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January 20, 2021 7:30 am
Dr. Brian Hand, professor in the BJU Seminary, continues a doctrinal series on soteriology entitled “Our Great Salvation.” The scripture is from Romans 9:6-16.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina were continuing a study series entitled our great salvation today speaker is seminary professor, Dr. Brian hand you would please join me in Romans chapter 9 we all like the freedom to make choices sometimes our choices are really simple. Whether you want coffee or Coke and they just reflect their personal preferences. Sometimes her choices are a lot more serious. Actually stem from convictions or even the affections of our hearts, but I found it very interesting that when we come to the topic of God's making choices were little bit inconsistent. We want to be able to make choices. We want to be in control of our life circumstances and get whatever we want out of life. But we also have at least the temptation in each one of us at points in life to deny to God that same choice as if somehow we had a right to choose him. He did not have a right to choose us as we consider God's election. In light of the actual words of Scripture today. However, we see a powerful testimony to God's own sovereignty as well as his love. So let's begin reading together in verse six of Romans chapter 9 will go through verse 16 on the theme. Jacob have I loved, it is not as though the word of God had taken on a fact, for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel, neither because they are the seed of Abraham.
Are they all children but in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
That is, they which are children of the flash. These are not the children of God but the children of promise are counted for the seed for this is the word of promise at this time will ICOM and Sarah shall have a son. Not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one even our father Isaac for the children being not yet born either having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but it him the call with, it was said under her. The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved Esau have I hated what shall we say then is there unrighteousness with God. God forbid, for he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion so that it is not of him that will list nor of him that runneth, but of God that show with mercy last fall. As I read Ephesians to my children in her own devotional time. We came across the idea of election Ephesians chapter 1 verse four according as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, and I thought quickly how you express the concept like this election to children. My oldest is 14 the range all the way down to eight years old. So how do you tell an eight-year-old about election. Will this thought quickly came to me.
Let's see if we had a box of donuts who bought the donuts daddy did they all chimed in a good and listening. I walk up to the box and opened it and I said that one in that one in that one are mine. That's kind of like God's election. Elizabeth looked up at me innocently. My eight-year-old and said which unit donut did you choose that's not the point and and try to get across to you that God has the right to choose, because he created us, but which one did you choose I don't know the blueberry one. My son chimed in what what other one did you choose the sour cream one.
What was your third one doesn't really matter.
She nodded sweetly. Yes, find the chocolate cake one in first I was really exasperated at the grand theological point that I was trying to make just got racked by children's distracted in this they were so easy to get off on tangents before I thought about it the more I thought that's exactly what we do we come to the doctrine of election. God gives a certain information.
He lays out in front of us what he wants us to know and understand and instead we start asking questions such as why did you do it. How did you do it, exactly what are all the ins and outs of elections do I notify Amalek ahead of time and wheat we crown him in a sense, with any questions that he does not choose to answer it is better for us instead to take in hand with the Scriptures actually teach us about this great doctrine. He realized it is a doctrine of hope, a doctrine of blessing the doctrine of strength and power in the exhibition of God's love the fact that God chooses sinners at all to be saints reveals something important about his character.
Election is inextricably linked in Scripture with God's love. If I had paid a little more close attention to the passage I was reading my children I would've noticed that because the full text of Ephesians 14 is according as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love and that love is either connecting back with his choice and adverse are looking forward to his choice in the following verse and as I looked elsewhere in Scripture. I found that the context in which election occurs in Scripture over and over again in some way or another, affirm for us. God's love in a sense than the Scripture text begin answering a question that begins cropping up in our mind that question that we see initially as this is an election arbitrary know it's not arbitrary.
God elects on the basis of his love, and our text today teaches this theme that is consistent throughout Scripture election is the means by which God facts or brings his loving plan to an effective end sore response to that instead of complaining against him or instead of fearing that somehow we are in some kind of dangerous position is instead to trust him to respond to his love with joy and with hope they might be thinking at this point I don't see the emphasis on God's loving plan in Romans chapter 9 God's love. In fact, only occurred in verse 13 one time and that was a quotation from the Old Testament. So how can this be so integrally connected with the topic of election will if you would mentally at least go back with me to the end of Romans chapter 8, we saw some important verses beginning in verse 32 he that spared not his own son, but delivered him up freely gave them freely for so how will he not with him also freely give us all things to God is already exhibited. This love and God stands with a face or a disposition of love toward a sin cursed world and he looks out at all of us and says God so loved the world, and I gave my son because I love the world to his own hearts disposition is that of love we face a problem is we don't respond in kind to all of God's love in some senses is going to be wasted.
