SUBJ: The sovereignty of God and
the fact that He has made choice from among men and that such choice is
infallibly unto salvation.
AIM: That we may know that we are
the objects of eternal love and tender mercy and have no other claims to
the salvation we know through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
INTR: The most obvious evidence of
the rejection of the Scriptures is the denial of the absolute
sovereignty of God and the fact that they are shut up to His will and
1. Men run to God in their trouble, concede to God as to
strength, but ultimately retain (in their minds) their own rights and so
subject God to their will. This puts them in direct conflict with Him of
whom it is said: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being
predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things
after the counsel of his own will: Ephesians 1:11
2. In many ways,
men try to set a standard for the operations of God in the matters of
righteousness, justice, and the judgment to come and would place Him
under obligation to treat all men equally.
3. If we would derive the
maximum benefit from the Word of God we must submit to the righteousness
of God, the wisdom of God, and thus the exercise of His will, while
recognizing that fallen man will always choose wrongly.
THESIS: This we would know: God has
loved a people from all eternity and determined to redeem them to
Himself that a loving and joyous eternity may be enjoyed by Him with
them in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I. The fact of a divine choice
1. Having lamented that his kinsman, the Israelites had
rejected Christ and the Gospel as a nation, he turns to the fact that
the promise given to Abraham still stands.
1) It is obvious that the
Israelites confronting Christ believed it enough to be of the lineage of
2) The reference here is to something not immediately
apparent but is in fact declared and that is that the promised seed will
be preserved as a matter of divine choice.
2. Being a descendant of
Abraham was not enough (consider Ishmael and the sons of Keturah).
It was first restricted to Isaac and again to
2) The choice of God
and the manifestation of the faith of Abraham and Isaac.
promise given to Abraham ultimately pointed to Christ and it is in the
revelation of Christ in us that the true seed of Isaac (a type of
Christ) is made manifest.
4. Thus, it was to be the son of Sara and
not the child of the bondmaid that was the choice of God.
fact of divine choice further demonstrated (vv. 10-13)
1. We would
consider here the narrative of the choice of Rebecca and the birth of
her twin sons noting the we would be made to know that the Lord would be
subject to no human factors.
2. In the case of Sarah an argument
might be made that she was the true wife and therefore it should be her
son who was the heir – not so with the sons of Rebecca.
1) The fact
is carefully established that the determination was made before they
2) And, that neither good nor evil entered the picture.
3) It was rather the purpose of God according to election and would not
be of works or any other typical human consideration.
3. In verse 12
we note a clear departure from custom and another prediction is made –
the elder to serve the younger.
4. It is then that a fact troubling
to many is stated – the divine hatred of Esau. This quoted from: I have
loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was
not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated
Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of
the wilderness. Malachi 1:2-3.
III. An objection to the truth of
divine choice answered (vv. 14-18)
1. The anticipated objection is
one based on man reasoning from the perspective of man and the answer is
one heard before: God forbid!
1) The question is one of fairness that
the Lord should choose one and leave another.
2) What is missing in
this objection is that none are deserving of divine favor and that Jacob
was just as unworthy as Esau.
2. The quote is from the Old Testament:
And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will
proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom
I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
1) This takes the application of the mercy of God away
from men – it is reserved to Him alone.
2) We rejoice is the fact
that He will have mercy and that we have received it.
3) We are given
further hope that He will have mercy on others and so we preach.
But then, Paul calls to remembrance the case of Pharaoh and Egypt and
the fact that He served the power of God in manifest opposition and by
the same demonstrated the choice of God not to show mercy to Him; rather
he was left to his own free will and perished.
1) God did not make
Pharaoh do evil or think evil.
2) God simply left him to himself.
4. The sovereignty of God and divine election are revealed to us that we
may know salvation that is sure, and that mercy and grace are of the
Lord and not of ourselves. It is not meant to teach exclusion; it is
rather inclusive. It does not turn people away; it welcomes them to a
greater knowledge of the love of God. It is so ordered that men can have
exactly what they want and so there is never one going to hell and
blaming God for not choosing them. Thus, it does not harden the heart;
it tenderizes it with loving wonder that we have been and are being
loved by one so majestic and holy and good.