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Righteousness by Faith Is a Choice

Daniel Pel


“What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith” (Romans 9:30). Romans 9 reveals the role of faith and God’s sovereign plan and how the two meet. 


Daniel Pel

Speaker/Director of Living Water, Norway


  • October 8, 2017
    10:00 AM
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Heavenly father we have been we are gathered here together in anticipation that you will speak to us once again. We have opened our Bibles to Romans Chapter nine and Lord we ask that you will make this text clear for us. Lord we don't want to approach this book like any other text book thinking that we are capable in and of ourselves with our human wisdom to understand the things that you have revealed to us because your word itself says that spiritual things are spiritually discerned and so therefore we come before you this morning asking for your Holy Spirit asking that you will give us a spiritual mind to discern spiritual things help us look to understand what you desire to teach in the book of Romans and specifically now through Chapter nine we ask for your blessing and for your guidance in Jesus' name amen. A little bit of background before we dive into Romans Chapter nine. We've already mentioned it a couple of times here during the weekend that this is a special year. Commemoration of the Reformation five hundred years ago what was in many ways the beginnings of this reformation and here we are in two thousand and seventeen thinking back on what has happened through the Reformation now within the reformation movement there were really two streams two streams of the Reformation the one we can refer to as the mega Styria reformation and I explain a little bit in a moment what that means and the other stream of the Reformation we can refer to as the radical reformation now the Mecca Styria reformation where reformers like Martin Luther and swing lay and Calvin and what they believe this they they soul. Teachings from God's word that had been in darkness for a long time and so especially like Martin Luther he stood up and he preached and wrote about righteousness by faith then and many other subjects but as these reform. Got a foothold in the Europe then and as people started at hearing to their teachings they were still of the opinion that the state could to a certain degree control what people believed or did not believe now this was and this had been a problem throughout the centuries of the Dark Ages that with Popery it was such that the pope was not just a religious authority but he was also a stately authority and the state was in many ways opposing and persecuting those that believe differently than Rome Sadly as the Reformation broke out in Europe some of these traditional way of thinking that state and church were to be united still exists among some of these reform O's like if you look at if you study the life of John Calvin which was very he minister for a long time in the city of Geneva in Switzerland he sought to create there in a sense a church state where the state still had control and was cooperating united with the church. On the other hand you have what we could refer to as the radical reformation where there were movements and voices within Europe that said no we need a separation between church and state and this later really got traction when the Pilgrims and and such the Puritans and others moved to the United States and they established what we now know as the Bill of Rights where church and state is no longer one everyone has the freedom of conscience to decide who they are going to worship. But interestingly enough you see these two. Streams of the Reformation Now those that were at herring to what we could call the magma stereo Reformation also were very strong on the teaching of predestination sometimes also referred to as double predestination Now what is predestination or double predestination predestination it's basically saying that God as his first actual buttes of his character he is sovereign Now that's a biblical teaching that God is sovereign but in the teaching of predestination the sovereignty of God basically. Over rules everything else about his character and it basically says that God is sovereign and God determines everything before it happens also regarding those that are going to be saved and those that are going to be lost that's why they refer to it as double predestination because he doesn't just predestined those that are going to be saved but if you predestines that then he also must predestined those that are going to be loss of double predestination. Then you have those on the in the radical reformation movement that looked at that and said No we see from scripture Yes God a sovereign but God has given us a free will. God moves as as we make a decision for him righteousness by faith in absence is really a choice God has presented to us his law has presented to us his gospel but he is waiting for us to decide him based on our choice will be also the outcome of our destiny. Quite a debate emerged between these two streams of the Reformation. Actually also live a little bit interesting to note is that those that were part of the radical reformation also adhere to the belief which is actually a natural outgrowth of the east. Theologies they had here to the belief that a person should be baptized when they come to the age where they can actually make a decision for themselves regarding if they want to follow Jesus or not which I find very interesting because that's actually allowed a logical outgrowth of a belief of free will because in the predestination movement it was still the baptism of babies so you know they're there baptized right away as a baby and they are already part of the church that's no decision that they've made of their own they're basically predestined by their parents' choice but here we have in there in the radical reformation movement among others you have the Anabaptists