Untitled Sermon (42)
We now aproach a difficult section in scripture. It is difficult because it's hard to Paint the picture that Paul is trying to paint. But once you see it you will see that it is clear what he is trying to communicate here.
I want you all to know that while although Paul has a specific thought in mind and a specific context that he is saying what he is saying, this does not mean we cannot apply it to our own times in our own culture. Which is something I think we should do.
What I think we should be doing is sympathizing with Paul in this area and learning from him. Now we discussed this a bit last week and the thing that we discussed last week was that Paul was not surprised by unbelief.
And I argued that we should not be surprised by the things we see. Not from the secular world. And what I had admitted to you all is that what the world is doing I am not surprised to buy but how the church is responding took me by surprise.
And I'm not talking about these left wing denominations that have departed long ago I am talking about ministers of the gospel who just a few years ago were very solid preachers with a very reliable ministry's. We are starting to see that disappear.
And so that caught me off guard just a bit and I am not alone there are others who were taken by surprise at this as well. So it wasn't the fact that this stuff happened it is the ones who are embracing all of the activity than his happening.
And so we would be wise to mimic Paul when we apply this to our own culture. And in order for us to mimic Paul we can to have to think like Paul and we need a theology similar to paul's. And honestly I think that is what the church has gotten away from. It has gotten away from a theology like paul's.
Now it is kind of odd for me to say it like that and I will explain here shortly on why I think that. But just so you all know there are pastors out there who separate what they are like in their theology. So I have been told that that I am very Pauleen. Meaning my theology is like Paul's.
Some go I am like Peter, some say I'm very Joanne which means John and others say they may be like James. They kindness separate this and the reason why I find this so odd is because even though God used these men their lives and their circumstances alternately the author of scripture is the Holy Spirit himself.
So when I say we need to have a theology like Paul what I'm saying is is that we need to have a theology that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. When we don't do that when we cut out half a what Paul has to say because we do not like it.
And this is the issue that I am seeing on the rise is this ignoring sound doctrine. Some people may think that they're not ignoring it but they refused to emphasize certain areas well that refusal is now showing and the results of it have been destruction.
Last week in Sunday school we talked about the pride parade and the question was asked what we do to reverse this. And immediately I fired back with we have to bring back the sovereignty of God.
We have allowed that to be buried in we have a loud left wing Christianity to manipulate the conversation to the point where most christians in America do not know how sovereign God is.
Even worse is that most christians in America can not explain the doctrines of grace without adding their own works even though Paul says verbatim that if you apply works to it than it no longer is grace. So the doctrine of grace is not understood so when people sing amazing grace they don't know what they are singing.
So the sovereignty of God needs to come back out christians need to believe in the sovereignty of God it is in the pages of scripture. And the section we are looking at it is very strong and very thick. There is no getting around it unless you ignore it which is what has been happening.
I am upset about this you should be upset about this because you have been given half truths your whole entire life. But I ask Why do so many christians fight against God being in control. Some may go I don't have a problem with God being in control I just have a problem in God but control of my salvation.
They may not say it like that but that is the attitude. But the sovereignty of God is so much more than that it is so much more then the doctrine of election the sovereignty of God is the view that there is not a single Adam outside of god's control.
But the reason why all of us are still alive is because God is sustaining actively the entire universe. The moment he stops sustaining the whole entire universe everything we love and see and hold dear collapses.
You begin to develop the sovereign view of God and you realize that the reason why you have the spouse that you have it's because God allowed it the reason why you laugh at things is because God allowed you to laugh at things the reason why you get to look upon beauty. And whatever that may be.
Whatever it is and nature that you find beautiful could be flowers could be mountains could be trees it could be the sky, whatever it is where you see this beauty this beauty was designed by God and it was no accident that your eyes looked upon something that you enjoyed.
In other words we do not believe in luck luck has nothing to do with anything in the Christian world view what we believe is grace. When things are going good it is because of grace. There is no such thing as coincidence or luck in life of the Christian or in the Christian world view.
And I think most of us know this already, some and save man you were lucky and you will go no I am blessed. We are aware That we are not in control like we want to think. Now again at this has nothing to do with your will.
