By: Bro. Godwin Nene
Text: James 4: 13 -16, Romans 9:19 – 29, Hosea 11:9
- Each of the twenty – four hour period, reckoned from one midnight to the next, into which a week, month or year is divided is refer to as a day.
- We prayed that the good Lord should expand our understanding about HIS existence, and forgive us for the times we thought of HIM without respect and honour that He deserved.’
- We need to Him come to for our daily protection and salvation, this invitation is to all and sundry. Psalm 91: 1
- Imagine you work for a successful family business. Your dad is the MD, so you are pretty confident that you will have a job for life – a job with regular promotions and plenty of freedom. But then you are called into his office and informed that he is opening up your position to external candidates and you will have to apply for it along with everyone else. How would you feel? Perhaps outraged, hurt, angry, a bit baffled?
- Paul make cleared that salvation is random and everybody should by this invitation come to God. Actually, the argument is that salvation has been extended to the gentiles and Paul knows this is going to be a blow for his Jewish people. As the non-Jews have being adopted into the chosen people, however, this is good news; God now call us ‘my people’ (V25), my loved one ‘(V25), ‘children of the living God’ (V26).
- Let’s take a few moments to absorb the implications of being a legitimate child of God.
- Paul continues to draw an Old Testament texts to develop three ideas as his argument unfolds.
- First, he explores the notion of God as potter and His people as clay – not as a general observation about humanity, but in relation to God’s call to His people and his purposes in the world. It is clear from Isaiah 29 and Jeremiah 18 that this metaphor is not about God who change his mind, but people who will not cooperate with God in his purposes of making his grace known. God’s remolding of his people arises from HIS steadfast faithfulness to his people and HIS creation.
- Secondly, Paul then adopts a saying from Hosea. If those who have stepped outside God’s purposes can once again be included in his people, why not also those who had never (until now) been part of God’s purposes in the first place? If the grace of God can restore sinners in Israel, cannot it also restore those outside? In talking of predestination ‘(prepared for destruction, V23)’, Paul is not suggesting that God fixes the future and eliminates free will – rather, that even if some Israel refuse to cooperate and so bring judgment to themselves, God’s patient dealings with them
- Thirdly, Paul picks up on Isaiah’s notion of ‘remnant’. God’s promise to Abraham was that his descendants would be like the sand of the seashore, and this has come to pass, but not all this ‘Israel’ are truly Israel (v6) – only a remnant remain true to him. In fact, as Elijah in 1 kings 19:18, this is a sign of God’s faithfulness. Though all have sinned and turned away (Romans 3: 9-12, 23), God continue to make his grace known and will save some. Becomes a demonstration of grace to others who will receive it.
People think differently, when it comes to salvation:
- At the time of the flood when God acted in judgment he also acted in grace to preserve a small group.
- Joseph pointed out to his brothers that he had been sent into Egypt to ensure the preservation of God’s people (Genesis 45:7).
- God reminded Elijah that he had kept 7,000 faithful in the time of Ahab when Baal worship was growing (1 Kings 19:8).
- In the eighth century BC prophets like Amos spoke of God preserving a remnant of Israel (Amos 5:15).
- Israel argued that even when acting in just judgment God also acts in mercy and grace remaining true to his promise by preserving some of the people (Isaiah 10:20 – 23). They will go into exile but they will return – not just to the land but to God.
- For Jeremiah and Ezekiel the remnant are those who go into exile (Jeremiah 23:3), and are thus preserved, an idea picked up by Ezra (Ezra 9:8).
- The idea of the remnant is always one of grace, mercy and faithfulness. Some people choose to go their own way but even then God ensures that there are those who are true to him.
- Paul picks up this idea to show that God has not given up on Israel or forgotten his promise. He may have called the Gentiles but that is not the whole story nor is it the end of the story.
Are you ready to come to Christ today because tomorrow maybe too late