16. Israel & God’s Sovereignty Romans 9:1-29 p. 1044 - 45
God’s Sovereign Promises Two purposes for writing Romans: Encourage the church in Rome to Mission Encourage unity between Jew and Gentile The Benefits of Salvation belong to Israel – Has God forsaken them? Could he forsake us too?
God’s Sovereign Promises... Modern Day Relevance – What has God promised us? Who is the “Israelite” today? In church today groups who are like religious Jews: Thought they had a special relationship with God Knew the moral requirements of the Law and upheld them Knew how to behave at religious ceremonies o NOT characterized by “obedience of faith in Christ” What has God promised? To whom?
1. Issue: God’s Faithfulness Two important Points set us on the right course: From Heartache to Praise Starts – strong affirmation of sorrow and anguish (v 1-3) Ends – Effusive outburst of praise (11:33-36) These chapters he moves from grief to joy – We should do the same Centrality of Mercy 12:1 “... in view of God’s mercy, offer... living sacrifices” God’s mercy not mentioned once in Chapters 1-8 ! ! ! Occurs 11 times in ch. 9-11. If we don’t understand ch 9-11, won’t understand ch. 12-16 ! ! !
1. Issue: God’s Faithfulness... Questions NOT being answered: Must approach passage from 1 st not 21 st century Not for theologizing and philosophizing about Divine foreknowledge and human free-will. These things are a mystery! (11:33-34) Writing to explain how God has worked in History. Mal 1:2-3 (v 13) refer to nations of Israel and Edom Pharaoh had a hard heart and hardened it more (Ex 8:15; 9:34)
1. Issue: God’s Faithfulness... Has God forsaken Israel? NO ! ! ! (Rom 11:1) God’s word has not failed (v 6a) Not all descended from Israel are Israel (v 6b) Abraham’s descendants share his FAITH, not his GENES (Ch 4) God’s Promise to Abraham (Gen 12:1-3; 15:4-5; 17:3-6) Isaac is the child of “promise” (not Ishmael) His descendants would be as the “stars in the sky” Through him all nations would be blessed.
1. Issue: God’s Faithfulness... The promise is about blessing and descendants – NOT salvation. The channel of mercy to the nations
2. Purpose: Mercy Centered around God’s purpose to show mercy E.g. V 15, 16, 18, 23 We are all guilty before God! (1:18 – 3:20) God, full of mercy, offers salvation freely to all ! Paul’s argument: “Who are you to talk back to God?” It is our good fortune that God is loving and merciful !
3. Action: Sovereign Choice Choice not based on their suitability: Not because they were more numerous (Deut 7:7) Not because they were righteous (Deut 9:6) Two points from the story of Israel: Ten Lost Tribes of Israel The prophet Hosea: God calling people outside his favour (v 25-26; Hos 2:23, 1:10) Spoke to the Northern Kingdom (750-715 BC) Taken to captivity in Assyria in 722 BC. Never returned ! Fulfilled in the inclusion of Gentiles in the people of God.
3. Action: Sovereign Choice... The idea of a faithful Remnant: (V 27-29, Is 10:22- 23) From the prophet Isaiah (also 8 th Century BC) A common idea amongst Jews (e.g Pharisees, Qumran) The real faithful remnant has faith in Christ ! Paul acknowledges that only a remnant would be faithful and receive the inheritance of Sons. The balance of “stars in the sky” come from Gentiles.
God, Humans & History God is faithful. His word is true. What about us? God is faithful and loves to show mercy Am I part of the faithful remnant? (Matt 7:21) Do I share Abraham’s faith? (4:16) We are part of God’s work in the history of our generation (Isa 60:1-3, Matt 5:14)