Video Transcript: God's Chosen People

Some time ago, we studied the first chapters of the book of Romans and looked at God's great plan of salvation through Jesus Christ, as the Apostle Paul presented it in Romans. And now  we're going to continue thinking about Romans and Romans chapter nine is a very sharp  change in tone. At the end of Romans eight, he is saying nothing can separate us from the  love of God that's in Jesus Christ, our Lord. And Paul is delighting and exalting in the wonders  of God's love. And then in the very next statement he makes, he is almost crying. Maybe I  should begin by asking a couple of questions about crying. Have you ever cried at a movie?  Or were you one of those criers that when something happens to the hero or something that  goes on and the film really touches you, you start crying. There's quite a few criers in movies.  There's another question. How many of you have ever cried over what happens to people  without Jesus Christ? Have you ever just had anguish in your heart over what happens to  people who are not responding to Jesus in faith? Or maybe think about the question of crying  a little differently? A couple of weeks ago, when there were flames rising from Notre Dame  Cathedral, many people were shaken and deeply disturbed by the huge fire at that  magnificent cathedral. But how many had that same concern about the very Church of  Europe, in a sense going up in flames, how its magnificent cathedrals have become mainly  museums, how church attendance in churches of Europe and Britain that 150 years ago, were very, very well attended to have sometimes shrunk to one or 2% of the population. Today, we  see the flames and the magnificent architecture. But how many of us actually are aware with  a deep end wrenching awareness of what is happening in nations that once were favored  enormously, with the preaching of the Gospel, with many heroes of faith and vast numbers of  Christians falling away so that very few are left serving the Lord? Well the Apostle Paul looked  at his own people, the people of Israel, and he was grieved. He was grieved at how few of  them were responding to the good news of Jesus Christ. He says, I speak the truth in Christ. I  am not lying. My conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit. I have great sorrow and unceasing  anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ. For the sake of my brothers those of my own race, the people of Israel, he's saying I would almost be  willing to be damned, if only it would save Israel, in that he's echoing Moses, do you  remember, the golden calf incident where God had just delivered the people out of Egypt had  just given the 10 commandments, and they start worshiping a golden calf. And God says to  Moses, just get out of my way, I'm gonna wipe them all out, and I'll start over with you. And  Moses says, Just spare these people for your great name, or just block me out of your book.  Moses would rather be wiped out himself than have Israel wiped out. That was the great love  that he had for his people and for God's great name, because he knew God had connected his great name with the people of Israel. And Paul too feels he feels terrible, that so many of the  Jewish people to whom he preached would not listen and would not turn to Christ. He had a  missionary burden. And a missionary burden involves a couple of things. It involves a  knowledge a knowledge of what happens to people without Jesus, they're lost. If Paul did not  believe that terrible future awaits those without Christ, why would he have such anguish over  the people of Israel? He knew that people without Jesus are lost. And so we must begin by  realizing that Jesus is the only way of Salvation. Paul did not say to him himself, Well, it's not  that big a deal. There's one way for people who believe in Jesus, and then God has another  kind of different way. For Jewish people who don't believe in Jesus. No, he had anguish in his  heart for those who didn't believe in Jesus, because he knew Jesus is the only way to be right  with God. He knew it in his head. And he felt very deeply. The missionary burden was not just  a theological knowledge that some people perish without Christ. But it was a heartfelt  anguish, because he loved those people. And he felt this eagerness to do anything that would help them. Moses couldn't substitute himself for the people of Israel. And neither could Paul,  that just wasn't something that would help because both Moses and Paul were themselves  sinners who couldn't save others. But he was willing to do just about anything, and he  couldn't substitute himself for them. But his missionary zeal of preaching the gospel, always  first to the Jew, and then to the Gentile came from that great heart of love that he had for  people. And he cared about lots of different kinds of people's God made him the apostle to  the Gentiles. And so he went to many different places and nations. But he had this burning  desire to see Jewish people saved. Why? Well, a couple of special reasons. One was, they 

