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Expound: Romans 9-10:4 - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
June 27, 2022 6:00 am

Expound: Romans 9-10:4 - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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June 27, 2022 6:00 am

God is all-knowing: He knew past events would happen, and He knows what's to come. In this message, Skip shares about God's sovereignty in His plans for the nation of Israel—and for you.


Verse 12, the older will serve the younger. All of that is the premise, or the premise of that is in the previous verse, that the purpose of God according to election might stand. Now the idea, the teaching, the doctrine of election, God sovereignly choosing people to be saved, is one of the hardest teachings, doctrines you will ever confront.

God already knew everything that occurred in the past would happen, and he knows everything that will happen in the future. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares about God's sovereignty and his plans for his chosen people, and for you. Before we begin, we want to let you know about a resource that will equip you to grow even more in your faith. Joy in the midst of hardship is a hallmark of the Christian life, but is it really possible?

Here's Lenya Heitzig. Sometimes what starts out as a happy trail turns into a really daunting road, and we have to figure out how to navigate. A lot of times, God's purpose in allowing trials is to give us opportunities to grow to the point where we genuinely experience joy in the midst of trials. Learn how to face trials with courage, wisdom, and yes, joy with Lenya's booklet, Happy Trials. And when you give $20 or more today to help keep this Bible teaching ministry on the air, we'll send you a special bundle of three booklets by Lenya, Happy Trials, Don't Tempt Me, and Speak No Evil. Get your bundle of three booklets for a gift of $20 or more by calling 800-922-1888, or give online securely at slash offer.

That's slash offer. Okay, let's dive into today's teaching. We'll be in Romans chapter 9 as Skip Heitzig begins the study. So you know how Paul is writing. He's writing in a diatribe form. He's posing a question as if he's sitting next to a dissenter, somebody who would disagree with him, and he is supposing what the disagreement might be.

And then after he brings up the question, the issue, he then answers the question. So it is not that the Word of God has taken no effect. Somebody might say, um, you talk about all the promises God made since all of Israel did not believe in Jesus, but the nation itself as a majority has rejected Jesus as the Messiah. Does their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah mean that God's promises have failed? That's where we left off last week. We kind of dealt with that question and then closed.

And what we said is this. Rejection by the majority does not negate God's promise to the minority. There's always a few who do believe. There's always a remnant in the scripture.

And he will hammer this through chapter 9 that there is a remnant who believe. Here's what we need to understand about how God works. God does not operate on the basis of human relation. It's not who you're related to. Well, my parents were believers. My grandparents were Christians.

Good. God has no grandchildren. God only has children. Are you a child of God? So God does not operate on that basis of human, um, relation.

God does not operate on the basis of human perfection. It's not what you do to earn it. It's not your good works. It's not like you, you meet a certain threshold.

Now you've worked hard and you've earned it. So now God sort of owes it to you. Doesn't work that way. God operates on the basis not of human perfection or of human relation, but of divine election. He makes a sovereign choice and he cites the case of Ishmael, the firstborn of Abraham, and Isaac, the second born. Though before Isaac was even born, God chose Isaac, not Ishmael.

It was God's sovereign choice before birth. He was the son of promise. Even though Sarah said, take my handmaid Hagar, AB, you know, I can't do this. I'm an old, I'm an old hen.

I can't, I can't pull this off. But, so let's help God out a little bit. You take my handmaid Hagar, you guys have a child, and we'll call that God's promise. The firstborn, that child, was Ishmael. Later on, God gave him the son of promise when Sarah became pregnant and Isaac was born. That was the son of promise. And so it's interesting when you read even the book of Genesis where God in Genesis 22 says to Abram, take now your son, your only son, Isaac.

Wait a minute. Abraham is going to say, he's not my only son. I've got a son who's years old.

Some say up to 30 years old. His name is Ishmael. But the son that God recognized as the only son was the son God had promised in advance, Isaac. Take now your son, your only son, Isaac. So that is those who are children of the flesh, verse 8. These are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as seed.

For this is the word of promise. At this time, I will come and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this, but when Rebekah also conceived by one man, that would be Isaac, even by her father Isaac, for the children not yet being born nor having done any good or evil of that purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him who calls. It was said to her, the older shall serve the younger.

As it is written, Jacob, I have loved but Esau, I have hated. When Rebekah could not have children, she was unable to have kids. She was barren. Her husband Isaac prayed.

This is a good thing for a husband to do. Prayed for his wife and the Lord answered his prayer. Rebekah became with child and she was having a difficult pregnancy. She didn't know why. And she complained to her husband.

Well, if everything is all right with me, how come I'm having such a hard time in my pregnancy? And so the Lord spoke to her when they both prayed about it before the Lord. The Lord said, two nations are in your womb.

In other words, you're going to have twins. Two nations are in your womb. Two peoples will be separated from your body and the older shall serve the younger. Now, God said that before they were even born. God made the choice. God, knowing what these two kids would be like, God has precognition. God knows all things in advance. God is omniscient. He knows all things.

