He Did It Just Because

Tulip Tuesdays: Calvinism, Part 2, The “U” in TULIP

Last week, I began a new series for Tuesdays. I’m excited to explore Calvinism (also called Reformed theology) here once a week.

Simply, Calvinism can be explained using the acronym, TULIP. Persons who affirm all five of the points of the acronym, are called “five-point Calvinists.”

Part 1 focused on the “T” in TULIP, which stands for “total depravity.”
Today, I tackle the “U” in TULIP: “unconditional election.”


Just because.

We’ve all said it to our kids. We heard it when we were young. “Why, Mom?” “Just because.”

Many child-rearing “experts” encourage parents to steer clear of the nebulous reason of “just because” when trying to impose a rule.

But there’s at least one instance when “just because” is the best and only answer to the question, Why?.

Why does God love me?
Why did God save me?
Why will God preserve me for all eternity?

Just because.

Just. Because.

God’s choosing some for salvation is completely a matter of his prerogative, to fulfill his purposes, and for his glory. God’s setting his love and affection on those of his choosing is not because of anything anyone has done or who he or she is. It’s not because I’m good. It’s not because I’m American. It’s not because I’m not a hooligan.

It’s not because God gazed into the future and saw those who would say “yes” to him at a frenzied altar call. No. GOD chose me. Remember that apart from God, I am DEAD. A dead woman can’t walk or raise her hand to say “yes.” Even the faith to respond to God’s call is a gift from God, which was predestined before the foundation of the world.

Wow! Is your mind blown yet??? Before the earth. Before the stars. Before the oceans. Before corn stalks and tomato plants and grapevines were growing on the earth. Before the foundation of the world and based on no merit of my own, God chose me. He set me apart as holy and righteous through faith in Christ.

God knows the total depravity of the human race. God knows that finite humans will never and can never obey an infinitely holy and perfect God.

What’s the fair thing to do with us? God’s justice is perfect, as is every aspect of his character. God’s justice imposes the penalty of eternal punishment and condemnation on those who break his law. Like it or not, that IS fair.

But God, chose—again, just because—to deal with some through mercy and grace by saving them through the work of Christ.

We may wonder often, “Why are only some chosen? Why not all people? Why would a loving God exclude many from this grace and mercy?”

But that is the wrong question. The right question is, “Why would a holy, just, and perfect God choose to lavish grace and mercy on anyone, especially me?”

Marinating on this sweet and somewhat paradoxical aspect of God’s nature produces great gratitude and humility.

This is unconditional election.


The doctrines of election and predestination are HUGE. Ginormous, I’m telling you! So, I’m going to answer a few related questions in an upcoming post. Check back for more on election—the U in TULIP—with questions and answers.

I commend to you RC Sproul‘s Chosen by God and Now, That’s a Good Question!, as well as Michael Horton‘s Putting Amazing Back Into Grace. The Reformation Study Bible and the ESV Study Bible are excellent resources for Bible study from a Reformed perspective.