were his people. When it's your people, you feel even more intensely the sorrow if they're  being lost. And he had this kinship with Israel. They're his brothers, they're his relatives. And  he's got this sense of patriotism, hey, they are his nation, he still cares about them as his  nation. And he didn't have a narrow patriotism or a narrow kinship, where I hate people of  other races, or I look down on people of other nations. But hey, Israel was his nation. And so  he had a special concern for them. And not only that, but he knew that there was something  special about them in God's plan. They weren't just my people. They're God's people. They've  had all these special privileges over the years. And what's it all come to? They've been so  blessed, and had such a big part in God's plan? And how can they only be a little part of God's people now? How can only a small number of them be saved? While many Gentiles are  pouring in this, this troubles the apostle, and when we think too of people whom we care  much about, I think, again, of the nations of Europe, for instance, for centuries and centuries,  they've had the gospel available to them. There have been many great leaders of the faith  who've worked there. Many of us are from a European background. And our hearts should feel a great burden for the people of Europe who, despite all those privileges, and because of our  own connection to them, in the past, are perishing. And so it's not just something you say,  Well, you know, we're we're glad that we don't live there anymore. Instead, there's a great  grief over that, and the realization that our own nation, our own nation, as more and more  people who despite the opportunities to hear the gospel, despite the freedom, of Association  of Religion, are falling away and not involved in church life not following the Lord Jesus Christ.  And so because there are people that's part of it, but also because of the tremendous  privileges that have been given over the years, by God, to some of these people groups, we  can feel a special sorrow for them, even as we rejoice at what God's plan is unfolding in other  ways. As Europe has failed, more and more in its faith. The the faith has spread more rapidly  in Africa has spread more rapidly in China, Korea, other parts of Asia. So God's people are still  growing just as they were in Paul's day, the church was growing by leaps and bounds. And so  he was excited about that. And sad about the places where it wasn't growing, especially his  own people, the people of Israel, he felt this trouble because they're his people. And because  they're God's people with special privileges. They had a blessed heritage. Paul says theirs is  the adoption as sons, God said of Israel, Israel is my son. There's the divine glory, the  Shekinah the cloud, where God guided his people by day and illuminated them by night, the  cloud of fire that stood between them and the Egyptians and kept them safe. The cloud that  came upon the tabernacle that entered the temple, and everybody knew that God was there,  and that God was inhabiting his throne, and that the Ark of the Covenant was his footstool on  Earth. Theirs was the glory Their's were the covenants, God's promises the covenant He made with Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob, the covenant that he made on Mount Sinai in giving the  10 commandments, the covenant He made with David, that a descendant of David would  always rule and the way God had fulfilled that in the Lord Jesus Christ, he made these  covenants with Israel. They had received the law. They had the temple worship, and all those  symbols of Temple worship that were pointing Jesus Christ, all the beauty of their splendid  temples. They had the temple worship and the promises of God made to the people of Israel.  Not just that, but the people. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, the  people David, Esther, Ruth, Hannah, this great heritage of the people who had gone before  them, and not just the people who've gone before them, but Jesus, from them is traced the  human ancestry of Christ, Messiah, who is God overall, forever praised amen. He thinks of this wondrous people of God that God chose and of all that they had, and ultimately who came  from them, Jesus himself. And he is astonished at that blessed heritage. And that's, again, a  tremendous reminder of what God did in and through the people of Israel. It's also a reminder, that still today, those who despise Israel, or who despise the Jewish people are very wicked,  and foolish. In doing so, we just heard again, very recently, of a young man who grew up in a  church, his father was an elder in a good church. And the young man walks into a synagogue  and starts shooting people. There was, throughout the centuries, a terrible strain of anti  semitism, even among some who claimed to be the people of Christ, don't they know that it  was from the Jewish people, the human ancestor of Christ, who is God, overall, forever praise.  Jesus is a Jew. Okay, and not to mention all those other tremendous Jewish heroes of faith 

