Summary: Continuing study of Romans, Chapter 9:1-18
Book of Romans
Lesson # 21
By Rev. James May
Romans Chapter 9:1 – 9:18
We ended last week with a discussion of the predestination of God for man. God has already determined that we should live victorious; that we should be blessed; that we should fulfill his will in the earth; and that we are to his own children in our eternal home. God’s plans are for good, and even promises that all things will accomplish that good in us to bring us to his predetermined place for us.
Paul stated it emphatically, that nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus. Not any power on earth, or power of Satan man can remove us from God’s plan for our ultimate redemption and victory in Christ. There is no greater power than the strong bond of the Love of God that holds you in the Father’s hand.
But we must ever be mindful that there is ONE THING that can keep us from reaping the full benefits of God’s promises. There is one thing that God has also predetermined that he will not do, and that’s to overstep the will of man in deciding his own destiny. By our own choices, we either enter into the predestined plan of God that will bring us to the place victory and power in Christ, or we can reject Christ, and choose to walk away from God’s plan. If we, by our own choice, decide to leave Christ, deny his Lordship in our lives, and go back and serve the devil, then we also choose to suffer the consequences of our actions. God’s promises are always conditional upon our choices.
We do not believe that a man can be Born Again, yet decide to live in sin, rejecting the voice of the Spirit of God, and offending the Word of God, living his life in sin as much as those who were never saved, and still make Heaven his home. By his own choice, he can go back into the world and be eternally lost!
That is the major difference between what we discussed last week of the Calvinist and Arminian doctrines. It’s that question of whether we believe in the Unconditional Eternal Security of the Believer; or the Conditional Eternal Security of the Believer. We believe that the scriptures teach a Conditional Eternal Security based upon the obedience and faithfulness of those who are Born Again, who must choose to continue daily in their walk with God. God’s grace is ours if we accept it. His continual cleansing from sin is shown through his grace and mercy. We cannot earn salvation, but we must not take that to mean that we can presume upon God’s grace and think that we will be saved without repentance of sin. Grace does not give us license to sin against God.
Paul now continues this idea of predestination as he begins to use his own nation, Israel, as an example of how God’s predestination works.
Romans 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
Romans 9:2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
Romans 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
Paul proclaims that he is very sorrowful and grieves continually, over the spiritual condition of the Jews. His sorrow never ceases, and he is in constant warfare against the forces of darkness while he tries to make every effort to bring Israel back into that place of blessing that God had predestined for them.
Paul’s love for his fellowman was so great that he was willing, if that’s what it took, to give up his own salvation so that Israel could be saved. The sad fact is that no matter how much Paul would have been willing to that, and no matter how much you might love your own children, and your own country, every man must stand upon his own decisions.
Like some of you, I have given my life, and dedicated all I am for the sake of the gospel. That’s not a bragging point, but a commitment that I made to Jesus long ago. Like many of you, I have tried my best to teach my family and anyone else who would hear, about the Love of God and salvation through Christ. If it were possible, I would die for their sakes, so that they might be saved.
I’m not sure, I confess, whether I would be willing to spend eternity in hell in their place, though I do believe that if I knew they would all be saved, I would have the grace and Love of God enough to do just as Paul would. I thank God that he doesn’t give us that choice to make. He has chosen a better way; one that is based on absolute justice and fairness to every man.