Title: The Failure of God
Focus: Even though Israel is apparently a lost cause due to their rejection of Christ, we should understand that Goid has not given up on them because being Godís people is not dependent geneology or human effort, but on Godís choice to have mercy. God even has merciful patience on those who initially rejected Christ in order to show them the riches of his grace in allowing them to repent. That gives us confidence to faithfully place our lives and future into his hands.
Function: To motivate the hearers to not question God, but to give themselves to ministry and service even when it means giving up something that might cause inconveince or discomfort. It doesnít matter if you donít feel you can do it, what matters is that it is Godís choice, and Godís choice will come to pass.
Text: Romans 9:1-29
Intro: 1. Last week power failed for millions of people a. People stuck in elevators, miners stuck in mines, airports, trains cell phones, no water!! b. When power fails, life goes haywire c. Imagine how bad it would be if God could fail!! 2. It seems Godís choice of Jews had failed (Rom 9:1-5) a. May not seem to be of much interest to us, since we not Jews b. Did God fail the Jews? If so, could he fail us? c. Now it is of interest to us 3. No. Paul explains that Godís word had not failed (9:6) a. He then explains why Godís word has not failed b. All centers on Godís choices 4. Three points on the doctrine of election I. Being Godís people is based on Godís choice A. Reason Godís chosen people are his chosen is he chose them B. Paul drives this point home in three ways 1. (v.7-9)Being a descendent not make you Godís people a. (Gen 21:12) - Through Isaac descendents named - If it about geneology, then Ishmaelís descendents would be Godís people - If about being Abeís descendent, Ishmael would be more legitimate, because he is Abrahamís 1st son - But God chose Isaac, not Ishmael b. Not the children of flesh, but children of promise c. (v.10-13) Same point using Jacob - If about geneology, then Esau should be it because he was born first - But God chose Jacob 2. Godís choice makes you Godís people (v.14-16) a. Golden Calf incident in Exodus 32-34 b. God had every right to reject & destroy Israel c. He nearly did, but Moses intervened d. (Ex 33:19) - God chose to have mercy on them 3. So being Godís people is based on his choice a. Not based on geneology (v.8) b. Not based on our works (v.11) C. Little Johnny went to the park one day 1. Guys getting game of baseball together 2. Team captains started to pick players a. Johnnyís heart sank b. He was a runt, knew he would be last pick 3. To his relief, he was picked second. a. His best friend chosen first b. Best freind asked team captain to choose him 4. Johnny on team not because of works, but captains choice - Dt 7:7 - Israel Godís people not due to their greatness they were the runt of the nations. It was Godís choice D. We are Godís people 1. Why? God chose us in Christ a. Like God chose Isaac, or Jacob... b. God chooses us in Christ 2. We are not children of God because a. Better, prettier, more righteous, better family, b. smarter, rich, poor, helpless, etc. c. BUT because God chose Christians to be his people 3. If it is by Godís choice - is that fair? II. Godís choices are not always easily understood A. Sometimes they are not understood at all B. Paul mentions something that is hard to reconcile with Godís justice 1. (v.17-18) God Ďs mercy and Godís hardening a. Showdown between Pharoah and Yahweh b. (Exod 9:13-16) - Godís purpose - To proclaim name of Yahweh through all the earth - ie: To show the riches of his glory c. God made an example of of Pharaoh 2. But if that was Godís plan all along, was it fair to Pharaoh? 3. Text raises that question (v.19) C. Some lessons are hard to learn - Basic Training 1. One guy had to run until he dropped. - Then made us all run Why? 2. One personís T-Shirts & underwear not folded in 6 inch square 3. Made an example out of him! & We all suffered for it. Why? a. Because t-shirts not ironed. We thought it stupid b. We just didnít understand c. Need eye for detail. Will be working on aircraft d. So it was for good of everyone! 4. God made example out of Pharaoh for everyoneís good D. So God choose to have mercy and chooses to harden others 1. Supposed to be for everyoneís good 2. We donít always understood how Godís choices are good 3. Takes us to the next point III. Godís choice is to be patient even with those he has not chosen A. May look like God is not fair (v.19-21) 1. Not fair to Pharaoh because that was his plan 2. Not fair to Jews, because his plan was for them to crucify Jesus 3. Many think since God shows mercy on whom he will have mercy also mean show wrath on whom he will show wrath 4. But the passage does not teach this kind of predestination B. Paulís point is not that he shows mercy to whom he has chosen and wrath to those he has not chosen 1. (v.22) God was willing to show wrath, but didnít a. Instead endured with patience b. Vessels of wrath prepared for destruction c. Who are the vessels of wrath? d. Context (beginning of chapter) - Jews - He endured their rejection of John and Jesus - He endured the crucifixion 2. Imagine reaction when Jews realized what they did. a. Oh no! We killed Messiah! We are doomed! b. (v.23) - They not doomed - He endured their rejection - Why? - To show glory to vessels of mercy c. Who are vessels of mercy? d. (v.24-29) - They are Gentile AND Jewish believers! 3. Jews were vessels of wrath when the fought against Christ a. Many became vessels of mercy along with Gentiles! b. Rejecting Christ part of Godís plan to show them mercy c. If God hardened them as he hardened Pharaoh, then it was to demonstrate his mercy to Gentile AND Jews!! C. Paul himself a good example of this (1 Tim 1:12-17) 1. God endured him as a vessel of wrath. Why? a. (v.14) - Grace more than abundant b. (v.16) - To demonstrate his perfect patience 2. Paul became a vessel of mercy. 3. Grace always holds the upper hand a. Point made repeatedly in Romans b. Godís grace is greater than our sin D. Song: Wonderful Grace of Jesus 1. Celebrates Godís grace which is greater than our sin 2. If you struggling, donít give up. God is patient Concl: 1. What appeared to be Godís failure was not a failure at all a. Jews rejection of Christ was their means of grace b. God did not give up on them 2. Paulís application - Do not question Godís choices, but trust him a. That meanís putting your life into his hands (baptism) b. It means trusting his choices. What choices? 3. Here are some of Godís choices a. He says last will be first, first will be last - Give self up for others. - Minister to those in need whether they can pay back or not b. He says - You are the light of the world - People might be offended by my faith, might think I fanatic - But God chose you to be a light c. He says - Seek first his rule (not what to wear, eat, live, etc.) - May mean change in friendships - May mean change in job, school, etc. 4. Have you really put your life into his hands? a. Are you willing to do what God desire if it means hardship b. Are you willing to do what he desires if in means inconvenience c. If not, that is a form of questioning Godís choices for you 5. Remember, even it it look like it not going well, it Godís choice a. What looks like failure to us may be Godís success b. God can bring about his plans through our messes! c. So there is nothing to worry about!!