God's sovereignty in salvation means He shows mercy on whom He will (Ex. 33:19; Rom. 9:15-16). It means He saves of His own prerogative and not for any good found in man. It means God’s salvation is not limited by any sin in man. It means His salvation is not for any good in man before or after salvation. God saves for His name's sake alone (Ps. 106:4-8)! God's sovereignty means His choice alone determines who will be saved, not man’s decision. God's sovereignty means that before the world began, He gave to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, all those whom He would save (John 17:2; Eph. 1:4). It means that Christ died for those God chose, those His Father gave to Him, and that He did not die for others (John 6:39; 10:11,15; 17:2,9; Rom. 3:25; 8:32; Eph. 5:25). It means that the Spirit of God gives life to those for whom Christ died, but He leaves others in their sins (Eph. 2:4; Rom. 9:10-16). In other words, “Salvation is of the LORD" (Jonah 2:9)!
God's sovereignty immediately humbles proud man. What is our reaction to this? The effect in our natural mind is that we hate God. If God alone makes the difference (1 Cor. 4:7), if He chooses to show mercy to whom He will; and I can't make Him show favor to me and bless me; if by the death of His Son, He takes away the sin of some and raises some, but does not take away the sin of all and does not raise all men to life, then we will naturally react this way: God is a monster! Yes, this is the reaction of the natural man to the truth of who God is.
But what should our reaction be? What is the reaction produced by the Spirit of God in the heart of a sinner? Listen to what these in scripture said when they came face to face with God in His sovereignty.
The leper, foul, plagued, dying and helpless, came to Jesus and worshipped Him! He said, “Lord! If you will, you can make me clean” (Matt. 8:2)!
The Syrophoenician woman came to Jesus because a devil troubled her daughter (Matt. 15:21-28). She said, "Have mercy on me thou Son of David, my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil!" Jesus did not answer her one word. She then went to Jesus' disciples and cried to them. His disciples asked Jesus to send her away because she cried after them, as if "making intercession" to Christ against her (Rom. 11:2). Then Jesus said, "I am not sent, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." He meant that He was sent only to save God’s Elect! She then did what every sinner who has no merit and no power to help themselves will do when in the presence of the sovereign God of glory! She came and worshipped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" But Jesus answered her, "It is not right to take the children's bread and give it to dogs!" By His answer He meant that His mercy was bread for God's children only, that it was not meant for her because she was a spiritual dog! What did she say to that? “Truth Lord! Yet the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master's table!” She owned that she was a dog. She owned that the bread of mercy was for the children of God. But she also owned that she was His dog, the Master's dog, Christ’s dog, and she knew that her Master was good, and if He gave her only as much as a crumb of His mercy, she would have all of her heart’s desire and be forever grateful; He would never hear the end of it!
You see, when we hear that God is sovereign in salvation, knowing that we are sinners, deserving only to be forever cast out, there is only one thing we can do: worship Christ as our sovereign God, as the only Mediator between God and men, and seek from Him mercy to save a dead dog as I am! Anything else is accusing God of injustice, blaming God for my sin, presuming that all is well between me and God when all is not well. Anything less than worshipping Christ and coming to Him for sovereign mercy in salvation is arrogant pride. Anything less is failure to worship God, and an assertion that I deserve His goodness! But if God ever saves me, it will only be because He did it for His name's sake, because of His goodness, out of His free grace, His undeserved sovereign mercy! Lord! So find in Christ cause and merit to have mercy on me! Look upon Him in His offering of Himself for sinners. Think on Him, and receive me (Philemon 1:12,17)!
Salvation means that the God whose laws we have broken, whose glory we have disregarded in pride, whose person we have despised, has chosen to rescue us from our self-destruction. It means that in His wisdom, God has purposed to make His perfections known by honoring His justice, magnifying His law, lavishing His grace, setting forth His righteousness, and making known the breadth and length and depth, and height of His eternal love for His enemies by the death of His Son (Eph. 3:17-19; Rom. 5:10). Salvation means God, out of His own goodness, unmotivated by anything outside of Himself, did all of the work to rescue those who deserved hell, and bless foul sinners with all of the blessings of heaven together with His Son. To make spiritual dogs His own dear children by adoption, by blood redemption and by spiritual birth and resurrection! Now, what claim could such a sinner have on this salvation?! Can a sinner cause God to choose him?! Can a sinner earn the death of Christ? Can a sinner earn the Spirit of God?! Can a sinner earn being made a son of God?! A thousand times NO! There is only one thing a sinner can or ever should do: fall down and worship the sovereign God of glory, the Lord Jesus Christ! He is worthy. He alone can save. “Lord! If you will, save this dead dog sinner!”