Friday, 13 October 2017

Romans 9: God's Sovereignty & Grace by Dr Thomas Chung dated 8.10.2017

Intro: Controversies arising from Romans 1-8
(i) Antinomianism (cheap grace) – Romans 5:20
(ii) Sinless perfection – ‘dead to sin” (6:11), “freed from sin” (6:7)
(iii) Hyper Calvinism – Absolute Sovereignty of God
       Hyper Arminianism – Responsibility of Man
(iv) Antisemitism – Anti Jew 
General Outlook of Romans 9, 10 and 11 
(a) One of the most bewildering problems that the Church has to solve – Salvation of the Jews
(b) The rejection of Jesus Christ – as the Messiah and the Son of God by the Jews
(c) The Apostle Paul did not and could not hate the Jews for he himself was a Jew
(d) The Jews were the chosen people of God and recipients of seven vital blessings from God 
(i) The Covenants (The Ways and Works of God are governed by   them)(Romans 9: 4-5)
(ii) The Temple (The Presence of God)
(iii)The Law (written with the fingers of God)
(iv) The Shekinah Glory (Pillar of Cloud and Fire)
(v) The Patriachs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David)
(vi) The Prophets (As God’s Spokemen)
(vii) Above all Jesus (God’s greatest gift to Man)
 Romans 9 
The Grace of God Operating in Predestination (Election)
 1: The Apostle Paul does not write in anger against the Jews, but in love for them and was prepared to sacrifice his all for their sake (vs1-3)
(a) The Ministry of Jesus
         (i) to the Jews – Mark 7:27
         (ii) of the old covenant – Matthew 5:17
(b) Predestination according to human logic appears to be unfairness on the part of God (Does God practise favouritism?)
(c) Romans 9 suggests that Predestination is actually the Grace of God in operation among the Jews under Old Covenant- God’s grace in predestination (election) upon the descendants of Abraham (i.e. Isaac and Jacob) even before they were born. (vs11)
    Note: Abraham was the first man to be called a Hebrew (Gen 14:13) , i.e. the first Jew
2: Two examples of The Grace of God in predestination (election) 
(a) Isaac and Ishmael (both sons of Abraham)
            Ishmael – born to Hagar (Egyptian slave woman), (Gen 16:4),
                               Abraham’s son of the flesh
            Isaac – born to Sarah (Abraham’s wife), (Gen 21:1-2),
                         Abraham’s son of Promise (vs7,8)
(b) Esau and Jacob   
         Esau was the older twin (vs12,13)
          “hated”- a relative term which means to love less ( Jewish NT)
 3: The tension of God hardening the heart of Pharaoh 
vs18 cf Exodus 10:1
Notes: The hardening of Pharaoh ‘s heart not only benefited those whom Pharaoh intended to harm (i.e. the Jews) but ultimately worked to the advantage of the Jews and their deliverance from Egypt.
    God used Pharaoh’s hardness of heart in order to demonstrate his glory
vs17 cf Exodus 9:16
The effect of Pharaoh’s hostility to the Jews accomplished the opposite of its   intent , for it resulted in the liberation of the Jews . (Romans 11:33 )
 4: Closing Thoughts in Conclusion 
(a) Romans 9 distinguishes between the Jewish nation (Israel) and the individual Jewish believer in Christ
             vs 6&7 , Romans 10:12,13;
           i.e. “Gentile and Jewish believers in Christ (under the same dispensation) are both saved under the New Covenant in Christ”
(b) Under the New covenant, the Spirit of the law (forgiveness , reconciliation through the death of Jesus can overcome the letter of the law which brings death and condemnation
     “….a new covenant , not in a written code but in the spirit, for the written code kills but the spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6)
(c)  The Old Covenant bleeds into the New Covenant because it also emphasizes the circumcision of the heart
(d) The key and climax for both Jew and Gentile is :
      Regeneration when God changes the heart ,
quickens the spiritual life
 instils in us a Passion for Jesus

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