Romans 9 – Pt. 4

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,[b] but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

VS 14: Paul was seeking to stop anyone from interpreting his statements in a way that would make it look like God was unfair in His dealings with man. God can extend mercy to an individual without treating others unjustly. Just as in the parable that Jesus gave in Matthew 20:1-16, God treats everyone fairly, but to some He chooses to give extra mercy. Does that mean He is unjust? Not at all.

If God chooses to call individuals to account for their actions and choices they have made of their own free will, He is completely justified to do that at any time. In Luke 13:1-9, Jesus mentioned the people whom Pilate had killed and mingled their blood with the sacrifices, and the people on whom the tower in Siloam fell and were killed. He raised the question (Luke 13:2 and 4), “Were these people worse sinners than others to suffer this judgment?” He answered His own question by saying that all of them deserved such judgment, but God in His mercy had spared them.

He then immediately followed that with the parable about the man with an unproductive tree in his vineyard. He was going to cut down this dead tree and replace it, but the vine dresser interceded for the tree. The owner then gave him some extra time to see if he could revive itVS. Likewise, people all deserve judgment, but through things such as the intercession of others, God will sometimes show extra mercy to certain individuals.

However, if He chose not to extend mercy to anyone and He called everyone’s accounts due, He would be completely justified in doing so. It’s His choice. God has never brought judgment on anyone without being righteous in doing so. Likewise, He has never extended mercy to any individual that made His treatment of someone else unfair.

VS 16: There is a very subtle trap that many people who have been used of God fall into. They see what God has accomplished through them, and they begin reasoning, “God must use me because of my great faithfulness.” But that is not the case. God has never had anyone qualified working for Him yet. God is a lot more merciful than we are faithful.

Commentary: awmi.net

Romans 9 – Pt. 3

 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!

VS 12: There is no record in Scripture that the individual Esau ever served the individual Jacob. However, Esau’s posterity (Edomites, Genesis 32:3) did serve Jacob’s posterity (1 Chronicles 18:13). Although Paul was making reference to the actual birth of these two individuals, the prophecy given to Rebekah and its fulfillment were referring to the nations that came from these men.

VS 13: God did not hate Esau and love Jacob while they were still in their mother’s womb. He did choose Jacob over Esau as the inheritor of Abraham’s blessing before they were born, but Esau could have walked with God and have been blessed by God if he had chosen to do so.

Malachi 1:2-3 says, “I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau.” This was written in approximately 557-525 B.C., thousands of years after the birth of Esau and Jacob, so this is not speaking of God hating Esau at birth. There is no mention in Scripture that God hated the individual Esau. This reference to Esau was referring to the nation of Edom (Esau’s descendants) in the same way that the term Israel often referred to the entire nation of Israel, not the individual (Genesis 32:28). God was saying that He had rejected the nation of Edom and had chosen the nation of Israel.

Paul quoted from Malachi, not to show that God hated Esau and loved Jacob while they were still in their mother’s womb, but rather to confirm that the choice God made before they were born, based on His foreknowledge (see note 1 at Romans 8:29), was the right choice. Jacob went on to become a mighty man of God, and Esau despised the things of God. God’s choice of Jacob didn’t cause this to happen. This quotation from Malachi simply confirms that God’s foreknowledge was accurate.

Jacob was called to a higher position than his brother, Esau, before they were born, but that does not display any rejection of Esau on God’s part. That is comparable to God choosing certain people to be pastors while others are called to be deacons. The deacons are not inferior to the pastors. They are simply called to different positions. Jacob and Esau were called to different positions before they had done any good or evil, to illustrate that election was not based on performance but choice.

Commentary: awmi.net

Romans 9 -Pt. 2

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—

VS 6: Paul had just expressed a compassion for the Jewish race that was so strong that he was willing to be damned in their place if that would have produced their salvation. As he said in Romans 9:2, this produced “great heaviness and continual sorrow.”

According to Romans 9:4-5, one of the reasons he longed for the salvation of the Jews so intensely was because he himself was a Jew and he was acutely aware that Christ was the Jewish Messiah. How ironic it was that Jesus came unto His own and His own received Him not (John 1:11). Here Paul began to relate the reasoning that had enabled him to cope with the Jews’ tragic rejection of Jesus.

The promises made to Abraham and his descendants were not made to his physical descendants but to his spiritual seed (Romans 9:6-8). Therefore, the true people of God have not rejected their Messiah. There is a body of believers comprised of believing Jews and Gentiles, and they are the true Israel of God. To back this up, Paul cited the two Old Testament examples of Isaac (Romans 9:9) and Jacob (Romans 9:10-13) to illustrate how the blessing of God was not passed on through the normal method of inheritance but through election.