over the years. So we have to recognize this tremendous and blessed heritage of the people  of Israel, of the Jewish nation, and never ever despise that heritage or any individuals who  come from that heritage. And as Paul thinks about what's happened with especially privileged people, four hard questions come up. Has God's promise failed? No, the promise was for the  chosen. And so God's promise actually has not failed. Next question, well, is God unfair? No,  God is free. He's free to show mercy. He's free to judge but whatever he does is always fair.  Well, can God blame the faithless if God is in charge, then whatever we do is just an  expression of His will anyway. So how can he still blame us who resists his will? Well, yes, God  can blame the faithless. And still, his purposes will prevail, even their purpose in his plan? And finally, what's the main issue? What's going on? We're made right with God by trusting, and  not first of all, by trying, by our own efforts in our own works. So let's look at the sections of  Romans nine where Paul raises and then addresses those questions. First, and an extremely  important question, Has God's word failed, if God chose Israel? And if Paul claims that Jesus is  the fulfillment of all these promises to Israel, and yet, the chosen people, as a whole aren't  accepting him? What's that got to say? Does that mean that God's promises have failed? And  the Apostle says, No, it's not as though God's Word had failed? For not all who are descended  from Israel are Israel? Nor because they are his descendants? Are they all Abraham's  children? On the contrary, it is through Isaac, that your offspring will be reckoned. In other  words, it's not the natural children who are God's children, but it's the children of the promise  who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. For this was how the promise was stated. At the  appointed time, I will return and Sarah will have a son. It was not just natural genetics, going  back to Abraham. Paul makes that point very clear here. Because you know what, Abraham  had other children besides Isaac before Isaac was born, Abraham was already the father of  Ishmael, by the servant girl Hagar. And after Sarah died, Abraham remarried and had a  number of children by his wife Keturah, whom he married after Sarah had died. So Abraham  had various kids besides Isaac. And it was in Isaac, that God gave His promise. And it was this promise that Sarah would have a son, that Isaac would be the child of promise. Now, this  doesn't mean that God condemned to hell, Ishmael, or Keturah's children, he chose Isaac for  the special purpose of inheriting his blessing that he'd given to Abraham, and of becoming a  great nation that would bless all the nations of the earth, we shouldn't speculate on the  eternal destiny of others who were passed by, in that choice of who would be the chosen  people. Because those aren't questions that the Bible is answering at this point. But it is  making this point that when God chose Abraham, he did not automatically choose all of  Abraham's children just because they went back to Abraham, physically. And then Paul takes  that principle, and says, now it's children of promise, not children of Abraham, that are the  ones to whom God gives His promise, and therefore God's promise hasn't failed. If some  among Abraham's descendants were not to accept God's promise or not accept the Messiah.  Not every member of the chosen people, is a chosen person. That's what he's saying about  the Jewish people about Israel. They are the chosen people. And not every one of them, is a  chosen person. It's not the natural children. But the children of promise that are God's  children, and Abraham's spiritual children. Jesus made the same point before Paul ever wrote  about this. Jesus speaking with some of his fellow Jews said, if you were really the children of  Abraham, you would follow his example. Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it, and was glad Abraham, in the distance, saw Jesus coming, and he was  delighted. Some people who trace their ancestry to Abraham, when Jesus actually showed up, close up in person, rejected him. And Jesus said, If you were really children of Abraham, you're talking to me about being children of Abraham. But if you were really his children, you'd be  glad to see me, because Abraham was later on after Jesus has ascended, he speaks to one of  the churches, the church in Philadelphia. And he says, there are some people, those who are  of the synagogue of Satan, who claimed to be Jews, though they are not, but are liars. So they claim that they are the real people of God, and yet they could be a synagogue of Satan. Now,  again, Jesus uses very strong language, and that doesn't mean you walk into synagogues and  start shooting. It does mean, however, that there are some among Abraham's children, who  were not true children of Abraham spiritually. And that's the point that Paul is making. When  you have a chosen people. That doesn't mean that every person within it is the chosen 

person. And some might say, Well, yeah, but that the there was still a difference, because it  was the child of Sarah, not the Abraham's children by the other mothers who counted. So it's  still genetics. It's just it had to be Abraham plus, Sarah, that gave you the right genetics. No,  not only that, but Rebecca's children, the children of Rebecca and Isaac, they had one of the  same father, our father, Isaac, so same mom, same dad, same birthday, yet before the twins  

