October 8, 2023
SERMON SERIES: GOD’S WORLDWIDE PLAN FOR EVERY PERSON
BOOK OF ROMANS
Sermon # 13: Understanding Salvation
When was the last time you got into an argument with God…and won? It is silly, but men argue with God every day. Over the course of time, men have accused God…
· Of not being fair (“How could a loving God ever send someone to hell?”)
· Of holding back His love (“If God really loved me, He would never have allowed this to happen to me.”)
· Of being out of control (where is God when nations are at war?”)
· Of being out of touch with modern society (“Times have changed since Bible days. It is unrealistic to judge men based on ancient, outdated laws.”)
Make no mistake about it: God is in control of our world. Despite God’s being blamed for many of man’s problems. Scripture is true: the problem is not with God. The problem is with man and his sin. Understanding Salvation: Last week’s lesson: Part 1: Divine Selection. Today’s lesson: Part 2: Divine Sovereignty.
II. DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY v. 14-29
Is God righteous, that is, just (v. 14)?
Paul’s question is shocking: Is there unrighteousness with God? Remember what it was that caused this question. The matter of salvation being based in nothing, but the selection of God bothers many people. God went against all the laws of men in the ancient world, the laws governing the inheritance left to children. According to man’s law, the oldest son was to receive the inheritance; however, in dealing with Isaac’s children, God announced that the oldest son, Esau, would serve the younger son, Jacob. Jacob was God’s choice to inherit the promise made to Abraham and Isaac and note God chose Jacob even before the children were born (Ro. 9:10-13).
The question is this: Can God elect men, favor, and disfavor men, and still be righteous and just? Can God choose and reject men even before they are born and still be righteous and just? Is there unrighteousness with God?
God forbids!!! It could never be!!! It is utterly impossible for God to be unrighteous and unjust.
A. God’s Right v. 15-18 – God shows mercy as he wills. He has mercy and compassion upon whom He wills. Therefore, if God chooses to show mercy to people, he has the right to do so even when men and women do not deserve it.
Paul draws our attention back to Exodus 33:19, (v. 15&16). When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the Law, the Israelites had given themselves over to idolatry. Moses called for those who were on the Lord’s side to join him. The Levites did so. These faithful men were commanded to slay the rebels and they killed 3,000 men that day. Rightly, all the wicked Israelites should have been killed, but God, in His sovereignty only allowed 3,000 to die as a warning to the rest. Justice demanded that all be killed, but grace saved some anyhow.
Then, we are called to look at the case of Pharoah (v.17). God overruled Pharoah’s evil and used it for the good of His people (Ro. 8:28). God used Pharoah’s evil to demonstrate His own sovereign power and to declare the name of God throughout all the earth.
The point is this: Pharaoh was a very sinful and evil man; therefore, God demonstrated His justice in Pharaoh. God executed justice upon Pharaoh because of his evil. God is God; therefore, he has the right to execute justice as He wills.
B. God’s Reason v. 19-24 – Now, Paul anticipates another objection that might be made by his readers. If salvation is the sole work of God, then what right does He have to condemn those who are not saved?
· Man has no right to reply against God, no right to accuse God of being unrighteous and unjust. Any person who replies against God has too low a view of God and too high a view of man. How can a creature who has been formed by God say to God, “Why have you made me like this?”
· God’s right over man is as the potter’s right over clay
· My friends, as long as natural man looks into the things of God, there will always be a tension between God’s sovereign will and His requirement of faith for salvation.
· God knows in advance what we will do, but it is still our choice. God does not “pre-program” us; that’s why we are responsible for our actions.
C. God’s Remnant v. 25-29
· The chosen people of God are from other nations as well as from Israel. The Jewish prophet Hosea predicted this fact (Hosea 2:23; v. 25).
· The chosen are the small remnant of Israel. The great prophet Isaiah predicted this (Isaiah 10:22-23; v. 27).
· Isaiah also predicted that God would leave a seed of believers in Israel (Isaiah 1:9; v. 29). Paul writes if it were not for God’s love and mercy the Israelites would be like Sodom and Gomorrah, which were completely destroyed because of their wickedness. If God had not spared a remnant of faithful believers, all of Israel would have been destroyed.
· God will always have a remnant of true believers!
Responsive Reading: Romans 9:14-29