Romans 9 – Easily and Joyfully Enter into God’s Preparation 輕輕鬆鬆進入神的預備
Tuesday, 13th June 2023 年6月13日 星期二
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon 潘錫安牧師
Section One V1-13 Everything should Reveal God’s Will一切都要顯明神的旨意
Often we want to be ‘somebody’, we used all our ways, we used all our strength, and we worked hard. We wanted to change our family, our ministry, our work, our lives… we sought ways of the world, we sought knowledge, and we sought teaching from people. But Paul talked about one important thing in the Book of Rome. Of course, we need to change our lives and be influential for the sake of the Gospel, yet before we so anything, we must know this, we can easily and happily enter into the preparation of God.
V1-5 ‘I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.’
Be a true Christian, people will want to come near us, they will be influenced by our joy when they are around us. This is the Will of God, for us to influence the world, to manage the earth, just like how in the beginning, when God created people, He gave everything to us. God wants us to enjoy this world He created for us, He didn’t ask the people to create the Heaven and earth, He prepared everything for us to enjoy and to manage. But people make it so hard to follow God’s Will, we want to do so many things with our own hands, and gradually, we make following God so difficult for ourselves and for others.
V6-9 ‘But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”’
We don’t know how to observe the Sabbath, it’s not about going out to play or doing nothing, but to commit the whole day to God, dedicate the whole day to God, to think about nothing but God. Sabbath is the day we seek to connect with God, to rest ourselves and focus on God only. When we keep our focus on Him completely, then we honour Him, and this is the Will of God.
V10-13 ‘And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”’
God’s Will for us is not from what we do or our action, but only by His calling. God called Abraham to let people see His Will through his life. In the same way, God calls us today, not because of how holy we are, but only to see God’s Will through our broken lives. We are all sinners, Israelites and Gentiles, there are laws and regulations helping us, guiding us, but they cannot make us righteous. Only through our brokenness, through His calling, then His Will can be revealed, and then we can be made righteous through faith. Are we living out a good testimony? Through us, God’s Will can be revealed, everything is the Will of God, let us stop our own wills and let God’s Will be revealed!
Section Two V14-29 Everything is Out of God Who Shows Mercy一切都在乎發憐憫的神
V14-18 ‘What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.’
It’s not about those who runs but the God who shows mercy! He raises us up so we can reveal His strength and power, and His Name will be spread out to the end of the earth. It’s God’s Will to let us arise, it’s God’s Will for us to be strengthen, He is not here to judge us or to mark us, but to reveal life to us. God wants to reveal the Tree of Life within our lives! This is not judgement, because only within the Tree of Life, then we can see God’s power. This is when we put down our desires to take the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and be willing to contain the blessings of the Tree of Life. So often we want to seek who’s right and who’s wrong, we want to be justified, and we don’t want to humble ourselves. The Tree of Life is the fragrance of humility, obedience, denying ourselves, and benefiting others. This is not something we can receive but something we live out.
V19-21 ‘You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?’
There is no SOP for being in the Tree of Life, we cannot simply do it by following the instructions, it’s only by following God, listening to God, letting God rule and reign in our lives… Peter denied Jesus three times, he was prideful, he thought he was able to hang on to his promise by his own strength, then he failed. Do we know our problems and our issues? Do we know how small and weak we are? It’s all by the grace of God that we can be here, God can change us, God can reveal to us, God can heal us, and God can save us. He shows mercy to whoever He wants to show mercy to, everything is from Him, and He has prepared the abundant glory for us. This glory is not from anything we do, but through His strength.
V22-24 ‘What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?’
God will send us the pillar of fire and pillar of cloud, He will show us the way, He will not let us have burdens. We give ourselves our own burdens, because we chose not to take Sabbath, we chose not to pray, we chose not to seek God, and we chose not to come before God. We find questions from the internet, from search engine, from AI… because they don’t have emotions, they will not make us upset, and they will not be offended. But is this really who God created us to be? Emotionless machine? God has already prepared for us the abundant glory and the good fruits. It’s not a mission impossible, because He has given us everything we need. It’s easy, it’s joyful, and it’s abundant.
V25-29 ‘As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved.” “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ there they shall be called sons of the living God.” Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved. For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.” And as Isaiah said before: “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah.”’
Section Three V30-33 By Faith Not By Action 憑信心不要憑行為
V30-33 ‘What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”