Summary: Series in Romans
Text: Romans 9:1-16
Title: Is God Fair?
Romans 9:1-16 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. 6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: "through Isaac your descendants will be named." 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. 9 For this is a word of promise: "At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son." 10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; 11 for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God’s purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, "The older will serve the younger." 13 Just as it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." 14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
I. Paul’s Sorrow Over Israel
II. God’s Promises to Israel
III. God’s Faithfulness illustrated in His Sovereign Will
It’s been a few weeks since we left off in the book of Romans. The last time we finished off chapter 8 and this week we will start into chapter 9. Before we dig in it is absolutely essential that we spend a minute reviewing. Chapter 9 has historically been a controversial chapter. I think a big reason for much of the confusion with this passage has to do with people who take it out of its context in the book and try to twist it into something it’s not.
As I’ve mentioned all throughout our journey through Romans, Paul is building a theological house for us. The book of Romans is popular with theologians because it is one of the more systematic accounts of Christianity. When we finish this book I’m going to give a quiz to see if you’ve been paying attention.
The reason I wanted to study the book of Romans is because I know that many of us have a theological picture in our minds that looks like this…MC Escher painting. We have different theological staircases that lead to nowhere. We have a lot of random ideas that don’t seem to connect. It makes perfect sense as long as you only look at one piece of the picture at a time, but when you step back and look at the big picture it makes your brain hurt.
My goal is to make sure that all of our beliefs about the Bible and about Jesus and about salvation and about God all fit together properly.
The first thing that we talked about that makes up the foundation of our doctrinal house is what?- Revelation. The doctrine of revelation teaches us about the absolute necessity of the Bible. It is through the Bible that God teaches us about who He is and who we are. It is our guide for salvation and living. It is powerful and true and living.
If our belief system is not grounded on God’s word, than everything we believe will be constantly shifting and worthless.
The first wall of our theological house was the doctrine of Sin. Paul spent the first three chapters of this book describing how sinful man is and how that sin affects us. He does this to help us understand our real need for a savior. Paul spends so much time talking about sin so that we will realize that we are unable to do anything to save ourselves. We are dead in sin, slaves to sin, completely debilitated by sin.
With that theological wall firmly in place, Paul is then able to construct the next theological wall- the doctrine of salvation. We know that we are sinners, we know that we can’t save ourselves, so what is it that we need to do to be saved? From the end of chapter 3 all the way through chapter 8 Paul addresses this question. He gives one of the most complete, comprehensive, inspiring descriptions of salvation in the whole Bible.