Paul’s Passionate Plea
August 26, 2018
A Romans chapter one through eight was a pretty amazing journey when it comes to it. It's a, when we arrive at Romans chapter nine, and it seems strange that Paul's going to interrupt this discussion, this discussion of salvation, and then didn't devote the next three chapters to the nation of Israel, and so that's what we come to. Romans chapter nine. We talked about that a little bit last week. The first part of the letter that was read, it was read to a church that had a combination of people and had Jews and gentiles and Jews and gentiles and according to most historians at that point, the majority of the people there in the church, we're not used anymore. It was gentiles, not Jews, because Rome was such an epicenter of place where everybody comes. Rome was the New York City of today in New York City, you have to know how to speak 17 languages to get around.
If you've been there, you're like, man, half the people here in Georgia, we say, yeah, but we've got that with Spanish, but unless you've been to New York City, you have no idea because it's Spanish and Swahili and you know it's just crazy. The amount of people that are bustling around this major city of New York and that's exactly what the Rome is in this day, and so the gentiles. Now anyone that wasn't a Jew will listen to what Paul was saying and it was, and they were just. They were just blown away by how great God is to them. Why they're sitting on the edge of their seats like men is this not incredible what God's done for us at that can. You see them gathered together and someone reads this letter letter and they discuss its meaning, how the gentiles were sitting in. These gentiles are sitting on the edge of their seats and just listening how great God is to them.
So in Romans chapter nine, and you, so here we see they were sinners and yes they deserve condemnation, but see, the gentiles knew that the gentiles were used to being mistreated and so they were sinners. Absolutely they deserve condemnation. But, but then they heard the expectation of what they were given in Christ. They're seeing, they're going, man, I know I deserve condemnation, but here's the good news. The Jews had always been the selected people of God though. Can you imagine being a Jew sitting there and talking about and listening to people talk about and you're, you're, you're sitting there going, man. Well, we used to be God's people. What happened? So, so funny thing that this message is prepared. About three months ago I was done with it and uh, ready to preach it. And uh, I talked about this and it's kind of funny because today's the last Sunday without college football and that's not where my college, Football Jersey this Sunday, because I'm excited about the football season coming up.
But last year in the national championship had two teams in it. And these are both teams that I felt very strongly about. So I'm a Georgia fan. Okay. I liked Georgia. People ask me all the time what it felt like to lose the national championship. And my answer to them is this, well, it feels a lot better than never getting there. Like we've been alone time. We not been there. So at least we got their. Alabama is another team that I have strong feelings about and Brendan's looking at me as I say that. Uh, Alabama is another team that I have strong feelings about. The, the difference is that those fillings aren't really nice. You know what I mean? Like I'm a Georgia fan and anybody playing Alabama fan, like anybody can be dome, um, gained for them to beat them and I'm cheering them on and I'll watch every Alabama game with this hope and this expectation that they're going to lose.
Very rarely happens. But there you go. So we're in for Georgia and anybody that plays against Alabama. And then there's another team that gets up there as well, just because I've got quite a few fans here in the church level. And that's the one that starts with that whole, Oh, H and you know, they're all excited because they know how to spell the word Ohio, you know, you say, Oh, H and is fun. You walk in the middle of the airport, do it one day just for fun. You Walk and you see a guy with Ohio state shirt on and he's walking by and you go, oh wait, you knew, oh yeah, I love it. Yay. We know how to spell it. And so Ohio state, you know, those are teams that I don't really like. This is the kind of position that the Jews and gentiles are in.
Now, every time I see Vicky, Vicki is one of our Ohio state fans. And we're praying that one day she received grace from God. So every time I see her, I do this to her car. I took these pictures as recently as this morning, uh, for you to see them there. There's a highest state, seven bunch spreading good vibes. I always do that. And so if you have a magnet and you're Alabama or Ohio state, don't worry, I'll take care of you. If you come to church on Sunday and then the next one, they're supposed to be an oh, but it's something else now. So, uh, I, I, you know, you feel this way. It's just sports and that's just a joke and we're just playing around. But the truth of the matter is, can you imagine these people sitting in a room in these Jews have always been God's people, like they've always been God's people.