were born, or had done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose in election might  stand, not by works, but by him who called she was told the older will serve the younger, just  as it is written, Jacob I loved BUT ESAU I hated. Now Paul says, same mom, same dad, same  birthday, neither has done anything. There's only one slight advantage Esau arrived a few  minutes before Jacob he was the older twin. And that advantage is negated because God says the younger one is the one who's going to be the child of promise. Now when it says Jacob I  loved BUT ESAU I hated, that's actually taken from the prophet of Malachi, the prophet  Malachi, when he's talking about the nation of Israel, and the nation of Edom, which came  from Esau, and you have to understand that that does not mean that God just abhors  everything about Esau and hates his guts, God actually made Esau a pretty great nation and  brought many good things into Esau's life while Esau was living. Nonetheless, the Hebrew  idiom, the Hebrew way of saying things that if you choose one over the other, the one is loved the other hated. You remember what Jesus said once, he said, Unless you hate your father  and mother, wife and children, even your own life, you cannot be my disciples. Does that  mean Jesus said Now really, really work on hating people's guts, Mom, I can't stand you Dad,  you stink. Brothers and sisters, I want to fight with you every day. Now I'm a good follower of  Jesus. Well, that's not what it means when it says hate father, mother, wife, children, even  your own life, it means that you choose Christ above all others. And here too, when it says  Jacob I loved BUT ESAU I hated, it means that God chose Jacob, before Esau and he chose  him, based on his purpose in election, unconditional election. He chose him simply out of  God's reasons and God's heart, and not because of anything that Jacob or Esau would do or  had done. He made that choice regardless of what they were going to do. So we shouldn't  think that his choice was based on well, you know, all things considered, Jacob looks like a  pretty good guy Esau looks like a rotter I think I'll go with Jacob. It says, before they did  anything, so that his purpose in election would stand. And when he made that choice that  does explain some things about their life. Jacob, in many ways, is a less likable guy than Esau. Jacob's a mama's boy, he's a sneaky sucker. Esau is just kind of a man's man, he hunts he  does his thing. And he's, you know, he gets mad sometimes. But then he then he lets it go.  And he goes on with life. And I suspect that a good many of us would like Esau quite a bit  better than Jacob, had we known both of them. And Jacob, is chosen. And despite all of his  flaws, there's something about Jacob that wants that blessing. And there's something about  Esau where a pot of stew matters more than the divine promise, and so he's hungry, and he'll  give He'll hand it over to Jacob, if he can have stew within the next 10 minutes. There's just  and what explains that is not that God chose Jacob because he thought because he saw Jacob was going to be better than Esau. Rather, it's because God chose Jacob, that Jacob was  seeking those promises, and that Esau wasn't. So you have this principle of God's choice  regardless, same Mom, same dad, twins, and even the one tiny advantage that the one has  being born first is overturned, and God chooses the other one. So you have that question, Has God's promise failed? No, the promise was for the chosen, and he did not choose all of  Abraham's offspring in the same way. Well, then, if God makes the choice, isn't that unfair?  No, the answer Paul gives us God is free to show mercy or he's free to judge. What then, shall  we say? Is God unjust? Not at all. For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have  mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. It does not therefore depend  on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. It's not mercy if God has to do it. It's not mercy, if God has to, if he owes you, it's not mercy. If you want justice, if you say I want what's  coming to me, you have the right to a fair trial. And you have the right to punishment for all  your sins. When Israel sinned, at the worshipping of the golden calf and the rejection of God,  what hope did they have? Moses was furious when he started, he smashed the tablet of the  10 commandments, and God was even angrier. And God, at first it said, let me get out, just  get out of the way and let me destroy them. He knew what he was going to do. And he knew 

what Moses was going to plead for. But what was Israel's only hope? At that point, did they  say, God, we want what's fair, please give us what's coming to us. Had that been the case?  There would be no Israel, they would have vanished from the earth. Because even Aaron,  Moses' brother, the there would have been two survivors. Moses and Joshua, who happened  to be up on the mountain with him. That'd be about it. Because all the rest were flocking  around Aaron worshipping that golden calf and what did God say to Moses while they were  doing all that? I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. And I will have compassion on  whom I will have compassion. That was the only thing that kept anybody in Israel alive that  day. was God said okay. It's not because of you, Moses, I can't do it for your sake, I can't kill  you and spare them. Because that's not how it works. But I will have compassion on whom I  will have compassion and some died that day. And most didn't. Because God chose to have  compassion. Now was he unfair in choosing to have compassion, or unfair in judging? Well,  think of a judge, who has two people come into court, and they both owe a huge fine. And  what is just judge got to do. He's got to sentence them and impose the fine. But the judge  decides, I am going to impose the fine on both of them. And for one of them, I'm going to pay  the fine myself. Do you say he is