Today’s passage touches upon a subject of being chosen by God and it is a tough subject matter to talk about because it does not have a clear cut answer. The topic has divided people and has caused some hurt along the way but today, we are going to present some guide posts as to what the Apostle Paul is trying to say about grace, God’s choice, and human responsibility when it comes to salvation.
As with any of the devotional posts that we post, always keep an open mind to what the Holy Spirit wants to etch into your heart and mind.
We are nine chapters into Romans and a constant pattern that is surfacing is this:
Today’s additions to that pattern is this
God chooses those to whom He will show mercy and those who will be hardened
Then it’s not my fault if I don’t receive God and salvation! Why are some chosen and some not?!?!?
It’s God’s grace that you are not already dead because of your sin.
Therefore the summary theme for us today is this:
The question that comes up naturally is on the topic of whether it is fair that we are in the condition we are in if God is the one that chooses people for salvation but before we tackle that subject, we have to ask ourselves as to why a good and holy God doesn’t judge our sin right away!?!? Let us first try and resolve that question before any other question that may arise because by law and right, God can condemn us for the sins we commit but He doesn’t but shows us the continual grace that we do not deserve so that we have the time to choose the salvation that He offers.
Again, there will be no clear cut satisfactory answer for ALL people but the reality here is that we must believe and trust in God’s goodness and plans that we cannot fully understand at times. We often blame God and asks why a good God didn’t save someone without realizing that if He is a good God why He didn’t judge us for the sin that we have committed. A good and righteous God will and must judge sin and has through Jesus Christ! God’s grace through the death and resurrection of Christ reveals to us that His love covers the debt of sin that we should pay for and gives people the time to receive that gift but never force people to receive it. Therefore God ultimately does judge sin and for the everyday person, it is either Jesus will pay for it on our behalf if we accept Him as Lord and Savior or we will pay for it ourselves, the CHOICE will be ours. According to the beginning of the Roman’s letter, we see that God doesn’t force people to follow or believe but gives them the reality of their choices. If a person rejects God and accepts sin then He will eventually give them the hardness of heart that they have chosen. What God doesn’t do is stop someone from choosing Him when they want to because He didn’t “choose” them from the beginning nor does He make people choose Him but who He chooses to reveal His personal invitation is a mystery only understandable to God.
What does this mean for the believer.
“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, my kinsmen according to the flesh.”
If you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior than your choice of choosing God meant that you were chosen. Paul was chosen. Yet Paul didn’t sit there blaming God as to why other’s weren’t chosen but had the posture of deep sacrificial love for his fellow Israelites that they too be saved from their sin by accepting Jesus Christ. This burden was so deep that he was willing to even be forsaken (which is impossible) so that they can be saved because he cared that much. Isn’t that what Jesus did though, that He was forsaken so that we can be accepted and that He was condemned so that we are no longer condemned?
The believer’s response to being chosen is to not question God but trust God by living their lives for Him and for the people around them. If you and I have been chosen, it is not just simply for salvation but to spread that good news of salvation and to constantly reach the lost and do what we can to present the Gospel so that by the Spirit, more people can be saved. We don’t know who has been chosen or not but what we do know is that we were called to go and make disciples of all nations so that is what we know and are called to do.