People Still Stumble Over Jesus

Posted in Romans 9

Romans 9:30-33

People Still Stumble Over Jesus

Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall

Romans 9:30a What should we say then?

Since God in His own pleasure had saved Jews by grace in the past, Paul now asked a pertinent question. What is God’s plan resulting in right now; what is happening in His current economy?

Romans 9:30b Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have

obtained righteousness—namely the righteousness that comes

from faith.

There can be no salvation without righteousness. This refers not to goodness or morality, but to a legal transaction. In salvation, righteousness refers to that which is necessary to satisfy the demands of God against us.

Gentiles were not concerned about righteousness. They needed salvation, but never considered trying to be right with Israel’s God. His righteousness was something they knew nothing of, and had no desire for.

Nevertheless, God in sovereign mercy came to them. What He had said on another occasion was true now: “I was sought by those who did not ask; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said: Here I am, here I am, to a nation that was not called by My name” (Isaiah 65:1).

The Gentiles found something they were not seeking. They were like the man who grabbed a shrub to keep from falling. He noticed the shrub was very loose. Pulling it up, he found a huge stash of silver buried beneath

Don’t Abuse God’s Patience

Posted in Romans 9

Romans 9:23-29

Don’t Abuse God’s Patience

Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall

Romans 9:23a And what if He did this to make known the riches of His

glory on objects of mercy…

The Lord delights in mercy, not punishment. Wrath eventually comes, but arrives slowly. Mercy flies; anger creeps. Though punishment knocks on the door, God stands inside, patiently waiting, lingering, hesitating to open.

People are so depraved that most of them criminally abuse God’s long-suffering. They use His delays in punishment to justify their becoming more entrenched in evil. “Because the sentence against a criminal act is not carried out quickly, the heart of people is filled with the desire to commit crime” (Ecc. 8:11). A minority responds with repentance to God’s patience.

God’s mercy is a soul-saving process for some, and a soul-destroying process for others. It is obvious truth, but a mystery understood only by God.

If we want to see what God wants to do, look at a Christ-follower. The believer, one born again by God’s grace, reveals the riches of God’s glory. Every saint is a trophy of God’s mercy. Lest we be proud, Paul reminds us…

Romans 9:23b …that He prepared beforehand for glory—

God by grace prepared us for salvation. Absolute justice would have resulted in the destruction of everyone, but God found a way to save some. “Election was