Race and Grace Displaced
September 30, 2018
Romans chapter 9 , it's going to be fun and I want you to dive in with me and study and I hope that you can get a lot out of it today. So first I want to read the entire portion that I hope to be preaching through today. As you know, I probably won't get all the way through but let's go through Romans chapter nine will probably spend the next 15 or 20.
It's in Romans 9 10 and 11. Most of my friends that have reached the Romans literally have one message on Romans 9 1 r a message on Romans 10 and 11 or at best one message per chapter because diving into this is not easy. So Seth decided to give me a bonus check last month for. Into Romans 9. He said I'm giving you an extra Buck.
There you go, cuz I don't know many pastors that are going through Romans 9 like this, but I hope it can help you and I hope you can study and let me just say if there's any time you need a pen and paper and underlining your Bible and studying it. Here's the question the question is this does this book really matter?
Does this book really matter? If it does then Romans 9 really matters now? Let me just say Romans 9 is not the center of the Bible and the Bible doesn't revolve around Romans chapter nine. But Romans chapter nine matters, that means that we as a body need to understand what it says and I want to be known as a church.
That doesn't. The doesn't Veer away from hard subjects that doesn't Veer away from hard passages that we deal with what the passage says. Now I can also tell you I have no desire at all to be the guy that wimps out on passages but then I have no desire to be the guy that harps on stuff all the time.
That's not in the passage. Okay. So we were like Crystal what's your stand on this and they ask me that all the time they want to know my standing. I don't mind telling them they're like, why don't you preach on that and I'm like I will. As soon as we hit a passage that touches that because the scriptures matter the scriptures matter, they matter more way more than what I think what I believe or what I want to say and here's what I do believe.
I believe God has a word for his church. Okay, God's word for his church does not come from here. It does not come from here God's word for his church comes from here. And so this book really matters Romans chapter 9 really matter. So let's go through Romans chapter 9, we'll start by reading these verses and then.
I have a feeling that I'll show you a couple of things to come. Oh, okay. I can see where this is going to be interesting now Romans chapter 9 verse 6 not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. By the way, you ought to underline that part not as though the word of God hath taken none effect for they're 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 the children of the flesh? These are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed for This Is The Word of Promise at this time.
Will I come and Sarah will have a son? And not only this but when Rebecca also had conceived by one even by Our Father Isaac for the children being not yet born neither having done any good or evil that the purpose of God according to election might stand not of works. But of him that calleth it is what it is.
It was said unto her the Elder Shall Serve the younger verse 13 as it is written Jacob have I loved but Esau. How about hate it? Okay. Now that's just going to be interesting getting down to it. So let's dive in right now to Romans chapter 9 and we want to start here. Today. We're going to be looking at a passage that is separated friends for a very very long time many of my friends and I told him I was preaching the book of Romans.
They told me dude. Are you crazy? Do you not know that Romans 9? It's coming up. I was like, yes, but if we're going to wimp out of passages, then we can't call ourselves a Bible Centric church. It's impossible. You can't have one without the other they told me I was crazy. One of the main reasons that they would feel this way is because of the three chapters that we begin studying over the next few months.
Let me start today by saying that this isn't my and it is not my goal today. To be on your side. You're like Chris have steady Romans chapter 9 and this is my side. Congratulations. You have a side also understand. I don't give a rip. If I don't land where you think I ought to land. I do give a rip if I land where I believe the scriptures land.
You said Chris is that being dismissive know not being dismissive at all. What I'm saying is this I do not have to hold true to the doctrine of river church. I do not have to hold true to the doctrine of families in the church, but I do have to hold true to the doctrine of the scriptures of the word of God.
My goal is to be true to the text and to be the voice of the text and not the voice of any of the hundreds of opinions on this passage from our church or from any other Church. Let me say this Peter talking about Paul actually said some of the stuff that Paul says is hard to understand. Would you all agree with that or not Romans?
Some of the support says it's hard to understand and that's the if I were guessing he would have been talking about Romans 9 10 and 11. I read a quote just the other day in a book that was published almost a hundred years ago. And I love this quote the author made this statement. I believe it's true today as any other day in history.
