Connect Recap Notes: November 10, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "God, the Jew, and You
Text: Romans 9:1-26Path
We now come to the third major section of Paul's letter to the Romans that reveals God's plan for Jew and Gentile. The early church in Jerusalem was entirely Jewish, but by this point, in most other parts of the world, it had become predominantly non
-Jewish. But if God made so many promises to the Jewish nation, does that mean those promises are all now annulled? How does Israel's rejection of Jesus as Messiah fit into God's sovereign strategy, and where do we fit in?
- God's Pick Is Israel (vv. 1-5)
- God's Preference Is Independent (vv. 6-13)
- God's Plan Is Impeccable (vv. 14-18)
- God's Purpose Is Inclusive (vv. 19-26)
God's Pick Is Israel (vv. 1-5)
- The Bible is the record of how God makes and keeps promises. There are 31,173 verses in the Bible and 7,487 of those are God's promises to man. Most early Christians were Jews; now the church is mostly Gentiles, but God's promises to the Jews are not void. God chose the Jewish nation to reveal Himself, His plan, and His Son.
- Notice these key phrases in the text: the adoption: see Exodus 4:22; Deuteronomy 7:6; the glory: God's shekinah, which was in the cloud and the tabernacle (see Exodus 24:16 and 40:34); the covenants: with Abraham, with Moses, and with David; the giving of the law: special revelation (the Old and New Testaments except two books); the service of God: the priesthood and system of sacrifice; the promises: the land, the eternal kingdom, and the Messiah; the fathers: Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, and the twelve tribes.
- God's greatest promise to the Jewish nation was the Messiah; salvation came to the Jews through a Jew.
God's Preference Is Independent (vv. 6-13)
- God's promises didn't fail; some Jews believed and are part of God's remnant. The rejection of Jesus by the majority does not negate His promise to the minority. Salvation is not based on physical descent or human merit; it is by grace through faith in Christ.
- The Bible tells us both election and choice are true, both sovereignty and free will are at work. God predestines people and calls them, yet people must choose God and decide to believe.
God's Plan Is Impeccable (vv. 14-18)
- Election is always a matter of grace. If God saved people only on the basis of righteousness and justice, no one would be saved (see Exodus 33:19).
- If you don't think punishment is fair, consider the crucifixion, which wasn't fair to Jesus, but the Father loved the world so much that He gave His Son so people can be saved.
- Paul used the illustration of Pharaoh, who hardened his own heart ten times, and whose heart God hardened—made firm—ten times. If a person hardens their heart against God, He will confirm their choice.
- Hell was never meant for humans (see Matthew 25:41), but people can choose to go there. If someone wants nothing to do with God, God will not force Himself on them.
God's Purpose Is Inclusive (vv. 19-26)
PracticeConnect Up: God's election is a difficult doctrine. Many people wonder, If God is love, why doesn't He save everyone? God is more than exclusively love; He is also holy, just, righteous, etc. God is all His attributes. Therefore, sin cannot go unpunished. Take a moment to discuss some of the attributes of God that lead to His righteous judgment of sin:
- If you respond to God's offer of salvation, you'll discover He's been calling you (see John 6:37). If you receive Jesus, you'll find He chose you from before the foundations of the world (see Ephesians 1:4). Think of it as God throwing a rope to a drowning person: that person must grab the rope and be pulled in by the One who saves. God draws us to Himself through election, but we must choose to grab hold of the rope.
- You must receive Jesus as Lord. Spiritual life does not come by physical birth but through spiritual birth. God's plan includes you; do your plans include Him?
- Jesus said, "The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out" (John 6:37), so invite Him into your life and "[cast] all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
Connect In: The church consists of undeserving people saved by God's grace (see Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8). How does the big picture of God's sovereignty in salvation relate to Israel and the church? How do you understand the difference between the Jewish people and the church?
- The holiness of God: He is perfect and set apart from His creation. The justice of God: all of God's judgments are infinitely and perfectly just. The wrath of God: God's moral character leads Him to judge and punish unrighteousness. The jealousy of God: God will not share our passion and affection with anyone or anything else.1
Connect Out: How can the doctrine of election inspire you to reach out to unbelievers? Discuss the following quotes. How do you think unbelievers would respond to them? Do you think these quotes are effective for evangelizing? Why or why not?
- "God chose me for Himself, but the devil chose me for himself. My choice is the tie-breaker." —D.L. Moody
- "Election does not obliterate human responsibility. Each person is held responsible before Almighty God as to what they will do with His Son." —Daniel Wallace
- "Your damnation is your own election, not God's." —Charles Spurgeon
1 "List of God's Attributes," http://www.theattributesofgod.org/list-of-attributes.html, accessed 11/9/19.