These are the people that God has worked with and they're sitting there and they're surrounded by gentiles. This surrounded by gentiles and gentiles were not the people that God originally worked with. These are not the people that got originally worked with. And so they're sitting there and they're just there. They're the gentiles are excited. If anybody watches march madness, you know, in March madness, we all want anybody but duke or North Carolina to win. You know what I mean? Like, we won't meet those lower seeds. We won't though, Cinderella people to come up and these people, gentiles are sitting there and their surrounding these Jews and there's not near as many Jews as gentiles and they're sitting there going, so what happened? What happened? And this question though, it really matters because the gentile crowd congregation have truly enjoy what is being read, but the Jewish part of the congregation has to be asking themselves what in the world, what in the world just happened?
What in the world just happened and show Paul was considered a traitor to the Jewish nation. Naturally, you have to understand, Paul was considered a traitor to the Jewish nation. Now Paul had done everything that a good you should have done, but he was considered a traitor to their nation. His ministry has was to the gentiles and he taught them have the freedom from the law of Moses White. What he taught them about the freedom from the law of Moses was the juice. Kept on saying that the law of Moses is what makes you be able to know God and show. There's just big old contracts going on in the church here and it's easy to start chapter nine and totally forget what happened in chapter eight. It's so easy to do that, that you remember what it finishes with this incredible paragraph. The Bible says, for I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.
What a powerful statement that ends with nothing is going to separate us from the love of God. That's in Christ Jesus. Paul is spoken and clarified the fact that no one can have a relationship with God outside of faith in Jesus, his death and resurrection, and when he does this, this just totally blows the Jews out of the water, totally blows the Jews out of the water. That he would even say that and sounds pretty good. That sounds pretty amazing, but to us, but just think about the Jewish part of the congregation is they're hearing this. They have to be asking themselves this question in this question matters. Okay? Is this, does this mean that everything that the Old Testament said was a lie? See, this question matters because if God lied to the Jews in the Old Testament, then God is a liar. If God is a liar, then all of a sudden you go, man, Romans eight was a cool verse.
That a cool ending, but if God lied in the Old Testament, what keeps him from lying in the New Testament? Because we all know a liar is a liar, so he's got a liar, and that's the exact question that Paul is going to be bringing up here and just brought up a really big question. Did God fill to keep his promises to Israel? How many of you know that one person that promises and every time he promises you know that it's not going to happen? Did anybody have a friend like that? You're. You're sitting in, you go, hey, I promise you I'll be there at, and then you're like, yeah, plus 45 minutes in Peru. That's the bad thing. Improve wedding wedding ceremonies. There. You'll have the, uh, the on your invitation is it starts at six and all the Newbie Americans, they go in and they sit down at 5:45 and they're looking around, they're gone. They're still decorating this place. What in the world is going on? The bride starts getting ready. What they don't know is if you know the inside trick, here's what you do. You call the bride and you say, I'm going to take part in your wedding ceremony, but you have to call me when you leave your house.
And they call you up and they go, hey, just wanted to let you know, I just left my house. Oh, awesome. I'm so looking forward to it. You head of the church and you beat her there and you're there. Perfect timing because a 6:00 wedding can literally start at 9:30 PM, Sir, you're sitting there twiddling your thumbs till Amanda. How many of you have those friends that when they promise you something with a tag or something, you know it's not going to happen because they've gotten, you've gotten used to them and you love them and they have great ideas and great expectations about what's going to happen, but you already know what's going to happen. It's not gonna happen and that's exactly the question that Paul is going to answer here about God. He's going to ask God and he's going to. He's going to ask him. He's gonna. He's gonna say, so the question is this is got a liar. It's got a liar because if we can prove that God is a liar once, then we can also prove that he could lie again just as easily. The very character of God was at stake here in Romans chapter nine. Their mind had to be going over and over the fact that if God will break his promise to the Jews, than how much can we trust in his promise of a relationship with him that's based on faith. He says that we will never lose our salvation. Can we trust that? Not if he lied, he says that we're his children. Can we trust that? Not if he lied and he is he really our Abba father. He's not. If, if he lied before, if he's a liar, it's all a joke. Paul's about to dismantle that thought and even explained to them that God is not done yet with Israel either from the beginning of Romans, Paul has been keen to show that the gospel he preaches is rooted in the Old Testament. Okay? What he's saying is this, the Jews are listening and the Jews love the Old Testament. They know the old testament inside and out, and Paul goes, I'm not preaching. I'm not teaching. I'm not riding. Romans chapter nine for you guys separated from the Old Testament. Everything that I say in Romans nine through 11 is going to be rooted in the Old Testament so that you can know that I'm not cowering away from this idea and this question that you have about our God.
