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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « His Robes For Mine | Main | The Key to Resolving All Social Ills »

    Allowing Romans 9 to speak for itself

    bible06

    As the Apostle Paul transitions into what we now call Romans 9 we should recall that there were no chapter and verse divisions in the original text. He is not starting a new theme but answering the question … if (or rather, since) God has an elect people who can never be separated from the love of God (which is what Romans 8 has just stated), what happened with the Jews? Weren’t they God’s elect people too?

    History records that most of the Jews failed to recognize their own Messiah when He came… How can what Paul has written be true if God’s own people failed to receive Messiah when He came (and therefore are unsaved - Romans 10:1)? Hasn’t God’s promise failed to materialize for these people? What about the Jews Paul?

    Paul was no ivory tower academician who had merely great intellectual acumen but no heart felt concern for people. Paul had a very real sympathy and compassion for his fellow countrymen and if it were possible (which of course it was not) he would have forfeited his own salvation if it would mean that his own people would be redeemed. He felt the issue very deeply.

    Romans 9:1 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.

    The Jews had unique privileges which were enjoyed by no other people on earth. Paul lists eight distinct and unique benefits:

    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.

    Much time could be spent outlining all the things the people of Israel had going for them. So why is it that we observe such a great many Jews rejecting Messiah? Paul wants to answer that question and does so by stating in very categorical terms that God has not in any way failed to keep His promise.

    6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,

    Notice what Paul is doing here in this verse. He tells us that God’s word has not in any way failed and now explains WHY this is the case. The word “for” is used to show the reason why the word of God has not failed.

    Why has the word of God not failed?

    The answer: because “not all Israel is Israel” or “not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel.”

    That is quite a statement and one we must understand because Paul is about to take the next many verses to illustrate and prove this exact point.

    He is about to show us that it in biblical history, it has always been this way.

    More at this link.

    Posted by John Samson on July 14, 2013 02:12 AM

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