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God's Sovereign Choice

The Book of Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction:
The context for the passage that we are looking is found back in chapter 8 and verse 28.
Remember that chapter divisions are not part of inspiration, but were added by the publishers and translators.
Therefore, there are times when the idea of the context crosses chapter heading borders.
So just going back to bring the context back into your minds as we go forward.
Romans 8:28 AV
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
We see, first of all, that we are promised that all things will work together for the good of the people that are called according to the purpose of God.
And what did we say was the ultimate purpose of Gods?
Conformity to the image of Christ.
Not everything in life is good and that is not the promise of God anywhere in the Scripture.
The promise of God is that everything that He brings into our lives is for the purpose of further conforming His elect to the image of Christ.
We see that that is the purpose in the next verse.
Romans 8:29 AV
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
And here we are introduced to the Doctrine of God’s Foreknowledge.
As we told you, may evangelicals will interpret this as meaning that God looks down the corridors of time and sees the ones that are going to chose Him and then based on that foreknowledge He will then chose them .
And we said to you that that was not an explanation of foreknowledge but was a denial of foreknowledge.
We said to you that the Greek word for foreknowledge is “προγινώσκω” and is an action verb; meaning that it is something that God DOES not just something that He possesses.
Obviously He has knowledge of future events; HE is God.
But the question that has always needed to be answered is this: “is that the basis for which HE makes His determinations?”
That is answered by the preceeding word “whom”.
It is not that God is seeing peoples decisions, He is seeing people.
And whenever the word “προγινώσκω” is used with God as the subject (which that is the case here), it is always personal and that God is foreknowing people and not the decisions of those people.
Remember that we said to you that the usage of this word in the Scriptures give us the understanding that what Paul is saying here is that those “whom he foreordained” or “fore-loved”.
Romans 8:30 AV
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
We said to you that the goal of predestination was, without a doubt, conformity to the image of Christ.
But then question that Paul answers in the next verses is “how does God bring about that conformity?”
He says that ones that have been predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ are brought to that level by calling, first.
We told these are all exclusive terms; everyone that has been predestined is called; and everyone that is called is justified; and everyone that is justified is ultimately glorified in heaven.
There is no such thing as someone being predestined and then going to Hell.
Paul is clear that everyone that foreordained is ultimately glorified.
Romans 8:31 ESV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Like us, Paul can only respond with absolute amazement.
Notice the pronoun that is used....”us”.
If God is for US, who can be against US.
Romans 8:32 AV
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Again, the pronouns “us”.
He was delivered up for “US ALL”.
Romans 8:33 AV
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
Paul here defines or modifies the pronoun “us”.... the elect, right?
Romans 8:34 AV
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Again, the usage of the pronoun “US”.
He makes intercession for “US”.
And who is the “US” in the text?
The elect.
In the Scripture, intercession is something that is only tied with God’s people and here it is tied with the elect.
God makes intercession for the elect.
We do not serve a God who is sitting in heaven in eternal frustration because His son is making intercession for people that are not and will not never come in faith to Christ.
Nor is there disunity in the Godhead, where the Son is interceding for people the Father refuses to draw.
Romans 8:35–39 AV
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35 ESV
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
So there is the context leading up to the next portion of Scripture.
And what you will find in the 9th chapter is that Paul answers several objections that are raised by people and that seems to be the reason for chapter 9.
Because, “Well, Paul, if what you say is true then God has failed because most of the Jews have rejected Christ and will go to Hell”.
“There must be something wrong with God’s sovereignty, because most people will not received this.”
Now, as we go into the text, I want to mention an interpretation that a lot of people will try and put on this passage to try and make it feel better for them.
Many people will say that this is a passage that has to do with nations and not individual people.
That this is a national context and not about personal election by God on individuals.
And Paul puts that to rest in several areas of this passage.
Let’s break this down.
I. Paul’s Passion (vs. 1-5)
Romans 9:1–5 AV
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Paul makes it very clear that his conscience is clear and that what he is about to say is absolutely the desire of His heart.
The Apostle goes over the top in saying the he could wish that he would experience the ultimate anathema if it meant that his brethren would he saved.
Here is the ultimate proof text that a belief in the Doctrines of Grace does not diminish true evangelistic zeal.
I do not know may synergists (those that believe that salvation is a cooperative effort), that have the kind of zeal that the Apostle Paul displays here.
Romans 9:4–5 AV
Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
They have been given all the ultimately privileges throughout redemptive history; they were the only original chosen people of God.
So, what happened?
If they were given all of this privilege, then what happened?
Yo can almost here the objection by reading the next verse.
II. Paul’s Pronouncement (vs. 6-8)
Romans 9:6 AV
Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Romans 9:6–8 AV
Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Romans 9:6-8
Now, the Jews were convinced that because of their heritage that they were promised, automatically, all of the blessings of salvation.
Paul shows here that most of them will not be saved, not because the word of God has failed.
Listen, it is never the Words problem.
When people do not respond to the Word the way that we feel like they should, it is never the Word that is at fault.
Just as a little side note here: verse 6 is one indication that the context here is personal and not national.
Is Paul really saying that “not all of the nation of Israel is really the nation of Israel?”
That does not make any sense.
Romans 9:7–8 AV
Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Romans 9:7–8 AV
Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
The point that the Apostle is making here is that the children of the flesh does not necessarily mean that they are the children of God.
Romans 9:
Just because they are of the seed of Abraham does not mean that they are the receivers of the promise, the promise comes by Isaac or the one the one to whom the promise was made.
Abraham had two sons; Ishmael and Isaac.
Both were the of the seed of Abraham, but only one received the promise and that was Isaac.
Paul’s point is that just because the Jews are of the seed of Abraham does not mean that they are receivers of the promise; just the one of the seeds of Abraham was not a receiver of the promise.
The Gospel of God: Romans The Just Character of God (9:6–16)

God’s promise is given sovereignly, not biologically

The first pronouncement that the Apostle makes as to why it is not the fault of the Word why many Jews reject is he uses the illustration of Abraham and that of the two seeds, Ishmael and Isaac, only one received the promise.
He goes on from here and to use another illustration to prove that the promises of redemption is given sovereignly and not automatically.
Next time.
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