that said no there is a free well and therefore people come must make their own decision and baptism must happen at an age where a rational decision can be made by the individual himself something else interesting that among the radical reformation movement was this idea of the separation between church and state again that fits very well with an under. A foundational belief all free well because if you believe that there is free Well the new then you cannot hear to the fact that a state would control the conscience so you see how a theology builds out of this very basic idea either of predestination the stream of the Reformation or. Radical reformation and the reason why it's referred to as a radical reformation is basically they took it a step further they want today a further separation from Rome and its erroneous traditions and ideas now those that belong to the magma steerable Reformation while we have. Calvin Martin Luther also believe in predestination these were great men that did a lot of good things a white refers to him as through them as bright bright shining lights in their time but it's also very clear if you read the book of the great controversy. She alludes to the fact that they also all only came to a certain point that the Reformation was to continue they had not seen yet everything they had come out of this dark thick and to Christ period of the Dark Ages It's like going through a long dark tunnel and eventually they're getting into the light but it was going to take some time for court for this biblical teaching to again come onto the scene fully and therefore the Reformation had to continue and. It's interesting. That the debate also continued as the Reformation continued and one of the main proponents of predestination would be John Calvin John Calvin was born in the year fifteen zero nine in France but he ministered for most of his life in Geneva Switzerland and he wrote extensively on the subject of dog got sovereignty and predestination so basically saying that nothing happens outside of God's providence and he helped to also the views of double predestination Now those that believed more and or in the free will among others was. Cobus Arminius and this is why the belief of free will is often referred to as Arminianism are many Unism and. Jacob are many of. Jacob Arminius he lived from fifteen sixty to sixty nine and interesting Lee enough he was Dutch She was a Dutch theologian interesting enough you see how out of that theological stream we we find emerging what we refer to a what we call today Methodism. Methodism was very strong for quite a period in England and one of the great preachers of the Methodist movement does anyone know who that was. Wesley That's right John Wesley and John Wesley he preached in in England and throughout England and. He was preaching this the theological understanding of the free will now out of Methodists we could say Adventists. Emerged we in many ways our denomination our movement stands on the shoulders of Methodism Alawite was a Methodist James White was a Methodist Actually I looked it up on the wikipedia and listen to what it says regarding Arminianism So this is a quote from Wikipedia on Arminianism which is interesting because it kind of traces where it came from and where it is active in which denominations today and it actually mentions Seventh Day Adventists it says the following. Many Christian denominations have been influenced by our many and views on the will of man being freed by grace prior to regeneration notably the Baptists in the sixteenth century the Methodists in the eighteenth century and the Seventh Day Adventist Church in the nineteenth century denominations such as the Anabaptists beginning in fifteen twenty five the walled then Sian's pre-Reformation and other groups prior to the Reformation have also affirmed that each person may choose the contingent response of either resisting God's grace or yielding to it I found that very interesting so you have here a stream of reformation where you find you know the wall then Xeon ZZ the Anabaptists the Methodists and the Baptists and now the seventh day adventists that are in this stream of the reformation where they say yeah got a sovereign Yes but God is also love and if there's anything that is at the very top of the list of what God. It is it is actually that he is love and love necessitates free will right love necessitates free will love must give a choice otherwise it cannot be love God in the beginning created all the angels but he didn't create them as robots he created them with the free well otherwise love would not exist love would be it would just be a programmed experience of the same when God created the first human beings he put in the middle of the Garden of Eden a Tree of Knowledge of Good and even he said you cannot eat of this tree they now were faced with a choice. And that test was necessary for love to exist otherwise again there would be no choice so we see it from in the very story of Scripture how love necessitates a choice. And that choice is a risk but it's a risk that is in this US necessary for love to exist so that's a little bit of background and now we're going to try to tackle Romans Chapter nine the chapter that Calvinists will use those that believe in predestination double predestination they will use Romans nine and let's see what it actually teaches and how can we find an understanding of the free will in this chapter we'll find out Romans Chapter nine beginning in verse one. Now Paul makes a little bit of a transition here we have in the course of our weekend their time together here we've looked at particularly Romans one we looked yesterday morning at Romans for us that evening we looked at Romans eight basically the first eight chapters of The Book of Romans is this panoramic step by step portrayal picture of the gospel truth the everlasting Gospel and as he is then given us this beautiful picture now he transitions into sharing his exile and sorrow for the fact