Sermons

Summary: Rely on God, not your genes

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Romans 9 v 6-13

V6- All of the true Israel will be saved (11:26)

God’s word, His promises of salvation had not failed, even though many ‘Israelites’ were lost, as the promises were to the true Israel.

Who are the real children of Abraham, according to John the Baptist (Luke 3:7-9)?

What does John 1:47-49 tell us about the nature of a true Israelite?

What does Galatians 6:14-16 explain about who constitute the “Israel of God”?

Why should that include you?

V7-9- Rely on God, not your genes

Abraham had more than one kid: Ishmael was actually his firstborn, through Hagar. But Isaac was the child of the promise, which would come through Sarah. “God’s promise is given sovereignly, not biologically” (RC Sproul).

Last week I met a homeless man called Tom who was adopted and found this out at an early age. Since then he has always felt less favoured and loved than the natural children of his parents, as they only adopted him through desperation at apparently being infertile (later, they conceived two natural children). This passage suggests that natural children do not inherit the promise of God automatically.

What descriptions does Ephesians 2:1-3 give about our natural pedigree and condition?

What do verses 4-6 of the same chapter tell us about God’s adoptive process?

V10-13 Who’s the Daddy?

Jacob and Esau had the same mother (unlike Isaac and Ishmael), and God loved the younger and not the elder. Therefore, God’s choices had nothing to do with the illegitimacy of the method of conception or anything like that. In both cases the firstborn (Ishmael, Esau) is passed over and the second-born receives the promise of God.

God’s choices also have nothing to do with the actual or potential good of the men chosen. It is not because God saw down the corridor of Isaac or Jacob’s life and thought, “Well, he’s going to be a good bloke and follow me, so I’ll pick him.” In fact, Jacob is a proper villain, who cheats his brother, father and uncle, unwisely takes four women, does not discipline his children and generally complains that his lot is not a happy one.

In your own words, on what basis does God choose the elect (v11)?

On what basis does God not choose (v11)?

“When Scripture speaks about God’s hating, it means that he did not bestow favour upon Esau. God not give to him grace and the benefits of salvific love. It doesn’t mean that God hates in the sense that human beings hate… There is no reason in the elect why God has chosen them. But the fact that there is no reason in them, does not mean that there is no reason at all…the point is that the reason does not lie within us” (Sproul).

“Either

• God does not choose (so He is not sovereign) or

• He does choose based on our merits (so we are not saved by grace) or

• He does choose, irrespective of our merits (so He is arbitrary).”

How would answer these objections?

If God hated Esau, how can you be sure He loves you?


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