Summary: Jews knew of God but not knew God.
Characteristics of this section: the heighth of chapter 8 to the depth of concern in 9. From joy to a great burden.
*Some of toughest questions contemplating actions and working of God. Bitter and denunciatory accusations against God are faced.
*Paul goes from explaining the gospel to exhibiting it. Paul tells us what he knows but does not answer all the questions we ask.
Power of Human Images: Paul uses people to demonstrate how God works in human history(Isaac, Jacob, Esau) He quotes Moses, Isaiah & Elijah.
*Sad & sobering story of Israel: saw themselves as the people of God(chosen, advantages, privileged position) but ended up far, far away from God. Someone might ask, ‘What about the Jews? They were chosen by God and yet God is building His church with their resistence. Did God fail to keep His promises?
1. Paul understood since he himself had once been so opposed to the gospel.
2. Chapter 9 provides the greatest evidences of God’s sovereingty while chapter 10 does the same regarding man’s choice.
THE PASSION OF GOD’S SERVANT 9:1-3
(1) I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, (2) that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. (3) For I could wish myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
*Paul has been constantly accused by Jews as being against them, a traitor who ministered to the Gentiles. He taught freedom from the Law of Moses. Chapters 1 thru 8 of Romans sounds like enemy language to the Jews. Everywhere Paul had gone the Jews had resisted him. Paul makes it clear that he is not their enemy but a loving & hurting friend.
1. Not phony but ‘conscience’ supports words.
2. Father of PRODIGAL grieving over the wayward one. Anguish beneath the surface all day long.
Amazed at things people cry over: TV show, movie, olympic moment, hurting statement …but never shed a tear or lose a moment of sleep over a person’s eternal destiny.
A. PAUL TESTIFIES OF A GENUINE CONCERN: telling the truth…not lying…my conscience testifies
1. Two witnesses: Jesus & Holy Spirit
2. HAND ON BIBLE as he sits before readers ready to testify
B. PAUL TESTIFIES OF AN INTENSE CONCERN: great sorrow.. unceasing grief…wish myself accursed(separated)
1. MOSES(Exodus 32 – Lord, if it be possible, blot this sin from their lives but if not, blot me out of your book’ Anyone you would be willing to lose your place in heaven for?
C. PAUL TESTIFIES OF A DIRECT CONCERN: for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh
1. Despite his great successes Paul grieved over his own people.
2. KOREA 1991: Saw power of gospel in lives of people, entire camp of youth made decision: today I have converted) return to own land and turn on TV, read newspaper, see apathetic church members.
3. WHO IS ON YOUR HEART? Who are you burdened for?
Characteristics of burdened people:
a. Usually alone: I…..my…..I. show up everyday to serve God. Others catch waves during a revival but burdended people report in every day.
b. Usually give their all: willing to be accursed
1) if a grain of wheat dies it bears much fruit…no one after putting hand to plow and looking back is worthy….count the cost….deny self…take up cross…follow Me. It is a demanding road.
CT STUDD: wealthy, nationally famous athlete put it all aside to disappear into the mission field: China, India, and then Africa. Lost from sight for 13 yrs without contact. WHY? ’Some people love to dwell near church with choir and steeple bell. But I want to run a rescue station a yard from the gates of hell.’
2) People who give all are usually seen as odd or lopsided by everyone except God. When I read biographies about people who made a difference in the world they were the kind of people who would go anywhere, do anything, say anything, lay down anything for the sake of the gospel.
1985: Centrifuge Pastor at camp at Mobile College. Preached 50 sermons in 10 weeks time, came out of summer a zombie, JOHN WESLEY kept that kind of schedule for a lifetime. Studied and slept on horseback as he traveled to the next pulpit.
3) Where have you drawn the line on God in your life? Where are you willing for your lifestyle to be altared?
c. Usually focused: heart for God’s direction, sense their calling,
1) Not constantly getting excited about something new but have focused sense of God’s purpose. ‘Pressing towards the mark’ And carrying out their piece of God’s larger puzzle. Know their gifts, tested the waters and they are not living their life on hold.