It's not an infringement upon your will. And why is it such a bath thing forgot to conform your will to his will what in honor and blessing. So there is so much more to the sovereignty of God Then just restricting it down to salvation.
It's everything. Everything has meaning. Even the sins that are committed. While God is not behind those sins and those sins are not because God is the author of them but he allows them for a purpose. They are not meaningless. Because what some may intend for evil God will intend for good.
So there is meaning to the universe there is meaning to the things that we see even when we don't understand or know that there is meaning there is meaning for you. You are not an accident you have a purpose to have meaning.
So again the sovereignty of God means so much more than just the area of salvation but the main reason why christians need to come back to this view is because when you understand at the sovereignty of God then you recognize and you realize that we serve a very act of God who is not done yet who is still working and he is still very much in control.
Which is why every major revival in the world was motivated by the sovereignty of God. Because they knew God was working and so they were faithful with the message they were trusted with. So we need to think like Paul and Paul has the highest view of the sovereignty of God.
I we need to apply what Paul is saying about his own culture to our culture a culture that is in rebellion just like the Jewish people were of paul's day. So let's unpack The closing verses of chapter 10. Before we do we must gets context here.
This section of scripture will be difficult to understand if we do not have proper context. If you remember this discussion really began back in chapter 8. Where we see the golden chain of salvation. And it was strong bold language to remind believers that no matter what you were going through everything has a purpose.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. this led Paul to discuss something that was current, something that was presently happening in Paul's day.
The Jewish people were rejecting the gospel message. So Paul if what you were saying is true then how come we are seeing this with the Jewish people? And Paul have to remind the Jewish believers of something that they probably never considered and that is that not all Israel is of Israel.
So then we get chapter 10 and Paul communicates to us the necessity of preaching the gospel message that we have to go out and preach this message because how will they know if a preacher is not sent? And now we are at a section or Paul is discussing unbelief.
And what we looked at last week was that Paul addressed it by going to the old testament by going to the scriptures and he was saying look we should not be surprised by this because Isaiah told us this would happen.
So now Paul is continuing with that thought and he brings up an objection and this is something we have seen with Paul in this letter already.
He likes to debate with an imaginary person because these are conversations he has already had these are positions he has already had to defend. So he already knows what some people might say.
But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”
And so the first objector and somebody who sang I hear you Paul perhaps maybe they never heard do you think that it is possible that they never truly heard and Paul is saying yes they have.
And then Paul quotes their voice has gone out into all the Earth and their words to the end of the world. It is not a perfect quote although Paul usually does not give perfect quotes he decides things from his memory and so he’s using paraphrasing but he is probably the most accurate person in history to paraphrase.
So he uses to prove his point and if you turn to solve 19 you will see that it is a song of creation telling the story of God it begins with the heavens are telling of the glory of God and their expanse is declaring the work of his hands.
Well that is essentially Paul’s point in chapter 1 and chapter 2 of this letter. That God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen in creation yet people have decided to worship the creature rather than the Creator.
Paul then declares in chapter 2 that there is no man who has an excuse we are all without excuse because creation tells us that there is a Creator. We call this general Revelation that God has revealed himself generally to the world.
General revelation is not enough to bring man to salvation general Revelation does not tell man that he is a sinner in need of a savior.
So general Revelation cannot communicate to us what we must do in order to be saved. So we need special Revelation and that was first given to us through Moses and the prophets.
And then after that the ultimate Revelation Jesus himself. And then after that Jesus gave the great commission told his disciples to go and proclaim this message to the ends of the Earth and that is what the disciples began to work on.
And at some point in their ministry they were inspired by the holy Spirit to write these words down so that we can have them for ourselves here now today. And tells us about the general Revelation side.
The Israel with special Israel did in fact have special revelation. And they didn't know the truth and they were waiting for the coming Messiah. If there is a people who are without excuse to the fullest it is the Hebrew people.
They understood that God created all things. It was to them that God reveals himself to. And so in quoting the song Paul is introducing the fact that yes these people have known.
They have known and they were scattered and so their very presence went out beyond the world we call the diaspora. The dispersion of the Jewish people beyond Israel. and so Paul is saying yes they have all gone out and this word has been proclaimed the foundation was already laid.
Now Paul brings up another objection.
