Romans

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8: 37-39

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33

In bible study Monday we talked about Glorification and Romans 8. It reminded me of the time that Peter talked about Romans 9 during Summer RUF. Seriously reading Romans 8 and then 9 seems like a stark contradiction. First you see the amazing grace in chapter 8 and then you see the harsh reality of chapter 9. We are all sinners, but it’s not until we realized the gravity of our sin that we realize how great God’s mercy and grace is.

You know one of the greatest parts about being a believer? This.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. – Romans 8: 28-30

I talked to Peter last night for the first time in a couple weeks. Oddly enough it didn’t bring me down. I just knew I wanted to talk about Romans and that he was the one to go to. I’m going to post his email. Hopefully he won’t mind.

In Romans 8, Paul speaks in high and glowing terms of the hope and security of the believer.  And what is that hope based on?  It is based on God’s love and his faithfulness to the promises he’s made us.

In order to understand the placement of Romans 9, it is vital to understand the audience to which he was writing and what their thoughts would have been upon reading chapter 8.  The church in Rome was a mixture of converted Jews and Gentiles, but everyone would have been familiar with the history of Israel and God’s dealings with them and promised to them.  The Roman church also understood (and Paul would go into detail about this in chapter 10) that God had shifted his focus from dealing with Israel to dealing with Gentiles.  To an uninformed observer, it would seem that God had broken his promises to Israel by now neglecting them in order to pursue the Gentiles.
This is the misunderstanding that Paul is attempting to head off in the beginning of chapter 9.  Verse 6, “it is not as though the Word of God has failed.”  God has not broken his promises, because his unconditional promises were made to ‘true Israel’ or those within Israel who were the true followers of God.  Paul then goes through several examples of how God’s promises were applied only to a select group within the nation of Israel through God’s sovereign choice.  God’s choice of Sarah over Hagar as the one to bear the child of promise, his choice of Jacob over Esau despite no merit within either one.
He goes on to discuss the rest of Romans 9 and if it’s right for God to do what He does, but I have no issues with that and he didn’t talk to me about it.
Sometimes I wish I had the ability to put words together like that. It’d be nice.
Anyways, happy Wednesday! I have a meeting with the biology department in a little bit.
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One response to this post.

  1. There’s a song by Travis Cottrell based around that first verse called “I am Persuaded” – I love it.

    Reply

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