THE ELECT ARE CHRIST’S LONG BEFORE THEIR SALVATION
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations!” [Jer 1:5]
The book of life, or decree of election, is the marriage-register of the saints; in which their everlasting espousal to Christ stands indelibly recorded by the pen of God’s free and eternal love.
As the gold of which money is made is the king’s property ever before it is struck into coin, and before it visibly bears the royal image and superscription; so the unregenerate elect are God’s own heritage, though they do not appear to be such, until the Holy Spirit has made them pass through the mint of effectual calling, and actually stamped them into current coin for the kingdom of Heaven.
The elect are betrothed to Christ from everlasting in the covenant of grace; they are actually married to Him, and join hands with Him, in conversion; but they are not taken home to the bridegroom’s house until death dismisses them from the body.