VS 8: Paul cited six Old Testament references to make his point that God’s promises to Abraham and his “seed” were made to the spiritual offspring of Abraham, not the physical.

First, Isaac was not the firstborn son of Abraham, entitled to the birthright and blessing, yet he obtained both because he was chosen by God. Next, Jacob was not the firstborn either, yet he was chosen by God. These two examples confirm that God’s promise was not inherited by birth.

Paul also pointed out that before Jacob and his twin brother, Esau, were born, God told Rebekah that the elder would serve the younger. They weren’t even born yet, so they had not done any good or evil that caused God to make this choice. This means that the blessing of Abraham was not obtained by individual performance either but was based solely on God’s choosing by grace.

VS 11: Paul was citing these Old Testament examples to show that those who were considered the children of Abraham were not his physical descendants, but they were chosen by God, in this case, before they were born. This proves God’s election is not based on birth or performance.

However, some people have interpreted this verse and the quotation from Malachi 1:2-3 in Romans 9:13 as an example of extreme predestination. They reason that Esau was hated by God before he was born. Therefore, some people are predestined by God for damnation, while some are elected to salvation before they are ever born. This means people have no choice in the matter. That is not what these verses are saying.

As explained, God’s predestination is based on His foreknowledge. Only those whom God foreknew would accept Him have been elected and predestinated. God did not force Jacob and Esau to make the choices they made. But through His foreknowledge, He was able to foresee who would respond to Him, and that is the one He chose.

Commentary: awmi.net

Romans 9 -Pt. 1

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

VS 1: Paul was going to great lengths to verify that what he was saying was the truth. This needed to be stated because Paul’s statement in Romans 9:3 would certainly have been interpreted as a hyperbole (exaggeration) if there had not been some clarification.

VS 2: This is not a contradiction to other statements by Paul (2 Corinthians 7:13; Galatians 5:22-23; Philippians 1:4, 18, 2:2, 18, 4:4; Colossians 1:24; 1 Thessalonians 3:9, 5:16; and Philemon 7). Paul did operate in the joy of the Holy Ghost, just as he told others to do. However, there was this continual heaviness and sorrow in his heart when it came to the unbelieving Jews.

This is comparable to those who have lost loved ones who were very dear to them. In the process of time, they “get over it” to the point that they may be considered very joyful people, but there is always that vacancy in their hearts. Similarly, Paul was rejoicing in the Lord, but he always had this great longing in his heart for the salvation of the Jews.

VS 3: What a statement! Paul was saying that he would go to hell in the place of the Jews if that would accomplish their salvation. This is nothing less than the perfect “AGAPE” love that Jesus demonstrated when He died for our sins.

Although this desire on Paul’s part is commendable, there is nothing that he could have accomplished that Jesus hadn’t already accomplished completely. Paul was specifically commissioned by the Lord to go to the Gentiles, yet we see him repeatedly going to the Jews, even after he said he wouldn’t do that anymore (Acts 13:14). Paul even went to Jerusalem, apparently against the instruction of the Holy Ghost, and was more than willing to lay down his life for the sake of the Jews (Acts 21:13). This illustrated his great love for the Jewish people as he was describing here.

Commentary: awmi.net

It is Finished!

Joseph Prince- Daily Grace Inspirations

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:30

Imagine looking at Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre museum. Would you think of adding more brush strokes to it? Of course not! It was done by a master, so what could you possibly add to the painting to improve it?

In the same way, that is how we are to look at Jesus’ work on the cross. He cried out, “It is finished!” You cannot complete a completed work. You cannot finish a finished work. Our salvation is won. Our sins are all forgiven. We are made forever righteous by His blood. Christ paid completely and perfectly for our total forgiveness, righteousness and every blessing!

In fact, these three words, “It is finished”, come from one Greek word teleo. In the days of Jesus, a servant would use it when reporting to his master: “I have completed the work assigned to me.” (John 17:4) The word means, “It is finished, it stands finished and it will always be finished!” Perhaps the most significant meaning of teleo is how it is used by merchants: “The debt is paid in full!” When Jesus gave Himself on the cross, He met fully the righteous demands of the law. He paid our debts in full!

Today, it is not our works that will bring us the blessings. It is Christ’s finished work. Christian living is not about doing, but believing in His finished work. Under the law, we must do. Under grace, it is done!

Maybe you are faced with overwhelming odds today. Jesus promises, “It is finished!” You are not going to be delivered because you have already been delivered. You are not going to be healed because you are already the healed! God healed you 2,000 years ago! Isaiah 53:5 declares, “By His stripes you are healed!” You are already pregnant with healing. Keep resting in His finished work and it will manifest!

