TEACHER:  Ken Hicks

SCRIPTURES: Romans 9:13-33

BOTTOM LINE:   The Justice & Mercy of God’s Election:  What Does That Mean?                                

QUESTION: Is There Any Injustice by God?

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IS THERE ANY UNJUSTICE FROM GOD?  Romans 9:14-15 “14  What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 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.’

I think one of the things Paul is getting at here is that Democracy very well may not be the best form of Government when it comes to the Things of God.  When we serve God, we serve our Heavenly Father … our Sovereign King … who sits on the throne!

Illustration:  Simon Says vs. God Says 

Paul says … Is there injustice in God? Certainly Not!   JUSTICE is an issue of Law & TruthMERCY is a question of Choice!

What Paul is telling us is the Gospel is about MERCY!   In the context of what Paul had just shared w/ them in the 1st 8 chapters of this letter, we are all under the Power of Sin. So, according to The Law, we are all Guilty. And the JUSTICE of God is that we find ourselves rightly under His Sentence.

And ANY time we try to declare ourselves Not Guilty … we’re not hearing and reading and experiencing the truth of God’s Word. We’ve got to abandon ANY idea of a Good Work … or Good Gift … or anything else that would be Good Enough… and trust instead in the MERCY of God … our King … which was shown to us ultimately in the Person and Work of Jesus.

 

WHY DOES GOD STILL FIND FAULT?

Paul begins this section w/ the question that arises … if all that is true … And God is a God of Justice … and a God of Mercy … Then why does God still find fault?

What Paul is saying here: there’s a part of us that even to question God and His Justice vs. His Mercy sort of risks creating some tension in our relationship w/ Him.  Paul goes so far as to say that God has a right to govern us … and in the end … God is God alone.  When we deal w/ Him as a creator, we do so in the lens of how we deal with our Creator!

 

WHY IS ISRAEL IN THIS SITUATION WHERE IT SEEMS THAT GOD IS NOT HAVING MERCY ON THEM?

And I think Paul’s answer is because Israel are a People Group who pre-Jesus, were pursuing righteousness thru the Law God gave Moses.   But in the Big Picture, what God really desires is to put your Trust and Faith in God, just like Abraham did.

 

APPLICATION:  

We have this unusual situation in that the Gentiles, they weren’t in pursuit of Righteousness.  They actually experienced Righteousness by Faith.  They trusted God … in that what God said was the right thing to Trust … THEY TRUSTED.

God sent His Only Son Jesus.  He lived a perfect life, suffered a brutal death, and was raised to live again just as God has promised.  In that … the King overflowed His Mercy … Sin was stamped PAID IN FULL.

For the Gentiles, They trusted in the Death of Jesus alone.  It was Jesus + Nothing … to experience Peace, Forgiveness and Restoration w/ God.

 

Paul uses this word here that causes some tension … ELECT … and the ELECT part isn’t what causes the tension, because that just leans into the concept of Choosing.

Every 4 years in our country … we ELECT a new President … but when it comes to this passage of Scripture, and we think about the ELECT of God … it’s much more difficult.

… and there’s really 2 main views …

FORE-KNOWLEDGE or Prescient VIEW: teaches that God, through His omniscience, knows those who will in the course of time choose of their own free will to place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation. On the basis of this divine foreknowledge, God elects these individuals “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4)

AUGUSTINIAN VIEW: which many call Calvinist, which essentially teaches that God not only divinely elects those who will have faith in Jesus Christ, but also divinely elects to grant to these individuals the faith to believe in Christ. In other words, God’s election unto salvation is not based on a foreknowledge of an individual’s faith, but is based on the free, sovereign grace of Almighty God. God elects people to salvation, and in time these people will come to faith in Christ because God has elected them. This was the view held by the early church fathers at the time of the reformation.

The difference boils down to this: who has the ultimate choice in salvation—God or Man? In the first view [The Prescient View], man has control; his free will is sovereign and becomes the determining factor in God’s election. God can provide the way of salvation through Jesus Christ, but man must choose Christ for himself in order to make salvation real.

In The Augustinian View, God has control; He is the one who, of His own sovereign will, freely chooses those whom He will save. He not only elects those whom He will save, but He actually accomplishes their salvation. Rather than simply make salvation possible, God chooses those whom He will save and then saves them. This view puts God in His proper place as Creator and Sovereign.

It’s puzzling.  In fact, Deutoeronmy 29:29 actually tells us there are some thing we are not to understand … and this may be one of them.   I think it’s clear here that Paul certainly would have held the 2nd view … and that’s what he taught.

But 1 thing there is no debate over … and I think it’s the over-arching theme of this entire passage … and that’s this … GOD IS IN CONTROL!   GOD and God Alone is Sovereign.

All God’s Promises are rooted in this truth, and so no matter what View we truly lean into here, bottom line is we need to acknowledge God is on the Throne.  God is the one who can extend Mercy, and we are to be broken for those who stand before God … Guilty … and apart from God … and we need to tell EVERYONE about Jesus!

God will sort the rest of it out … and we’re ok w/ that.