Election (Romans #18)

Text: Romans 9

Following chapter eight and Paul’s exposition of the love of God in Christ the question arises so what happened to Israel?  Does God no longer love the nation?  Is he done with Israel?  In the next three chapters (9-11) the Holy Spirit through Paul will explain the dispensational program.  First of all how God used and will use Israel again in the future.  He is absolutely not done with Israel.  Second, how God is using Gentiles and the current “body of Christ” until such a time as God sees fit to resume his determination with Israel.

Election is God’s choice of people through which he would reveal himself.  Election has nothing to do with individual salvation.  Nor does election have anything to do with God overriding anyone’s will to force them to choose individual salvation.

Election is rejected by Israel (vss 1-5)

  • Isaiah 45:4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
  • The failure of many Israelis to believe God, though God had elected the nation.
  • Paul’s Christlike love towards his unfaithful brethren according to the flesh.
  • God chose Israel as the visible national representative of himself on this earth to the world.  However, Israel as a nation rejected God.
  • Paul is going to make such an outrageous statement in 9:3 that he prefaces it by saying he is not trying to be dramatic or to be manipulative with his comments.  In other words, I’m not saying this for effect, I love my brethren.  But you talk about loving people.  That is the attitude the Lord Jesus Christ had for sinners.  Can you imagine such a perspective, such a love?
  • In verses 4-5 Paul records the benefits of being God’s chosen nation.  God provided the parameters by which he would bless his nation.  Individuals who responded to these correctly to these things would receive the blessing associated with them, but as a nation
    • Adoption
    • Glory
    • Covenants
    • Law
    • Ministry
    • Promises
    • Heritage
    • Genealogy of Jesus Christ

Election would bring about God’s seed of promise (vss 6-13)

  • The word of God, particularly the promises of God to Israel have not been lost just because Israel as a nation rejected Jesus Christ.
  • The seed of God
    • Carnal vs the Spiritual or Flesh vs the Promise
    • Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
    • Ishmael vs Isaac – both children of Abraham, but only Isaac was of the promise and Ishmael a product of a carnal act in an attempt to help God
    • The word of God said Abraham and Sarah.  Not Abraham and Hagar.  Genesis 18:10
    • Jacob vs Esau – both children of Isaac, but God’s seed would only come through one of them.
    • Genesis 25:23 Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
    • Esau never personally served Jacob.  This is dealing with nations and the promised Messiah and King, the Lord Jesus Christ, coming through Jacob, particularly one of his twelve sons, namely Judah.
  • Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
    • Micah 5 speaking of a ruler coming out of Bethlehem in Judah.
    • Jacob loved, Esau hated?  So what does that mean?  Malachi 1:1-3
      • Not speaking about individuals, but nations.  God is contrasting how differently he treated the two nations though they were both the offspring of Isaac.
      • Talking about the promise coming through Jacob.  When Malachi preaches this to bring conviction in Israel.

Election means God’s representative (vss 14-21)

  • If God chooses one nation over another through which to reveal himself, does that make him unrighteous?  Furthermore, what if the nation he uses is just as wicked as any other nation?
  • Paul quotes Exodus 33:19 speaking of God displaying His goodness
  • God’s righteousness questioned because he chooses to be good to one nation versus another nation.  Again, this has nothing to do with God making an individual choice for anyone.  Remember we are dealing with nations and groups of people, not individuals.
  • Paul sites Pharaoh and Egypt and their relation to Israel.
    • Hardening Pharaoh’s heart was done with the signs and wonders.  Exodus 7-10.  Exodus 11:10 And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.
    • Pharaoh hardened his own heart, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, both are true: Exodus 8:32, 10:20, and others.
    • What was Pharaoh hardened to?  Let my people go.  That is the specific command that Pharaoh disobeyed.  Not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • So God displayed his power in the nation of Israel out of their bondage from Egypt.  But personally, what ended up happening to those Israelites after they left Egypt and went into the wilderness?  The entire generation died in the wilderness because of their complaining.

Election is about God’s Revelation (vss 22-29)

  • Patience of God not executing judgment for the sole purpose of allowing the riches of his glory to be revealed.
  • Prepared vessels – 2 Timothy 2:20-21 – condition on being a useful vessel
  • Verse 27 you see that Israel as a nation was elect of God, but very few are actually saved.  First time the word salvation has appeared in the entire chapter.  This salvation has to do with the rescuing of a nation otherwise it would be wiped out.

Conditional Election (vss 30-33)

  • Gentiles have been included in election and now you see the conditions of election.  It is based on what people do, including Israel, with God’s chosen seed of promise.
  • Specifically, the condition of election is expressed faith in the words of God.