electing Grace

The book of Malachi contains six oracles (or disputations) that each begin with a saying of the people, to which the Lord responds through his prophet. Most of these oracles are searching rebukes. It is striking, however, that before the Lord rebukes the people, he begins by affirming his electing love for them, which is the reason they continue to exist after the judgment of the exile (1:2). He didn’t choose their forefather Jacob to be the ancestor of his people because of his good works but in spite of his sin. So too, their sin cannot make God cease loving them. The non-elect, however, will be judged for their sin without hope, as the fate of the descendants of Esau (Edom) makes clear.

We too were chosen to belong to God, not based on our works but simply out of God’s electing grace in Christ (Eph. 1:4–6). We therefore cannot sin our way out of God’s love. Yet at the same time, we were chosen to be holy and blameless (Eph. 1:4), not only positionally but also practically. So God rebukes our sin through his Word, and calls us to repent sincerely and turn to him for forgiveness.

. . . continue reading at Crossway. 

Iain Duguid

Dr. Duguid (PhD, Cambridge) is professor of Old Testament at WTS.

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