Here's what he said and it's there on your sheets and I hope you get this. I desire to have scripture on our side is one thing. Okay a desire to have scripture on our side is one thing it can I just say that we all want to have scripture on our side. I know that you don't know this but Republicans believe that the Bible is a republican book.
Democrats believe it's a democratic book Libertarians believe. It's a Libertarian book. Can I just tell you everybody wants the Bible to be on their side? That's the reason they pulled out verses and say see the Bible agrees with me a desire to be on to have scripture on your on our side as one thing a desire to be on the side of scripture.
It's quite another. Our desire as Christians is to be on the side of scripture is what we say true to the word of God is what we say true to the word of God. It would be so easy to just skim over this thing and I would hope that it would help us think through the way that we've made our decision to be on the side of scripture not see before you read the chapter Romans 9.
What I'm hoping is this I hope you say I want to be on the side of scripture. I don't want to be on the side of anybody else. I want to be on the side of scripture because scripture matters scripture matters more than Chris Gardner. So my goal today is to walk you through what I believe that this passage says beyond a shadow of a doubt in my mind and you need to go does that line up with the truth of scripture?
Or not. This is my goal. This is where I pray that will land today. And this is where I hope as a pastor to lead our church body. We live in a day and age where any of us can find an epiphany buddy that agrees with our opinion no matter how crazy it is many times were guilty of approaching the scriptures mainly to see if we have a verse or two that agrees with our sacred opinion.
Because we all have opinions like nobody doesn't have an opinion. We all have opinions. And so the question is this does the bible agree with it? See we don't go to the scripture saying let me find a verse that proves we go to the scripture saying what does the scripture say? And then we develop our thought because of that for many your view of this passage is what will label you whether you are from one group or another.
Now, let me just say this. I have attempted to not study this passage with these views in mind. Like I literally went to and I said she hears here is a question that I believe all of us should answer if we were to go into a desert with the scriptures with no YouTube with no books with nothing else besides this book would we walk away believing about a passage what we said about the passage or not?
Because here's what the Bible teaches us. This book is our Authority and the Holy Spirit is our teacher. And guess where the Holy Spirit goes the Holy Spirit goes where we go. So the question is when we land whereas landed in Romans chapter 9 if we were to go into a desert and study the scriptures job attempted to not study this passage with the view these views in mind but instead just freshly looking over the word of God studying what's being said and spending time with the author.
Do you realize how big of a privilege it is? Do we get to spend time with the author of our book like we get to spend time with the author of our book? I've read through the book of Romans that this is going to give you a little bit of my crazy study method, but I really I read through the book of Romans once a day every day for about a month before I started preaching the book of.
After that, every time that I have preached through a passage, I then start reading at that part of the passage and go through the rest of Roman. So I've probably read through the book of Romans chapter 9 through 16. I would venture to say four hundred times over the last year and a half. I think the scriptures matter way more than anything else.
Somebody might say. I personally believe if we were to study of fresh God's word. We would find that we've tried to often to make it say what it doesn't we try to way too many times to make it say what it doesn't say our view on things like the sovereignty of God election predestination the church Israel the gospel among many other things are going to be informed by this passage if you want to know the chapter.
Z chapter four people on one side or the other side the chapter four people on one side is this chapter the chapter 4 the other side is not really a chapter at all and they Veer away from Romans chapter 9 because it scares them to get into Romans chapter 9 one of the biggest things to understand about the scriptures this the scriptures are a book intention.
There's tension in the scriptures. So here's the question that we must ask is our God Sovereign and the answer is absolutely. The next question we have to ask is this did God give man a choice? Absolutely. Yes, and there is a tension between those two but that's not the only tension we find in the Bible.
See the Bible is chock full of tension that it doesn't work without the tension. For example. The question is this is got a righteous. God hates sin. Yes. Absolutely. The next question is this is God a God That Forgives. Well, yes, God tells us that to gain our life. What do we have to do? Help me out.
What do you have to do to gain your life? Is that not tension right there God. I want to gain my life. Okay to gain your life Chris. All you have to do is you have to lose it. Do what how in the world does that make sense? God tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. So if we read that verse we look in the mirror and we go.
