Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Vessels of Mercy

Temple Baptist Church - 10-7-2018
Romans 9:21-33


A.  Tonight, we will try to finish chapter 9.  To do so, we need to reset the context and the progression of the chapter.  Chapter 9 begins with the Nation of Israel and ends with the Nation of Israel.  That is the context.

B.  In verses 1-4, we find Paul’s prayer for his people, the Nation of Israel.

C.  In verses 4-5, we find God’s special blessings upon the Nation of Israel.

D.  In verses 6-13, we find God’s special selection of the Nation of Israel through the Fathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob while setting aside Ishmael and Esau through foreknowledge.

E.  In verses 14-18, we saw God’s special protection of the Nation of Israel.

F.  In verses 19-22, we see the Potter’s House and the marring of the Nation of Israel in God’s hand.  God’s setting aside of the Nation of Israel.

1.  Verses 21-22.  Notice “the same lump” became both a vessel of honor and a vessel of dishonor.  The lump was the Nation of Israel.

a.  In God’s hand, Israel—though they were not perfect—became a vessel of honor in the hand of God.  God raised up a mighty nation: a nation of Law under Moses; a Theocracy. 

b.  But, eventually, the Nation of Israel turned from Jehovah God and suffered the 70 year captivity in Babylon.

c.  Though Israel eventually returned to their homeland, their spiritual decline continued and culminated in the rejection of the Messiah, the Lamb of God.  (John 1:11)

d.  The vessel of honor became a vessel of dishonor.

e.  In the Nation of Israel, we see the compassion, longsuffering, and mercy that God spoke of to Moses on Mount Saini. 

2.  Verses 23-26.  God’s Vessel of Mercy, the Church—comprised of both Jews and Gentiles.

a.  Verses 23-24 shows the foreknowledge of God.  God’s riches of glory upon the Church was foreordained in eternity past.  God’s blessing on both Jew and Gentile in one body.

Ephesians 2:11-12  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;  (12)  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

b.  Verse 25-26 shows the love of God for the Church.

Romans 1:7  To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3.  In verses 27-29, find God’s remnant in the Nation of Israel.

a.  The marred vessel, fitted for destruction, is the Nation of Israel, not the individual Jews.

b.  The remnant is a very small percentage, normally 1-2 percent.

c.  The Nation of Israel will be judged in righteousness, will be cut short.  A reference to the Tribulation Period or Jacob’s Trouble, a period of 7 years.  Seven being a number of perfection or a perfect restoration.

d.  God will not destroy the Nation of Israel as He did Sodom and Gomorrah!  Their destruction was because of a reprobate lifestyle.  They were not the people of God, Israel is!

4.  Verses 30-33.  The basis of God’s blessings on the Gentiles and future restoration of the Nation of Israel.

a.  The Father of Israel, Abraham, was justified by faith, not works.

b.  Verse 31 tells us that Israel, as a nation, changed from a faith-based salvation to a works based one.  During the days of the Maccabees, two sects of Judaism arose, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. 

1)  The Sadducees arose from the ranks of the priesthood and were more concerned with social issues.  They championed the written Law.

2)  The Pharisees (“separated ones”) arose from the scribes and were more concerned with legal issues.  They championed the oral Law.

c.  The Nation of Israel stumbled at the “stumbling stone” of Jesus Christ. Verse 32.  The reason for stumbling, Israel sought righteousness by works, not faith.

Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Galatians 3:7  Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Galatians 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

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