that his own people Israel are not receiving this message that they of all people that have been the very recipients of God's grace and carried the oracles of truth for centuries they have rejected this very invitation and message so he says in verse chapter nine beginning in verse one he says I tell the truth in Christ's I'm not lying my conscience also bearing the witness in the Holy Spirit that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart for I could wish that I myself were a curse from Christ for my brother and my country men according to The Flash and when he says my brother and my country men he's talking about Israel he's talking about the Hebrews the Jews first for who are Israelites to whom pertain the adoption the glory the confidence the giving of the law the service of God the promises of who are the fathers and from whom according to The Flash Christ came who is over all the charnel a blast God. God Amen so here in the in the first few verses of chapter nine Paul is just bearing open his heart and saying I have really sorrow because this is the most punitive full message ever given and yet it is not received by the ones that it was first in trust that. Israel has rejected the Gospel at least at large there of course were individuals that received it but at large this nation hard in their hearts to this gospel invitation now that's how the chapter starts OK. Now we're going to make a little bit of a jump here and we're going to go to the end of the chapter and read the last versus Because in the last verses of chapter nine he comes back to this theme about Israel rejecting the Gospel and then we're going to look at everything that happens in between this whole idea of OK what what does it mean with predestination What does it mean with the sovereignty of God. Explained here in this chapter but go to the last verses verse thirty. Romans Chapter nine reading from verse thirty. Paul says What shall we say then and isn't that a kind of a question of conclusion like OK you've built a case right and then you say OK based on all that what shall we say then OK so he's coming to a conclusion. What shall we say then verse thirty the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained to righteousness even the righteousness of faith. And I want you to take notice of the key word faith and it's going to come back in verse thirty to faith so there are those that are experiencing God's. Mercy those of the Gentiles are experiencing His righteousness and they're experiencing it by faith verse thirty one but Israel pursuing the law of righteousness has not attained to the law of righteousness and then he asked the. And why verse thirty two because they did not seek it by what's the key word there again by. Faith so they did not seek it by faith as it were by the works of the law for they stumbled at the stumbling stone as it is written verse thirty three Behold I lie I lay and Zion a stumbling stone and rock of a fan and whoever believes on him will not be put to shame so Paul is saying that the Gentiles they're receiving the promise they're receiving the gospel the righteousness of God and how did they receive it encourage me now by the way they were they and they they receive that by faith but Israel was not receiving this great blessing of the Gospel at least not in large because they did not have what's the key word for a. Righteous life this by faith is a choice righteous by faith is a choice so those that originally did not receive all of these promises are now in this communion with God and this experience of the gospel because of say the Israelites that received all of these promises all of these oracles all of these revelations throughout the Old Testament are not in this experience with God because of faith that they did not have Ok so so Romans Chapter nine if you look at the first verses and you look here at the last verses we are already seeing where this argument is heading the argument is heading that righteousness by faith is actually a choice God did not predestined anything but he is actually giving his truth and then he's looking OK who is going to respond to it he wanted Israel to respond to it but at large they didn't now the Gentiles are responding to it and because of the faith the response he is able to work among them. So so that's the frame. Of Romans nine Now let's look at the actual content between these passages that we've just read go to Romans Chapter nine verse six and I'm going to admit right up front here before we get into this stuff that these are difficult passages if there are some passages in the Bible that I'm that I mean maybe most complex to understand I think Romans nine would be in the top five. These are not easy passages to understand these are true that we need to examine closely in order to come away with a right understanding of what God is saying but in the context of what we've already seen in the framework of Romans nine I think worth we're seeing a little bit where this is heading OK verse six I'm going to read verse Yeah I'll just read from verse six. But it is not that the Word of God is taken no a fact for they are not all Israel who are of Israel and that's actually a good good news so even though you know we have Israel at large rejecting it there are also some that are actually receiving this message this gospel truth. First seven nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham but in I secure seed shall be called that is in those who are the children of the flash these are not the children of God but the children of the promise are counted as the sea. For this is the word of promise first nine at this time I will come and Sara shall have a son so he actually referring here to remember how there was the promise we talked a little bit about this yesterday morning the promised son was Isaac but there is also another son remember who is that Ishmael so but then Paul is saying but God had a plan and God's plan will always succeed this is by the way a theme that