Romans Bible Study #29
Reading Chapter 9-11
“I seek not to understand in order that I may believe; rather, I believe that I may understand.” Anselm of Canterbury
I am indebted to many wiser-than-I men who I look to, to help me wade through these deep waters. Art Katz has a most appropriate teaching that relates to how we should look at these chapters. It has long been our goal to, “not change the scriptures but to let the scriptures change us.” These chapters are like the burning bush that Moses turned aside to see. It is said that once he turned aside to see that bush, that he would be forever changed, he could never ‘turn back’ to where or who he was after seeing this sight. That kind of ‘life-changing’ time is awaiting us in these chapters. It is impossible for a bush to be burning and yet not be consumed. It is impossible for God to be free, sovereign and the ultimate cause of all things, and to hold us accountable for our actions. One thing to keep in mind is that although scripture compares us with sheep at times it also compares us to clay on a potter’s wheel. The clay is not just ‘a little less smart than the potter,’ it is completely something “other” than what the potter is. The Potter has the right to do with the clay what He wants. Mercy, wisdom, sovereignty, are all on display in these chapters. These great truths push aside a lie called ‘replacement theology,’ which essentially states that God’s Old Testament promises to Israel are fulfilled by the church and that God is done with Israel.
Romans 9-11 do not stand alone in the Bible, they complete the truth of the Sovereign God of the Bible. He Who will NOT suffer His plans to be thwarted. He intended for Israel to be a light to the other nations demonstrating His government. Blessing the nations by being a nation ruled by Him. If these promises are not fulfilled God is not God. If they are not fulfilled totally by Him without the help of man, it is not grace. Election/Predestination is grace in its most pride-killing form, and these chapters will not let ‘man’ squirm out from under the truth that ultimately God is in total control of all things.
Jeremiah 31:35-37Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name: "If this fixed order departs From before Me," declares the LORD, "Then the offspring of Israel also will cease From being a nation before Me forever." Thus says the LORD, "If the heavens above can be measured And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel For all that they have done," declares the LORD.
These chapters are one complete thought and so tonight we will read them straight through and that will be our study.