The Daily Encounter
“Diving Deep into God’s Sovereignty (Romans 9)”
14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
Romans 9:14-15 (ESV)
No chapter of the Bible is more saturated with the theme of God’s sovereignty in our salvation than Romans 9. The idea of God’s choice is seen throughout the Scriptures both in the Old and New Testaments. Yet in this famous passage Paul devotes more space to explaining the nature of God’s election than any other writer.
So here’s our encouragement: take some time today to read the full chapter. Ponder on it. Meditate on it. Cross-reference it with other chapters like John 6 and Ephesians 1. Let it sink deeply into your soul and ask God to reveal Himself to you in it.
As you read, here are a few things to note:
Paul begins with an emphatic declaration that he would be willing to spend eternity in Hell if he could ensure the faith and salvation of his Jewish brothers and sisters (that’s some serious evangelistic compassion)
Paul reaches back into the Old Testament stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Esau to show how God’s sovereign choice has always been at work
Paul anticipates his readers' objections and questions (God’s fairness, etc.) and answers them preemptively while not fully removing some of the mystery of God's sovereignty
Let’s be honest, this is a difficult and seemingly strange (to many of us) doctrine. It paints a picture of a bigger and more complex God than we have imagined and a smaller and more dependent “us” than we are inclined to perceive. Yet there is beauty and freedom as well as passion and joy in this truth if we’re willing to dive deep into its mystery.
May God give us grace to do so.
For His name’s sake,