The public proclamation of God’s word is important—and it’s important that we are faithful to proclaim God’s word. You might not have the opportunity to preach the Gospel to a stadium full of people, but we have all been given the same commission by the Lord Jesus Christ: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” We have all been commanded to go and audibly communicate the Good News of what Jesus has done to everyone.
The best opportunity for this to happen is if we develop the discipline of seeking the Lord before and above anything else, talking to Him in prayer, and having Him talk to us through His word. And then, with hearts full of love for the Lord and His people, the watching world would see that love in us and be drawn to Jesus.
Try this—capture whatever comes out of the overflow of your heart during your time with the Lord. Maybe it’s a single verse. Write it down, carry it around, and dare the Lord to bring somebody to you that needs to hear that verse that spoke to you that day. Then watch what He does–you and the person you share it with might be surprised!
In Romans 10:21, the Apostle Paul quotes the Prophet Isaiah, who records the word of the Lord: “All day long, I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” Israel didn’t believe that God was going to follow through with what He said He would do if they turned away from Him and were unwilling to repent. They had misinterpreted God’s patience for permission to sin.
So God sent prophet after prophet with the same message: “I am serious—if you will not repent, I cannot relent in bringing the judgment I promised.” After 490 years of pleading with His people to repent, God brought the judgment He said would come if His people walked away from Him.
He says the same to us, expect the judgment that awaits us is more severe than a 70 year exile in a foreign country. The judgement that awaits us if we refuse to repent is eternal. And so, the same God who sent the prophets to plead with His people in the past is the same God who sends preachers to us today to plead with us to repent so that He could relent in bringing eternal judgment.
The public proclamation of God’s word is important. Watch our study of Romans 10:14-21 as we considered the vital role preaching has in our times of gathering.
We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s standard of righteousness. We are all in the same position relative to the Lord. No amount of effort will ever make up the difference.
And yet, we try so hard to be a good person, to follow the rules, to honor the rituals, to obey the regulations—hoping that will be enough to garner God’s favor. But after all of that effort, we are still uncertain of our salvation. All of that trying and striving—though zealous and well-intentioned—will never be enough to earn salvation. Any attempt to attain self-righteousness by trying to follow the law is futile.
This reality can lead to discouragement…or to the realization that we can’t earn or deserve salvation. If we could, then Christ had no reason to come to earth to live a perfect life, to be crucified, to die, and to rise from the dead. But He did—and since He did, Jesus is the end of the unnecessary pursuit of self righteousness.
This is the good news! Once we realize that we can’t earn our own righteousness, then we don’t have to climb some spiritual mountain or plumb some unattainable spiritual depth. We can simply believe that Jesus was raised from the dead to give us His righteousness.
If you believe this, but haven’t declared it, simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The Bible says that if you do this, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as the Lord of your life.
The Apostle Paul was a passionate person. He loved his brethren, his countrymen, his family according to the flesh—and wanted them to be saved.
His passion and emotion for his brethren was so intense that he was willing to be cut off from Christ if that meant that they could be saved. Even though this desire was deep in his heart, in his head he knew that this wasn’t possible. The Messiah—Jesus of Nazareth—had already given His life to them and they had every opportunity to be saved!
In Romans 10, Paul begins to process why his family according to the flesh have yet to yield to Jesus to be saved. Watch our study of Romans 10:1-13 as we unpack Paul’s heart and head for those he loved who weren’t saved—and what we can learn as we consider those in our lives who have yet to yield to Christ.
Way too often we take God’s mercy for granted. But when we realize that God chooses to be merciful, we cherish the many ways we have been blessed by His mercy. Aren’t you thankful for all the merciful choices that God has made in order to bless us, to serve us, to love us, and to make us righteous in His sight? He didn’t have to—He has the choice to be merciful!
You have a choice too. If you choose to harden your heart after you clearly hear from the Holy Spirit, God is not bound to be merciful to you if you are not in Jesus. God may sovereignly choose at any moment to strengthen your resolve to fortify your own decision and allow you to reap the temporal and eternal repercussions of your decision.
So don’t dismiss the bad news about your sinful condition—or the good news of God’s grace and mercy! He has every right and reason not to show mercy. And that should terrify us and incentivize us to figure out why and when and with whom God make these choices. We should want to learn how we can be in His good graces and how we can be in the middle of His merciful choices.
God is sovereign in His decisions AND we are responsible for our decisions. God sovereignly has the ability to make a choice on who He will have mercy upon. But He tells us plainly that He chooses to have mercy eternally upon whosoever chooses Him. Throughout scripture, we hear that invitation to the whosoevers:
“…whosoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” (Romans 9:33).
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“And whosoever lives and believes in [Jesus] shall never die.” (John 11:26)
“…whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21)
“…whosoever believes in [Jesus] will receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43)
“For whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
“Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…” (1 John 5:1)
“And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whosoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)
Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. He has made an invitation to you—choose Him today. Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Call upon Him now. Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. And trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as the Lord of your life.
There’s a faulty assumption about God that presumes He is obliged to have mercy on everyone. This assumption objects to anything that runs contrary to God automatically being merciful to all people in all places at all times.
But as we’ve been learning in Romans 9, God chooses to be merciful. He isn’t required to show mercy, and yet very often He does. Because He chooses to show mercy, there are times when He chooses not to be merciful. Sometimes God, as a just judge, does not show mercy. Sometimes He allows someone to experience the consequences of their actions. Sometimes He allows a person experience the just judgement for their sins.
That is His choice. That should terrify us and incentivize us to figure out why and when and with whom God make these choices. We should want to learn how we can be in His good graces and how we can be in the middle of His merciful choices. Because, after all, it’s His choice.
