Summary: Changing the mindset of what it means to be t he people of God
Flat Earth: At one time everybody believed, comfortable theory that seemed right. Globe makes no sense to me. When evidence countered that theory people became upset. GOD IS FLAT: safe, easy, and comfortable ideas of God which are predictable and securely locked in our own little theological boxes which are in fact places we have attempted to cram Him. ROMANS 9 is designed to kick the sides out of the box.
*Misinterpretation of God’s Word and misreading of His actions are timeless activities: JEWS(pharisees) and doomsday predictors today.
Jews assumed an inside track on God and that they were better than other people – That is the problem with many of us today. Has the Word of God failed?(9:6)
(1) Paul #1 point is that salvation does not depend on national privilege. The Jews had all these privileges(9:4-5) and still missed it in mass.
(2) Paul’s #2 point is that salvation comes through belief in a promise that is encased in the sovereign choices of God.
(a) Choice of Isaac as promised seed 9:6-9
(b) Choice of Israel as promised nation 9:10-13
God’s Word has not failed but has been fulfilled in the choices of God.
*Paul anticipates further questions: Is God unjust? How would you answer that question?
Chicago Street Meeting: passing out tracts. Most graciously accepted but one man took tract, read title and threw to the ground ‘Four things God wants you to know’. He screamed, “there are a few things I would like God to know! Why so much sorrow and tragedy in world? Why innocent suffer? Why Jesus is only way? Why rich go free?
ANSWER: Not the neglect of God but the sin of Man There is no injustice with God, is there? MAY IT NEVER BE! A fact that need to be established in our minds.
WHO IS GOD?
1. He is not unjust! Gen 18:25 Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is right? God is by nature holy and just.
a. Election has nothing to do with justice but with Free Grace. Nobody deserves God’s mercy.
2. He does give mercy: (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’.
a. Paul uses Moses and Pharoah to show how God can work in two different lives so closely connected.
1) Both were sinners, even murderers, same school system. Both saw God’s wonders, one was saved and the other lost.
2) Moses found Mercy: he was a nobody, the original fugitive, living in the desert, God’s mercy saved him and gave him a name that became known throughout history. He was given authority over the greatest king in the world.
3) Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve. If we all got what we did deserve the results would be disasterous.
4) Moses was rusty, couldn’t talk well, smelled like the sheep he spent his time with…..but God chose him.
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.(16) None of us would have sought a relationship with God without His work of mercy in our lives. Rom 3:11 There is none who understands, there is none who seeks after God.
3. HE USES SINNERS (17) For the Scripture says to Pharoah, ‘For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.’
a) Pharoah was a sinner in the league with Herods and Hitlers, with Stalins and Jezebels. He was a man with a heart contrary to God’s will and God allowed him to continue to resist and God used that resistance for His own glory. Rom 8:28 God allowed Pharoah to do what all men have done by nature, resist God.
b) PROBLEM VERSE: (18) So then He has mercy on whom He desires and hardens whom He desires.
1. To use Pharoah God actually moved him further along in a destructive direction that he was already moving in.
2. 17-20 times it states that Pharoah’s heart was hardened.
(a) ½ of those times Pharoah hardened his own heart before it was ever hardened by God.
(b) God did not take a tender young Egyptian child and make him a divine monster from childhood. Before God ever acted on Pharoah’s heart his will was set. To the froward God will show Himself froward.
Heb 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
Heb 3:15 Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me’
(c) Pharoah killed and oppressed thousands in his wickedness, when Moses, God’s Messenger came declaring the Word of God and demonstrating the power of God Pharoah resisted the truth and hardened his heart. God’s used that rebellion for His own purpose.