Saturday 24 March 2012

Bible Book:

"I am speaking the truth in Christ - I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit - I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart." (vv. 1-2)

Romans 9:1-18 Saturday 24 March 2012


As chapter 9 begins, Paul reveals his love and compassion forthe people of Israel. He is broken-hearted by those who chose toremain under the law, bound in religion, and denying Jesus to bethe Messiah.

God's heart's desire is for people to choose God. For Israel, thechosen nation of God, this rejection was doubly painful: "The Lordis ... not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance"(2Peter 3:9).

In verse 3, although Paul expresses his intense love by stating hiswillingness to relinquish his eternal life, if it would cause theJewish nation to believe, it would be futile. The only one who cansave, is Jesus Christ.

Paul goes on to explain (in verses 4-13) that God's word concerningthe covenant with Abraham had not failed, even though the Jews hadrejected Jesus. Paul states that no one can claim to be chosen byGod because of heritage, birth or good works. Election is basedupon God's foreknowledge of the person and their free will tochoose God (John 1:12-13).

In the last few verses Paul poses the question: Is God unjust? Thenhe states vehemently, not at all! Paul is reassuring his readersthat God is just, and offers mercy and compassion. No person canearn God's grace. It is a free gift offered to all through ChristJesus. God's mercy is that although we deserve death, we may haveeternal life through faith in God. Each person either accepts thatgreat mercy, or rejects it (and God). Paul uses the example ofPharaoh to demonstrate God's mighty power and mercy. It isimportant to understand that Pharaoh had ample opportunities tofreely repent, but he chose not to. Throughout Romans, Paulexplains the ruin of the human race in sin and God's remedy, whichis available in Jesus Christ.

To Ponder

Paul showed an exceptional depth of love forothers. How concerned are you for those who do not know Christ?What are you willing to sacrifice to help others come to faith?Time? Money? Comfort?

John Wesley described the change which God worksin the heart through faith in Christ by stating, "I felt my heartstrangely warmed, I felt that I did trust in Christ alone for mysalvation, and assurance was given me that he had taken away mysins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death". Howwould you describe what Romans 9 means to you?

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