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
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。