February 7, 2021

God Is Faithful


I. Brokenness in view of eternity (v. 3

II. Love toward people (vv. 2-3) (no love – don’t talk about sovereignty)

III. Honesty in relationships (v. 1)

IV. Zeal toward evangelism (vv. 3; 10:1) 

V. Humility toward God (vv. 4-5) (tragedy of people who are near)

We begin with crisis – Israel is in rejection (v. 3), yet, they are covenant people (vv. 4-5). How is this even possible? If (Rom. 8:28) is true, then their rejection in 9:3 casts doubt on all the statements made before, and this should concern you and me, because we, too, rely on God’s promises. Can God keep His promises to us? Can we rely on God’s promises? In v. 6 Paul claims that God’s promise has not been broken! God is faithful! All that follows is a step-by-step proof of this statement. So, today we will be answering one simple question: Is god faithful to His words? The answer is obvious – YES! But, on what basis? And is is it important?

I. The Foundation of God’s Faithfulness – Election

A. Israel within Israel (v. 6)

So, in (v. 6) Paul says that he does not suffer because God did not fulfill His promises to Israel, but he grieves because he realized that Israel in the flesh is not the Israel to whom God gave the promises – these promises belong only to the true Israel – those who, like Abraham, believed God, and this is minority! This is the argument of these chapters – not all those who are called Israel in the flesh are God’s people! This is important because God’s choice of true Israel in Israel itself indicates that God’s promises are immutable, true, unshakable, and they refer specifically to this true Israel. God’s election becomes a guarantee that His Word will be fulfilled and it is unshakable! Ethnic Israel is different from true Israel. All the promises that God made to Israel continue to apply to true Israel! Not ethnic Israel! We see a constant difference between physical Israel and God’s Israel, between children of flesh and the children of the promise.

B. Isaac, not Ishmael (vv. 7-9)

The second illustration of this principle is the two sons of Abraham. Son according to the flesh and the son of the promise (vv. 7-9). The promises of God are given precisely to the children of the promise (v. 8). What does it mean when someone becomes a child of promise. In other words, this is such a child who was born in a miraculous way. There was a specific miracle that the child was born. Isaac is a very striking illustration.

We need to pay attention to those OT quotes that Paul refers to, because he strategically quotes something that will help us see the essence of the problem – why there are children of the promise and the children of flesh.

(v. 7) – a quote from Genesis 21:12 – this is the middle of the conflict – Sarah drives Hagar out… Abraham doesn’t know what to do, and surprisingly, God takes Sarah’s side – yes, let Hagar and her son go, I will produce from him the people (vv. 13, 18). God blesses Ishmael, but still makes His promises to Isaac!

(v. 9) – a quote from Gen. 18:10 – another conflict! The conflict between a man and God, human thinking and God! They had already tried to help God with His promises, and Abraham married Sarah’s maid and had a son. This is a human attempt to resolve the issue of promise! God promised. Abraham had to trust! God didn’t change his promise! It works a miracle! God makes a promise, and He keeps it! Ishmael is a human attempt to help God, does not lead to success! A child of a promise is not a physical solution to a problem, but a child of a strong, mighty, saving Word of God – a promise or a promise given by God!

Conclusion – not all children of Abraham are truly children who received exactly God’s promises (God blessed Ishmael with a special blessing), but not as extensive as Isaac!

C. Jacob, not Esau (vv. 10-13)

Third illustration (vv. 10-13) – Jacob, even though he was born second, received the promise that he would rule over the older! It is a miracle! This explains why the majority of Israel still rejects the Messaiah. Jacob and Esau were Isaac’s children, but the promise extends to Jacob only.

This example seems to be more complicated, but in fact it is simpler. 

(v. 13) – a quote from (Mal. 1:1-6) – what we see is the contrast between choosing one and not choosing the other. Jacob did not deserve this election! Just think how many times he cheated and deceived people around him, even his father for blessing. This is not a basis for election! Esau deserved this rejection (Mal. 1:4) – pride, stubbornness and wickedness!!! This is enough to be the enemy of God!

These examples lead us to the following conclusion…

II. The Purpose of God’s Faithfulness – Glorification

  1. God chooses who will believe and will be saved not on the basis of their merits, but in spite of their sin!
  2. As result, God decides that someone will oppose the Gospel and be lost because of their own sin!

In other words, salvation occurs by faith, and we need to believe in the saving sacrifice of Christ! To be saved we need to believe! This is a command! And those who go to hell, they will go there because of their sin and unbelief! People in heaven will never say, “I’m here because I deserve it,” just like the people in hell will never say, “It is not fair that I’m here.

Now, we all want to ask a fair question: why such a difficult path? Why does God make such an election?

The answer lies in the texts that speak of God’s will.

“Purpose” – (Greek, Prothesis) – “before thesis” is something that comes before the plan or the main thought/idea. The ultimate purpose!

(Rom. 8:28) – purpose – is all about salvation

(Eph. 1:11-12) – a will, so that we serve for God’s glory!

(Eph. 3:11) – to reveal the wisdom of God

(2 Tim. 1:9) – will and grace, Jesus Christ–it gives strength! It’s the Gospel

This is confirmed by our text when it says that the election took place before a person could do anything, so that he would not be the basis for praise! And all the glory would belong to God!

So, to summarize, God’s purpose is the act of God to reveal his wisdom, grace, and mercy in the salvation of sinners through faith in Jesus Christ, which leads to a natural and sincere glorification of God!!!

Today is the Lord’s Supper… Jesus Christ is the Word or the promise that became flesh. He fulfilled all the promises that God gave to people – and now everyone who believes in what Christ did on the cross has the forgiveness of sins and the opportunity to participate in the Supper! The Communion is a celebration of God’s faithfulness!

You need to answer to yourself – do you trust Christ, and the fact that He died on the cross for your personal sins! If so, you are the true Israel! And the Communion is an opportunity for you to rejoice in the forgiveness of sins and belonging to His family!

If you are close by or near God’s people, and listening to this sermon, you realized that up to this moment, you simple tried to please God by your merits, now, you need to confess your sins with faith, and trusting in the perfect sacrifice of Christ to receive forgiveness of all sins!

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