runs through Romans nine very interesting whenever a man takes a detour and man makes and. Goes another way Romans nine is saying that God is so softer and God is so in control that even though we choose another way in the end God's will is going to happen no matter what's And and this comes already through in the passages we read in the beginning in the end regarding Israel even though Israel says all I reject I reject this truth God is not like oh I have a problem here no what happens is now the Gentiles receive it and running with it so even though it is sad that Israel rejected God God in the end his plan still comes to pass in that the Gentiles now have received the gospel the same here God has a plan for Abraham and Sarah to have a child together which is Isaac but there is a little detour because they make their own choices and there's a little detour Ishmael is born out of it comes a great nation but God is saying that in the end he sovereign his plan is going to stand no matter what madness choose says. Look at what it says in verse nine. Where this is the word of promise at this time I will comment Sarah shall have a son and not only this but when Rebecca also has conceived by one man even by our father Isaac or the children not yet being born nor having done any good or evil that the purpose of God according to election might stand not of works but of him who calls it was said to her the older shall serve the younger as it is written Jacob I love but Esau I hate I have hated Now what is referred to here Paul is referring to how God has a purpose and a plan and he had when when the tobacco was pregnant she had Remember she had twins and those twins were Jacob and Esau now all of a number of occasions in Romans Chapter nine is quoting the Old Testament and verse twelve is a quotation from the Old Testament and he says the old the shall serve the younger this is taken from if you go back this is actually taken from the verse Genesis Chapter twenty five and verse twenty three OK so it's a direct quotation from the Old Testament the older shall serve the younger and when they were born those twins who came out first. All right who came out second Jacob but what did Jacob do. He grabbed his heel that's why it's called the supplants or the name Jacob Seaver. And yet the younger he was the younger and yet God had already purposed that he would be the descend that he would carry on the lineage OK so this was pre-determined this was predestined this is what we can use the word predestination God is sovereign He predestined that the younger was going to serve the older that that Jacob was the chosen one here just like it was Isaac that was chosen was an issue male that was chosen it was Isaac that was chosen here it is Jacob that is chosen it's not it's not Esau that is chosen it's Jacob OK Now does this take away the fact that God has something against God has something against Esau Well no actually the Bible shows us that when Hagar and laugh because remember eventually they had to leave because of all the strife that existed between these two Psalms god add his blessing upon the Hagar and Ishmael or do they just die there in the wilderness when they laugh at. Last thing God said you know you will there will be an abundance of people that will come out of you and that is happen right so so God added his his blessing there in the same way if Esau had decided to be truthful to follow the ways of the Lord would God have blessed him. With got to bless them yes so so God did not from the very beginning just say OK I have something against you Esau and I'm going to make your life very miserable No he had the same opportunities of Jake to receive the message that God had given now would he be the one that would carry on the lineage no. God it already determined that's going to be Jacob but could he live a life in accordance with the Will and Way of God and at least live piece of piece of lay after the law of God Yes Yes Actually it's very interesting verse thirteen is also a quotation from the Old Testament look at her Romans nine verse thirteen it says as it is written Jacob I have loved but Esau I have hated that is a verse that does not come from Genesis and this is very important I was just thinking about this this morning like this this does not go back to Genesis does anyone know where this actually this first comes from. Malakai now OK Malakai Malakai last book in the. Old Testament when the Malakai live approximately how many years before Christ about four hundred years OK So we are here long long long long after Esau and Jacob's history in Genesis were like many many many many many years later OK So this is not a declaration at the outset of Esau's life it's not like Esau was born and God says I love jacob but I hate you now this was not a quotation that goes back to Genesis This is in Malakai which came WAY WAY later and Malakai reflecting upon the past and the things that have happened is referring to the fact that Esau made a bad decision many bad decisions his lineage made many bad decisions and actually the thing that God hates Here is the sin and the wickedness that came from Esau and his lineage and actually if you go back and we don't have time to cover that now but go back and read Malakai chapter one and you'll find out what God actually hates he talks about that Esau and the and the wickedness that came out of that nation that is what God hates that is what God here is opposed again we must look at this. Allt always in the context of the story and where Paul is getting his where he's quoting from OK let's move on we have a lot to cover here first fourteen. What shall we say then is their own righteousness with God sorts only not for he says to Moses I will have mercy on whom ever I will have mercy I will have compassion on whom ever I will have compassion so then look at this for a sixteenth it is not of Him who will nor him who runs but of God who shows mercy so those in proponents of predestination double predestination