Romans 9:1-29 | Peter MacPherson |
Today we begin a series in Romans 9-11. This section has been a battleground over the years for a number of reasons.
1) How does it fit in to the structure of Romans? Some think of it as an “excursus” or detour (ie not important to the main argument) while others see it as the very centre of Romans.
2) It raises complex theological issues like predestination and election over which whole schools of thought have differed (eg Calvinists v Arminians).
3) It forces us to think about the place of Israel in God’s plan of salvation and what Paul means when he looks to the future and sees that “the full number of Gentiles has come in” and “all Israel will be saved” (11:25-26).
Romans 9-11 are challenging chapters of Scripture. Nevertheless what does come through clearly is that God is a God of mercy and compassion. In his compassion he has not only created and used Israel to make himself known but he has now sent the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, to make salvation possible for all people. This is the gospel that Paul has been preaching and which we continue to preach to this very day.
The series will involve four expository sermons (Oct 23 & 30, Nov 13 & 20) punctuated by a stand-alone topical sermon on “The Thorny Question of Predestination” (Nov 6).