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Understanding Salvation Part 1

Updated: Oct 15

October 1, 2023



Sermon # 13: Understanding Salvation

Part 1

Romans 9:6-13

It has been said that life is nothing more than a glorified beauty contest that chooses between the ugly and the beautiful. Think about it for a moment. What controls your choice when you select between…

  • A colorful flower or a plain plant?

  • An attractive person or a homely person?

  • A rich and famous person or a poor person down in the gutter?

  • A well-dressed person or a person dressed in outdated and ill-fitting clothing?

To be perfectly honest, all of us have been trained or geared to favor what looks the best. Thankfully, God has not bound Himself to this kind of thinking. If he chose what was the best, none of us would stand a chance of being saved. On what basis does God offer salvation to man? If you are a true believer, why on earth did He save you? This is a startling passage, a passage that should awaken many a person to his true relationship with God. In no uncertain terms, this passage declares just who the children of God are.

Paul wants his Jewish readers to understand that salvation is a divine experience. That is, it always begins and ends with God. He is the origination, continuation and culmination of our faith, Heb. 12:2. It is all God all the way! In these verses, Paul seeks to explain to us the divine sovereignty of salvation. He wants us to know without a doubt, that God is in absolute control of the salvation of people’s souls. We need to look at two movements to help us understand salvation. Part 1 of this lesson is Divine Selection.


In these verses Paul teaches us that the matter of who is chosen by God is a decision that begins and ends with God Himself!!!

Understanding salvation is not based on ancestry or actions.

  1. A word about position v. 6b-10 – Paul is saying, just being a part of the nation of Israel does not mean that one is saved. In other words, it is not about family. Just because a person was a descendant of Abraham did not make that person right with God. Isaac and Ishmael were two sons of Abraham by different mothers, Sarah, and Hagar. Both were sons of Abraham, but only Isaac, the son of Sarah, was the son of promise. Only one was chosen by God to carry forth His divine purposes.

We need to remember that because you descended from a strong Christian heritage does not guarantee you a home in Heaven when you die. You must be born again, by faith, for yourself or you will not be saved. You simply can’t ride into heaven on another’s coattails!!!!!

  1. A word about performance v. 11a – In His sovereignty, God chose Jacob over Esau before he was born to be the ancestral line of true Jews. This means God doesn’t choose or save anyone based on race, birth order, or works. It is a choice based solely on God’s sovereignty.

We might as well be reminded this morning that our good works and self-righteousness will never produce salvation for our souls.

  1. A word about purpose v. 11b-13 – These verses tell us the truth that salvation is not based in our family or in our works, but it is based solely on the will of the Father! Family and works are worth nothing in the arena of getting you saved, the purpose of the Father means everything.

Many are bothered by the words of Malichi 1:1-3, quoted in verse 13 by Paul. What does it mean that God “hated” Esau? When one reads the account of Jacob and Esau in Genesis, there is no indication of divine hatred. Malachi is condemning the wickedness of the Edomites, the descendants of Esau. God is not saying he chose to love one individual and hate another. God always hate sin but loves the sinner.

Another way you can look at this statement, “Esau I hated.” This does not mean to hate in the sense of despising. It is merely a deliberate decision on the part of God for Jacob to be the child of promise instead of Esau. There is no personal feeling involved. Esau has done no wrong to merit God’s disapproval. Neither had Jacob done any good to merit God’s approval. It is merely the right of God to choose Jacob over Esau. It is critical to note that God was always choosing the younger son over the oldest son throughout the Old Testament. He did so for a specific purpose: God was illustrating that man was to receive His promises by grace. Man’s law and efforts gave inheritance to the oldest son; therefore, God chose the younger son over the oldest. God overruled man’s law and efforts by giving the promise and inheritance to the younger son, for the younger son was not appointed by men to receive it nor did he deserve it. The younger son received the promise and the inheritance only by the mercy and grace of God. Note one thing: God’s Divine Selection is His purpose for salvation.

God made His choice of Jacob (1) before the boys were born and (2) apart from personal merit demonstrates that election unto spiritual life is unrelated to any human effort and is based only on the authority of God, who makes his selection.

One of life’s greatest mysteries is this: God did not save you on the basis of your earthly citizenship nor the color of your skin. He did not save you because of a godly parent or friend. Salvation was not given because of anything you did nor anything you had to offer to God. God sent Jesus Christ to save you because He wanted to call you His son or daughter. It was a sovereign choice made by a sovereign God for an eternal purpose.

Responsive Reading: Romans 9:6-13

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