Oh man is the world not blessed to have this faith in front of it every day. The world is blessed to have me and from a bit of the same time. It says there's no good thing in me. So which one of them is right and the answer is both of them. It's a book that's intention. You know what God tells us God tells us that strength is found in help me out.
What street found in weakness. What so what are you saying here? So is Joshua strong because Josh was pretty weak still at seven years old or is Brett strong. No, Justin looked over his and now I can I think I can help bench him. That's what they're thinking here. Justin. I think you could have at benched and maybe at some point in life.
Just saying it's kind of it's the Bible is a book that's intention. Here's how its intention. The Bible says to be strong strength is found in your weakness, which makes no sense. And also the human mind because for me strength is found in strength doesn't that make more sense strength is found in strength weakness guess where it's found in.
My mind weakness is found in weakness and strength is found in strength pretty straightforward situation there. But God said no if you want strengthen your strength is found in weakness. It's a book intention. Then he says to be the first we must be. What God I want to be the first person in line here.
Okay, to be first person in line online. All you have to do is go to the back of the line what that makes no sense at all. It's a book that is in tension. It's a book that is in tension. And by the way, we could go through each one of those and preach a week on each and every one of those that I'm saying, but in this passage, we must understand that these tensions are necessary as we study truth.
These tensions are necessary as we study truth as stated before we must make maybe we must take much care with a context of every passage. We study we have to take care to use the context of every passage. We study. We cannot study a passage without knowing its context. We cannot study a passionate about knowing its context we must understand what's going on in the chapter.
For example Romans chapter nine starts verse 1 through 5 talking about Paul's burden for people that don't know that Jesus is the Messiah he talks about him saying I wish I could spend eternity in hell so that you could know Jesus like that's the context by the way the but not only the context of the chapter but what's going on in the book also matters.
And you know what goes on in the book from the very beginning. It's the group of people that call themselves Jews and the people that call themself Gentiles and the merging into one Church the merging into one Gathering of Believers that the context was going in the book and and then also this. If you want to know how to understand the context of the scriptures is this do you you want me to show you what the context of Romans 9 is look at my Bible right up here.
Let me show you the context of Romans 9. This is Romans 9 the chapter. This is Romans the book, but if you want to understand the book of Romans the context of Romans goes like this.
You can't understand Romans 9 without an oh, I forgot this side. This side too. You can't understand Romans without the context of the entire scriptures. By the way. That's the reason that it matters that your preacher preaches the book not his opinions reading a book on biblical eldership right now and he says basically there's two places that people can easily become Elders of the church and he says one is a family of people that love Jesus.
And then he said the second place is a church that actually preaches the Bible you combine those two and he talks about it being a Powerhouse to becoming a Biblical Elder. Biblical Pastor because guess what we need to be in a church that preaches scripture that gets to the hard parts and doesn't tuck tail and run but gets to the hard parts and says let's dive in to which scriptures say what's going on the whole scriptures to understand a passage me put it people believe that they understand a passage, but they love doing it while isolating from Context and because of that they have no true understanding of the passage.
They have no true understanding of the passage. Now. I hear some parents complain about this every once in a while to put them out without one. I have parents about that continue to complaining about this every once in a while. Here's what they complain about. They say, you know what my kid. I said a lot of stuff and my kid took this one little thing I said and tried to make a mountain out of an ant hill.
Have you ever have you ever heard that before but mama said okay, I get the mama said that but the question is what did Mama say before that and what did Mama say after that? Because your kids get you know what the kids are easy at one. People are like no they're terrible twos. Oh, no, you have no earthly idea kids are awesome, but they get smarter and smarter every day and they can manipulate situations better than you could ever ever imagine when they get to ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen and fifteen.
I wouldn't know about 16 because I hear they get holy at the age of 16, but at about the age of 15, you know, what they're speaking of my fifteen-year-old. Thank you buddy. Thinking of my 15-year the here's what happens they take the. Of taking what mama said or what each other said but Hannah said this henna told me she hated me.
No I said I hate it. When you you forgot the Wind part and you forgot the before and the after and that's what happens when we go to scriptures. We literally take a scripture when we pluck it out of the Bible. And then we say this is what the Bible says because let me just say here's what if you read verse 12 and 13 of Romans chapter 9.
