Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome. More specifically today’s passage is found in the ninth chapter of this New Testament book. “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to the election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:1-13).
“What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fauly? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make on vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 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 afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles. As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoath had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 9:14-33).
When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the apostle Paul shifting gears entirely and altogether within this epistle. Up until this point in time the apostle spent a considerable amount of time engaging in theological and doctrinal language concerning sin, concerning death, concerning righteousness, concerning faith, concerning justification, and so much more. The apostle Paul spent a considerable amount of time emphatically declaring unto his readers and audience how all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of the living God. Moreover the apostle Paul also declared the wages of sin being death and yet the gift of God is eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to this the apostle Paul declared unto his readers and audience that sin and death reigned in the earth from the time of Adam until the time of Moses and how both were transmitted from Adam throughout and among the generations. Although not everyone sinned and transgressed according to the similitude and likeness of Adam’s transgression men which existed and moved upon the earth committed iniquity, transgression and trespasses against the living and eternal God. Not only this but when the Law was actually given there would be a moral code and standard of righteousness that was given by the Lord unto the children of Israel. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for that which the apostle Paul sought to do in the epistle written unto the saints of Rome is bring both Jew and Gentile into the knowledge that they stood guilty in the sight and presence of the living God. Regardless of whether or not one was a Jew or a Gentile men was without excuse—whether the invisible things of the eternal God and His power were evidence and manifested in those things which are seen or the Jews knew God through the faith of their patriarchs, through the Law, through the plagues and judgments in the land of Egypt, through salvation at the Red Sea, and through the giving of the Tabernacle unto Moses men had a knowledge and understanding of the living God.
Perhaps what makes the epistle written unto the saints of Rome so incredibly unique and powerful is when you take into consideration the fact that the apostle Paul preached and taught how neither circumcision nor works of the Law availed anything in the sight of the living God. The apostle Paul taught and preached unto both the Jews and Gentiles alike that neither circumcision which was a manifestation within and of the flesh nor works of the Law justified man in the sight of the living God. Moreover the apostle Paul would appeal to Abraham as the prime and penultimate example of righteousness that was given unto a man apart from the Law and absent circumcision. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth that there is absolutely no way that we can be justified in the sight of the living God according to the works of the Law nor even through an external manifestation of the flesh such as circumcision. Pause for a moment and consider how and what it would have been like for the Gentiles to hear such a truth knowing that they could find right standing and justification in the sight of the living God simply through faith—and not only through faith but also according to the free gift of salvation through the person of the Lord Jesus. There was not a single Gentile who needed to be circumcised nor needed to engage themselves in works of the Law that they might be justified in the sight of the living God. As if this weren’t enough imagine what it would have been like for the Jews—those who had spent their entire lives learning, reading, studying and seeking to adhere to the Law of Moses and the males who were circumcised discovered that under the New Covenant neither justified man in the sight and presence of the living God.
As you come to the ninth chapter of this New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome you will find the apostle speaking concerning the children of Israel and the Jewish people. The apostle Paul wrote and spoke of the Jewish people as not only being the chosen seed and chosen race according to the election of the living God but he also went on to describe their rejection of the gospel of the Lord Jesus. The words and language we find in this particular passage of Scripture brings us face to face with the truly remarkable and astonishing truth surrounding the Jewish people as being those unto whom the promises, the covenant, the sacrifices, the Law, the Tabernacle and Temple, and even circumcision were given. The apostle Paul began the ninth chapter of this epistle with great heaviness and continual sorrow in his heart and how he wished that he were accursed from Christ for his brethren and kinsmen according to the flesh. Those to whom the apostle Paul wrote and spoke about were Israelites unto whom the adoption was granted, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises. The apostle Paul sought to bring his readers and his audience to the place where they recognized and understood the nature of the Jewish people—the seed of Abraham—and how the Jews were indeed the chosen race and seed of the living God in the midst of the earth. The apostle Paul sought to convey to his readers and his audience the tremendous truth surrounding the Jews and how it was they who were chosen in the sight of the living God according to the promises of the living God.