As he gives it because we will not in our sinfulness and on our own strength respond well to that love. We continue in Romans eight who shall separate us from the love of Christ and then he lists a whole series of things and says finally. I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to, height, depth or any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our pennies on the heels of this text dealing with the love of God for his people that Paul turns to Romans chapter 9 or begins to discuss with them some complaints that might naturally arise in our own minds is one of the things we do is go. Wait a minute you say God loved Israel but look at Israel in the first century.
It doesn't look like God's love has been effective. You say that God loves the world, but always outpouring of love seems to be so ineffective because we will not respond to him in faith. Well, Paul raises not only an objection, but our first point here, and that is that God brings his loving promises to an effective end through election verses six through nine God's disposition again is so great that he wants to make and does make great and glorious promises, but his promises. In some senses certain ones at least of them are contingent on on our response to him. Even when God is making great promises he has to bring those promises to pass, to completion to fulfillment by something that it takes place in us that transforms us ourselves, but our disposition again is that we reject faith and obedience to God. It was seen that for all his desire.
God has met an impasse in our stubbornness election is the means by which God overcomes that impasse. So Paul is asserting simply this, that election is an instrument that God uses to fulfill his promise without God's choosing people to be a special possession. No one would become a special possession. Look at these words, the God spoke to Israel in Deuteronomy 7. The Lord did not set his affection on you or his love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any people for you were the fewest of all people, so we have God's love and God's love is pouring out. Why did he do this what's going on here. Well, why did God choose them because the Lord love to you and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn into your father's at the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of bondman the hand of Pharaoh of Egypt and so verse six shows is that election presents prevents God's promises from falling. Look at this with me.
Paul is boxing against an imaginary enemy, but it's an enemy that crops up in every generation. That is, it's a hypothetical but so many of you have essentially asked the same question. Hasn't the word of God taken that effect.
God made all these promises to Adam and yet how do people respond in the interim, they reject him.
So God intervenes and chooses out from among humanity. One man, Abraham and calls Abraham into a relationship with himself in order to bring his loving promise to mankind to an effective end.
God elects Abraham and then in the election of Abraham.
God makes more promises what he's gonna do with Israel or Abraham's descendents and to his time passes. We hope it's not happening. Abraham's descendents are rejecting God are turning away from him. They're not responding to God's loving promise in a way that is effective they're not laying hold of it and operating by faith.
And so God reaches out again to draw people to himself. If God were not to move on our hearts. All of God's promises would be ineffective. And Paul says that's not going to happen. It is not as though the word of God is taken in effect any begins a process of reasoning with them that helps them to understand what election really looks like in practice. All of this is Israel body politic. Yes, there is this huge group, but not all those who called themselves Israel were really God's Israel. There was always just a portion, and somebody might then object right on the heels of that, but just a portion. How do you know that that's true.
He's going to go further into discussion of Abraham and and demonstrate before us that this is been happening all along. Neither are seven because they are the seed of Abraham. Are they all children but in Isaac shall AC be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh.
These are not the children of God but the children of promise are counted proceed. How do we know that within all this body of national Israel, only some are God's people because within the direct descendents of Abraham. Only Isaac was the chosen seed is and what other options were there with theirs. Ishmael, of course you know that Genesis 25 tells us that after Sarah died, Abraham remarried and had additional six sons by this other wife and yet only Isaac was the chosen. So God made promises to Abraham that themselves look like they will be ineffective except the God chooses Isaac encompasses his promises through Isaac election that is preventing the promises from being supplanted by any other thing because as we continue on those verses seven through nine are showing us that there is no alternative. There is no fleshly behavior or activity or any other thing that can replace the promises of God that can comment on their heels and supplant them. The promises of God will never be uprooted or undone, and neither will his love to Paul's argument actually answers a second question that our hearts raise. What if I don't know if I elect do I have to figure that out on the front end and some of you have lived in fear for many years or you have gone back and forth. Maybe I'm not really God's child, how do I know how can I tell how can I determine would you please look with me back at the promises of God. Election is bringing the promises of God to bear on your life and one of those key promises of God is he loves God loved the world. Moreover, the promises of God include whomsoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. That's a promise election might be the vehicle or the means by which God brings that promises to pass, but if you wish to respond in faith to the word of God, you are elect if your heart yearns toward God. He is drawing you. How do we know that because you would not be drawn at all.
