March 14, 2022

Romans 9  (HCSB)
Israel’s Rejection of Christ
9 I speak the truth in Christ —I am not lying; my conscience is testifying to me with the Holy Spirit — 2 that I have intense sorrow and continual anguish in my heart. 3 For I could almost wish to be cursed and cut off from the Messiah for the benefit of my brothers, my own flesh and blood. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises.  5 The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Messiah, who is God over all, praised forever.   Amen.
God’s Gracious Election of Israel
6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed.  For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.  7 Neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants.   On the contrary, your offspring will be traced through Isaac.   8 That is, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but the children of the promise are considered to be the offspring. 9 For this is the statement of the promise: At this time I will come, and Sarah will have a son.   10 And not only that, but also Rebekah received a promise when she became pregnant   by one man, our ancestor Isaac. 11 For though her sons had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to election might stand— 12 not from works but from the One who calls—she was told: The older will serve the younger.   13 As it is written: I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.  
God’s Selection Is Just 
14 What should we say then?  Is there injustice with God?  Absolutely not!  15 For He tells Moses: I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  16 So then it does not depend on human will or effort   but on God who shows mercy.  17 For the Scripture tells Pharaoh: I raised you up for this reason so that I may display My power in you and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth.  18 So then, He shows mercy to those He wants to, and He hardens those He wants to harden. 19 You will say to me, therefore, “Why then does He still find fault?  For who can resist His will?”  20 But who are you, a mere man, to talk back to God?  Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?”  21 Or has the potter no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor? 22 And what if God, desiring to display His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath ready for destruction?  23 And what if He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory — 24 on us, the ones He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As He also says in Hosea: I will call Not My People, My People, and she who is Unloved, Beloved. 26 And it will be in the place where they were told, you are not My people, there they will be called sons of the living God.  27 But Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: Though the number of Israel’s sons is like the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved; 28 for the Lord will execute His sentence completely and decisively on the earth.   29 And just as Isaiah predicted: If the Lord of Hosts had not left us offspring, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah.
Israel’s Present State
30 What should we say then?  Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness—namely the righteousness that comes from faith.  31 But Israel, pursuing the law for righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law.   32 Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works.  They stumbled over the stumbling stone.  33 As it is written: Look! I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over and a rock to trip over, yet the one who believes on Him will not be put to shame.

Pastor H.D. Jones
When we read the book of Romans, we are brought face to face with one of the more challenging doctrinal thoughts in all of scripture. How can God be Sovereign and yet man has free will? Many scholars have debated this tension for years and to be honest there is no definitive conclusion but both things are taught in our sacred text. In today’s reading, Paul says that not everyone that is born an Israelite will be in heaven and yet we know Israel is God’s chosen people. How are we to understand these two seemingly competing thoughts? Here are a couple things to consider: 1) God is Sovereign and whatever He does is right and holy 2) you and I are given choices to make in life and we will be judged by them. So, our responsibility is to live a life pleasing to God - that is our part. Notice that Paul had urgency to share the gospel with his fellow Israelites and that is still our calling today! Don’t let difficult doctrines paralyze you - KISS (keep it simple silly).

How Can I Apply It?

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