By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed June 30, 1985)
This lesson will have two main objectives. We will make some concluding remarks on the discussion of Romans 9. Thereafter, we are going to include a brief review quiz to help stir your memory on the subject to aid retention.
The doctrine of predestination that concludes man’s final destiny is set by the mere sovereignty of God has improperly used Romans 9 and the Jacob-Esau illustration. Paul reveals through the writings in Romans 9 that the admission of the believing Gentiles and the rejection of the unbelieving Jews did not violate the promises given unto Abraham. Let us quote Spalding, “By quoting the example of Esau, who was just as much the seed of Abraham as Jacob was, but who was cut off from any participation in the distinctive privileges of the Abrahamic covenant, he destroys their vain reliance on natural relationship, and shows there is no unrighteousness in God in determining that faith in Christ shall be the essential condition of admission into his church, whether for Jew or Gentile (pg.306,307).”
It should be realized God’s love and hate is not fixed upon persons, but on the character manifested by each. He loves righteousness and hates unrighteousness. God has made a way. The way and the judgment of God are indeed fixed and have been, but not by arbitrary call of this individual or that individual without consideration of character and response to the will of heaven through faith. “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his words are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.” Why did God always send the messenger crying repentance? Read Jeremiah 44:2-6. The ever incessant cry of the prophets to repent evidently meant one could indeed repent, if they so willed. Ezekiel 14:6 reads, “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.” Again, “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. (Ezekiel18:30)” The pattern of the Bible is constant and the false interpretation of Romans 9 is indeed strained. There is no place in the scriptures for the fixing of one’s eternal destiny without the individual having opportunity to show their faith or lack of faith determined by their choice. Read Jerermiah13:8-14.
Let us now combine conclusions and summarize Romans 9.
1) The Jacob-Esau situation does not teach the individual has been predestinated to eternal life or condemnation without any consideration of one’s individual response and character.
2) We are to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and walk by faith to be obedient to the will of heaven.
3) Our privileges in Christ are many, but they can be lost. There is no better illustration of this than Romans 11:29, so commonly used to try and prove the very opposite. Read Romans 11:20-22 and note the evident violation of context to say Romans 11:29 proves salvation gained can never be lost.
4) The admission of believing Gentiles into the church and the rejection of unbelieving Jews did not violate Abraham’s covenant and promise. It was the anticipated outcome that took place through the gospel of Christ.
5) God’s love and hate are indeed fixed, but it is on character and not on a given person. IT is evident certain vessels were chosen for certain ends during the revelatory process of unfolding God’s plan and completing revelation. The need for such vessels during he unfolding stage has passed. Furthermore, such choices were for a certain work and were not a matter of fixing one’s eternal destiny without their character being considered. The chosen were not always endorsed in every action they took, nor were they fixed, for they had the obvious ability to choose. Let it be realized that God can predict without being the primary cause. In reality, this is the ultimate in knowledge and power for he knoweth all men so well he can predict their behavior even though they chose. Man has illustrated this ability to a limited degree in his study of the physical universe because of the regularity of Christ’ mode of sustaining the universe.
6) The privileges that Israel enjoyed through the LORD by the law and the prophets were as much for the human race as for Israel. This is perceived when you observe God’s total plan, especially in the light of the New Testament events and their fulfilling role.
- The grand theme of the Roman letter is found in chapter ____, verse_____.
- Jesus’ death answered two crucial questions. It revealed how God was __________ for the ___________ of past sins and it revealed how all men would now be __________ by faith in _______________. Romans 3:___,____ answers the previous question. (Have you ever pondered how the death of Jesus and his resurrection took away Satan’s power ot accuse the God of heaven of unrighteousness?)
- The new covenant contains the only adequate sacrifice for sin. A return to the ____ ________ would remove one form the blood of the efficacious sacrifice for sin and therefore call for sinlessness to obtain salvation. This is the emphasis of Hebrews 10:____.
- The Jews argued salvation by faith makes ______ the law. They also argued the bringing in of the Gentiles meant all ________ should be saved. Otherwise, they taught God was ____________.
- The Jew considered the assurance of his salvation was founded on being the ______ of ____________.
- Paul’s answer was there is an Israel, but they are not all of _________.
- Paul wrote, “They are not all _________, which are of _______.”
- Rebecca had two sons named _______ and _________.
- Romans 9:12,13 involves _____ quotations form the old testament.
- Romasn 9:12 is a quotation from ____________.
- Romans 9:13 is a quotation from ____________.
- The one quote was made before the ________ of the boys.
- The other quote had been made after the __________ of the boys.
- List the four facts revealed in Genesis 25:23 regarding the boy’s future and relationship.
- The two boys actually represent ________ ___________.
- Esau represented the nation of ________________.
- Jacob represented the nation of ___________________.
- (True or false) Paul’s discussion in Romans 9 does not deal with the eternal destiny of the boys being determined before birth.
- (True or false) Paul’s discussion does reveal the fleshly tie was not the key to understanding all Israel was to be of God.
- (True or false) Esau served Jacob while the two boys were both living.
- (True or false) The events of Genesis 25 were fulfilled in the life of the two nations and not in the lifetime of the two boys.
- (True or false) The predictions in Genesis 25 and discussed in Romans 9 refers to nations and not to individuals. Therefore it is improper to teach the predestination of individual salvation from Romans 9.
- (True or false) The privileges given unto Jacob are listed in Romans 9.
- (True or false) The privileges referred to the body of revelation received and the lineage of the Messiah, not eternal salvation.
- The hating of Esau refers to the idea of the ____________ received, not salvation.
- The use of the word ‘hate’ is seen clearly in Genesis 29:30,31. when one is said to be loved more, the other is said to be ___________.
- (True or false) God’s sovereignty is such that there is no concern regarding character and righteous conduct.
- (thought question) Do some people believe God is so powerful that he could actually do wrong and it would still be accepted as right? Immediately some one will say God cannot do wrong. The point is God cannot do wrong, but what about the theories of men that in reality when explained have God responsible for wrong? The modern predestination theorist must answer.