The Real Gospel — Part 22
Obedience to the law is not a prerequisite to receiving grace (undeserved favour). Faith (believing what God has already done in Christ) is the prerequisite to receiving grace.
And, we don’t qualify for God’s favour because we were born into the “right family” and/or do the “right works of the law”.
PAUL SAID A TRUE JEW ISN’T A PHYSICAL DESCENDANT OF ABRAHAM BUT A SPIRITUAL ONE WHO HAS THE SAME FAITH THAT ABRAHAM HAD.
Isaac wasn’t Abraham’s firstborn, who traditionally received the greater inheritance. But Isaac was the son of promise and, in God’s eyes (which are the only eyes that count), the only covenant child (Genesis 22:2 & Genesis 21:12).
Romans 9 vs 6-9 say, “It cannot be said that God broke his promise. After all, not all of the people of Israel are the true people of God.
“In fact, when God made the promise to Abraham, he meant only Abraham’s descendants by his son Isaac. God was talking only about Isaac when he promised Sarah, “At this time next year I will return, and you will already have a son.””
Romans 9 vs 10-16 show that this principle of the true heir not being just the firstborn but the son of promise wasn’t limited to Isaac. This was also the case with Jacob, Isaac’s second-born son.
This is showing that the INHERITANCE ISN’T PASSED ON BY JUST PHYSICAL OR NATURAL SELECTION. It was by God’s election. SALVATION ISN’T INHERITED BY OUR OWN WORKS. WE HAVE TO BE BORN AGAIN (John 3:3).
Paul was citing these Old Testament examples to show that THOSE WHO WERE CONSIDERED THE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM WERE NOT HIS PHYSICAL DESCENDANTS, BUT THEY WERE CHOSEN BY GOD, in this case, before they were born. This proves GOD’S ELECTION IS NOT BASED ON BIRTH OR PERFORMANCE (Romans 9:8).
As explained in Part 20 of this series, God’s predestination is based on His foreknowledge (Romans 8:29). Only those whom God foreknew would accept Him have been elected and predestinated.
GOD DID NOT FORCE JACOB AND ESAU TO MAKE THE CHOICES THEY MADE. But through His foreknowledge, HE WAS ABLE TO FORESEE WHO WOULD RESPOND TO HIM, and that is the one He chose.
This can be clearly seen in 1 Peter 1:2, which says WE ARE “ELECT ACCORDING TO THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE FATHER.”
GOD DOES NOT CHOOSE PEOPLE INDEPENDENT OF THEIR FREE WILL. Instead, through His foreknowledge, He knows who will choose Him, and those are the individuals He elects to be His own.
ALL PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES (Deuteronomy 30:19).
It is important to note that in Romans 9:13 Paul was not saying God hated Esau and loved Jacob while they were still in their mother’s womb. He did choose Jacob over Esau as the inheritor of Abraham’s blessing before they were born, but Esau could have walked with God and have been blessed by God if he had chosen to do so.
Paul quoted Malachi 1 vs 2-3 which say, “I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau.” This was written thousands of years after the birth of Esau and Jacob. There is no mention in Scripture that God hated the individual Esau.
This reference to Esau, in Malachi 1 vs 2-3, was referring to the nation of Edom (Esau’s descendants) in the same way that the term Israel often referred to the entire nation of Israel, not the individual (Genesis 32:28).
Malachi 1 vs 4-5 give context to verses 2&3 of this chapter. God was saying that He had rejected the nation of Edom and had chosen the nation of Israel.
We need to remember how God chose Abraham out of all the people of the earth:
“FOR I KNOW HIM, THAT HE WILL COMMAND his children and his household after him, and THEY SHALL keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Genesis 18:19
GOD SAYS HE CHOSE ABRAHAM BECAUSE HE (GOD) KNEW WHAT ABRAHAM WAS GOING TO DO.
Again, God’s predestination is based on His foreknowledge.
Paul had started explaining in Romans 9:6 that there was a true people of God, NOT BASED ON NATIONALITY, BUT ON FAITH IN GOD. Here he gave four quotes (Romans 9:25-29) from two Old Testament prophets to show that this was not a new concept but had been prophesied hundreds of years before.
Romans 9 vs 30-32 say, “What does all of this mean? It means that the Gentiles were not trying to be acceptable to God, but THEY FOUND THAT HE WOULD ACCEPT THEM IF THEY HAD FAITH.
“It also means that the people of Israel were not acceptable to God. And why not? IT WAS BECAUSE THEY WERE TRYING TO BE ACCEPTABLE BY OBEYING THE LAW INSTEAD OF BY HAVING FAITH IN GOD. The people of Israel fell over the stone that makes people stumble.”
REST IN THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST – Hebrews 4:1-3!