These are not disconnected ideas at all, and he starts that reasoning. Enrollments. Look at Romans chapter one in verse two. Romans chapter one in verse two, about as early as you can get in the book of Romans, look at what he says in Romans chapter one and verse two. The Bible says, verse two, which he had promised afore before, he promised his before by me, out by who? His prophets were, the prophets, the prophets or the Old Testament, the people, the Jews look too, but he promised his by his prophets were in the holy scriptures. This isn't some disconnected idea that God has. Paul says that what he's going to speak about was promised by the Prophet to Israel. Then in Romans 1:16 through 17, he makes another powerful statement look at verses 16 through 17 is for I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation. And then here's the beautiful part, two, so power of God unto salvation to help me out there. Everyone that believe it, okay, this is what's spoken about the prophets by the prophets, even the prophets. He said that everyone that believe it, and then he says this to the Jew, first of all, but also to the Greek. Look at verse 17, for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith as it is written, the just shall live by faith. He just two different things. He says that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believe it. By the way, this really matters. It is to everyone. Their beliefs is say, Chris, I don't know if I'm saved. Well, you know how you can know if you're saved, if you be leaf. Pretty simple. Well, Chris, you don't. I don't know if I can. No, no, no. It's to everyone. They believe it. So this isn't an exclusive gospel at all. When it comes to race. God did not say even in the Old Testament that this is just salvation for a race of the Jews. He's just to the second thing he says to the Jews first.
In Romans Chapter two, verse 11, he makes another statement that there's no distinction. Romans chapter two, verse 11, here's what he says. He says, for there is no respect of persons with God. God doesn't look at you and say, Oh, you're a Jew. Yes, you're in. He doesn't look at you and say, Oh, you're a gentile. No, you're not in an. Also, he doesn't look at the towel and say, you're in and the Jews not in there. Romans three, 22. He makes that truth even clear. Romans chapter three and verse 30, verse 22, here's what he says, and this is stuff that we've already gone. Over three, 22. The Bible says even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe and then he says, for there is no difference, and the gentile has to be sitting there with with cold chills on top of his cold chills, excited about God being willing to save them and the Jews have got to be sitting there going, what? What? How in the world is that true?
This isn't God pivoting and changing what he said, he would do it all. By the time that this letter was written to the Roman church, the church was mainly gentiles. The Jews had been asking themselves, how can the Gospel? He's preaching bringing so many gentiles and so few Jews into the church. How can this fit with God's Old Testament promises that he made to the nation of Israel? The next chapters, Romans nine through 11, had been used by many to teach at these passages are out all about how individuals are saved, how individuals are saved. Pause topic is not eternal predestination of eater of individual human souls to heaven or hell, Paula, speaking of the way that God has worked in history through different people. This next thing you're going to fill out on your paper is the key to understanding the book of Romans and Romans nine through 11.
Specifically, Paul is not speaking of their fate personally, he speaking of their function as a nation. He speaking of their function as a nation. Romans chapter nine speaks of Israel, spiritual history in the past, and then Romans 10 speaks of their present reality and enrollments 11 speaks of their future. The goal of these chapters isn't an attempt to solve the problem of reconciling divine for knowledge and human freedom. Paul did not write Romans nine through 11 to say, I'm going to clear up anything that these guys might ask about the question of God for knowing and human freedom in choosing to believe in Christ. I mean that was not his idea at all. For a matter of fact, Paul instead states toward the end of the section and Romans 1133, 3:34, that these truths are too much to grasp as humans. Here's what he says, oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God.
How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out for who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor would already be great if all of us would approach the passage this passage with this truth in mind. By the way, this is not a new testament. Isaiah, Isaiah chapter 55 says the same thing in verse eight and nine. Here's what he says, for my thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways. My ways says the Lord, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts are what God says is this. What we have to understand is that God's thoughts are beyond us. God's thoughts are beyond us. If anyone completely understands his ways. I love this quote and it's in your handout. I take a highlighter and highlight this.
