“It is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring” (Romans 9:8).
As we continue our study of Romans 9-11 let’s focus on Paul’s teaching in chapter 9 about God’s sovereign activity in electing some to salvation. For many this is a difficult truth to grasp and accept.
The Israelites whom Paul was here talking about would no doubt be incensed by it. That’s why Paul was so careful to share his heart’s concern for them. Listen carefully as we look at what he says about why only some believe. You will see salvation from God’s perspective.
Let’s look first at what does not contribute to the faith relationship and righteousness found in salvation. In verses 4-5 it is clear that if you are relying on a privileged position like Israel had you will not come to saving faith. “Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”
They were without doubt privileged beyond measure, but that didn’t save them. God gave them so much and so many opportunities. The way was paved before them. Christ came as the fulfillment of all they had received and been promised, yet they missed it.
Privilege doesn’t give it to you, nor does parentage (Romans 9:6-10). Not all descendants of Israel are Israelites. Not all of Abraham’s children are Israelites. “In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.” Salvation is by promise, not privilege or parentage.
Are you relying always and only on God’s promise?