You can't walk away with any other view except for our God decides that you're going to hell before you ever born. Let's look away. Look verse 12 there verse 11 the children being not yet born neither having done any good or evil that the purpose of God according to election might stand not of works.
But of him that calleth how much Works have these children done for God to make a decision on. The scripture say they've done zero works. It was said unto her the Elder is going to serve the younger and the older goes why did I deserve that? But it doesn't matter because God's done decided and that's just going to have to happen verse 13 as it is written Jacob.
Have I loved and install. How about hate it if you take those verses and you take a razor blade and cut them out and you don't consider Genesis through Romans and you don't consider the first eight chapters of Romans what we understand from God is this it doesn't really matter because God chose ahead of time that he was going to Haiti saw he was going to love Jacob, but we're not allowed to isolate scriptures.
We're going to get to that hopefully today and if we don't I did not say what I just said. I need to see if you'll take that out of context. You're gonna make it sound. Like I said something I didn't say before we dive in let me say that there are sincere people that love Jesus on both sides of this Doctrine.
Let me repeat that there are sincere people that truly love Jesus on both sides of that Doctrine. I'm not trying to make an enemy out of one and a friend out of the. At all, you know why I have very very good close personal friends who would almost died on the hill of Romans chapter 9 and I can tell you this they love Jesus.
They're not our enemies. They're not our enemies are good people on both sides of this Doctrine, but at the same time, I have a very hard time doing this passage differently than the way I'll be presenting it to you this morning. By the way, when I discuss it with my friends and go down the path that I've gone through for what I'm going to be preaching to you.
They also have a hard time answering what I have to say about the passage. So, I believe that this passage we need to study it. We need to know where we land. I believe that as we leave today, you're going to walk away with the same. Walt and now let's dive into the word and now let's get into it and see what the scripture is telling us the passage or teach us that the rejection of Christ did not alter God's plan at all.
That's what Romans chapter 9 is going to teach us the Israelites as a people had not accepted him as Messiah, but that did not make God go. Oh, no, what do I do now? Like God wanted him going. I wouldn't come on this know. What do I do? God wasn't caught off guard of the reaction that is your head toward him as the people of Israel rejecting him.
There were Gentiles that were gladly receiving the good news. There are gladly receiving the good news. These Gentiles are receiving What God Says and we know and we learned this about God and the Book of Psalm chapter 1 36 verse 1 and I love this verse here's what he says. Oh give thanks to the Lord.
Why help me out here look up there give thanks to the Lord. Why for? He's good. Why are we giving him? Thanks for he is good for his mercy endureth, aren't you? Glad that that verse is true his Mercy how many of us are Christian life has looked like more of a roller coaster than we would want anybody to really know.
Anybody here want to admit that or is that just me like like you walk in here? Like I'm going to sing these songs, but don't really have it all feel like these songs and I want to walk out. I'm going to go home and I'm going to ignore everything that I heard how many of us have to admit that that's the life that we've lived in the beautiful thing is this we can give thanks to the Lord not because we are good.
But he is good give thanks to the Lord for he is good for his mercy endureth forever. This truth is for both the Jews and the Gentiles is were going to find out the number one thing we must be aware of and where the doctrine of I'd in this chapter Li. Is this and we'll be touching on this time and time again as you go through this applying these truths to these to these truths of these chapters to the Salvation or security of the individual believer is to miss their message completely.
Okay. Let me say that again. Okay applying these truths of these chapters to the Salvation or to the security of the individual believer. It's to miss their message completely. Here's what Romans 1 through 8 says this y'all Jews y'all think y'all are better off than the Gentiles. And so Paul goes out and he got starts off with a Gentiles going.
Hey Gentiles, you're all Sinners and and the Jews are sitting there going. Yeah, you tell them tell them like it is. Yeah. That's right Paul. That's right, Paul. You nailed it there and then Paul goes. Oh Jews y'all too. And the Jews like what you didn't follow the Messiah you didn't do what you were called to do.
You didn't love the Messiah when he and so Paul goes Gentiles. This is you Jews. This is you and he's trying to bring them together and Paul has to explain to them how the truth of salvation by grace through the Messiah is still true to the Old Testament because what it comes down to is this. It's very likely in the mind of many Jews that God is a flat-out liar because he said he chose the people of Israel and all of a sudden you're saying that he didn't.
And Paul goes. Oh, no, no, don't you worry about it. We're going to go Deep In this passage and want to understand this is not but by the way Romans chapter nine starts with him talking to a group of people a nationality. He says I am still a Jew and I still have compassion and I still have care for you as a people.
I am one of you he's talking to a group. He's not talking to a person. Upon reading this passage. You'll see that Paul is carefully pointing out that he's discussing the Jews and the Gentiles as people not as individual sinners. He's talking to them as a people not as individual Sinners. He's going to discuss Abraham because he was chosen the father of the Hebrew Nation.
He's going to discuss Isaac but he was a child of the Promise by faith while Ishmael was a child of the flesh through Works. Paul will quote quite a bit of Old Testament here in Romans 9 through 11. And and if you like studying the next thing you're going to fill out, it's pretty cool. A rough count finds it 24 quotations of the Old Testament are found in these three chapters 24 times that Paul quotes the Old Testament is found in these three chapters because you know what, he wants the Jews to understand that our God is not a liar because it can I just tell you this if our God has lied then our God is a liar and he's no longer God.
He is no longer the King of Kings. He is no longer the Lord of lords. He's no longer the Creator. We cannot trust anything at all about our God if he's a liar and that's the reason Paul coach 24 times in the street at three chapters. The interesting thing is that in all of Paul's letters. There are approximately 80 quotations.
Now remember what Paul is written Paul's written 17 books and the New Testament. So like this isn't you know, you talk about Peter will Peter didn't write that much. But when you talk about Paul, that's a whole different story Paul has written so much of the New Testament. He's only used the quotations of the Old Testament 80 separate times 30% of the Old Testament quotations that Paul penned are going to be found in these three chapters, you know, why so that the people of Israel can understand that Paul is telling them.
God did not lie. How the Old Testament was used is going to be very important in understanding these chapters. Paul's trying to help us understand the beauty of the gospel. And that is what these chapters are all about. Number one. Look at the failure of his word. And and I don't think we won't go much further than where I'm at right now the failure of his word.
Look at what he says in verse 6 through 8 6 through 8. Here's what he says. Not as though the word of God has taken what none effect, but let's read that again. What's Paul say he's hey, it's not like the word of God. Is it taking an effect? What is he saying by that? I need you to understand. God did not lie.
God did not lie. It's not as though the word of God is taken none effect 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 the children of the flesh? These are not the children of God with the children of the promise are counted.
For the seed, here's what he's saying. He's saying, you know, what we're talking about a seed of people we're talking about a group of people we're talking about how God has used a group of people and he says but here's what I need you to understand. This is where this paragraph starts in Romans chapter 9 verse 6 what he says is this you need to understand this because it matters it's not like the word of God failed.
You don't have to worry about the word of God felling because of God is a liar. You can't trust him. And so Paul is going to explain to the people of Israel how God did not fell so he starts talking about the failure of God's word because God's word did not felt if it failed then all of a sudden there's no reason to trust God people tell you all the time.
Well, the Bible is full of contradictions in case you're wondering if it is then God's a liar.
And if God's a liar, then you might as well just take whatever you want out of here and start putting stuff on your you put a little black strips and put any verse you want to down here and just pick and choose just like you would pick and choose with Sun Tzu in his book The Art of War or you just like you would pick with Machiavellian the principles that you find in the Pew can pick anything you want from any book and honestly, this is just another book and we're wasting our time on Sunday morning.
If the word of God has truly felt that the word of God has truly felt we're going to pray and they're want to talk next week about the failure of the word of God and start in verse 6 and hopefully finish it all but I'm reach after nine this week and then don't skip church. Because you're going to read chapter nine, you're gonna like what we read your chapter 9 is going to be an awesome Journey as we got to orient Romans chapter 9 and what we've got to understand is this this word has not felt this word has not failed because if it has then our God is a liar.
And if our God is a liar new might as well throw this book to the side and go pick up any other bestseller that we want and live by it. But we have to understand this Paul says this it's not like the word of God is taken none effect. Our God is true. Our God is right. We have no worries or no concerns in the fact that our God is telling the truth and telling it.