REVIEW: 7:24-25 We need to be rescued from our sins which are leading us directly to death. Who will rescue us? There is only one who will rescue us – Jesus Christ. Why does it take time to complete the rescue to rid the body of sin? Because we knew very little of all corruption or sin we had inside. Jesus and the Holy Spirit knew so we have Philippians 1:6 He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Chapter 8 We have a living relationship with Christ – because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit … there can be no such relationship without the Spirit. In our new lives we have crucified our old lives in the flesh with its passions and desires and now live our new lives as part of the fruit of the spirit. We can do this because being led by the Spirit of God we become sons of God! We call God, Father, as we call Jesus our Lord – both a token of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Through our suffering, whatever it may be, grow closer to Christ over time and share in His Glory. As Christians over time we experience a spiritual evolution of sorts as we conform ourselves to the image that is Jesus. Or as 1 John 3:2 says we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is.
8:37-39 Paul’s great confidence in what the love of God does for us and how His love remains with us.
9:1-5 Paul switches gears. Now it is all about Israel and his grief. Compare to the first verses of chapter 8 and chapter 8 is all about blessings – receiving one after another.
9:6-11 Let’s stop there for a moment for at the end of verse eleven we read in order that God’s purpose in election might stand. Thus God’s sovereignty is introduced in a way that cannot be ignored. This chapter and the next two are all about God’s sovereignty and His absolute ability to dictate the affairs of men. Last chapter Paul introduced this in verses 8:28-29. Then consider how we are called according to His purpose. Next consider how those whom He foreknew He also predestined. Verse 8 in this chapter is about the births of Isaac from Sarah and Ishmael from Hagar. Isaac’s birth was supernatural, of God, much as our being reborn again is of God.
9:12-13 Loved and Loved less … Esau was in fact blessed by God as he became a great nation and had great wealth. Love and hate is in the context of God breaking man’s law and choosing #2 over #1 … And Jacob was no angel as we all know from the OT. What we have here is an example of God making His own sovereign choice as clearly pointed out in verse 11. WHY? We want to know why and we can make up all kinds of reasons, but the reality is simply it is who God chose for His own purposes.
9:14-16 God’s choice is not based on merit! The choice was made while they were still in the womb. And He chooses mercy. Mercy for you. Mercy for me. We don’t get what we deserve because of His incredible mercy. None of us deserve to go to heaven, but instead of the hell we deserve, we get mercy and heaven! If you think you deserve heaven, you need to go back and reread your Bible. Ephesians 2:8-9, salvation is a gift of mercy.
9:17-18 God’s sovereignty! But go back and check Pharaoh hardened his own heart 9 times before God hardened it … and the translation would more properly be He firmed up Pharaoh’s heart.
9:19-21 Paul asks a question that has been asked for over 2,000 years and then He provides the answer. God basically says “Don’t talk back to me” much as our parents did when we were children. Then He makes it clear, He has the right because He is God and we are not.
9:22-24 When this is simply hard to swallow because it seems so arbitrary and God seems harsh and aloof it helps to remember what else He has said. Let’s first go back to Genesis 18:25b where Abraham asks God a rhetorical question that is really a statement. Next let’s look at Ezekiel 18:23 where God expresses His heart. Then look at Jonah 1:1 where we see God wanting to spare Nineveh and finally let’s look at 2 Peter 3:9 … this is the heart of God! If you only focus on God’s sovereignty you get a very judgmental God, but these verses and John 3:16-17 reveal His heart and His mercy.
9:25-30 Paul makes a major switch here and puts it back on us and our faith. God is sovereign, but our faith is still required.
9:31-33 Faith vs works … it is faith that God favors, not some checklist of works while avoiding a relationship with Jesus.
Same Question as last three weeks As sons and daughters of God why are we pretending or why are we not serious about putting the words of God into practice? Ezekiel 33:30-32