My friend, the work is finished. The victory is won. Our enemies have been made His footstool. Our blessings have been bought by His blood! Live life knowing that there is nothing for you to do—only believe! It is finished!

Thought For The Day

It is believing in Christ’s finished work that will bring us the blessings.

”We Believe”

We Believe – Newsboys

In this time of desperation

When all we know is doubt and fear

There is only One Foundation

We believe, We believe

In this broken generation

When all is dark, You help us see

There is only One Salvation

We believe, We believe

We believe in God the Father

We believe in Jesus Christ

We believe in The Holy Spirit

And He’s given us new life

We believe in the crucifixion

We believe that He conquered death

We believe in the resurrection

And He’s coming back again, we believe

So let our faith be more than anthems

Greater than the songs we sing

And in our weakness and temptations, we believe…

Hide The Word in Your Heart

“And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.” Matthew 26:75

There are several Greek words used for “word.” The Greek word used here is RHEMA and it literally means, “a spoken word; an utterance, a saying, but specifically a spoken word appropriate for the situation.” It’s not the Bible lying on your coffee table that makes the enemy flee, but the Word of God hidden in your heart, activated by the power of the Holy Spirit, and spoken in the appropriate situation. It’s similar to what Jesus says in John 6:63, that “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”

The words that we speak from the written Word of God are empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Word by itself doesn’t make us free. It is the Word we know and speak that will deliver us (Jn. 8:32).

Why is the Word so effective? Because it is the WORD of God. It has authority, because it is indeed the WORD of God. God’s Word supersedes all authority of the church, of reason, of intellect, and even of Satan. That’s why it is so effective.

In Luke, chapter four, when Jesus was tempted of the devil for forty days, it was the Word of God that Jesus used to defeat the enemy at His temptation.

Jesus constantly met His temptation by quoting from God’s Word as He repeatedly stated the phrase, “It is written.” Likewise, the Christian soldier must avail himself of God’s Word by placing it in his heart so that the Holy Spirit may bring it forth at the appropriate time to accomplish a complete and total victory.

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You Have It All — In The Spirit

“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

The Bible presents salvation as a life transforming experience. Change is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a true believer. Yet, failure to understand that this change takes place in the spirit first, and then is reflected in our outward appearance through our thoughts and actions in direct proportion to the way we renew our minds, causes much confusion.

This change has to take place in our born-again spirit first. Why is that? If you were fat before you got saved, you will be fat after you get saved, unless you go on a weight loss program. Your body doesn’t instantly change and neither does your soul or mind.

It is your spirit that is instantly changed at salvation. It is perfect (Heb. 12:23). It cannot sin (1 Jn. 3:9). Everything that is true of Jesus is true of our born-again spirit. Your spiritual salvation is complete. At salvation, you receive the same spirit that you will have throughout all eternity. It will not have to be changed or cleansed again. It is sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13) and therefore, is sanctified and perfected forever (Heb. 10:10, 14; 12:23).

For the remainder of our Christian life, we must not try to obtain faith, joy or love from God, but rather release what we already have in our spirits (Gal. 5:22-23) into our soul and body. Failure to understand this has caused some people to despair when they don’t see sufficient change in their life after coming to the Lord for salvation. It must be understood that the change is internal in our spirit and the outward change will take place as we renew our minds through God’s Word.

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Fill up with God

“I in them, and you in me, that they may become perfectly one; so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them even as You loved Me.” – John 17:23

God loves us the same as He loves Jesus. A true revelation of this will quicken our faith and allow us to walk in the fullness of God. God’s love is the key that opens the door to everything that God is. “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8).

God’s love is not one dimensional. There is width, length, depth and height to it, which can only be comprehended through the revelation and knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Those who only have a superficial knowledge of God’s love are like a person who looks at a one dimensional picture of the real thing.

In Ephesians 3:19, Paul prays for us to know the love of God which passes knowledge. How can we know the love of God if it passes knowledge? This sounds like a contradiction. The Greek word that is translated “know” in this verse is GINOSKO, which is a verb expressing experiential knowledge. The Greek word that is translated “knowledge” is GNOSIS, which is a noun denoting the act of knowledge. Simply, Paul is praying that we will experience the love of God which passes mere knowledge of it.

Since a true revelation of God’s love makes us full with the fullness of God, then a lack of being full of God must mean that we lack understanding and experience of God’s love. The end result of having understanding and experiential knowledge of God’s love is that we will be filled with all the fullness of God.

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