Watch our study of Romans 9:14-33 as we consider who God chooses have mercy upon, and how He chooses to have mercy upon whosoever chooses Him.
“As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.””
– Romans 9:13
In Romans 9:13, Paul quotes a verse from Malachi as an illustration of the futility of working for God’s favor rather than simply receiving God’s favor. You might have an intense difficultly with what God says—“Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” But if we were to think through this statement in light of all that we have gone through in Romans so far—in light of the holiness of God and His standard of absolute perfection—our difficulty would not be with the fact that God said, “Esau I have hated,” but rather with the fact that God said, “Jacob I have loved.”
The gift of God’s favor has nothing to do with earning or deserving. It has everything to do with God’s merciful choice. Since we cannot merit God’s love and since we have all fallen short of God’s holy standard, it should be logical that God would be in opposition to Esau. It seems entirely illogical that God would love Jacob…that God would love us. But that is God’s merciful choice! He mercifully chooses and calls those who don’t deserve His favor.
Now, you might be wondering if God has chosen you. It’s a good question, but one that shouldn’t lead you to analysis paralysis. Simply choose Him—and you’ll find out that He has chosen you! God sovereignly saves by election, choosing according to foreknowledge from before the very foundations of the world. AND we have the free will—invitation and responsibility—to choose Him. He gives salvation as a free gift to whosoever will come to Him, believing and receiving by faith what His one and only Son has done.
Have you chosen God? Have you accepted the free gift of salvation that’s offered through Jesus? Today is the day of salvation—simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The Bible says that if you do this, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as the Lord of your life.
In Romans 9, the Apostle Paul writes about his desire for his family—his fellow Israelites—to be saved from an eternity of paying the just penalty for their sin. But they are missing the key component—Jesus, The Messiah who ends all self-righteous pursuits by offering His righteousness as a gift.
This is important to understand as we work our way through Romans 9, 10, and 11 as Paul deals directly with the past, present, and future of his family—the Jewish people. He loves his own people enough to be willing to be cursed if that meant they could be saved. And while Paul acknowledges their zeal and enthusiasm to honor God, it won't bring about righteousness by following the law.
That’s because everyone has sinned and has fallen short of God’s holy standard. Everyone—whether Jew or Gentile—needs salvation. The only source of salvation offered to all of humanity is found in a flawless, sinless, substitutionary sacrifice who can take our place—Jesus, The Messiah.
Watch our study from Romans 9:6-13 as we discovered the importance of receiving Jesus and whom God has chosen to give His great gift of salvation.
The entirety of the Scriptures—from Genesis to Revelation—are the revelation, the revealing, the proclaiming of Jesus of Nazareth as The Messiah that all of creation was waiting for for all of time.
In Genesis, Jesus is present in creation. He is the seed of the woman who is promised to not only defeat sin and death, but also the sacrifice who will be given in our place.
In Exodus, He is the Passover lamb.
In Leviticus, He is our High Priest.
In Numbers, He is the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
In Deuteronomy, He is the promised prophet who is greater than Moses and will teach us how to love God with all our other, mind, and strength.
In Joshua, He is the captain of the Lord’s army who brings us salvation and calls us to go and take His name with us.
In Judges, He is the perfect judge and lawgiver.
In Ruth, He is our kinsman redeemer.
In 1st and 2nd Samuel, He is the One about whom every future prophet will speak of, and the covenant promise from the line of David.
In Kings and Chronicles, He is our reigning King who will inherit the throne of David forever.
In Ezra and Nehemiah, He is the rebuilder and restorer of His people and the true temple of God’s Spirit.
In Esther, He is our advocate in the face of destruction.
In Job, He is our ever-living Redeemer who walks on the waves of the sea.
In Psalms, He is the True Shepherd and the One who was forsaken for our sins.
In Proverbs, He is the Word, the true Wisdom of God.
In Ecclesiastes, He is our only hope for resurrection in the face of judgment.
In Song of Solomon, He is the lover of our souls.
In Isaiah, He is the Suffering Servant and the Prince of Peace.
In Jeremiah, He is the righteous branch who is treated wrongly.
In Lamentations, He is the prophet who weeps over the sins of His people.
In Ezekiel, He is the Lord who makes atonement for all who have done wrong.
In Daniel, He is the Son of Man who is sent by the Ancient of Days and who is with us in the fires of life.
In Hosea, He is a forgiving husband who never stops loving His bride.
In Joel, He is the giver of the Holy Spirit.
In Amos, He is the builder of the city of God.
In Obadiah, He is our deliverer on Mt. Zion.
In Jonah, He is the good news that we can be saved from death.
In Micah, He is the ruler of all ages from Bethlehem.
In Nahum, He is our stronghold in the day of trouble.
In Habakkuk, He is the God of our salvation
In Zephaniah, He is mighty to save.
In Haggai, He is the restorer of the kingdom.
In Zechariah, He is our humble king riding on a colt.
In Malachi, Jesus is the Lord who will come in His temple, the Sun of righteousness, with healing in His rays.
And these are just some of the ways that we see Jesus, The Messiah, in the backstory to the greatest story ever told.
But is He a part of your story? In your life, is Jesus Lord? Don’t be mistaken—knowledge alone about Jesus won’t save you. You can have a knowledge of Christ without the reality of a genuine relationship with Him. But we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. The Bible says that if you do this, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Ask God for forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died for your sin and that God raised Him to life. Trust Him as your Savior and follow Him as the Lord of your life. Then, tell others of the love and hope that Jesus freely offers!
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends