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Romans 11 – What Kind of God is Our God? 罗马书 11 – 神是一个怎么样的神  

Thursday, 9th December 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

Section One V1-10 He is a God of Grace

The Book of Romans shows us how God treated the Israelites and the Gentiles. Then we will understand more of God’s attributes, to know what kind of God we are following, and to discover the origin of our creation. V1 ‘I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.’ God has never cast out or forsaken the people He has chosen. A lot of people don’t believe in God because they thought God would forsake them because of who they were or what they did. Adam and Eve sinned, causing the whole world to fall, but God did not cast them away, instead, He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to save the world.

When we understand this, do we treasure the grace God gave us? God chose us, He called us, not because of our talents or abilities in serving Him, but because of His Grace. V5-6 ‘Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.’ God gave us Grace, but He also gave us a choice. We can choose to follow God, or we can choose to follow this world. Do we rely on the worldly values and knowledge? Or do we seek wisdom, which is the fear of the Lord? This is how we follow God; we may have a lot of plans and schedules, but God’s wisdom is above all these. When we are willing to humble and obey, then we can see God’s greater wisdom above all our plans and schedules.

We must believe our God is the God, who led the Israelites out of Egypt, into the wilderness. The Promise Land was close, but were they prepared? Everything happened in our lives for a reason, God allowed difficulties and challenges to come to our lives to make us better prepared for His promises. The Israelites had 40 years to prepare themselves, God never gave up on them and God had mercy for them. But the people were stiff-necked, yet, God kept His promises, even though the first generation was not prepared to enter the Promised Land, but He allowed their next generation to enter and receive victory.

God allowed the lockdown to happen so we can be prepared for His greater purposes. He has been given us opportunities to repent, He is not rejecting us, but to prepare our lives to receive the blessings and anointing. If we are not humble, then we don’t have the capacity to receive God’s pouring Grace. We should never boast about our past success because we are all blessed sinners, no matter how well we did in the past, we could never reach God’s standards. We care called by God because of His Grace. If we look around, we can see a lot of people living without hope, burdened, and never satisfied.

How can we receive true peace and to restore our strength? Jesus showed us a good example, to seek God solemnly. Do we have these moments? A lot of times, we pray for the sake of praying, we seek God because we want something, but we never really enjoy the time we spend with God. What are our prayers like? We often bring a lot of problems and ask God to solve them or bring a long list and ask God to fulfil them. In our church, we focus on relationship before ministry, do we seek to build an intimate relationship with God first?

V7 ‘What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.’ The Israelites prayed for a Messiah, but when Jesus came, they rejected Jesus, because they did not think Jesus was the Messiah they prayed for. God chose the Israelites because of His Grace. It was never because how good they behaved or because they were the descendants of Abraham. We must not see ourselves more than we should, but to humble and obey. What we see and what we hear will not be the whole truth; the only thing we need to do is to stay in God’s dwelling place and never want to leave. What is our attitude when we read the Word of God? We must learn to enjoy reading the Word of God, to find spiritual food in the Word of God, not to search online for explanations, or to study other people’s studies. God’s Word has power, and He will let us understand if we pray and seek earnestly.

Section Two V11-24 He is a God of Hope

V11-12 ‘I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!’ Do not see that we are being rejected, but to know that we must seek God more. God is a God, who gives us hope, when He did not respond to our prayers, are we willing to wait with joy? Are we willing to quiet our voices and slow down our paces? We still living and breathing on this world, so God will not forsake us. So, wait upon Him for His perfect timing, seek Him earnestly, and He will not let us down.

On the other hand, when we know we are the chosen ones, do we have a thanksgiving heart? Or do we complain about the many things we have to do and the many responsibilities on our shoulders? When God choose us, He will give us all the strength and ability we need to serve His church. Let us come before God with a joyful heart, receive His Word with a grateful attitude, and worship Him full of passion. Bitterness only comes when our hearts and attitude are not right. Following God does not mean we do not need to do anything. In fact, we may have to do more things and carry bigger responsibilities, but we can still live a joyful life, and everyone will want to follow us. Where is our hope? When we are sick, do we seek God? When we are well, do we give thanks?

Section Three V25-36 He is a God of Mystery

V25 ‘For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.’ Do not make a rule for God, He is full of mystery. We are so small, and we can never fully know God. Whatever God chose to reveal to us belongs to us, therefore, we should not put God in a square and say, this is who God is.

V33-35 ‘Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counsellor?” “Or who has first given to Him, and it shall be repaid to him?”’ Are we willing to trust in God? Are we willing to humble ourselves and know that we are in lack and only God can fulfil? There are so much more about God, and we must seek Him all our life!