they'll say yeah look look the text is very clear it's not about who will as it's not about the will of man or the Freedom of Man it's just about what God decides God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy and he has compassion on whom he wants to compassion and also vice versa he has he brings judgment upon those he wants to bring judgment he harden those that he wants to harden that what the text says but again this is a quotation from the Old Testament and this is so fascinating because in this chapter Paul again and again and again is bringing up quotations from the Old Testament and what we need to do that is go back to the Old Testament and see what it's actually talking about so what is it actually talking about this anyone know where this tax comes from Romans nine fifteen I will have mercy on whom ever I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whom ever I will have compassion where is that taken from Exodus chapter. Thirty three and verse nineteen now now take notice that in acts of this. This taxed is coming so this is Exodus Chapter thirty three and Exodus Chapter thirty three Verse nineteen Of course this is coming after X. This Chapter thirty two now without going there looking there does anyone know what happens in Exodus thirty two. The Golden Calf the golden calf so Israel decides to make this golden calf while Moses is on the mountain and they are worshipping this golden calf and then Moses comes down and so and then we have the the aftermath of this this false worship scenario and then in Exodus Chapter thirty three after. Moses has pleaded for his people then God says I I have I can have mercy I will have mercy on whoever I will have mercy and compassion on whoever I have compassion God decides to have mercy and compassion on the people of Israel that went astray and were worshipping a golden calf it was a decision of God to have compassion to have mercy. And and this is really what it's talking about here that that even though Israel was rejecting God God didn't immediately reject them God is working on them remember that's the overall theme of Romans nine in the beginning Paul starts with I have so much sorrow because of what has happened to Israel and now it's actually showing how God has been at work in Israel and even when Israel decided in office that way God was sending another prophet and another prophet and another message and he was having compassion and more compassion and more mercy till the point where of course they crucified his son even that he had mercy because he said to His disciples go to Jerusalem and wait there and then they receive the Holy Spirit and Pentecost happen but then it came to the point where they stoned Stephen and. Prophecy of Daniel nine the seventy weeks came to an end in eighty thirty four and then the message went largely to the Gentile world but here Paul is showing how God again and again and again had compassion and mercy upon his people not take notice of the next passage verse seventeen. For the scripture says to the pharaoh for this purpose I have raised you up that I might show my power in you and that my name may be declared in all the earth therefore verse eighteen he has mercy on whom he wills and whom he wills he hardens and so here again a tax that is perhaps on first glance difficult to understand we have the fair we have Pharaoh and the text seems to say that God arbitrarily separate from pharaohs decisions just said OK Pharaoh I'm going to use you for one purpose you born for one purpose I'm going to actively harden your heart so that when all this happens I'm going to be able to show my glory in my power here by pouring out my plagues and and you're going to resist me but eventually I'm going to win but but this is your this is your little task in this drama in this place oh so here we go I harden your heart and and now let everything unfold but is that's the way God works is that the way God functions that he just arbitrarily decides to harden someone's heart well we have to go to other passages in the Bible and compare with this for example I'm just going to you can write this down if you want is he killed thirty three Verse eleven God says the following I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked how much pleasure no pleasure I have no pleasure in the death of the wicket and it doesn't say except Pharaoh. Doesn't say that it says I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked John three. Sixteen For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life except pharaoh that what it says now there is no except Pharaoh Pharaoh could have made a decision for God and be saved of course God so loved the world God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked so what is happening here what are we actually reading about here. Pharaoh has been raised up as God the Scripture says to the pharaoh for this very purpose I have raised you up that I may show my power in you and at the name that my name may be declared in all the earth remember that God even though mankind makes decisions opposing his will in the end God is sovereign and his will always comes to pass this is the marvelous story of all of Scripture so what we're seeing here is that God had a purpose to set his people free Pharaoh. Stood in the way of that purpose Pharaoh hardened his heart because he said no I'm not going to let them go and so what God does is he's going to still be glorified but now he is face to face with a person that has a free will decision and a free will of Pharaoh is saying no I'm not going to let the people go and so what God does is through this circumstance he makes his glory and power known the Ten Plagues fall marvelous manifestations of God's power and glory that the Red Sea has to open up and all of these things are happening in order because there is that there is that there is a there is a man that has resisted God's will but the glory of God is being manifested and His will is still taking place you see how can we how