unfair, he has not treated them equally. He has however, not been unjust, because he gave the one the fine they deserved. He gave the other one the fine  he deserved too but he paid it himself. And God is free to save and still be just because in  saving he pays the punishment himself. But this does not mean that God has a moral  obligation to pay everybody's fine Himself, He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy,  compassion, on whom He will have compassion, he is free to do that. If he owes us, then it's  not mercy anymore, then we're just getting what we deserve anyway. And so Paul says, If you  want to, if you want to play the fairness card, be really careful with that one. Because we  would all perish if fairness were the only policy that God works under. You've heard before the  story of the woman who wanted her portrait painted by a famous painter. And she was not all  that pretty. So she sat and he worked on the portrait, and he got it all painted. And finally,  when he was done, he showed it to her. And she said, sir, that painting does not do me  justice. And the painter replied, madam, you do not need justice. You need mercy. You cannot  when you need mercy. You can't plead justice, when you need mercy. You can't say God is  unfair if he gives mercy to some, but not to all. For the scripture says to Pharaoh, I raised you  up for this very purpose that I might display my power in you, and that my name might be  proclaimed in all the earth. Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy. And  he hardens whom he wants to harden. God did not pour His mercy out on Pharaoh. He  hardened him and he did that for reasons of his own. When we read about that, we may think  well, God just you know in advance decided, okay, Pharaoh is going to be hardened. And  Pharaoh's hardening had nothing to do with Pharaoh. Well, if you read the story, you would  not reach that conclusion. If you read the Pharaoh, the story of Pharaoh, you find out that  Pharaoh wanted very much to be Pharaohish. And God gave him over to being Pharaohish. If  you read the early chapters in Romans, how does God show his wrath, it says three times,  God gave them over. God gave them over. God gave them over, he gives them over to  worshipping created things having false views of creation. He gives them over to all kinds of  sexual sin, and it gives them over to all kinds of antisocial behavior, his wrath is just letting  them be themselves. And that's what he does with Pharaoh. He gave Pharaoh over to himself. During the first five plagues we read, Pharaoh hardened his heart. And then by the time we  get to the sixth plague it says Yahweh a hardened Pharaoh's heart. If you get a count through  the various hardened things in the Exodus story, you find nine times it says Pharaoh hardened his heart. And nine times the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart. Pharaoh can't frustrate God's  plan. In fact, God has declared ahead of time that Pharaoh's heart would be hardened, but  neither should we just think, well, it was just a machine and God was pushing the buttons and the only reason Pharaoh is hard because of God did it. No, Pharaoh was being Pharaohish.  First thing that happens when Moses goes up to Pharaoh Moses says thus sayeth the Lord  God. Let my people go. Pharaoh says, Who is the Lord, that I should obey Him and let people  go let his people go? Well, he got a very nasty introduction. And still, he kept hardening  himself even after the 10th plague, the death of the firstborn, even then, his heart gets  hardened again and he decides to go after him again with all his chariots at the Red Sea. 

Pharaoh just kept being Pharoah. And many Egyptians, on the other hand, were softened.  That's not the most strongly emphasized part of the Exodus story, but you shouldn't overlook  it. The Bible says some of Pharaoh's officials feared and heeded God's word. Prior to that they  had said, this is the finger of God, you got to listen Pharaoh and he wouldn't. And then a  plague or two later, they're fearing and they're heeding God's word. And they're getting their  livestock and the people of their households indoors. Because Moses says there's coming a  hailstorm and the ones with the hard hearts, they just go on with business as usual. And the  ones who heed God's word, start hiding their animals and their people from the plagues. And  the Bible says many left Egypt with Israel. So God was already beginning then to rescue some from the nation's along with his chosen people and making them part of his chosen people. So God was having mercy on whom He would have mercy, but he was also hardening Pharaoh,  and those who were aligned with Pharaoh. Now, having said all that, you might say, Well, God was sure tough on them. And he was this does not authorize you and me to impose sentience  on others, or to take a harsh attitude toward them. We've looked at two people who were  bypassed in God's choosing Esau, and Pharaoh. What do you make of Esau and the  Egyptians? How should you if you're an Israelite, how should you deal with somebody who  came from Esau, or somebody who came from Egypt? Well, God said, You shall not abhor an  Edomite, Esau's offspring for he's your brother, you shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you  are a sojourner in his land. So you might be tempted to say, well, those Edomites and those  Egyptians, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. And God says, You shall not abhor them, you  ought to keep in your memory, that Esau is your brother going way, way back. And you ought  to keep in your mind that you guys spent 400 years in Egypt. Hey, it wasn't always pleasant.  