God’s Everlasting Love For His Elect
God’s love to His Son, as a Mediator, is an everlasting love; “Thou lovedst me”, says Christ (John 17:24), before the foundation of the world.
This love was a love of complacency and delight; for Christ as Mediator, was from everlasting, then by Him, that is, the Father (Proverbs 8:30), as one brought up with Him, and was “daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.”
Now God loves His elect with the same love He loves His Son as Mediator.
Hence Christ prays for the open and manifest union between Him and His
people; That says He (John 17:23), “the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
If God therefore has loved His Son, as Mediator, from everlasting, with a love of complacency and delight, and He has loved His elect from everlasting with the same love He has loved Him, then He must have loved His elect from everlasting with a love of complacency and delight: and, indeed how can it otherwise be, since the elect were always in Christ their Head, in whom they were chosen before the foundation of the world?
And they could not be considered in Him but as righteous persons, through His righteousness, with which God is always well pleased, because by it the law is magnified, and made honorable; and so Christ is often said to be God’s beloved Son, in whom not with whom, He is well pleased (Matthew 3:17; 2 Peter 1:17); which designs not His person only singly, but all the elect, as considered in Him, who together with Christ, are the objects of God’s eternal delight and pleasure.
It is certain that Jesus Christ Has, from everlasting, loved the elect with a love of complacency and delight; for from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was, when there were no depths nor fountains, before the mountains and hills were brought into being, while as yet God had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world, Christ’s “delights were with the sons of men” (Proverbs 8:31). The word in the Hebrew rendered delights, is expressive of the most intimate, sweet, ravishing delight and pleasure; and it being not only in the plural number, but also having its radical letters, especially its two first radical letters, doubled, which, in the Hebrew language, increases the signification of the word; it sets forth, that exceeding great delight and pleasure which Christ had in His people from everlasting; nay, He not only took delight in the persons of the elect, as they were presented to Him in the glass of his Father’s purposes and decrees, but took pleasure also in the fore-views of the very spots of ground where he knew His people would dwell: and hence He says, that He was rejoicing in the habitable part of His earth (Proverbs 8:31).
Now why God the Father should not, from everlasting, love the elect with the same love His son did, I know not.
By John Gill