And part of omniscience is precognition, the ability to know things in advance. That's where prophecy comes from. God knows it all.

So He predicts it. God, knowing that to those two children, Esau, the firstborn, wouldn't care about spiritual things, wouldn't care about family name, wouldn't care about his heritage, could care less, sold his birthright for a little bit of his birthright for a little bit of red chili stew. But God also knew that Jacob would be interested in that blessing, would be interested in spiritual things. And so God made a choice in advance, having precognition, knowing all things.

The older is going to serve the younger. Now, in both of these cases, you have God making a choice. And in both of these cases, it's not the firstborn. It's the secondborn that takes the blessing of the family, which was against all Semitic sensibilities. There was a law, not just among the Jews, but all Semitic peoples of ancient times called, we would call it, the law of primogeniture, which means the firstborn gets the blessing. The firstborn takes the family inheritance. The firstborn is the priest of the family, etc. God broke that rule, said the older is going to serve the younger.

The younger one is the one that I have chosen. Now, he's going somewhere with this. We do, though, have to remark on verse 13, because this bothers a whole lot of people. As it is written, now he's quoting Malachi, not Genesis here. Okay, so this is last book of the Old Testament. So these two kids have been born. They've had children.

They've developed nations already by this time. So verse 13 says, as it is written, Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated. That does bother some people.

It used to bother me a lot. How could God say that? Here's what you need to understand. He is not writing this. This prophecy is not about Jacob and Esau, but the descendants of Jacob and Esau who had developed into nations, the nation of Israel versus the nation of Edom that hated the Jews, that fought against the Jews, that attacked the Jews, that rejoiced when the Jews went captive into Babylon. So as God is writing about their descendants, he says, Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated.

He's speaking here about national election, national election. One day a student of Charles Haddon Spurgeon's in Spurgeon's pastor's college went up to him and he was sort of grimacing in his face and he said, Mr. Spurgeon, I'm really having a problem with the passage out of Romans chapter 9. And he quoted this verse, Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated. He said, I really am struggling with the fact that God said, Esau I have hated. And Spurgeon looked at him and said, you know, you know, I too have had problems with that verse except my problem is a little bit different. I don't understand why it says, Jacob I have loved.

That's what I'm having problems with. I know about Jacob and the fact that God says, I really love Jacob. It's like, man, I also have problems with this verse.

Verse 12, the older will serve the younger. All of that is the premise or the premise of that is in the previous verse that the purpose of God according to election might stand. Now the idea, the teaching, the doctrine of election, God sovereignly choosing people to be saved is one of the hardest teachings doctrines you will ever confront.

I don't know if you've wrestled with it. Most thinking Christians have wrestled with it. It's a tough, hard principle. On one hand, we are told to make a choice to choose God, choose this day whom you will serve, whosoever will let him come. Believe is the appeal.

Believe, receive. We're told to make a choice. On the other hand, we are told that God has already chosen.

We are chosen in Christ for salvation before the foundation of the world. So we have a problem with that. Now, I have not unraveled the mystery. I am not here to give the final answer so you'll walk away going, oh, good, I'm satisfied now. No matter what I say, no doubt, you and I will still wrestle with it. But both are true.

Both principles operate at the same time. Now I'll give you an example of how that works in an earthly level. The FAA, the Federal Aviation Administration, right, that's the FAA, they have determined that on a certain date, at a certain time, a flight will leave New York City to London, England.

It's in the books. You can go on your computer. You can see that the plan has already been made, the departure time, the estimated arrival time, the coordinates, the route, it's all determined in advance. Yet, you can choose if you want to be aboard that plane or not. And all the people aboard that plane, they don't have to be there. It's not like somebody woke up and said, you have to go to England today.

You have no choice. No, they've made a choice. They've made a choice to buy a ticket. Not only that, you can choose what part of the plane you want to sit in. If you've got money to burn, you want to sit in first class, all the way to England. It's a nice ride. You have a little bit less. You might prefer business class.

Your business may provide that for you. Or you want to save money and you get it well in advance, get economy class. And you can even choose if you want to sit on the aisle or you want a window seat. You're not going to choose a middle seat, but that could be chosen for you if you don't make the choice far enough in advance. But you have certain parameters of your own choice. Then you can choose once you're aboard the flight if you want to eat or not, listen to music or not, watch a movie or not, talk to people or not. You are operating within the parameters of human choice even though you're on a predetermined flight. So you have both something predetermined and selected in advance cooperating with your decision. So things like that happen all the time.

When it comes to salvation, God has made a choice to pick you. Now you can get bummed out about that. You can wrestle with that. And I've seen people irate because of that. And my reaction to them is, I don't know why you're upset about that. I'm thrilled at that. You know what that means? It means God chose me.

I'm on the winning team. I don't go, I'm so bummed out, God chose me in advance. Think how elated the disciples were when Jesus said to them one day, now these disciples had chosen to follow Jesus. They had chosen to give up their nets, chosen to give up their fishing career and follow him. And one day he turns to them and said, you didn't choose me. I chose you and ordained you that you should bring forth fruit and that your fruit should remain.

