It’s great to be Back in the House of the Lord, Amen? It’s great to be here live and in person with all of you our Living Water Church Family! And it’s great to be with all of you watching online as well. We pray that you are all well and in good health, Glory to God!
When we had our installation here, Pastor Bret our District Superintendent said something to me that I hope I never forget. He held up a Bible to me and said, “Being a Pastor Is thirsty work!” “Drink from this well, drink long and drink often.” Now more than ever it is so important that we as a church Drink long and drink often. We must know his word, or we will be led astray. We must have a right view of God to know Him. We must have a right view of scripture. And we must have a correct view of sin in order to ensure that we have the correct view of God’s holiness. Last week we saw how Paul was grieved by Israel’s rebelliousness. And despite Israel’s divine prerogatives and legacy they strayed from God. The New Testament Jews had largely rejected Christ and were lost in darkness.
In our text today, Paul is confronting a fallacy that aims to discredit God’s faithfulness.
My prayer today is that by hearing this message together (you and me) we will understand God’s word more clearly and in such a way as to receive in our very core the realization that God is faithful, and His word is true. That the certainty of his sovereign choice will bring us hope and great joy. If you have your Bibles today will you join me as we turn to Romans chapter 9, starting with verse 6.
It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”Romans 9:6-13
10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections/points in order to share them with you today. Let’s take a look at my first point.
God’s Word Is Always True
It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”Romans 9:6-9
The Issue right off the bat here is this idea that because Israel had rejected Christ, Somehow God’s promise to Abraham not being honored. That in some way God was not being faithful to His word. Paul, Is again doubling down on previous statements regarding who is actually a Jew.
“…For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.’Romans 9:6
A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.Romans 2:28-29
Paul continues to expand his thought to include who qualifies as Abrahams descendants. To whom God’s promise is directed. And exactly who are God’s children.
“Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did.John 8:39
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.John 8:42
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.John 8:44
To bring in the Old Testament context into play, it goes like this…
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.Exodus 20:4-6
Not all of Israel were to take hold of the promise.
For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”Romans 9:9
The promise was to be passed through Abraham, Isaac, to Jacob. Not Ishmael, though God promised him something different. Not Esau. God’s selection was pretty clear. But Jacob, who’s sons became the 12 tribes who would become Israel. Not all descendants of Abraham. God’s promise is still and always will be intact.
Why are these things so important? I’m so glad you asked. Continuity between Old and New Testaments, If there is no continuity the author cannot be God. Right view of God gives hope and security. Right view of sin brings a right view of His holiness. Understanding the basis of God’s character and His promises sheds light into how we know him on our level.
As a father, if I don’t make myself clear to children how can they know me? If I don’t offer my children hope and security how can I be a good father? If I don’t keep my word to my children or behave honorably, how will they grow to trust me. If any of these principles are off kilter will my children ever have a right view of who I am, or what I stand for. We must see God correctly. As a result of knowing the right view of God, we will know that God’s word is always true.
Let’s move to my final point.
God’s Choice Is Always Sovereign
Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”Romans 9:10-13
Let’s set this up right, God does not select one to love and one to hate God loves all of His creation and desires that none should perish and that all would have eternal life. Rather God in His foresight knows who will serve him and who will reject his ways. God’s call on the individual is different from one to another. Like Cain, Esau became envious of his brother holding murder in his heart. We must know that God’s choice is sovereign. He makes the rules. We must not look at one another’s calling with envy and pride. But with Joy knowing that God’s choice is good.
In John Chapter 21 Jesus is walking with Peter and John.
Jesus is talking to Peter, indicating the type of death by which Peter would glorify God, Peter then looks at John and asks, “what about John?” To which Jesus replies,
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”John 21:22
God plan is His own, and His choice Is sovereign.
When I was in the earlier days of Bible College, many times we would be gathered around talking about what our future ministries might look like. Some were already pastors, and I thought, wow! Some would say I know God has called me to this or that. I wished I could be that confident in my calling. And It was really hard to not question God’s plan or timing. I didn’t even know if I could be a pastor. But I knew that I wanted to serve God and I would purpose myself to be content with whatever God had for me. What If I had grabbed onto someone else’s calling? What if I tried to make my own timing?
God has made some promises to you… and His word is always true. God’s choice for you and your calling is sovereign and it belongs to Him. We can trust God for direction in our life. We can trust God for the leading of our children’s lives. We don’t have to try to manipulate things and control outcomes.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.Jeremiah 29:11
God is true to his word and He is a promise keeping God, amen? This ought to earth shattering good news to somebody here. This means that if God has remembered his promises past and present, then we can surly trust Him to make good on the future.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
Our translation to glory in His presence in Guaranteed. Whatever state we are in God’s promise of resurrection and glorification is guaranteed!
Here’s the question… Will you open your hearts to Jesus, the Son of the living God, and receive what your heavenly father has for you? Will you call on him today? Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today?
Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late.
It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.
Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.
“‘“The Lord bless youNumbers 6:24-26
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’