do we understand the phrase God hardened Pharaoh's heart. The way the way I have come to understand this is quite simple if God had not sent Moses to deliver the Hebrews Pharaoh's heart would not have been further hardened because he was not facing a decision but the fact that Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh and said Let My People Go now Pharaoh is it's having to make a decision based on that am I going to do that or not it's because he decides not to do that his heart is hardened So in that respect God has hardened his heart through this decision that has been brought before him you see that in this way we can say God hardened the heart of Pharaoh just like we could say that God hardens your heart when he reveals His Holy Spirit to you and he can fix you of sin and he convicts you of something specific in your life that you need to surrender if you do not surrender that then in effect indirectly God has hardened your heart because he has confronted you with your sin. This is the type of a picture that is emerging here in Romans Chapter nine. OK Let's continue verse nineteen you will say to me then who why does he still find fault for who has resisted his will first twenty but indeed a man Who are you to reply against God's will the thing formed say to him who formed it why have you made me like this that's not the Potter have power over the clay from the same lamb to make a vessel for honor and another for dishonor what if God wanting to show his wrath and to make his power known endured with him with much longsuffering the vessels of Wrath prepared for destruction and that he might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of Mercy which is prepared before hand for glory again first the parents quite a difficult. Tax you say OK so God presents himself as the Potter and the text seems to say that arbitrarily God just you know he makes here a vessel OK this is going to be let me see this is going to be a vessel of glory this is going to be a great testimony for me but in order for me to have a great testimony I also need to have a vessel that is kind of opposing this so that this becomes even looks even better and so OK I'll go over here and I'll make a vessel of dishonor OK so that's what the top six maybe seems to say at first glance the picture of a potter at work God is the potter we are the clay this is the scenario that we find one other place in scripture which will go to in just a moment God is a potter we are the clay and he and he just makes vessels and some of those vessels of vessels of glory and other vessels of. What does it say that's the word that is used dishonor some for honor some for dishonor you know I I must say that this is probably the portion that I struggled most with in Romans nine I was like all Lord what is this actually saying and then the Lord brought it on then attacks to my mind which brought amazing clarity at least for me and I hope it does for you as well you see this is a tax that talks about God as Potter and we as mankind as clay which is a marvelous picture actually God wants to shape us in His image now Romans nine talks about about that there is one passage in the scriptures that talks about God as a potter and mankind as Clay now where is that found as anyone no student should know because we dealt with that in class just a few days ago where is that. Sorry. It is it is. Not and I say evident Jeremiah which which Chapter eighteen Jeremiah Chapter eighteen now turn with me to Jeremiah eighteen and let's compare these two passages we've just read the one in Romans nine God is the potter we are the clay he makes vessel some of honor and some of dishonor what does that mean let's compare it with Jeremiah chapter eighteen and beginning in verse one. Because I think the passage of Jeremiah is going to shed light on the passage in Romans nine regarding how this works with God being the potter and we being the clay. OK I'll begin in verse verse one. The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying Arise go down to the part of the house there I will cause you to hear my words then I went down to the POTUS house and there he was making something at the wheel and the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter so he made it again into another vessel as it seemed good to the potter to make Now let me just pause there for a moment this is so wonderful God is saying to Jeremiah I need to tell you something about the relationship that I have to do you and to the people of God I want you and words are not enough this time I want you to go down to the POTUS house and so he goes down to the POTUS house he needs a visual image to go along with the words that God is going to speak to him and as he's watching the potter at work the Potters at work with this clay for the clay is not cooperating it says the clay was what marred in the hand of the potter and what does it say those that say that the Potter just throws it away and get some other claim what is the passage say. Look look what it says there so he says so he made it again into another vessel the same clay so so God in His mercy is continuing to work with this co-operated Calais sound familiar are you sometimes on cooperative Calais in the hands of a potter is God Some chant sometimes trying to mold you but you're not always immediately responding to that molding and that forming in that fashion in process and and God does he just say Oh sorry I think this is just a vessel of this honor no he wants to make you a vessel of honor a man a man a man and man a little bit more enthusiasm. I hope you're happy about that now look at how it continues here. Look at verse five and then the word of the Lord came to me saying Oh. O. house of Israel cannot I do with us this Potter says the Lord look as the clay is in the Potter's hands who are you in my hand a house of Israel now the next passage verse seven to eleven is incredible because here he's talking about how this functions how does that function when God is