(Interpreting life through God’s choices)
I am attracted to the hard issues. Part of this is curiosity. I simply want to understand more so I probe, study, question and explore. I love figuring out problems in the text. The other part of it is calling. I address difficult issues because I feel if I don’t then I invalidate the chair I sit in. In my nine years at Valley Christian, I believe that most, if not all, the challenges I have faced were already here. Once the challenged surfaced and presented itself, I then had a choice. Do I ignore the issue or do I confront it? Ignoring feels cowardly to me – a violating of the sacred trust I have been give to lead Christ’s church. So naively, with fear and trepidation, I proceed trusting God will come through and give me the grace by His Spirit to fulfill His plan and course for me.
I feel this same way as we cross into Romans 9 this morning. I have never heard a sermon on this chapter. There its a temptation to skip it. Too hard and too controversial. Pentecostals tend to be Armenian in their theology – that is people who believe the will and choice of a person is critical. Calvinist tends to uplift and glory in God’s choice. I remember in seminary having Sovereignty and Free Will debates at Dr. Greg Beale’s home. Today, I want to pastor you through Romans 9. There is no way I can answer all the questions this chapter poses. This debate has gone on for thousands of years. I have a precious 25-30 minutes to pastor you through this text. I go here because I feel there some, perhaps many, that are stuck and need hope on a challenge in life. So I want to help you interpret your situation. Read Romans 9 before you get to church this Sunday and then together let’s discover God’s Security in His Sovereignty.