May 9, 2017

Please use the comment section at the bottom of this page to share insights from today’s reading OR your own personal Bible reading.

Reading along with us in Romans? Here’s today’s reading:

Romans 9 (ESV)

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”… Continue Reading

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This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. God is over everything and in control as a potter with his clay, yet if we Pursue by faith you reach it, pursue by works and you stumble.

  2. Filling my journal with Scriptures that are leaping off the page for me this morning as Max MacLean reads Romans 1-9 to me and I read along. This is the theme the Holy Spirit is hammering home for me yesterday and today: God desires FAITH. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed — a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.'” (Romans 1:16-17)

    This comes to mind immediately:
    “Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.'” John 6:28-29

    Yes, the Holy Spirit — whom we receive when we at last recognize our need for a Savior to reconcile us to a holy and righteous God, and when we turn from our sin and place our full faith in Jesus Christ — produces/leads us to obedience to God (especially, I believe, when it comes to love for one another). But at first we are as newborn babies, little children, who must be taught how to obey our Father. Children don’t automatically obey, nor do they automatically know what their Father expects of them. And without being taught (by the graces God provides us for our “upbringing” — Pastor Peter talks about 5 of them), are we any less God’s children? No, we are children who don’t grow up (Hebrews 5:11-14). We are like adults we see in the world who continue to behave and live as adolescents.

    We get into deep trouble judging another’s faith by the obedience we see or don’t see, because Scripture testifies that we are measured by the same yardstick we judge another by (Matthew 7:1-5): in this case, “the yardstick of obedience.” What will I say when I stand before the Lord and He asks me about my judgment of another’s faith or lack thereof according to their level of obedience to Him? “Well, they should’ve been more obedient”? Or, “I obeyed MORE than so-and-so”? Horror! And will I strive today to be “more obedient” so I can justify my judgment of another, or so I can somehow “prove my faith by my obedience”? Prove to whom? Now I have become like a Pharisee!

    If we boast in anything but Christ, whether before God or man, our faith is corrupt.

    Thank you, Pastor Peter, for choosing Romans as our “next book” to read here. It’s amazing!

  3. Just finished Romans 9. The greatest confirmation of all so far that even our faith is a gift from God, according to His grace, according to the riches of HIS mercy, so that NO ONE can boast. He is the One who justifies.

    Paul reminds us that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. (See Exodus 4:21, 9:12, 10:1, 10:20, 11:10, and 14:8)

    Also: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so that they cannot see with their eyes, and understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them.” John 12:40 (from Isaiah 6:10)

    Romans 9:18: “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

    I plead with God to have mercy on those I love. And yet I ask, “Who am I, oh Lord, that You would have mercy on me?” I’m reminded of a Kris Kristofferson song: “Why Me, Lord?” — especially Johnny Cash’s version: https://youtu.be/pU5lH3iH6aQ.

    How I love You, Lord.

  4. I confess I have been negligent in reading the scriptures privately and more neglectful not to post here…so in the spirit of catching up..things that jumped out at me…
    -the care of Paul to be willing to forfeit his salvation for the sake of the Jews
    -and after discussing God’s purposes in election around Jacob and Esau and Pharoah, and explaining that any choice God makes is about His mercy any way…how does God address human argument or disagreement about the ways He handles things…who are you, oh man, to talk back to God. Awesome!!!
    SO our choice is either to accept and live in and under His sovereignty or try to fight against it, which is impossible..

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