Promoting Sovereignty but Missing Christ

Scott Price

“As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Romans 9:13

Very recently I attended a meeting and heard a message on the topic of the sovereignty of God in salvation. What did I notice as I heard it? As the preacher explained Romans 9:13 he said he agreed with C. H. Spurgeon who said; “I can understand why God hated Esau but what I cannot understand is why God ever loved Jacob.” The preacher went on to explain that God exercised justice in hating Esau because of Esau being a sinner. The first part of this quote and it’s explanation is not in harmony with Romans 9:11, but that might be dealt with in another time.

The most important part that the preacher was mistaken about was when he said, “I cannot understand why God ever loved Jacob.” What that preacher and many other sovereign grace preachers missing when they make such statements? They are missing CHRIST! How can they call it “the election of grace” and yet miss Christ? It happens all the time. I have heard this idea is propagated many times. Let me explain how some preachers have missed Him.

Scripture is clear that Christ has the preeminence in salvation. Salvation is a process spread out over a vast spectrum of time and eternity (Romans 8:29-30). Christ has the preeminence in it all. The Father elects people “IN CHRIST” (Eph 1:3-4). The Holy Spirit regenerates people as He testifies of CHRIST. Christ fulfilled all the conditions of salvation in establishing righteousness, through His life and death, for His people that satisfied all the strict demands of the law of God (Romans 9:28-33).

Eternal election is UNCONDITIONAL! Why are questions raised by preachers who claim to believe in sovereign grace as if election was conditioned on the sinner in some way? Election was conditioned on CHRIST. The love of God is said to be “IN CHRIST” (Romans 8:35-39). We are “accepted in the beloved” (in Christ, Ephesians 1:6), not just after we believe but at any point in the history of eternal salvation. In other words we were chosen or elected before the foundation of the world for the sake of CHRIST not ours. The Father is always pleased with Christ; therefore He is please with us in Christ. Let us not get so zealous for sovereignty that we forget the Sovereign Christ. He is why God’s people were chosen.

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