But they put up with you too. And you had 400 years where you were in their land. And some  of those were good times where they fed you or you would have starved, you got to  remember that. So how do you deal with it when some people are living, take it to the  present. Some people think that if Jewish people don't believe in God, you ought to be against Jews, what we owe a lot more to the Jewish people than the Jewish people ever owed to the  people of Esau. We owe a lot more to them than they ever owed to the Egyptians. From them  comes the Christ. From them comes almost all the writings of the Bible, through God's  inspiration. So don't be a hater focus on any positive ties any past benefits, not on opposing  people. And for us today, Christians owe others especially Jews, and formerly Christian  nations, we owe them that tie of brotherhood of appreciation for what they've done for us,  even the children of Ishmael. Nowadays, it's kind of trendy among some Christians to be very  anti Muslim, anti Islam, and we shouldn't buy into a system of thought that rejects Jesus  Messiah. But Muslims are still brothers in many ways, they go back to Ishmael. Many of them  consider themselves People of the Book, and even if they're misguided, what God calls us to  do is not to be the final judger. But instead to recognize positive ties and past benefits  wherever they exist. And to realize or think of Europe again, as I mentioned before, how much we owe to those nations of Europe, even as we pride ourselves on being the revolutionary  people who separated ourselves from Europe. Aren't we Wonderful? Well, okay, now's not the  time to be a hater, even if you are glad you live on a different continent now. So we've got  these questions. Has God's promise failed? No. Is God unfair? No. Can God blame the  faithless? Yes, we've seen that God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy and hardens  whom He wants to heart harden the then the logical question is, one of you will say to me,  then, why does God still blame us for who resists His will? But who are you oh man, to talk  back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it? Why did you make me thus? Paul is getting to the end of discussion here, shall we say? That doesn't mean that every good  question that people raise that God just wants to cut off. Paul goes through many, many types of questions in Romans and in other epistles. But there's a difference between asking honest  questions and getting to the point where you're saying, You know what, I blame God. And  what right does he have to blame me? At that point? The question comes, okay, who made  whom? Who gets to judge? Whom? Who gets the first word? Who gets the last word? Who do  you think you are? Who do you think God is? There comes a point at which the kinds of ways  that we speak of God or speak to God calls for that kind of response? Does not the potter  have the right to make out of the same lump of clay, some pottery for noble purposes, and 

some for common use? And the apostle has been quoting from the prophet Isaiah, and there  too God is saying to Israel, who do you think you are? Who do you think I am? I spilled the  potter's wheel, I can make whatever kind of pottery I want of it. I am the creator. I have my  purposes. You've been doing this from the beginning. The woman you gave me she? He's the  one that got me to take that fruit. So really, it's your fault, right? We've been blaming God  from the beginning. Or the book of Proverbs says a man's own folly ruins his heart, a man's  own folly ruins his life. And his heart rages against the Lord. It's God's fault. Well, when when  we get ourselves in a fix, it's because we're doing our thing. And God is letting us and we  can't blame God for letting us be ourselves. If he so chooses, if he chooses to completely turn  us around and revolutionize our lives and change us. That is a great act of His mercy. But  don't blame him if he lets you be you. Paul then says What if What if God choosing to show  His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience, the objects of His wrath,  prepared for destruction? There are some who are going to be destroyed. And yet God puts up with them for quite a while. God put up with the Canaanites for 400 extra years after  Abraham had been there, simply because he said, Hey, the iniquity of the Canaanites is not  yet full. They've got another 400 years before the time comes. That's patience. And God had  his own purposes in allowing that. But God will put up with objects of wrath. And you say,  well, is that fair? Well, let me just add this, if nobody has ever said of your doctrine and of  your gospel, that's not fair. How can God blame anybody? If God's in charge? How can God  say that you have to rely on Him alone and not on your own works, and then he still blame us. And we have to be very cautious and realize that God is in charge. Whether you like it or not,  I'm God you're not deal with it, is what is being said, basically, in that analogy of the potter  and the clay, at some point, stop whining and griping at God, start looking at your own faults,  and realize that God is God. Maybe an