“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Email on Romans 9

Hi David,
I think I understand Romans 7 now after several days of study, but now I’m stuck on Romans 9. In it, Paul talks about predestination. Are we predestined to be children of God? He says we are predestined to be called, but it sounds like we are predestined to be redeemed. I understand about walking in the spirit and that God knows all so he would know who would answer the call, but some more information that’s biblical would help. Hope you are having a happy sabbath and talk to you soon. You know where to find me!

Hi C______,
What helped me in this chapter was the two verses: “What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory...” (Vs. 22,23).

Notice, that Paul’s example of predestining and foreknowledge, etc. really falls into the category of His ability to know us to the very core, way deeper than we’ll ever know ourselves or Satan can know us.

In Paul’s example above, Pharoah’s heart was being hardened by God, but his heart had been hardening for a long time before the Lord openly did anything about it. In other words, by the time Christ got involved with the king, the king had already shown himself to God as someone who would never surrender to God’s love or submit to His authority—not even in a million years of grace. Even if no one else saw Pharoah’s condition, his Creator and Redeemer had read every dark spot.

Peter wrote, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2Pet. 3:8,9).

And He treated Pharoah with all the grace He treats us with. But Pharoah turned it all down and heckled God. King Saul did the same thing. Judas and Balaam and so many others have also.

On the contrary, those who have responded to God’s work in the heart, He foreknew all along that they would. Those who come to know God and fall away, He foresees also. “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Heb. 10:38,39).

The third plot of ground that grew only weeds was good ground at one time and received the seed or word of God, into their heart. “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” (Matt. 13:22). God saw these people, too. But He works with them anyway, until for the last time they shake their fist at His following them to call them back. King Saul, Balaam, and the rest did this until they no longer heard the call of the Holy Spirit.

Basically, I just want to say that when God decides to put someone to the big test and harden their heart, He never does it arbitrarily. He has gone much further with each case than any of the lost ever deserve. But there comes a point when every effort to get their attention results only in their deepening resentment of Him and spirituality and holiness. If they have had no interest in Him, not even to seek to repair a broken relationship that continually weighs them down and brings on the worst depressions, so that their only other recourse is to curse their conscience and give God the finger with all their heart, then, and only then, Satan has such a hold on them that nothing more can God do for them. He casts them away forever.

Its a sad thing, as EGW said it, “a terrible ordeal; nevertheless it must take place.”


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