“It’s Not Fair!” — A Question of God’s Righteousness (Part 3)
September 15, 2019
The question of the day is whether God is fair and whether He is faithful to His promises.
- Know therefore that the Lord, your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.
- God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Faithful is He who calls you, and He will also bring it to pass.
- Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
- No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
- And I saw Heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True. [Dt. 7:9; 1 Cor. 1:9; 1 Thess. 5:24; Heb. 10:23; 1 Cor. 10:13; Rev. 19:11]
The question Paul is addressing in Romans 9 is about the faithfulness of God — will God save those whom He has elected and promised to save? The question is not insignificant. If God has not saved the Israelites — and will not save the Israelites (after promising to save them) — then the salvation of all men is doubtful. If God does not save Israel, then God cannot be trusted and God is not faithful and we are lost.
In his answer in this chapter, Paul echoes the constant theme of Scripture, saying that God certainly is faithful (v. 6): His divine election has chosen some individual Israelites to be saved (vv. 6-13) and His mercy on some and hardening of others has been to proclaim His name in all the earth (vv. 14-18). Because He is greater than a potter, who is sovereign over his pottery, God’s sovereign election is just (vv. 19-23). Further, His mercy and hardening was also for the purpose of folding Gentiles into His salvation plan (vv. 24-26) — a plan foretold in the OT.
This morning Paul comes back directly to the issue of the Israelites and their salvation and states that their rebellion and the salvation of a remnant was foretold in the Old Testament; the plan of God has not changed or been circumvented, but things are going exactly as God designed. We can say the theme of vv. 27-29 is —
God’s elective salvation is always merciful and faithful — even to rebellious Israel.
How is God’s elective salvation a demonstration of God’s faithfulness and mercy to Israel?
- In His Mercy, God Has Chosen a Remnant of Israel for Salvation (v. 27)
- In His Mercy, God Will Accomplish His Choice of Israel (v. 28)
- In His Mercy, God Spares His People from Just Wrath (v. 29)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 9:27-29.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.