“In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.”
Notice the reason for the Father’s love. Yes, God loves the world and proved that through the gift of His Son at Calvary, but clearly God loves believers of His Son as well.
One interesting contrast between Calvinism and Arminianism is that whereas the Calvinistic paradigm offers God the glory of ruling over people who chose Him only because they were irresistibly forced to loved Him, the Arminian paradigm offers God the glory of having a kingdom of those who freely chose to love and be with Him under adverse circumstances. The Arminian paradigm offers God something that He can eternally treasure and identify with.
The Hebrews 11 faith-chapter, would otherwise seem to matter very little if they had no choice in the matter, as being those who were irresistibly forced by God to love, suffer and believe in Him. But if you add Free Will into the equation, then it becomes special to God. I wonder if Calvinists are properly seeing things from God’s perspective. Perhaps Calvinists are so focused on whether Free Will robs God of credit or whether Free Will gives room to boast, that they haven’t considered whether Calvinism robs God of a genuine fellowship.
Man was created “in the image of God.” (Genesis 1:27) As a result, Jesus stated: “For God so loved the world….” (John 3:16) The “world,” that Jesus spoke of, included “he who believes,” as well as “he who does not believe.” (John 3:18) The “world” was the whole world, and God loved it, and gave it His greatest gift, that is, His only begotten Son. There is no question that God “first loved us” (1st John 4:19), and “us” meaning the whole world. We did not seek God (Isaiah 53:6), rather, God sought us, and is patient with us that we might repent and be saved. (2nd Peter 3:9) And now John 16:27 shows something further, that God has a special love reserved for those that believe in His Son. Jesus stated: “The Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.” (John 16:27) This sets up a conflict with Calvinism which teaches that God the Father had a special love for the elect from all eternity, purely on the basis of sovereign grace. And the result of the sovereign grace is that God allegedly hand picked certain individuals from before the foundation of the world to be made unilaterally born again by the Holy Spirit, as the divine enablement for faith. However, as was just shown at John 16:27, the Father’s special love for believers was conditioned upon their love for Christ and faith in Him. This point did not escape the notice of Calvin.
John Calvin: “But if God only begins to love us when we have loved Christ, it follows that the beginning of salvation is from ourselves, because we have anticipated the grace of God. But many passages of Scripture contradict this idea. God promises, ‘I will cause them to love me,’ and John says, ‘not that we loved God’ (1 John 4:10). It would be superfluous to collect many passages, for nothing is more certain than this doctrine, that the Lord ‘calls things that are not’ (Romans 4:17), raises the dead, joins with strangers, forms hearts of flesh out of stones, reveals himself to those who are called if they are among the elect, for he loves all his own people before they are created. But as they are not yet reconciled, they are rightly called God’s ‘enemies,’ as Paul says in Romans 5:10. This is why the Word says that we are loved by God when we love Christ; although previously we trembled before him as our hostile Judge, we now have the pledge of his Fatherly love.” (John: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.385, emphasis mine)
However, if they are eternally elect in the Father, then in no way can they be considered enemies, while simultaneously being reconciled and mediated to the Father in His eternal secret counsel.
The fact remains that God the Father has a special love for Christians because they love His Son, and therefore this passage is just one more rock on top of the Mount Everest of evidence that stands in opposition to Calvinism.