Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Truths From Romans 9

  • God holds all of our story, because it's His story
  • We can totally believe and submit to predestination and the doctrine of election
  • The context of the first eight chapters show us this is about our salvation, and not just Israel...
  • Paul had agonizing grief over Israel because of their unbelief - who had all the blessings and privileges of being Israelites
  • The glory of Almighty God lived in the midst of Israel...God's presence dwelt among them.  Sadly, God's glory departed from them for their lack of faith...they watched God's glory depart
  • They were given the Law, the heart of God, to live changed lives and be a light to the world
  • They had the privilege of tending God's dwelling place
  • Jesus chose to come down and be Israeli
  • Paul didn't feel anger, his heart ached and had compassion for Israel
  • Israel's faith failed, but God's Word didn't fail because of this
  • Israel was chosen as a vessel.  Individuals are chosen for salvation.
  • Being a Hebrew does not make you a child of the promise
  • A specific child was chosen before the foundation of the world to fulfill God's promise
  • By law and culture it was the oldest child...God is countercultural
  • Esau had no interest in the spiritual caring of his family, which was the first child's position
  • The child of the promise was a deceiver and liar
  • We are guilty sometimes of manipulating God's will by our sin, to help God out
  • God's love is selective. He cherished Israel protecting her time and time again. God hated Edom. He had no relationship with Edom. He wiped them out.  God has stayed faithful to Israel. He continues in relationship with Israel, loving them, blessing them, even with their unbelief, because He chose them. Because He loves them, He protected Israel.  He didn't protect Egypt - He sent the plagues and drowned the Egyptian army in the Red Sea.
  • Mercy is not required of God. What is required of God is justice for our sin. God is free to show mercy, but not required to
  • All of us start in a hostile disposition against God.  We must take ownership of our sin. God is merciful to His chosen.  God's mercy is to drag us to Himself.
  • God is the potter.  We are all clay in His hands.  The clay is a bad lump. As the potter, God has the right to take some of it and make something beautiful out of it (His love, mercy, grace) and leave the rest to be destroyed (His wrath).
  • A complete picture of God includes His wrath as well as His love. Sin reveals the power of God. Sin is a backdrop for the glory of God in the form of His powerful wrath.
  • Sin also reveals the patience of God. He is withholding His wrath as people blaspheme His name throughout the earth, while He is bringing His elect to salvation.
  • In His choosing, God's character is revealed.
  • Romans 9 is hard to understand. We have to study this. Studying the hard things enlarges our view of God.
  • As we struggle with understanding, it's ok to ask the Lord to not look at our struggling as rebellion...
An Illustration - 
  • There were one hundred murderers...all deserved death, but three were pardoned. We get angry thinking that they too should have gotten the death penalty. The truth drawn is that believers are the three when we should be in the ninety-seven. We should have gotten death. We deserved it. We twist things when we are angry at God and think its unfair that some are not shown mercy. Fairness is that we all should die. The correct perspective is that we all deserved death. Human judges don't have the right to pardon.  Only God has the right to pardon, but He doesn't give a free ticket. He still brings justice, and He puts it on His Son.  God showed mercy, and, paid the price.
  • We all naturally run away from God. God reserves the right to mercifully drag some of us to Him. Spend your life not being angry at God, but being filled with gratitude!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Proverbs 3:3,4

"Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man."

The virtues of mercy and truth 
that come from God are to become
part of us-outwardly in our behavior
for all to see as an adornment
of spiritual beauty,
and inwardly as the subject of our meditation.
Such inward and outward mercy and truth
is evidence of New Covenant salvation.

John MacArthur