Summary: Although God’s Sovereign Grace is a sure thing, it is also true that we are responsible for all of our decisions. We can look at the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah by most of the Jews as a choice they made, even though this was in the plan of God.
Human Responsibility and Israel: The Other Side of the Coin
1. I love British English, particularly their figures of speech.
2. Some friend of ours leant us some DVD’s of "Jeeves and Wooster." We love that show.
3. Anyhow, in one episode, they referred to marriage as "both eating from the same bucket." We loved it.
4. But here is my imaginery discussion with Mr. Nerdington about Romans:
Mr. Nerdington: Vasicek, old bean, when you talk about Sovereign Grace, you usually bring up the idea that God’s Sovereignty co-exists with man’s responsibility. But I don¡¦t see Paul doing that?
Pastor Ed: Well, Mr. Nerdington, old thing, that is because you have to read on! Romans was written to be read at one sitting. We are looking at paragraphs at a time. We’ll get there.
Mr. Nerdington: That’s fine and well, but when shall we actually see this so-called "human responsibility" surface? I must confess a certain level of skepticism.
Pastor Ed: Relax my friend and be chipper. We shall see it today!
MAIN IDEA: Although God’s Sovereign Grace is a sure thing, it is also true that we are responsible for all of our decisions. We can look at the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah by most of the Jews as a choice they made, even though this was in the plan of God.
TS---------------„³ We can look at two behaviors that arose from their attitudes.
I. Displacement of the Messiah by the Pursuit of Works Righteousness (9:30-10:7)
A. Like reading a book while walking around, it was an accident ready to happen
1. picture a devout Jewish man or woman walking around, reading a Torah scroll and then tripping over a rock
2. that rock was the Messiah; discarded by the work crew, but the foundation stone of God’s planned building
3. this imagery originates from Isaiah but is found in several places in the New Testament:, including Luke¡¦s Gospel:
Luke 20: 17, "Jesus looked directly at them and asked, ’Then what is the meaning of that which is written: " ’The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone...’"
3. The bottom line is that Christ was rejected. But He knew that this would happen, yet it did not keep Him from doing the Father’s will!
4. Rejection can take the winds out of our sails; but being rejected does not mean that God’s plans for us are failing...
In 1858 the Illinois legislature--using an obscure statute--sent Stephen A. Douglas to the U.S. Senate instead of Abraham Lincoln, although Lincoln had won the popular vote. When a sympathetic friend asked Lincoln how he felt, he said, "Like the boy who stubbed his toe: I am too big to cry and too badly hurt to laugh."
Max Lucado, God Came Near, Multnomah Press, 1987, p. 57.
5. To those of us who believe, Christ is the precious cornerstone! So the rejections in your life need not be the end!
B. Paradigm Blindness (1-4)
"What is paradigm blindness? A paradigm is a blueprint or a map in your mind, a form into which everything else is made to fit. It is a system or model. Paradigm blindness occurs when we can not see something or understand because it is out of our paradigm. We need to ¡§think outside the box."
"A paradigm serves to concentrate the attention of researchers on "sensible" (by the paradigm’s logic) problem areas and to prevent her from wasting time on what might be unimportant. On the other hand, by explicitly and implicitly defining some lines of research as "trivial" or "nonsensical," a paradigm acts like a set of blinders."
--"Everything that can be invented has been invented"- Charles Duell, U.S. Office of Patents 1890
--"640K ought to be enough [hard drive memory] for anyone"- Bill Gates, 1981
1. instead of receiving a gift, they worked for a wage they could not earn
2. like Martha and Mary
People have it in their minds that to be saved, we must create our own righteousness; so they do not see the legal righteousness that can be given to us in Christ: the righteousness of Christ that covers and removes our sin from God’s sight.
3. Christ fulfills the Law; the sting of it is gone
„h To fulfill means that He is its goal, its purpose. The Law was meant to prepare the way to bring the Jews to Christ. He also met its requirements for us.
C. But salvation must be carried out by God, not us (5-7)
1. we cannot keep the Law (5)
2. we can do nothing but believe (6-7)
(1) could not make the incarnation happen (6)
(2) could not make the resurrection happen (7)
(3) God had to do that! And that is what our salvation required!
D. Many people are lost today not because they are not religious, but because their assumptions, their paradigms, prevent them from comprehending the proposition that one is saved and forgiven by turning from sin and to Christ by faith. We are saved by God¡¦s grace alone through faith alone.