Oh in order to truly understand the words and language found and contained within this passage of Scripture we must needs turn and direct our attention to the Old Testament book of Genesis. It is in the Old Testament book of Genesis we are brought face to face with the calling of Abram out of Ur of the Chaldeans unto a land which the Lord God would show him. Beginning with the twelfth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis we encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding Abraham and his being called and chosen by the living God according to His own election, adoption and purposes. It would be the living and eternal God that would choose Abraham unto Himself and would take and transform him into a mighty and powerful nation. What’s more is that the living and eternal God would not only take Abraham and make him into a mighty and powerful nation but would also make him a father unto all nations. I am absolutely convinced if we are to truly understand the words and language that are contained within this passage of Scripture we must needs recognize the calling and election of Abraham and how this man was called and chosen according to the promises and election of the living God. What’s more is that Abraham was not called of the living God because of any righteousness or merit in and of himself but simply because of the election and adoption of the living God. It was the divine will, plan and purpose of the living God to call Abraham unto Himself and make of him a great nation. What’s more is the living and eternal God would not only make of Abraham a great nation but the living God would also give an inheritance among the nations in the earth—namely, the land of Canaan which would later be known as the nation and land of Israel. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the Old Testament book of Genesis concerning the calling and choosing of Abraham according to the election and promises of the living God:
“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of MOreh. And the Canaanites was then in the land. And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him. And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded and altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south” (Genesis 12:1-9).
“And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the strength of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord” (Genesis 13:14-18).
“After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir: but he that shall come forth out of then own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give thee this land to inherit it. And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away. And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenzites, and the Knizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites” (Genesis 15:1-21).
It is absolutely necessary we pay attention to the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for within them we encounter and come face to face with the calling, the election and the adoption of Abraham. When the living and eternal God called Abram out of the Ur of the Chaldeans and unto the land which He would show Him that which He was doing was demonstrating calling and election in the earth for this would be the first time when the living and eternal God would actually take, call and choose a man from within the earth that from him he might make him a nation. Of course we know within the Old Testament book of Genesis there were men who called upon the name of the Lord and served him. Of course we know that Adam was the first man who was formed from the dust of the image in the image and after the likeness of the living God. We know that Abel one of the sons born unto Adam and Eve brought forth an offering of a lamb unto the living God as a sacrifice which was accepted in his sight. We know that after Cain slew Abel the Lord God allowed them to conceive once more and they would bring forth Seth. It would be in and from the generation of Seth men began to call upon the name of the Lord. We know there were men such as Methusaleh and Enoch who walked with the Lord and how Enoch bore the testimony that he pleased the Lord before he was taken and was no more. We also know of Noah who was found to be righteous in the sight of the living God and who was not only called and chosen to build an ark of gopher wood but was also spared from the waters and judgment of the flood together with his wife, their three sons, each of their wives, and two of every living creature that moved upon the earth both male and female. When, however, we come to Abraham we find calling and election taking on an entirely new and different level in the earth for the Lord God would take a single man from among the Gentiles and would bring him into a land which He would give him as an inheritance.
What we must needs recognize and understand concerning Abraham is that through him we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding calling and election. It would be Abraham who was called and chosen from among those in Ur of the Chaldeans and invited to come unto a land which the Lord God would show unto him. Upon entering into the land the Lord God would not only promise unto Abraham how He would make of him a great nation but the Lord also promised unto Abraham that He would give unto him a son who would be heir of his house—and not only heir of his house but also heir of the promises of the living God. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for through the narrative of Abraham we see the realities of calling and election while through the narrative of Isaac we see the realities of promise and the Spirit. The more we read and consider the narrative surrounding Abraham the more we will encounter the awesome and tremendous truth how the living God called and chosen this one man from among the nations of the earth that He might take and transform him into a mighty nation in the earth. The Lord God would take Abraham and make of him a great and mighty nation in the earth that would dispossess and drive out the inhabitants of the land of Canaan at the appointed time. Oh pause for a moment and consider just how incredible this truly is when you truly focus your attention on it for that which the Lord God did to Abraham is a powerful picture of what the Lord God has indeed done for us—namely, how He has called and chosen us according to adoption and election. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the first chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Ephesus:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have the redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to this good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye have believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:3-14).
“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is the body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:15-23).
