July 20, 2018

With Great Privilege Comes Great Responsibility 

Romans 9:1–8

2 Comments | Listen | Print | Full Chapter

God's Sovereign Choice

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,1 my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

Footnotes

[1] 9:3 Or brothers and sisters

In Context:

1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. 6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

With Great Privilege Comes Great Responsibility 



Central Truth

God's people are those who have the privilege of knowing Him and who choose to accept His promises. 

Devotional | Romans 9:1–8

This passage can be challenging at first glance. Why does Paul, who suffered through being stoned, imprisoned, and shipwrecked seem so distressed? He has just shared the wonderful truth that "[t]here is...

This passage can be challenging at first glance. Why does Paul, who suffered through being stoned, imprisoned, and shipwrecked seem so distressed? He has just shared the wonderful truth that "[t]here is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) But then he felt “great sorrow” and “unceasing anguish” in his heart (Romans 9:1-2).

What could cause the one who sings in prison cells to feel so distraught? Paul is grieving for his brothers, his fellow Israelites.

As a Jew, Paul knew that Israelites received incredible privilege. They experienced things no other nation had. They got to walk in God’s presence, personally receiving the law from the prophets and patriarchs. And even the Messiah Jesus came as one of their own (Romans 9:4-5).

But Paul also knew that with great privilege came responsibility. Though the Jews had the opportunity to know God and His promises more personally than any other nation, many still rejected Him.

Paul reminds us that God’s promises for His people did not fail, but were reserved for “the children of the promise” (Romans 9:8). Being a part of God’s family was more than just being born to certain parents. It meant they had to accept God’s promises personally and live accordingly.

This is where you come in. If you know about the promised gift that Jesus offers all of us—specifically that we have been given the chance to have eternal life through His death, not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9)—then you have been given a great privilege. But with this great privilege, you now have a responsibility to choose what to do with it. This should challenge us all.

If this is the first time you've heard this, you need to make a decision to accept or reject the gift from God. 

Some of us have grown up in the church. But if we are honest, we know we're unmoved, complacent, and comfortable. Some of us struggle sharing our faith with others. These are just examples, but we all have to take the next step. What's yours?

See Comments

Bio | Kimo Thorpe

Good day, fellow Journeyers,

My name is Kimo Thorpe, and I am thankful for the privilege of hanging with you today! I promise to use our time wisely, so I'll just give you the important stuff! I'm married to Stacy Thorpe, the best wife ever, who never fails to make me laugh and challenges me to be the best man I can possibly be. You can find me watching movies, grocery shopping at Central Market, and serving with Unashamed (Watermark Community Church's local evangelism ministry). 

Let's jump in!

Discussion Questions

1. If this is the first time you've heard that God loves you so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to die for you and offer you the chance to have eternal life, what are your thoughts? Is this something you want to accept? If so, I invite you to visit Watermark or another local church body to find out more. Accepting or rejecting this gift changes everything and should be processed with other believers.

2. Some of us have been around the church a long time. We know the Bible stories and have sung the hymns. If that's you and you've only ever been a "cultural Christian," will you consider going all in? This may mean serving in an area that challenges you, introducing spiritual disciplines, or opening up to a community of believers who will know, challenge, and spur you on toward your next step.

3. One of the privileges God offers His believers is to share in His redemptive work. One of the ways He lets us do this is by sharing our faith with others. How are you doing with this? If you want more practice, join us for Unashamed

4. What other privileges does God offer those who are fully His? How can you enjoy Him more through these privileges?

2 Comments available

Hope Harris about 1 hour ago

This weeks passage has renewed a desire to pray for my former community of LGBT people and many gay identified people I yet to meet.

I came across this quote by Spurgeon: "This great passion for souls gave Paul perspective. Lesser things did not trouble him because he was troubled by a great thing - the souls of men. “Get love for the souls of men - if you are concerned about the souls of men … Get your soul full of a great grief. a”

Hugh Stephenson about 3 hours ago

The pattern is very familiar. God makes a great promise. I don’t really believe it. He fulfills it. Now what?

For my earliest memories I wanted to believe. I did as a small child and then I let the world talk me out of it.

I kind of liked it because there was no responsibility. I could do what I wanted.

Crazy promises God made to me:

I am real. I create everything. I knitted you together. I know and love you. I count the hairs on your head. I have a plan for your life. I will provide for you. You will never thirst. Jesus paid for all your sins. Even the murder of abortion. You are forgiven. You will be with me forever.

Now what?

The Bible says “Do not fear” 366 times. I won’t. I surrender to His plan. I accept the responsibility. I will tell others.

View More Comments

Download The App

  • Jointhejourney app store
  • Jointhejourney play store