He not only said that I chose you before, but he guaranteed the success of their future ministry in those words. Boy, that's thrilling. So you walk up to a gate and the gate says, whosoever will let him come. You go, that's interesting.

I'm up for that. I'll choose to go in. You open the gate. You walk in. The gate closes behind you. You look back and the inside sign of the gate of the door you just voluntarily opened says chosen in Christ before the foundations of the world.

And then you find a table with your name tag at it and you go, wow, I made the choice to come in, yet it seems like I have been chosen to be here all along. It's a marvelous mystery. It is a mystery, but both are true. You must choose. You are not drawn irresistibly to God. You have no choice in the matter.

You do have a choice in the matter. But God chose you in advance. What shall we say then, verse 14? Is there unrighteousness with God?

Certainly not. For he said to Moses, I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion. So then it's not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

For the scripture says to Pharaoh, even for this purpose I have raised you up that I might show my power in you, that my name might be declared in all the earth. Therefore he has mercy on whom he wills and whom he wills he hardens. The next illustration Paul uses is Moses and Pharaoh. Two men, both sinners, both murderers, both had seen the marvels of God in their midst.

One is saved, one is not. God chose Moses to lead his people. God chose his people to inherit a new land.

Now, something I want you to notice. In verse 15 he says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion. He's quoting from Exodus 33. You need to understand the context of Exodus 33. As soon as the children of Israel were dancing around that golden calf, which I just mentioned, and God said, move aside.

I'm going to wipe them out, destroy them, and start a whole new nation. Moses intervened and said no. After that, after Moses' prayer, God said, I will have mercy on whoever I will have mercy. I will have compassion on whoever I will have compassion.

In other words, I'm going to have compassion on these people. If you know the story, a plague swept through. God stopped the plague. Instead of wiping all of them out, 3,000 died, but not all of them died.

All of them deserved death because all of them were engaged in idol worship. But God was merciful to his people during that incident. So I think Paul is bringing it up because somebody said, it's not fair that God should choose people to be saved and have compassion on one and not another. So he says, okay, so if God, if you are having trouble and balking at the fact that God is merciful and compassionate, then you have to realize that God was merciful and compassionate to you. He should have destroyed all y'all, and he didn't. He had mercy on you. He was compassionate on you. Now what do you say? Well, I'm glad he did.

Yeah, exactly. So that is the incident that he uses as an example. Verse 17, for the scripture says to Pharaoh, even for this purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, that my name might be declared on all the earth. Therefore he has mercy on whom he wills, and whom he wills he hardens. If you are familiar with the book of Exodus, I'm just guessing that you are, we are told in that book that God hardened Pharaoh's heart. Do you remember reading that?

You read that and you go, that's horrible. So it's God's fault. No, because if you would have read from the beginning, it says Pharaoh hardened his own heart first. There's about 20 instances in the book of Exodus where it says that Pharaoh's heart was hardened. About half the time Pharaoh hardens his own heart, the other half, God hardens it. Two different words are used. One is a voluntary, I want nothing to do with God, I want nothing to do with his revelation, I'm going to do what I want to do. That's personal hardness.

That's choice. And then it says God hardened it. It's a different word. It means he affirmed it, or he firmed up his heart. He firmed it. He made it firmer.

So here's the principle. Whatever choice you make, God will firm that choice up. If it's a choice for him, he will firm your heart. He'll harden your heart in your desire to be owned by him, controlled by him, submitted to him. He'll firm that up. If you harden against him, he'll harden your heart against him.

He will, it's bad analogy, it's like poker. I see you're five, I raise you ten. I see your hardness, I raise you a little bit harder. I'm going to harden my heart, okay. I'm going to make it firm.

I'm going to soften my heart and open it up to you, okay. I'm going to firm that decision. So one is personal, your choice, the other is sovereign. God's choice.

Both are true. Therefore he has mercy on whom he wills, and whom he wills he hardens. You will say to me then, why does he still find fault for who has resisted his will?

So if God is hardening my heart, then how can God charge me for having a hard heart? Even though we just explained how we can do that because Pharaoh hardened his heart first. But indeed, oh man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, why have you made me like this?

Does not the potter of power over the clay from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show his wrath to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? Yeah, it says God firmed up or made hard the heart of Pharaoh, but think how long God was patient with that bonehead. Who is the Lord that I should obey him? He said he was just so flagrantly in God's face as a rebel for a long time.

God put up with them a long, long time. That's why our goal is to get more clear Bible teachings to as many people as possible. And through your generous gift today, you can help connect more people to God's Word. Here's how you can give today. You can give online at slash donate. That's slash donate. Or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you. Tomorrow, Skip Heitzig shares a vital lesson about God's gracious and patient love for you. Think of God's every flaw that you had. He goes, I'm done with you. Forget you. Get out of here. I'm never, just, you're not going to heaven. Like Santa Claus having a list, checking it twice. Aren't you glad that he is patient enough to be merciful and gracious and though you are marred, he reshapes and reworks for his glory. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-29 12:04:14 / 2023-03-29 12:13:11 / 9

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