RomansPaul’s Exposition of “Salvation by Grace Through Faith” Lesson 13c “God’s Choices” “God’s Plan” Pages 117 - 119
God’s Choices in His Salvation Plan • Discuss the chart on page 117 • The left-hand section shows the physical fulfillment of the lineage to Christ • Flesh was important • The right-hand section shows the spiritual state of the Gentiles and Jews before and after Christ fulfilled God’s plan of salvation • Flesh was unimportant
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • God’s eternal plan to save men from sin had two necessary aspects: (1) to bring Christ into the world as the spiritual Savior of man, (2) to furnish a human body for Jesus in which to live and in which to die on the cross.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • This plan was exclusive in both aspects: Many individuals would be excluded from the physical lineage that would ultimately introduce the “human” Jesus. The spiritual plan would be intended for all men, but the willfully disobedient would be excluded from the profound benefits procured on the cross by the eternal “Christ.”
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • Romans 9 is intended to persuade Jews that God has not unfairly discriminated against them. As a nation, they had come to expect to receive the Messiah’s blessings because of their relationship to the physical aspect of God’s plan.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • What had to be understood was that it was necessary for God to make certain physical choices to expedite His physical plan. Not everyone could participate in a physical descent. He also had the absolute right [as God] to make choices and requirements about who would be saved as His children [seed] under the spiritual plan. In His divine sense of justice, not everyone should share equally in eternal life, since some had chosen to receive His offer of a Savior through an obedient faith while many others had rejected that gift.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • 5. God’s choices, therefore, were between individuals that He thought were suitable for bringing Jesus to the world and between classes of people: those who loved God [obedient believers] and those who loved something else [disobedient unbelievers]. Allmust be saved through Jesus.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • The choices within the physical plan began with Abraham, whom God knew could be depended on to transmit his personal trust in God to his progeny. One man in each generation was selected to continue the physical descent to Jesus. To men, these choices sometimes seem to be logical, sometimes not. In any case, God made the choices, and his choices were not to be challenged by fallible man.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • Ultimately, Jesus was born of Joseph in the implementation of the physical portion of The Plan. Obviously, fleshly qualifications were essential for those who participated in reaching the goal of that Plan. Few were included, many were excluded.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • The Jews agreed that God had the right to choose by His own wish those to be included in the Physical Plan and not destroy His innate fairness in dealing with humanity. He also could be just as fair [righteous] in making choices about who would share in the Spiritual Plan.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • God had always promised His blessings to men who possessed an obedient faith and trust in Him that resulted in obedience to His will. It was reasonable that blessings from the gospel of Christ would also be given to the same class of obedient men and not to a nation which was physically connected to one phase of God’s Plan, but which was also composed mostly of spiritually disobedient and ungrateful individuals.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • The Jewish nation, though undeserving, had received physical and spiritual blessings too numerous to recite from a God who justly could have destroyed them for their behavior. Their advantage with God over the Gentiles could be seen in their receiving a Law that was intended to keep them focused on obedience to God’s will and that could ultimately lead them to the Savior if they would maintain the obedient trust required by God of all people.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • The Gentiles [those not descended from Abraham -- Genesis 12] would be left to serve God without any special revelation of obedience. They had a “law within themselves” by which to know right from wrong [a conscience taught by previous instruction from God -- Romans 2:14,15]. Both Jews and Gentiles were obligated to display obedient faith toward God. Unfortunately, most Gentiles became idolaters despite their ancient knowledge of God, but some appear to have preserved some semblance of faith.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • “In the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4) the Christ [“anointed” to save] entered the world, taught men by example the importance of faithful obedience to God, and gave lessons that would result in the same faithful obedience to God by people in the world.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • The gospel of faith, trust, and obedience was first preached to the Jews (Acts 2) and then to the Gentiles (Acts 10). God’s choice of who would be saved by the gospel was once again determined on the basis of faithful obedience! Some obeyed, some did not. Some were saved, many were not. God’s spiritual dealings with men under the gospel dispensation were in no way different from the history of His dealings in every time previous to the gospel.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • The ultimate result [purpose] of God’s eternal Plan of salvation was for all men [Jews and Gentiles] to live together in ONE BODY, ONE CHURCH, and to serve Him together in continuing faithful obedience.
Romans Nine in God’s Plan of Salvation • The oneness of all faithful disciples is the fulfillment of God’s spiritual Plan. The Jews should have been able to see [with some thought] that their fleshly credentials meant nothing to God within the Spiritual Plan, even though the flesh meant everything within the Physical Plan. That Plan was designed to allow the Word to become flesh and to die on the cross to save every sinner, whether Jew or Gentile (Romans 1:16,17).