As we embark upon Chapters 9-11 of Romans we will be hearing of God's righteousness as it has been revealed in the history of Israel, and his future plans for his chosen people. This week, in Romans 9:1-29, Paul expresses his own sorrow and anguish for his unbelieving Jewish kinsfolk. Despite the many privileges they have enjoyed as God's chosen, covenant people, they have failed to believe the gospel of Christ.
Paul vehemently defends the word of God. It is not God who has failed, nor has he been unfaithful to his promises. In fact, Paul argues, Israel's unbelief follows a pattern established by God from the very outset - it is not on the basis of family heritage, nor by works, that anyone is saved, but on the basis of God's sovereign choice, according to the mercy and compassion of God.
These matters often evoke much discussion and passionate debate, but for Paul, whenever he speaks of election, it is always accompanied with joy and praise to God. We will do well to hear what Paul has to say, and to emulate his response to these matters as we consider the mercy and compassion of our God.
Ray is Senior Pastor at Coromandel Baptist Church, South Australia. Before being appointed to this role in January 2012 and during his years of theological study at the Bible College of South Australia, Ray was Student Pastor at the church. Prior to this he was a high school...