Summary: In Romans 9 Paul argues for God’s sovereignty in all things including our salvation as He discusses the Jewish people and their relationship with God to confirm God’s sovereignty to help those who are in Christ to know that God is able to, and does, keep
The Complete Sovereignty of God
God is Sovereign in the Keeping of His word (Romans 9:1-9)
God is Sovereign in the salvation of His People (Romans 9:10-33)
Through God choosing man in election
Through man Believing God in faith
This morning I want to jump right into our text in Romans 9.
Paul is going to address some important issues that some people, especially the Jews were wondering in regards to God’s will and ability to keep his promises.
So, let’s begin.
9 I speak the truth in Christ — I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." 8 In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."
Ok, let’s pause here a moment and pray.
I want you to notice in verse 6, Paul says, “It is not as though God’s word had failed.”
Now, we need to remember back to last week and our discussion of Chapter 8.
The title of last week’s message was the Promised blessings of those in Christ.
We learned that
Those in Christ will not be condemned
Those in Christ will not be forgotten during times of suffering on earth
Those in Christ will not be separated from Christ’s love ever
Those are some awesome promises. But promises are only as good as the ability and certainty that the one making them can keep them.
Can and will God keep his promises? Is God Sovereign?
Some of the Jews and maybe even the others were wondering how the Jews were fitting into this picture. Afterall they were the people God chose to be His people. Was He now rejecting them? If he rejected them, could he reject those in Christ?
These are some important issues that needed to be dealt with especially considering the amazing promises Paul spoke of in the previous chapter.
Well, Paul wants to assure everyone that God is able to and will keep his promises, that He is completely Sovereign, that is in full control of all things.
And in the passage we just read, we see that
God is Sovereign in the Keeping of His Word
Paul tells us in verse 6 that God’s word had not failed.
Then if God’s word had not failed, if God was sovereign, then what was up with the Jews?
Well, Paul tells them first that they were wrong in thinking it was just by their bloodline that made them Abraham’s children, part of the chosen people.
Look at Romans 9:8 - “it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.”
Now, this is not a new teaching and it is not new to Paul’s letter either.
John the Baptist
We see John the Baptist say something similar in
Luke 3:7-8 - John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ’We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
Real children of Abraham are not necessarily by blood, but by faith that produces fruit.
Jesus also confirmed that just being a blood relation to Abraham did not make a person a child of Abraham in a covenant sense.
39 "Abraham is our father," they (the Jews) answered.
"If you were Abraham’s children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the things your own father does."