our potter and we are the clay What how what is the relationship with us where does freewill play into the picture of the analogy with Potter and Clay I look at verse seven the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom to pluck it up to pull it down and to destroy it if that's a key word if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil What will God do I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it Wow So God is saying if a nation is in an evil path but they make a choice righteousness by faith is a choice if they turn around to make a choice for me I will relent from the evil that I thought to bring upon that nation. Message is basically saying this god can change his mind. God changes His mind I mean he had he thought one thing but now he thinks differently based upon our free will access size all of answering concerning the messages that he is giving us now let's continue to read because this is what works also the other way around verse eight if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil our lands of the disaster that I thought to bring upon a verse nine and the instant I speak concerning the nation concerning a kingdom to build and to plant it if it does evil in my sight so that it does not obey my voice then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it now therefore speak to the man of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying Thus says the Lord behold I am fashioning a disaster and devise. A plan against you return now everyone from his evil way and make your ways and your doings good God is saying especially in the days of Jeremiah God's people were on a downward path they were on a downward path things were getting more and more and more wicked they were becoming more and more away from God's devised plan and God is saying you know what. If this is that is if this is the course that you're going to continue then then there are going to be consequences there are going to be consequences you see what Jeremiah eighteen tells me in this passage is that God based on our actions is responding to those actions. He did not from the beginning just make a vessel of honor in a vessel of this honor and it's all predestined pre-determined there's no free will and there's this there's no choice no the very passage here but the Potter and the clay reveals that there is a choice involved there is a free will involved a nation can be having in a good direction but if they then turn to become evil ways then God's attitude towards that is also going to change or of a nation can be going on a downhill path but if they turn away and they turn to the Lord then God's actions are also going to change towards that people. God gives us a free will and that free will is to be exercised and that free will can only be exercised when we exercise spiritual the sermons we need spiritual discernment Now go back to Romans Chapter nine I hope that there is a picture that is you know emerging elsewhere studying this this chapter again from the beginning Paul says you know I have a burden for my people Israel because my people Israel that received all these blessings from God They have turned away from him and then and then the end of the chapter he says but you know the Gentiles that have nothing no revelation of God have now received this revelation of God and they did it by. I say so so the whole chapter is really about what is our response of day but then between these two these two passages about Israel he brings other passages and other stories into it showing that even though mankind chooses a different way that God's purpose overrules his his plan was always always succeed and so we have the story of Isaac that you know had two children or rather two children Isaac and Ishmael Ishmael it seemed to be a wrong choice and it was a wrong choice but in the end God's plan succeeded and then you have Jacob and Esau after all expectations Esau would be with the one that would get the birthright and carry on the lineage but God had a plan and a purpose and it overruled the plan and purpose of man and then you have the story of Moses and and the people there in the wilderness it seemed that everything was over when they worshiped that golden calf but by God had mercy God's plan succeeded and then you have the story of Pharaoh it seemed that Farrah was going to oppose this plan of God and that it could not succeed but then God said OK though you oppose me I will show my glory through you and God's plan succeeded a man God's plan always succeeds and therefore he will always be the potter and we will always be the clay we can't reverse that picture you can't say OK we'll be the Potter we'll decide how the outcome is of know the outcome is already decided God is sovereign but. We have a free will we have a free will to exercise in that we receive those revelations of God Our response to that is also again going to affect the way that God Further relates to us righteousness by faith is a choice now let's go to some of these last verses in this chapter then. Let's go to verse twenty four. Even whom he calls not of the Jews only but also of the Gentiles as it says also in Hosea I will call them my people who were not my people and her beloved who was not beloved and it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them you are not my people there they shall be called the Sons of the Living God Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea the remnant will be saved for he will finish the work and cut it short and righteousness because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth and as I say I said before unless the Lord of Sabbath had left us a seed we would have become like Saddam and would have been made like Gomorrah here again he's quoting all Testament Old Testament Old Testament I want to be showing is again there is a choice there's a choice there's a choice those that were called the people of God Sadly have turned away because of a choice but those that were not called by