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Romans 9 – Promised vs Physical Generation



I remember an old Sunday School story. Once Jesus stood before a large crowd and invited everyone to have supper with him in His home. There were hundreds of people who heard His voice on that day. But most of them ignored His call. Jesus gave a promise, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.“. Only two listened to His call and believed in His promise. They agreed to enter His home. When they entered they saw a big board kept there to welcome them. This is written on the big board. “I have chosen you before the foundation of the world”. This a reality. We share the good news of Jesus Christ with many. But very few accept the message. But because of God’s foreknowledge, God knew who will believe in His message and who will not. Just because only a few responded to God’s invitation does not mean Jesus rejected others. Everyone is invited. But few accept the invitation. Out of their own free will, each one believed or rejected the call of God. God did not choose the two to enter His home. But they came willingly by their own belief. But because Jesus is God, he knew who will listen to His call through His foreknowledge. God’s predestination is the combination of God’s foreknowledge and Human response to God’s call. God does not pre-program anyone. But He knew what each one will select given a choice out of His infinite wisdom.

Paul explains about the promised generation. Abraham had many sons. But God said, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted“. God knew through His foreknowledge before Isaac was born, he will be the only one who will believe Him. Isaac along with Rebekah had twin sons. God in His foreknowledge foretold before the children were born, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau“. God knew who will believe and follow Him faithfully and who will not. Jacob despite his crooked intentions went through hard labor on his father-in-law’s farm for fourteen years. God molded his life throughout these years. He wrestled with God in prayer and won the appreciation of God. Jacob received a new name: Israel.

God knew out of His foreknowledge that Pharaoh will harden His heart and will not believe in His mighty miracles. God used the disobedience of Pharaoh to glorify His name.

For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth. v17 NLT

The human response to God’s call decides how much mercy we receive from God. God does not write our future on a stone so that no one can change it. Our response to God’s call decides the course of our life. Despite all these, we do not have the option to question God’s decision. 

Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this? v20 NLT.

With various examples, Paul justifies God did not select every child of Abraham, but in His foreknowledge chose those who will believe in Him. The call to believe in God is open to everyone today. Independent of race, culture, or background, Jesus invites everyone to believe in Him. 

What does all this mean? Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place. v30

Dear friend, it does not matter what is your background. Christ did not die on the cross only for a few selected people. His invitation is open to everyone. Are you ready to respond to His call? Let’s pray.

Dear Jesus, Thank you for the open invitation you have given to me. You are a gracious God. I understand you have the foreknowledge about my future. You have a grand plan for my life. I believe in you. I want to accept your invitation and follow you with all my heart. Help me to follow you faithfully. Let me listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Hold my hands and walk along with me. Thank you for your sacrifice on the cross. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.


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