罗马书 11 – 神是一个怎么样的神             

2021年12月9日 星期四

潘锡安牧师

我们活水的源头就是我们的神,从神对待以色列人的方式我们可以认识他是一位什么样的神。

一、有恩典的神 v.1-10

V1. 保罗在一开始就提出了基督教神学的基础:就是神从创世以来都没有弃绝过叛逆的百姓 – 那是他所拣选的人。很多人跌倒是因为他们觉得自己没有脸求神饶恕。神没有因为我们的罪而弃绝我们,他让他的独生子耶稣基督为我们死在十字架上。神充满恩典,他给我们机会,我们就要珍惜。

V4 我们蒙拣选不是因为我们的服事多厉害多属灵,而是神“为自己留下”的。神做了事,人也要做出选择 – 当我们选择“留下”的时候,我们是否“未曾向巴力屈膝的”?巴力代表这个世界。我们是否倚靠这个世界和它带来的智慧?真正的智慧在于敬畏耶和华。我们在跟从神的时候,可能有很多计划,然而,当我们愿意谦卑寻求的时候,神的计划永远都是大过我们的计划。耶稣当初带着门徒一起生活,以生命影响生命,我们也要这样在生命中的点点滴滴愿意荣耀神。照着神的计划,他会为我们负责,但照着我们的计划,我们就要自己为结果负责,我们的选择是什么?神对我们的带领是一步一步慢慢来的,他没有将我们所面临的困境拿走,是让我们能在其中成长。我们若是选择倚靠自己,就经历不到神的恩典。神带领以色列人出埃及之后,他们虽然离应许之地很近,但仍然在旷野转了40年,因为没有预备好。神并不是不给他的百姓进入迦南美地,是人自己生命出了问题。神最后让以色列人的第二代进入应许之地,是出于他的怜悯和恩典。当我们觉得自己被拒之门外的时候,我们要问自己是否预备好了。如果没有预备好就进入下一个阶段,我们得到的就不是恩典,所以在进入应许之地前,我们要预备好自己的生命。无论处在什么光景,我们都要渴慕神,才不会轻易放弃跟从神。要不要领受神的恩典,这是我们的选择。

V5-6 我们能够被拣选,不是因为我们的生命很好。我们是蒙恩的罪人,不要夸自己过去多好。人劳苦重担,是因为他们盼望的是人的荣耀和享受。我们能够重新得力,不是靠着人的方法,而是效法耶稣,独自去寻求神。我们的时间花在什么地方呢?我们的祷告是为了什么呢?如果我们的祷告都只是在doing的层面,我们听不到神。我们看重与神的关系,就不会用祷告操控神,而是享受与主独处的时刻。

V7 这些以色列人所求的弥赛亚不是耶稣基督,他们看到耶稣跟他们对弥赛亚的要求不符合,就拒绝耶稣,所以没有得着恩典。我们不要看自己过于所当看的,反要谦卑顺服。

V8 因为罪,我们有“昏迷的心,眼睛不能看见,耳朵不能听见”。但是当我们能听见神的时候,我们要渴慕,要紧抓住神不放手,就好像大卫那样渴慕留在神的同在中。我们在读神的话语时是否有渴慕的心?神的话是大有能力的,当我们看不懂的时候,我们更要祷告。不要只看到自己看不懂的部分,却忽略了自己看得到的地方。我们是否能够从大便里面找到黄金,从石堆里面找到钻石?神是有恩典的,求神帮助我们能看见这一点。神拣选以色列人,不是因为以色列人多厉害,而是神有恩典。

二、有盼望的神 v.11-24

虽然以色列人求不着,但神有预备,给他的百姓有盼望。当我们还无法进入应许之地时,我们就要更加发奋与神建立关系。不要以为神不要我们了,我们就跑到世界那边。我们在等候的时候,是否愿意欢欣快乐,是否愿意安静?我们可能害怕当我们不动的时候就没人照顾我们,但我们要看到神在我们身上的计划。神要拣选谁就拣选谁,要恩待谁就恩待谁,不是因为人自己很厉害。当我们被神拣选的时候,我们更要以感恩的心来回应神。热恋中人彼此讲多久的话都不会腻烦,我们对神是否有这样渴慕的心?当我们的心不对的时候,我们自己就有苦毒。当我们有对的心态时,就能在神的话语中看到很多宝藏。

我们是否在神和人身上看到盼望?若看不到,我们就只是做事,却没有与神连结、没有经历神。神是给我们盼望的。神拣选我们这些“枝子”,他也能修剪我们。我们会跌倒是因为失去盼望。我们以为自己能经历神是基于物质生活上的祝福,但我们没有这些的“祝福”的时候,是否仍然相信神?

三、有奥秘的神 v.25-36

神是充满奥秘的,人很渺小,我们无法完全认识神。我们不要靠着有限的认识将神框在一个地方。神有“丰富的智慧和知识!他的判断何其难测,他的踪迹何其难寻!”(V33)。当我们谦卑寻求的时候,神会给我们更多。我们是选择寻求神,还是抓住过去的经验?求神帮助我们有一颗愿意谦卑跟从的心。