Romans Podcast Expository Files 2018 Berkley - Page 34



Romans ~ The Predicament
Rom. 9
When I teach the book of Romans, I use the term “Predicament” to describe
what Paul is doing in chapters nine, ten and eleven. Here’s what I mean. The
“racial divide” of the first century was the longstanding conflict between Jews
and Gentiles. That is, Jewish people and those who were not of that heritage.
The Jews and Gentiles had been separated through many generations. Actually,
the separation was legitimate during the time of the Old Covenant. But God
never intended that there be hostility, prejudice or Jewish superiority toward
Gentiles.
There were Jews (some who had become Christians) attempting to sort all this
out. And the question arose, “why did God do this?” “Now we have Gentiles
who are members of God’s family, and there are Jews who are lost?” Paul, in
these three chapters, is addressing this predicament. He wants to make it clear
that God did exactly what He had planned to do, and He did what He had
a right to do as the Sovereign Creator.
Notice, at the end of chapter nine, “whoever believes in Him will not be put to
shame.” Believers in Christ have this equality, no matter their genealogy.
Paul was disturbed that there were Jews who hadn’t obeyed the gospel (9:1-5),
but it wasn’t that the Word of God had failed or that God had marked off all
Jews forever. Rather, God had a plan before the world began. He worked that
plan according to His wisdom (without consulting the Jewish people for their
approval). God’s plan, that became the gospel of Christ, did not depend on
human will, but on God, who expressed His mercy according to His will (v.16).
The Potter and the Clay shows God to be the One with the right to make whatever
He wishes. So, there were Gentiles who were now Christians. There were Jews
who stumbled. But whoever believes in Christ “will not be put to shame.”
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