If anyone completely understands his ways, then the trinity will have to make room for another member. God the father, God the son, God the Holy Spirit and God you, but we know that's not the truth. No matter your take on God's foreknowledge or man's choice. I want you to understand this. I probably won't line up where you want me to be. These questions are things that we deal with and we wrestled with that truthfully will never be able to wrap things up and put a bow on it as easily as we liked to pretend that we can. We love putting God in a box and the box that God belongs in, and I know exactly the east, the West, the north, and the south borders of God. When you say that, do you understand your arrogance?
Do you truly understand your arrogance when you say that now people won't take people when they want to dive into it, that anyone that acts like that they have all the answers and that they need on this front are deceiving themselves. If anybody actually they know everything about these passages, let me tell you, you can go ahead and run as quickly as you can away from them because they don't know near as much as they think that they know. We must understand according to Isaiah, how different we are than our creator is the gap between the Creator and myself as far more than a gap between an aunt and me. And so this morning I went out and I picked up a
a little ant. I have named him. Grant is this grant's house here and there's an inside here and I took. I stole my wife's bubble gum packaging and there's the ant. He's on the top there and the aunt not has sat down and we've discussed quite a few things, but what I've noticed is when I talked to the aunt, he's not near as smart as you think in the aunt. Could be for a matter of fact. This is pretty excited because I've taken him farther away from his home that he's probably ever been before. When I brought him in here. Did you hear? You have this and then so I want you to think about this for a second. There's this aunt, his name is grant and and by the way if there's an gets out, somebody scream because if it bites vicky, she has an Epi pen and I don't want her to have to use that this morning and so that Vicky's paying a lot of attention to the illustration, but nothing because of the illustration more because there is a aunt over here.
I'd like for you to take a moment to explain to him. Think about it for a second. I want you to take for a moment and explain to this aunt about the last vacation that you took when you flew to Miami, got on a cruise ship that took you to the Caribbean or we could even do it with Jack and Barbara who just gotten an rv and drove up all the way to Alaska through Canada and all that stuff. I want you to sit down and think about how much explanation it would take for this ant to be able to grasp the human condition. Think about that for a second. The sad thing is the separation between this aunt and us is way closer than the separation of God and us, and I want you to think about explaining this to this and for a second. No. When I say that you're sitting there and you're already imagined that what I'm talking about, but don't forget grant. You've got to think of things from his perspective for a second so, so I want you to think today. We're going to write some books for grant so that he can understand where we went and what we did.
Okay? Sure. We're going to write some books for grants to explain where we went and what we did. I want you to think what it would take to enter all of his questions that he might have about how humans operate and this thing that we have that's called vacation. Think about the amount of books you've got. No, right to make that happen. Okay? So can you think of any questions he might have? What questions might have aunt have? Go for it. What is, what? A vacation. What's a vacation like? I don't know what a vacation is.
What's a boat? That's a good one. A boat. Can you extend? Imagine that aunt. Here's what it is. A boat. Why am I in a box? Is what he's asking now? Absolutely. Why am I in a box? Why aren't? Why aren't we moving? Okay. Just just think about it. So go for it to Andrea. Whereas lunch, do they best? That's an andrew question. Okay, so here's what he's saying. Hey, I wrote down a few questions and I want you to think about how much you would have to write for this and to understand us. Okay? What's a vacation? So explain to me what a vacation is. Time off. It's not that easy because they explained time off. You got to explain the job to explain a job. You have to understand the need for food.
Did you understand the need for food? You got to understand currency and how in the world we got Kurt, do you understand how difficult, how many things you would have to write for this and to be able to grasp who we are. So you put your clothes on. Can you explain this whole? Putting clothes on business. What's that all about? Oh, you turned a light on. Now you need to write a book about electrical and how electricity works and where it comes from so that the and can truly understand electricity. Okay? You have a house and it's you didn't dig it yourself and it's above ground. Okay? Just think about how much you've got to write. You think the Bible is a thick book. You think the Bible's got a lot of stuff in it and you're like, man, this is just impossible because the Bible has got so much. Do you not understand? What it would take to get that and to understand a simple thing like, hey, we went on vacation. You got in a car trying to explain that one. What's a car? A car, and I see you sit and it moves. Can you explain to me how that happens? What's a will? It's got for what? You said. It has four wheels. What are for what? Our wills. What's rubber? Where did rubber come from? How does it move again? What you push a pedal and the car moves.