You would not respond to him with anything other than coldness of heart.
Dis-interest careless indifference. If you weren't drawing you and so we can lay aside any fear preemptively.
God doesn't say figure out if you're elect and then come to Christ. He says my promise is that I love and I will accept anyone who comes to me and then he brings it to pass by calling us to himself.
While the passage is going to continue or other other evidence continues in Scripture, not only with the Romans 1013, which are decided, but also second Corinthians 124 all the promises of God in him that is in Christ are yes and in Christ. Amen to the glory of God by us. That is ultimately speaking and we can go into great depth and other places in other passages recognizing that ultimately Christ is the elect of God, and it is in the him that we become elect as well, but in Christ all the promises of God are an affirmation to us rather than negation. All the promises of God have bearing on us and God will not turn us away. If we come to him by faith well.
Paul continues his argument in verses 10 through 13 that God not only brings his loving promises to an effective end. But alt.also brings his loving sovereignty to an effective enter election to begin with. Election does not depend on enforcing goodness in the attempt to justify both our own actions and self-worth were tempted to raise a new threat against the love of God, the threat of her own good works, as if somehow we earn favor with God. Paul says it's not possible.
Not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one even by her father, Isaac, and were dealing with twins here because the Greek text is actually pointing out it's one act of conception, so it wasn't that she had a child over here and then some years later, just one act of conception. She conceived and there were two and get in that to the children not yet born either having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but him that call it. It was said under her.
The elder shall serve the younger election does not depend on her good works. That's actually a joyful thought or should be for us. Have you ever felt in peril of your salvation because of your wrongdoing.
Even if you trust in Christ.
Are there times in which you consider what you have just done this, as it were. You hold up your hate, your sin in your hands and you turn around and you look at it and study it again and you say I can't possibly know God and do this I can't possibly be one of his children and do this if we had to be righteous in order to be elect, you would be correct but God preemptively disconnect discards this kind of thinking, and says I chose ahead of time and I told Rebecca before her children were ever born, that the younger Jacob was the chosen one, and I did so, specifically discounting any of their righteousnesses that would come later.
That is, God brought his sovereign power to bear his love to bear in his authority to choose and that is for good. He also concludes that election is not depend on status.
Verses 12 and 13, added to the issue of works. The fact that the younger would serve the elder is it ever concerns you that maybe you didn't come from the right family. You have the right background yet on the right heritage.
You can understand that guy over there who grew up in his grandfather was a missionary's father was a pastor he might be elect not me. I come from nothing nondescript back or worse, was given up for adoption. My parents didn't know the Lord didn't care about me didn't care about God I can't possibly be among God's chosen call shows you right here election is not based on status. God does not look out there and see if these are the lofty, these are the movers and shakers in the world of yes in the ancient world. The elder was supposed to have the right of primogeniture fancy word that means he was in control of the family got a bigger inheritance. God says no. The younger will be superior because I have chosen and so we have Malachi 12 reaffirming this in the choice I have loved you. God says to Israel. Yet the people of Malachi's own day were complaining to God. We don't see any evidence of your love, wherein that he loved us. I don't see proof of that. We got into captivity.
We return from captivity and even in their return from captivity were no longer a glorious nation.
Where's the evidence of your love, says the proof of my love wasn't Esau Jacob's brother same family same opportunities yet.
I love Jacob I chose him.
There is evidence of bounding all around us that God in his right to choose lovingly chooses and then sovereignly brings his choice to pass by calling people like us to be his children, so we might've raise another question concerning God's choice and that is what is God election depends on my family and yet God is done away with that bringing us to the conclusion that God brings his loving mercy to an effective end for election in verses 14 through 16. Paul addresses the people and he is issuing forth another challenge or calling to mind something that they will challenge him with what shall we say then is there unrighteousness with God.
