Monday, November 13, 2023

2023.11.13 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 9:10–13

Read Romans 9:10–13

Questions from the Scripture text: How does Romans 9:10 convey the idea that this is a new part of the reasoning? Who conceived? By how many fathers? Whose father? What hadn’t happened to the children (Romans 9:11)? What hadn’t they done? What was the cause, then—that what should stand? According to what had God purposed? What does not bring about that purpose? What does bring about that purpose? What promise was made to whom (Romans 9:12)? What does Malachi record about that promise (Romans 9:13)?

What determines who gets saved? Romans 9:10–13 prepares us for the sermon in the midweek prayer meeting. In these four verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that God’s loving choice is what determines who gets saved.

Who doesn’t determine who will believe in Christ. In Romans 9:6-9, the Spirit taught us that there is a distinction between the visible church and the invisible church, between those who are children of the flesh and those who are children of God. The invisible church, the children of God, are those who have their adoption through faith in the promised Seed, Jesus Christ.

But that prompts another question: how is it that some who are in the church come to believe in Jesus Christ, when there are many in the church who never believe?

Romans 9:10 quickly dismisses the idea that the difference is determined by the parents. Esau and Jacob not only had the same father, but the same mother, coming into the world in the same season of their lives.

And Romans 9:11 quickly dismisses the idea that the difference is determined by the children. The children weren’t even born yet. They had done nothing, either one way or the other, to distinguish one from the other.

Who does determine who will believe in Christ. So, if it wasn’t due to the parents, or due to the children, then who? “that the purpose of God according to election might stand.” Election is first: God setting His love upon some. Then came a purpose according to that election: to bring a Redeemer into the world, the Seed that was promised to Abraham and came through Isaac, and to bring the elect to faith in that Redeemer.

Whenever someone comes to faith, it is because this purpose of God must stand. Notice that this purpose is according to election, not reprobation. Those who are reprobate bring wrath upon themselves, but God drives history not with an eye to His wrath but with an eye to redeeming those whom He loved from all eternity.

How the purpose is made to stand. So, how is this purpose brought about? It is not by works. By the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified (cf. Romans 3:20). Rather, God calls to faith (Romans 9:11) by the preaching of the promise, and He gives faith to those whom He calls, so that they believe Him (cf. Romans 10:14–16).

In Malachi, God addressed wicked Jacob with a Word that would bring salvation, because of His love for him whom He would bring to faith—even though Esau/Edom had been justly hated (Romans 9:13, cf. Malachi 1:2–3), and the faith-giving promise of redemption was not preached there (cf. Romans 9:4).The Old Testament closed with a word of hope offered to a sinful people because God Himself would come in a day of salvation in which He turns hearts by the calling of His Word (cf. Malachi 4:5–6).

What opportunity do you have when you hear preaching? How is this reflected in the frequency and attentiveness with which you hear preaching? Who can make that opportunity effectual to you? How do your prayers reflect this desire?

Sample prayer: Our gracious God and heavenly Father, we thank You that You give faith, by Your call, according to Your love. Grant unto us that faith by Your Spirit, we ask, through Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH426 “How Vast the Benefits Divine”

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