Explain again. How in the world did this thing vacation? How it thought even came to happen, so you booked it on the Internet. How about explain to me the internet. Do you not understand the depth of what you're going to have to explain to this aunt for him to grasp who you are and how you operate? Is that not a fair statement? There's one problem with this whole thing. We've not even left the driveway yet and we've already written more information than we could have been found in those encyclopedias. Back in the old days in my house, we had Britannica Encyclopedias. I still remember it. They were like, I'm done a bookshelf full of books, makes the Bible look small. We've not even lift a driveway yet and we've had to write more than an encyclopedia set, whatever. Have we haven't even talked yet about going to the airport. So Ryan, would you like to explain an airplane to this aunt? Would you like to explain aerodynamics and how that words would you like to explain how you push a button and these little things happen or you pull a lever and I want you to explain how how we all get on this one airplane headed to one location and then. And then I don't know who can do it, but we need to get somebody to explain what renting a car is all about. Explain what renting a car is all about it and then explain what boarding a cruise ship is like a cruise ship. What do you mean? Can you imagine how laughable it would be for us? I know that at that point and I'm going to return him to his home because I'm sure his family is missing him. That's what some of the people in my car told me today that the spending would be missing.
Vicky, he's out. I'm just kidding there. You. Hey. I want to take him back here in a second, but can you imagine how laughable it would be for us if I return grant and we can listen in on the conversation from grant with his other aunt fellows. Here's other people and he tells his friends and explain to them how much he understands about how humans operate. Would that not be laughable? Would it not be laughable to listen to this aunt explained to these other aunts how much they know about humans and we as humans are sitting there going, that's the funniest thing ever. Can you imagine how that would be? Can Not tell you that that's how we sound and we pretend that we've got God wrapped up and we understand every single thing about him. What do we do know is that man, here's what we do know. According to the scriptures, the Bible teaches that man is free because they're not. God could not be the judge. That Romans three, verse five and six says, he is, the Bible says, but if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Say as God unrighteous, who take vengeance. I speak as a man, God forbid, for how shall God judge the world.
God can't judge us if he's made us to be who we are. How is that happening? We also know that God has stated that we are all unbelievers and that he can show mercy on us. Romans chapter 11 and verse 32 says this, for God has concluded them all in unbelief. Okay? Did you see that? He concluded that the film, How many all are in unbelief, but then you also said that he might have mercy upon.
Oh, so we know. He gives us the choice to choose him, to accept him, to believe in him, to place our faith, and Paul is going to quote the Old Testament extensively in these chapters. Last week I said that 24 out of 40 quotations that Paul uses in all of his writings are found in these three chapters. Almost one third of Paul's old testament quotes, enrollment are found in these chapters as if he's trying to get through to the nation of Israel, the truth of the gospel of God. We don't have time now to dive into the ver versus, but I want to read these verses first and now I want you to see the questions that he's asking. Look at Romans chapter nine and what they're asking. Paul, as a master teacher knows the questions is going through their mind. In Romans chapter nine says, I say the truth in Christ.
I lie, not my conscience. Also bearing witness with me who bearing me witness in the holy ghost that I have great heaviness, continuous sorrow in my heart, for I could wish that myself were a cursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh who were, who are Israelites, to whom pertaining to the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the law and the service and the service of God and the promises, whose are the fathers and of whom as concerning, the flesh, Christ came to his overall God blessed forever. What Paul's saying is this, I'm going to explain to you how God did not change his mind and I'm going to explain to you that you serve a great gracious, Almighty God, and when I tell you this about our friend grant here, a grant, the aunt, when I explained to you about grant here, that does not leave us in a position to look and to say, well, if I can't understand everything about God, did I need to quit?
No, but it leaves you in is it leads you in all of the one who saved you. You read the Psalms and you read the psalms. You read it. Men that are in all of who God is. It's a life long pursuit to pursue Christ is not something that you learn one day. It's not something you learned through one discipleship. Discipleship is vital, but discipleship is not the key to it all. What is the key to everything is a life long pursuit to fall in love with the one we call our savior, and when we do it changes everything.