But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, By a nation without understanding will I anger you.”
Okay Paul we hear you they clearly have heard this message. But hearing is not the same as knowing perhaps they did not know? And Paul is dating all they knew and he proves that by going to Moses.
Paul is quoting and this is not the only section where God has communicated that he is a jealous God that is written in the law. We see that in the ten commandments. God was honest with everyone I will not be abused.
I am not wanted to be in a dysfunctional relationship. You are either with me or you are not. You are my people or you are not. I will not share my glory with another I will not share my people with something false. But people are always chasing something false.
But in this specific section what we are hearing is that God is going to use another Nation to make the nation of Israel jealous. Folks here is that national language again and it is clear and playing right here. Remember I was telling you all that when we look at these things we need to be understanding it in a national form.
Even though salvation is an individual experience when we see the word world are that’s all we are using national language and right here we here at by Paul quoting Moses that’s God will make Israel jealous by those who are a no Nation.
That is literally how it reads I will make you jealous by the no Nation. Those who are not of a Nation. The gentiles. It is the gentiles who do not have understanding they do not have the special Revelation, at least not yet, like Israel had.
The gentiles or the no Nations did not have the special fellowship with God and it is fitting that Paul quotes Moses because it was Moses who was a witness to the glory of God. So not only did they know the truth but they also were told that God will use another Nation a no Nation to anger them.
So not only do they know the truth but they also knew the truth about the coming gentiles being welcomed into the fold. But that is not all Paul continues and he brings in another witness.
And Isaiah is very bold and says, “I was found by those who did not seek Me, I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me.”
This is talking about those in the no Nation. So why did Paul bring up Isaiah? Because that is exactly how the Jewish mine thinks they always go Moses and the prophets and that is the exact order Paul is getting them he gave them Moses first and now he’s given one of the prophets.
And the prophet says I was found by those who never sought. They never came looking for me they did not know of me they had no clue about the revelation of salvation. So how is it but they found what they were not seeking?
Well my translations says I became manifest but they literally reads I manifested. Meaning God revealed himself. That God condescended to mankind and revealed himself. And he did this to a people who never asked for him.
But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
This is a way of God saying but to you I have been so generous like a father holding out his hands to pick up his child. But he says of the Hebrew people that they were disobedient. And that they were obstinate.
Those are interesting words in the Greek language. We will begin with the word disobedient. that is exactly what the word means but there is another meaning to that work which means non pursuable. A type of stiff-necked person that you cannot seem to ever reason with because they are non pursuable or they enable to be persuaded
The other word obstinate literally means to contradict. They are always going against. now this section of scripture says that this is a type of people.
That is who they are it is not described as what that they do what we are seeing is that this is the very people they are they are unable to be persuaded and counter the things of God contradicting the things of God.
Now what is it that we can take away from this section of scripture? the first thing I want you all to notice and how many times God has to say I. God is saying I, I am the one who will make you jealous and it is I who will anger you.
He says I will be found by those who did not seek me and then he States I will manifest myself. I will make myself known to a no Nation. So the first take away that you all must see is that it is God who was always acting it is God who is always moving it is God who is sovereign.
The other thing I want to point out is that Paul is ministering to a type of people that is similar to the type of people we are seeing today what we are seeing today is a bunch of stiff-necked people.
And wild Paul uses the language that they are a people who cannot be persuaded and that they are always living counter to God and that never stops him from being faithful to God.
You see when we talk about the sovereignty of God and the stone of heart that is within man people always go then why bother? If God is the one who saves and if these people are just not able to be persuaded then why should I waste my time?
And I wanted to point out to you that attitude is also contrary to God. We do it because we glorify God when we do it we do it because we are told it to do it’s not because we value our time more than God’s word.
and Christians we have to begin to learn that God's word is more valuable than our time. Even though that is a weird sentence for me to say. Because the reality is is that when you glorify God it is not a waste of your time and it makes your time very valuable.
But our sins takes this idea of God sovereignty and then we grab onto our own selfishness and then we say what is the point of it all.
The point is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. You do not need another reason. You should not need another reason. You live to glorify God and this is how God says he will be glorified. It’s not about your glory it’s not about you it’s not about their glory and it’s not about them it’s all about God and his glory.