analogy for how God might put up with somebody for a while and do so for His own glory is to think of a police chief. And he's been looking at various  things that have been going on with the various officers that work under him. And he learned  some things about one of them. And he finds out that officer's a dirty cop. That officer has  been on the take. He's been getting money from the mob for years, and doing things for the  crime syndicate. Now, the police chief could say I'm going to arrest him immediately and jail  him. Or he might say, You know what, now that I know that, now that I found out what kind of  guy he is. I think I'll let it go on a little while longer. I'm gonna find out who's connected with  him. I'm gonna find out who exactly he's been working with. And he's going to have more  time to do what he does. And then I will deal with it. Well, he's got his reasons, doesn't he?  He's going to let that cop go on being a crooked cop for a little while longer. Is it his fault?  That That cop is crooked? Is he wrong? To let him keep going a while because he has the  purpose of finding out who else might be dirty or dealing with those to whom he's connected? No, he doesn't owe that dirty cop anything And he can use him for his own purposes. And the  same is true of God. God can deal with people who are wicked, who are in rebellion against  Him, and God can be in charge of the whole situation. But he's not wronging them if he uses  those who are the objects of His wrath in order to make something happen. And here Paul  goes on to say, What if God choosing to show His wrath and make His power known bore with  great patience the objects of His wrath prepared for destruction? And what if he did this, to  make the riches of his glory known to the objects of His mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory, even us, whom he also called not only from the Jews, but also from the Gentiles?  He's saying, What if God put up with Pharaoh in order to bless His people and to show  something about himself? What if God has purposes now with some people who were  hardened against him? To show his mercy to others who have not been hardened against  him? What if God is showing his glory to Jewish people as well as Gentiles? So he's, he's got  his purposes in hardening, he has his purposes in mercy. And in all of that you find some  things going on in how God chooses and calls people one is that many outsiders are in. God  chose many from nations who weren't formerly chosen. By the same token, many insiders are out. God bypassed many from the chosen nation. Jesus said, Many will come from East and  west, north and south sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of God, and  many sons of the kingdom will be thrown out. But why are they thrown out? Well, they're at  fault for remaining themselves. And he also emphasizes that there's a chosen remnant, even 

in Israel, it's an agonizing problem to him, that many in Israel have not believed, but not  everybody has rejected Christ. He'll say a lot more about that in Chapters to come. But he  says there's a chosen remnant God's still chooses, and saves some Israelites, and some of  those he saves and chooses are very remarkable, high impact persons, even in our own time.  And in earlier decades, I remember Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, for example, they were  Jewish people living in Romania, they were Christian Jews, they were persecuted under the  Nazis, then they were persecuted under the communists, they lived a powerful testimony for  the Lord and impacted that word that part of the world for Christ. Think of Jewish people like  Marvin Olasky, the editor of World Magazine, an atheist, Jew who became a Christian and is a  leading Christian intellectual, I won't get many of us locally know Dave Weinberger or other  Jewish people whom we happen to know who are following Messiah. So God still chooses and  saves some Israelites, many outsiders are in and Paul cites the prophets to show this, as he  says, In Isaiah, I will call them my people who are not my people. And I will call her my loved  one who's not my loved one. And it will happen that in the very place where it was said to  them, You are not my people, they will be called sons of the living God. God can do that. He  did that with Israel when he had sent them in exile or punished them. And then he'd say, Well, you're not my people. And then he would declare, but you are you're sons of the living God.  And so that that may seem harsh, and yet it's our only hope, that when we've fallen so far  from him, all of a sudden he can say, You're my people. And he could say that to the Gentiles.  For many generations, they had been worshipping idols and he'd been dealing mainly with  Abraham's offspring. And then all of a sudden, he says, You're my people. And on Pentecost,  the the word begins going out to the nations many outsiders are in and many insiders are out. Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the  sea, only the remnant will be saved, for the Lord will carry out his sentence on Earth with  speed and finality. It is just as Isaiah said previously, unless the Lord had left us descendants  we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah, without Gods  electing love without God preserving a remnant Israel would be up in smoke, like Sodom and  Gomorrah. But the Lord has preserved a remnant and saved a remnant. So has God's promise failed? No the promise was for the chosen? Is God unfair? No, he's free to show mercy or to  judge. Can God blame the faithless? Yes, he can blame them, and yet his purposes are going  to prevail. And what's the main issue? That you are right with God by trusting and not by  trying? It seems to always come down to that. Wherever you're reading in Paul's letters, you  are made right with God by faith or not at all. What then shall we say? That the Gentiles who  did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it a righteousness that is by faith. But Israel who  pursued a law of righteousness has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by  faith, but as if it were by works. They were after being right with God, many of them very  zealous for that. And they thought they were going to earn their way into God's favor. And  that was a, that was a total mistake says Paul because God's favor comes as a gift. And if  you're trying to earn it, it is no longer a gift. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is  written, see, I lay in Zion, a stone that causes men to stumble, and the rock that makes them  fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame. What's that stumbling stone,  it's that God is God and you're not, and that salvation is from Him, not from yourself. God  chose to save by grace in Jesus. And that choice of God is either your cornerstone, or your  stumbling stone. God's choice of free salvation in Jesus is the only way of salvation there is.  And in making that choice. It determines where you end up. If you want to earn your own  salvation, you will never have it. If you will take it as a gift from God, it is yours for free by  trusting him. So what's the main issue? Here's just a few sentences again from this passage.  It's not the natural children who are God's children. But it's the children of the promise, in  order that God's purpose in election might stand not by works, but by him who calls. It does  not depend on man's desire or effort but on God's mercy. The Gentiles obtained it a  righteousness that is by faith, Israel pursued it not by faith, but as if it were by works. Israel  had two fundamental mistakes, as they were thinking about this many of them. One is, we are the chosen people. That's that. And the other is we have the law, and we keep it well, or at  least good enough. And God's answer is, I determine who's the chosen people and genetics  does not decide it. And being right with me has to be a gift for me because none of you got 

what it takes. So and Israel, Paul knew from personal experience, he was preaching to people  in Jerusalem, and he may even mentioned the way of Christ. And then he said, Christ said, I  am sending you to the Gentiles. And they blew up. They rioted. They wanted to kill him. They  wanted to tear him apart, because they could not stomach something that was free. And that  would include those miserable Gentiles of all people. And, of course, Gentiles over the years  have returned the favor those rotten Jews, those Christ killers, why would God want any of  them? It's just human wickedness that thinks we're now the chosen ones, and they're not. It is God's choice and not our sense of being genetically part of a certain people. And it is God's  gift in Jesus Christ paid for with his own blood, and not our earnings that bring us home to  God. Has God's promise failed? It's for the chosen is God unfair? No. Can you blame  unbelievers? Yes. What's the main issue? You are right with God by trusting and not by trying? There are many things that are too deep for our minds to figure out here. I will boil it down to  this. If you are saved, God deserves all credit. If you're lost, you deserve all blame. Lord, help  us look to you to realize that you reign supreme that you are sovereign. Help us Lord to  humble ourselves before you do not show your wrath upon us by simply handing us over to  ourselves. But Lord, we pray that in your great electing love you will help us to trust in you  give us that faith that is your gift that we may rely not on our own merits and deeds and  works, but on all that Jesus is and has done for us. We pray Lord, for your people. We pray for  the chosen people of Israel. We know Lord, that you have more things still in store even as  you reveal in upcoming chapters of Romans. And we pray Lord for them for a great harvest  yet among the ancient people of God the Israelites. We pray, Lord for a great turnaround and  for your favor to again be bestowed on many of the nations of Europe that have forsaken the  wondrous privileges that were given them throughout the centuries and we pray that you will  turn them back to you help those Lord who are still faithful to who still remain to shine for you there help those Lord, who are on mission work to Jewish people, to Europe to other parts of  the world, to be equipped mightily to bring the gospel of free grace in our Lord Jesus Christ,  and help us Lord, in our own relationships to have a burden for those who are still lost to  yearn for them, to pray for them. With Paul Lord, help us to be able to say that our hearts  desire and prayer for them is that they may be saved. And so Father help us to to share in this missionary burden, as we continue to rejoice in the glory of what you have given freely in  Christ. We pray in His name, amen.

Last modified: Monday, January 3, 2022, 6:59 AM