Summary: The Character and work of God's Sovereignty in Election is truly a teaching of the Extravagant Grace of a Powerful and Providential God.
4 21 13 The Character of God’s Sovereignty
Romans 9: 1-13
Last week we examined the privilege that is ours in God working in such a way, conforming us into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, in order to bring glory to Him and to the Preeminence of Christ: He is and will be the ONLY one to hold that esteemed heavenly position for time and eternity, and should be holding that position today in our hearts.
When I was MUCH younger, “there was a television show called, “To Tell The Truth.” It was a game show which would have three guests, each claiming a single person’s identity and the object of the show was to determine who was the real “Mister X.” When all the clues had been evaluated and all of the questions asked, the announcer would then say, “Will the real Mister X please stand up?” And the true owner of that identity would stand. As we come to this chapter, we could ask a similar question, “Will the Real Israel please stand up?” (example from John Stevenson, PCA Pastor)
Paul answers some of the toughest questions ever faced by man as he contemplates the Sovereign actions and works of God in Romans 9-11. We read in Chapter 9:
1 “I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, (Paul is taking an oath before God.) 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. (How amazing, that Paul can be “rejoicing always”, and yet having this unceasing grief at the same time.)
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.”
I have been reading large portions of Paul’s writings (and Acts which describes his ministry) and I am STRUCK by HOW conformed to the image of Christ, Paul actually was. Paul continually exemplifies the Christ who HAS died for him. His life is a picture of the Lord Jesus in his selfless, sacrificial life for His Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul: A Personal Example of Godly Passion
Paul’s desire here is a Personal example of Godly Passion by God’s Choice. He has an unending burden for the lost, for his countrymen, his family, and his friends. It’s very difficult to forget those who are without the Grace of God in Christ if you are constantly rejoicing for this eternal relationship that you have IN CHRIST. Whenever Paul is reminded of the tremendous gift of God, he is also reminded of those who are without. That is the reason that those who HAVE CHRIST, can pray, even for their own persecutors: we see our old Adam images reflected back to us in an unsaved world, and it causes us to immediately be reminded of the Priceless Grace we have received and the punishment that has been paid for us. Lord, have mercy on the lost.
Paul says: “Not only would I be willing to give my PHYSICAL LIFE for Christ to show my gratitude to HIM, but if God would allow it, I would give up my ETERNAL LIFE so that my family, friends and countrymen would accept the free gift of forgiveness and salvation in Jesus Christ. It never enters Paul’s mind to say: Lord, what is the minimum requirement for me in serving you and others? instead, Paul is willing, if he could, to give FAR MORE than God even allows us to give. (You should hear some “biblical bells” ringing from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.)
Another Old Testament person said the same thing? Moses had gone up to Mount Sinai for a meeting with God in order for God to give him the Law and when he came down, he heard singing and dancing, but it didn’t sound anything like worship. He found the Israelites were worshiping the image of the golden calf: While Moses had been in the presence of the HOLY God receiving the PERFECT LAW of God which said, “You shall have NO OTHER gods beside me,” Aaron had helped the people to make an idol to worship.
In Exodus 32: 30 it says: “On the next day Moses said to the people, "You yourselves have committed a great sin; and now I am going up to the LORD, perhaps I can make atonement for your sin." (Moses is pointing toward the Savior to come.) 31 Then Moses returned to the LORD, and said, "This people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. 32 "But now, IF YOU WILL, forgive their sin, and if not, PLEASE BLOT ME OUT from Your book which You have written!” (Moses offered to be the atonement for sin.)