It is absolutely undeniable when reading the words found in the opening chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Ephesus that we who are in Christ had indeed been called and chosen according to both adoption and election. There is absolutely no denying or mistaking the fact that we who are in Christ have indeed been called and chosen according to the election of God for the living God can and will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy and will show compassion upon whom He will show compassion. If there is one thing we must needs recognize concerning Abraham it’s that he was called and chosen by the living God—not according to his own merit of righteousness in the sight of the living God for we don’t read of righteousness being counted and credited unto him until the fifteenth chapter. It would be in the twelfth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis we find the living God calling Abraham forth from Ur of the Chaldeans unto a land to which He would show and give unto him and yet it isn’t until the fifteenth chapter we find Abraham believing the Lord and it being counted and credited unto him as righteousness. It is through the narrative of Abraham we are brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding calling and election for Abraham was first called and chosen according to election and he would then believe and that belief would be credited unto him as righteousness. Righteousness would come after the calling and election according to the promise and the will of the eternal and living God and not before. It is absolutely necessary and imperative we pay close attention to this for when we think of us ourselves as the called, the chosen and the elect of God we must recognize that we too were called and chosen according to the election and adoption of the living God. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the eighth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:14-27).
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:28-39).
The more I think about the words which are found in the ninth chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome the more I am brought face to face with the awesome truth surrounding the calling and election of the living God. Remember in the epistle written by the apostle Peter how he instructed us to make sure our calling and election were sure? I am absolutely and completely convinced there is a great need within our hearts and lives to pay careful and close attention to our calling and election knowing and recognizing that this concept of calling and election was first seen and witnessed in the life of Abraham and his descendants. There is a great need for us to recognize and pay attention to the narrative surrounding Abraham for through the life of Abraham we are brought face to face with calling and election—and not only calling and election but also calling and election according to the will, the purposes and promises of the living God. It would be through the life of Abraham we encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that he was called and chosen by the living God not because of his own righteousness nor because of his own merits but because of the divine will, plan and purposes of the living God. It is this reality that is emphasized and mentioned in the eighth chapter for we who are the called and chosen in Christ according to the promises of the living God have been called according to the divine will of the Father. What’s more is that we have not been given a spirit again unto bondage but we have been given the Spirit of the living God whereby we cry “Abba, Father.” Oh it is absolutely necessary we recognize and pay close attention to this particular truth for through it we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding our own calling and election for we were not called according to our own righteousness nor our own merits but rather according to the divine will and purposes of the living God.
When we come to the ninth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the children of Israel and how unto them pertained the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises. Not only this but the apostle Paul also emphatically declares and speaks of the children of Israel as concerning the flesh the Lord Jesus Christ came in the flesh as a descendant of Abraham and of his seed. It is this reality which is mentioned in the second chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews for the words which we find in the second chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews presents an incredibly powerful picture of the Lord Jesus not only coming in the flesh but also coming in the flesh according to the seed of Abraham. It would be the Lord Jesus who would indeed and would in fact take upon himself the form of a servant according to the seed of Abraham. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in the second chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews beginning with the fifth verse:
“For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour; and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering od death, crowned with glory and honour; that by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him, and again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:5-18).
In the second chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews we find the author speaking of Christ taking upon Himself the form of flesh—and not only flesh but also the seed of Abraham. This is in direct alignment with the words which the apostle John wrote in the opening chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative he wrote concerning the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. It would be in the first and opening chapter the apostle John would write how the Lord Jesus came unto His own and how His own received Him not. Here in the ninth chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome we find him writing concerning the nation of Israel which was the seed of Abraham how unto them was also given the divine presence of the Lord Jesus for it would be unto them the Lord Jesus who was the eternal and only begotten Son of the Father came according to the flesh. Oh it is this particular reality which further enhances the words the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were at Rome concerning the calling and election and how even in the midst of calling and election there would be something new that would be implemented in the advent of the kingdom of heaven being manifested upon the earth. While it is indeed true the children of Israel—the Jewish people who were the descendants and see of Abraham—were called and chosen by the living God according to divine election it is also true that there would be something that would be manifested in the earth independent from them and yet directly and intrinsically linked to them. While calling and election were indeed true of the descendants of Abraham and the seed which was promised unto him there would be adoption which would center upon the Gentiles and their being grated into the beloved as the children of the living God.
