Israel’s Past Election

26 June 2022 AM – Romans 9 – Rom2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: In Romans 9-11, Paul turns his attention to the Nation of Israel. In that day, a majority of the Nation of Israel had rejected Christ as Messiah. Christian Jews were confused by this and by the fact that sinners of the Gentiles were receiving the Gospel. Thus, in Romans 9-11, the Holy Spirit had the Apostle Paul explain Israel’s past election, Israel’s present rejection, and Israel’s future salvation.
Transition: This morning, as we examine Israel’s Past Election in Romans 9, I want us to focus on the blessing that though Israel is God’s chosen people, salvation is available to both Jew and Gentile by faith in Christ alone.
  1. Paul loved his nation Israel (v.1-5)
Though many Jews were confused that Paul was ministering to the Gentiles and that they were receiving God’s salvation, he assured them that he was not turning against Israel.
a.         He longed for their salvation (v.1-3)
1)         His heart was burdened for his people.
2)         He was willing to be cursed by God if that would bring his brethren to Christ. This sounds a lot like what Moses had prayed centuries earlier. (Exodus 32:31-32) “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
3)         Paul was certainly NOT against Israel.
b.         He praised God for Israel’s privileges (v.4-5)
He listed eight privileges Israel had.
1)         God adopted the nation of Israel. He made them His people.
2)         They witnessed the glory of God’s excellence.
3)         God gave Israel covenants: the Abrahamic covenant, the Mosaic covenant, and the Davidic covenant.
4)         God gave them the law. He gave it to Israel.
5)         God service rituals in the temple. These do not apply to Christians.
6)         They received God’s promises, many of which will not be fulfilled until the Millennium.
7)         God promised to make Abraham a nation.
8)         Through the nation of Israel, Christ the Messiah came.
  • The fact of God’s sovereignty in the election of Israel to accomplish God’s purpose of bringing Christ to the earth had no bearing on their decision for or against God! David Thomason
2.        God chose the Nation of Israel (v.6-14)
It is important as we look at this section to remember that God elected the Nation of Israel, not individuals. All of the illustrations Paul gives refer to nations.
a.         God promised to make of Abraham a nation (v.6-9)
1)         God said to Abraham, (Genesis 12:2) “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
2)         God chose only one of Abraham’s sons to form the Nation of Israel, that son was Isaac.
b.         God’s choice was national not individual (v.10-14)
1)         God chose that the Nation of Israel would come through Isaac’s son, Jacob, not Esau.
2)         God made that choice before the boys were born. These verses are not about their individual salvation. They are about God’s election of the nation of Israel.
3)         God foreknew that Esau would be an ungodly man and that Jacob would follow His word.
4)         Was God unrighteous in making this choice? No. He rightly chose the family line He wanted for His people.
5)         “But we are not told here, nor anywhere else, that before children are born it is God’s purpose to send one to heaven and another to hell.” Ironside
3.        God can choose to have mercy on whom He wills (v.15-29)
a.         God chose to have mercy on Israel (v.15-24)
1)         Paul quoted verse 15 from Ex 33:19. God said this in answer to Moses’ prayer for Israel. God’s mercy is up to God’s choice.
2)         Harry Ironside wisely points out that, God does not say, “I will condemn whom I will condemn, or I will reprobate to eternal destruction whom I will reprobate.” There is no such thought in the mind of God, who “desireth not the death of the sinner, but that all should turn to Him and live.”
3)         Paul mentioned Pharaoh to illustrate God’s choice (v.17). Pharaoh, in his pride, haughtiness and wickedness, retorted, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey Him?” God did not cause his hard heart, but chose to keep it hard rather than to have mercy on him.
4)         We dare not question the wisdom of God’s choices.
a)         He is the Creator; we are His creation (v.20).
b)         As the Potter, God has the right to make one pot for honour and another for humble tasks (v.21).
c)         He has the right to make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy (v.23).
d)         We who have answered His call to salvation, both Jew and Gentile, are such vessels of mercy (v.24).
b.         God chose to have mercy also on Gentiles (25-29)
1)         Hosea mentioned this (v.25-26).
2)         Isaiah predicted that though Israel’s number was as the sand of the sea, only a remnant would be saved (v.27-28).
3)         Isaiah said that if God had not been merciful to Israel, they would have been obliterated as Sodom and Gomorrha (v.29).
4.        God has chosen to save all who come to Him in Faith (v.30-33)
a.         This is God’s just choice (v.30-31)
1)         Unrighteous Gentiles have received God’s righteousness by faith.
2)         Self-righteous Jews, who failed to keep the law perfectly, did not receive God’s righteousness.
b.         Justification by faith is a stumbling stone to the self-righteous (v.32-33).
1)         All who try to earn God’s righteousness by keeping the law will fall short because they do not seek it by faith.
2)         Faith in Christ, instead of works, becomes a stumbling block for them. They trip over the simplicity in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3) “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
3)         Many religious people today stumble over the simplicity that is in Christ. They just cannot accept that salvation is by faith in Christ ALONE, without any religious deeds or good works. They cling to their baptism, morality, church tradition or faithfulness as necessary for their salvation.
4)         What did God say about human works? (Ephesians 2:8-9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Titus 3:5) “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
5)         Instead of adding up his list of “good deeds”, a sinner must focus on his “bad deeds” and be willing to repent of them and by faith trust Christ’s sacrifice as payment in full for his salvation from hell.
6)         The hymn writer said it well when he wrote, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain – He washed it white as snow.” GH 125
Conclusion: God elected the nation of Israel to be His special people and the line through which the Messiah would come. They are His chosen people, but that does not save their individual souls, neither does it limit salvation to the Jews only.
Praise God, when it comes to salvation from hell, God has not limited it to the Jews alone. All people, Jews or Gentiles, who will humbly repent of their sinful condition and seek God’s righteousness by faith in Christ, will be saved from judgment. God is fair and good to us!
If you have not yet admitted your sinful condition and by faith received Christ’s payment for your sin, God invites you to do so today.
Song: Thank You Lord – 221    Come to the Saviour – 254