If God really has this love loving disposition, Christ died for the sins of the whole world. He invites the whole world and yet because the whole world rebuffs him. He reaches out in order to make his promise effective.
He calls people to be his own. Can we say that there's unrighteousness with God is his choice wrong.
For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
It is not of him that will lift or runneth, but of God to show the mercy God is not unfair or unjust but put it better in those terms.
Because fairness is a rather human concept and fairly base or low virtue, justice is a high virtue. Love is a high virtue, mercy and compassion that the Lord speaks of here is a high virtue in the Scriptures tell us that there is a justice that the man sinners be punished.
There is a mercy that provides a means that we might not be punished and that that punishment might follow the substitute. Love offers at substitute to the entire world freely for anyone who believes and fairness never even enters into the equation.
It lacks strength and merit and it attacks the theological virtue of love. Think of it this way. If God has to exhibit a completely indifferent attitude toward everyone. Where is love.
Indifference is not love. It's one of the frustrating things that we experience in our current society. When a virtue like tolerance is exalted because tolerance is not love tolerance means I don't care about you and I don't care what you do, I'll let you do whatever you want to do.
I don't care enough to rebuke you if you're wrong.
If you're driving off the cliff as it were of life doesn't matter to me, and God instead is calling our attention to the fact that he's absolutely just, and yet he, as it were, interdict his own justice with mercy through the means of election in Christ, God has provided a means by which justice is satisfied and love extended simultaneously.
So God loves the world and opens the way of salvation, but the world uniformly rebuffs God produce just a couple of illustrations to bring this to bear on you.
But imagine that a couple, Sarah and Robert went.
They had the resources to adopt people and had worked in that with church youth groups for so long they wanted their own children, but could not have their own so they went to an orphanage to adopt children to have the money to adopt many and actually went into a room and looked around this entire room full of people and themselves said will let anyone even spoke to the children will take you all. Anyone who wants to be my child come while the children are reduced to the orphanage in which they live and they certainly don't know these people anymore than we, in our sinful condition new God. We know anything about him. We didn't know what his character was we did notice disposition was we didn't care anything about him and we were quite comfortable in our sin, so none of the children raise their hand to go with these who would be there loving parents, Robert and Sarah were on their way out and they got in the car. They were just about to drive away.
Sarah turned her husband says we've got to go back. We love them. We have to take some so they turned around and went back in and with the authority of choice and the resources at their disposal. They said will take that one. That little girl, and that little boy little ones who would not choose them at that moment.
And yet, because they chose the little ones those little ones are brought into the family that is God's election is inviting you to come to faith because he loves you, but he's bringing to pass his perfect promise is perfect sovereignty and his perfect justice through the means of election in 1997 I met a young lady at church and shortly after we started dating a girl to love her the following summer after we had met. She was a counselor at a camp in Wisconsin. I was stuck here in humid stuffy Greenville, so I started writing to her regularly faithfully. In fact, I had a kind of a devious plan. I got this big huge puzzle and I broke it up into chunks of 25 pieces each and sent them in the mail. 25 pieces at a time with messages written on the back.
So when she got it she had to put the puzzle portion together and then flip it over to see what the message was poems trite little thought, you know what to all that stuff is right. Nine months later I met her as she was returning to school and I gave her the last section of 25 pieces of that puzzle. Oh, actually 24 and while she was putting together and then fumbling around looking for the last piece going. I lost it I lost it as it just read it anyway and she read through a little statement that I write in the last piece said will you marry me okay you are upset that I chose her out if you don't think I had a right to choose seat having a loving disposition as a person does not mean that that love will not be localized and brought to effective in choosing one is who we actually have an illustration of election all around us and you young ladies who have rings on your finger are very glad for the concept of election and only just theological.
We love it when love comes to an effective and and draws us out as special into unique relationship and instead of being frustrated and angry and bitter or hostile toward fearful about the election of God.
Realize that election is the vehicle by which he is inviting everyone of us by faith to be his children and it is the vehicle by which he's effecting that in our lives. You been listening to a sermon preached by seminary professor Dr. Brian hand join us again tomorrow as we continue the doctrinal study series called our great salvation here on The Daily Platform