God in the beginning the Gentiles they are now becoming the people of God because of that choice they they are coming to receive this glorious message of the power of the gospel and then we come back to the verses that we already read verse thirty to thirty three now let's read it one more time as we close what shall we say then what's the conclusion of all of this the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained to righteousness even the righteousness of faith and by the way that's talking about you are there any Jews here this morning and you want to quote Jewish ascendance know where all the gentiles right how do we come into this massive by they say in the righteousness of God but Israel pursuing the law of righteousness has not attained to the law of the. As Why because they did not seek it by faith faith makes all the difference but as it were by the works of the law they stumbled at the stumbling stone as it is written Behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense and whoever believes on him will not be put to shame my friends I hope that there is no stumbling block in your life. I hope that there's no stumbling block that is keeping you from exercising faith in the righteousness of God. And if there is a stumbling block then I pray that the Holy Spirit and the power of the Gospel you may remove it so that you may make choices every day to remove those stumbling blocks and to. Settle yourself upon that rock Jesus Christ you know righteousness by faith is a choice but it's not just a choice that we make one time in our lifetime. Righteousness by faith is a daily choice when you wake up in the morning you have a lot of choices to make you have a choice to make is what you going to wear where you going to go that day who you going to hang out with you know you have a lot of choices what kind of socks to put on what kind of color you know what jacket what you have lots of choices but the one choice that matters most is this choice crisis by faith and if that choice is made correctly then all other choices that we make regarding you know what are we studying and who are we going to marry and where are we going to live and what is going to be that you know what I'm going to be doing tomorrow next week next month next year those choices are then going to grow out of that one choice that one choice of righteousness by faith trusting in God's righteousness trusting in God's promises are going to that fact all the other choices that we have you see free will is the most amazing gift that God. Has ever given to us it is the gift of choice but free well separate from spiritual discernment and a guidance of God is absolutely catastrophic catastrophic and that's what we see in our world today right. Freewill has led to the most grevious sins. Free will is both beautiful but also incredibly risky. So free will is a beautiful thing but it only beautiful if it is if it is molding guided by the Potter a man so I have this amazing gift free well but if I'm just going to exercise it by myself separate from the revelation of God It's catastrophic it's disastrous the most grevious sins have come out of the expressions of free will. But if I'm going to take that free will and say God thank you for that choice and now I pray that I may be clay in your hands you're the Potter mold me Fashion me make me in your image how my choices to glorify you how me to choose for righteousness by faith every single day May every choice that I make glory and may bring glory and honor to your name may I grow in an understanding of what that is and and we grow in an understanding of God's will by spending time with his word and a man and time in His Word spend time in the spirit of prophecy it is here that we have a revelation of God's will it is here that God can mold us because when I'm studying this book and I'm studying the writings of Anna why the spirit of prophecy and the Scriptures what is happening is that God is able to mold me by beholding we become changed it's like the Potter is at work let him do his perfect work in the you exercise your free Well pray for spiritual discernment and that nothing be a stumbling block between you and your savior a man. I mean if you want to say the see this this morning you say you. I want to be Potter in the hands of God I want to be that clay that is multiple I want to be clay that he can actually form and shape I don't want to resist his work in me don't be that marred clay beat up pliable clay that God can mold as he sees fit and we do so by humbly and respectfully coming to Scripture and saying God reveal yourself to me and help me to receive that revelation I hope this made sense did this make sense Romans nine yeah. I hope you can go back and study it more it's a fascinating chapter a chapter that maybe on first glance seems to teach very clearly predestination I believe that rightly understood actually shows it beautiful balance and how God gives us free will that doesn't mean that God does not is not sovereign he surely sovereign but he's given us an incredible gift for us to exercise and that is a choice and righteousness by faith comes when we choose for him let's pray gracious have any father we we want to thank you Lord for being with us this morning. Thank you Lord that we could study Romans Chapter nine and thank you lord that you have given us a choice we have the opportunity to put our faith in you and I pray that that choice of of responding to your Grace responding to your mercy in putting our faith in you that that may result Lord in all of our choices bring glory to your name Help us Lord to grow and to understand your will for our lives may all stumbling blocks be removed so that we can experience you know. Your. Grace you are all the Jesus in. This media was brought to you by audio a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about the universe or if you would like to listen to more service leave is a W W W. You or.


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