The more you read the words which are found in this particular passage of Scripture the more you will find it written how they are not all Israel which are of Israel neither because they are the seed of Abraham are the children. The apostle Paul would go on to describe and declare the promise given unto Abraham by the living and eternal God—namely that “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” Paul would continue writing in this epistle how those which are the children of the flesh are not the children of God but the children of the promise which are counted as the seed. The word of the promise that was given by the living and eternal God was “At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.” Moreover the apostle Paul would also go on to declare and speak of the promise that was given unto Rebekah when two nations were conceived within him womb—namely Jacob who would become the nation of Israel and Esau which would become the nation of Edom. It would be when speaking of Jacob and Esau the apostle Paul would wrote how even before the children were born having neither done any good or evil thing that the purpose of God according to election might stand—and that not of works but of him that calls—it was said unto her how the elder would serve the younger. In addition to this it was also written in the New Testament epistle that which was spoken concerning Jacob and Esau and how “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” OH it is with these words the apostle Paul seeks to present unto the saints which were at Rome the tremendous truth surrounding calling and election and how neither were done according to righteousness nor according to works whether good or evil. That which we find here in this passage of Scripture is an absolutely incredible truth surrounding the calling and election of God and how it is not dictated nor is it determined by anything man can say or do before Him or in His presence.
What we find in this particular passage of Scripture is an incredibly powerful picture concerning the calling and election of God—and not only concerning the calling and election of God but also that which is issued according to the promise and the Spirit. As you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find that directly and intrinsically linked to the concept of calling and election is that of promise and the Spirit for Isaac would not only represent the promise but also that which is born of the Spirit. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the New Testament epistle written unto the churches of Galatia you will find the apostle Paul writing concerning Isaac and how Isaac not only represents that which is born of the promise and of the Spirit but also that the mountain of God in the midst of the land of Israel—namely, Jerusalem. Moreover it is in the epistle written unto the saints which were in Galatia the apostle Paul goes on to write how there is a stark and powerful contrast between Isaac who was born according to the promise and the Spirit and Ishmael who was born according to the flesh and according to works. Not only this but the apostle Paul also sought to convey unto his readers and audience the tremendous truth that Ishmael also speaks to Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai and that which engenders unto bondage rather than that which is free. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in the New Testament epistle written unto the churches of Galatia by the hand of the apostle Paul:
“Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no m ore a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (Galatians 4;1-11).
“Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have injured me at all. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gosopel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? For I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free” (Galatians 4:12-31).
There is something truly powerful about the words and language that is found in the fourth chapter of the epistle written unto the Galatian churches as well as the words which are found in the ninth chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome. In both of these passages we find the apostle Paul writing and speaking concerning those who were called and elected—and not only called and elected but those who were called and elected according to promise. The apostle Paul makes it perfectly clear within each of these chapters the vast and underlying difference between that which is born of the promise and that which is born of bondage. Moreover the apostle Paul also writes and speaks of the contrast and difference between that which is born of the Spirit and that which is born of the flesh. The apostle Paul emphatically declared unto his readers and audience the tremendous truth surrounding the calling and election of the living God and how the calling and election of the living God would include the manifestation of adoption. While it is indeed true that the Jews and the descendants of Abraham were indeed called and chosen based on election it is true of the Gentiles that they were called and chosen based on adoption. That which makes this all the more intriguing and captivating is when you consider the fact that Isaac being the child of promise and the child of the Spirit points directly to the awesome and powerful concept of both Jews and Gentiles being grafted together as one body in the Lord Jesus Christ. Much like the houses of Israel and Judah which were at one point divided and separated from each other were grafted together upon the return from captivity so also would Jews and Gentiles alike be grafted together into the same vine. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Ezekiel concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah for within it you will find a powerful picture of the unity and grafting together of both Jews and Gentiles as one body which was born of the Spirit according to promise:
“The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one. Nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms and more at all: neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for ever more” (Ezekiel 37:15-28).
If we wish to understand the words and language that is found in the ninth chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome we must needs understand the concepts of calling and election—and not only calling and election but also that of adoption. Moreover we must needs recognize and understand that which is born and called of the promise and that which is born and called according to the Spirit versus that which is born and called according to the flesh. There is something absolutely incredible about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we continue to encounter the tremendous truth concerning the Jews and Gentiles and how simply being a Jew according to birth does not make you a true Jew. What’s more is that within this passage of Scripture you seem to come to the place where you see a dramatic difference between being a spiritual Jew according to the promise and the Spirit and a natural Jew according to lineage and the seed of the flesh. What we find in this passage of Scripture is a truly powerful picture concerning the vast difference that exists between natural Jews who were born of the seed of Abraham according to the flesh and spiritual Jews who were and still are born unto Abraham according to the promise and the Spirit. Just as Isaac was born unto Abraham according to the promise and the Spirit so too would there be those who would be born unto Abraham who were not born of the natural seed of the flesh but would be born according to the Spirit and according to the promise. What’s more is that this does not only apply to Jews themselves but also unto Gentiles as well who would be considered as the descendants of Abraham—not according to the flesh but according to the promise and the Spirit by and through faith.
There is something truly wonderful and powerful about the words and language that is contained in this chapter for within it we are brought face to face with adoption according to the Spirit and promise. Within this passage of Scripture we find that while the Jews were themselves called and chosen according to the flesh by the Lord when He called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldeans the Gentiles would themselves be called and chosen according to election and adoption. This is precisely what is so absolutely incredible about the gift of the Spirit and the gospel of the Lord Jesus for both the gospel of the Lord Jesus and the gift of the Spirit weren’t for Jews only but were also for Gentiles as well. Oh if there is something we must needs recognize and understand it’s that both the gift of the Holy Spirit and the gospel of the Lord Jesus were unto both Jews and Gentiles alike and the living God for there is no respect of persons in the kingdom of heaven. The promise which was released on the day of Pentecost would be made available unto both Jews and Gentiles—this despite the fact that it was first given unto the Jews in the city of Jerusalem as the one-hundred and twenty in the upper room were filled with the Holy Spirit. The words and language presented here in this passage of Scripture brings us face to face with the adoption of the living God which allowed Gentiles to be grafted together with the spiritual Jews as one body in the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be in this particular passage of Scripture the apostle Paul would refer to the words which the living God had indeed spoken unto Moses when He declared that He would have mercy upon whom he would have mercy and would have compassion on whom He would have compassion.
As I bring this writing to a close it is absolutely necessary that we understand the divine will of the eternal Father and how He shows compassion on those whom He desires to show compassion and shows mercy upon those whom He will show mercy. The living and eternal God not only called and chose according to the promise and the Spirit but He also called and chose according to His grace and His mercy. That which the apostle Paul seeks to convey in this particular passage of Scripture is how the Gentiles were adopted by the living God just as the Jews were elected by the same God. In the body of Christ we must needs recognize that both calling and election as well as adoption are at work and at play in the midst of Jews and Gentiles for all have been called and all have been blessed in Abraham who believed and it was counted and credited unto Him as righteousness. The words and language contained in this passage of Scripture are an incredibly strong and powerful narrative concerning election and adoption and how both are at work in the kingdom of heaven to bring together both Jews and Gentiles in the Lord Jesus as one body and one people. There is no difference between Jew or Gentile, slave or free in the kingdom of heaven for all have been called, chosen and created equal. Oh it is this particular truth the apostle Paul sought to convey in the first epistle written unto the saints which were in the city of Corinth. It is the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints of Corinth I would like to leave you with for the words which are present there bring us face to face with the tremendous truth concerning the body of the Lord Jesus Christ and how His body is made up of both Jews and Gentiles who were the called and chosen according to the will, the grace, the mercy and the compassion of the living God. Oh consider the following words which are found in the twelfth chapter of the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints and consider the tremendous truth that in the kingdom of heaven election and adoption work simultaneously and hand in hand to create one body unto the living God in and through the person of the Lord Jesus:
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we b e bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall slay, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestowe more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: that there should be no schism in the body; but tha the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).