Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Romans 9 Transcript (II of II)
08/04/2007 - James White"For the Scripture says to Pharaoh," (and then we have another citation of another Old Testament text) "'For this very purpose,'" (God had a purpose, it wasn't Pharaoh's purpose) "'For this very purpose I raised you up,'" - I did this. "oh but Pharaoh had all these choices. Yes. And "For this very purpose I raised you up.'" [We might go a little bit long today because it is going to be hard to stop.] "For this very purpose I raised you up." Now, folks if you're zoning out, tune in here a second because I have got to challenge any of you who are listening today. You, if you want to understand what the Scriptures teach about this, you need to have the same priorities that God has. And you have to ask yourself the question, "What is most important to me?" Because God said the reason he raised Pharaoh up was " to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth."
So I want to ask everyone that calls himself a believing Christian in the audience today, where in your priority list is the demonstration of God's power and the proclamation of His name throughout the whole earth? Nothing in there about the free will of man, is there? Nothing in there about making men feel good about themselves, nothing in there about meeting their felt needs. The demonstration of God's power and the proclamation of His name, those are not big priorities for the vast majority of people who call themselves Christians today. So it shouldn't surprise us in the least that the vast majority of those folks do not like what Romans 9 has to say.
God had a purpose. He raised Pharaoh up. He used Pharaoh. Now if you… people go "Oh how can He do that? I just wont worship a God like that." Really? Was Pharaoh in Adam a rebel sinner? "Well, yeah". And so God could have brought His wrath to bear against Pharaoh at any point and brought him to judgment for his sins? "Well, yeah." And so because God does not choose to bring Pharaoh to judgment immediately, but instead uses him to demonstrate His power and to make His name known throughout all the earth that somehow makes God unjust? Surely not!
"How does Paul interpret this text? Well what's the apostolic interpretation? Well this is just talking about how God used Egypt." Well, you tell me. What does verse 18 say? You can't cut it out of your Bible, you've got to deal with what it says. "So then, those whom He wishes, He mercies and those whom He wishes He hardens." Yeah, it says hardens right there. You go, "I don't want that in my Bible!" But it is right there. Because we know that Pharaoh, his heart was hardened. And people go "well yeah but he first hardened his own heart" except before, look back at Exodus 4: 11 & 12 before Moses ever stood in front of Pharaoh, God said "I am going to harden his heart." "Yeah, but he wanted to harden his own heart." Yes he did because he was a sinner and all sinners want to do that. And God was actually restraining Pharaoh from being worse than he was. But the point is God had a purpose. And if your theology is such that God could not have a purpose and Pharaoh could have gone, "You know what? I repent." So that God's entire purpose for the Exodus, the Passover, the picturing of Christ, the demonstration of His name and His power throughout the whole earth, and the spoiling of the Egyptian gods; if your theology is "Well you know God may have wanted to do all that but all Pharaoh had to do is repent and it would have been just fine." Then I say to you, you are not talking about the God of the Bible. You have made up a god in your own image; don't call it the God of the bible. Because the God of the bible needs to be defined on the basis of the bible, not what you like about Him, okay? ...
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Romans 9 Transcript (Part I of II)
08/04/2007 - James WhiteOne of our regular DL listeners, justrozie, transcribed my exegesis of Romans 9, and Algo proof-read it, so I am providing it here. Here is the audio. As this is a bit longer than our current blog software allows for a single post, I have broken this up into two sections.
But, let's look at Romans chapter 9 and let's start off with the context. Specifically beginning at verse 1. Paul says "I am telling the truth in Christ" now remember, back up and hold on a second. I apologize. Romans chapter 9 again chapter and verse divisions were not a part of the original text of Scripture. And so what have we just had? We've had the Golden Chain of Redemption, Romans chapter 8. In fact, it might be well to go back and to remind ourselves of what has come before. "We know that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:28-29)
I just stop long enough to challenge in the minds of anyone who thinks that this term foreknew as a verb is the same thing as the noun to simply have foreknowledge, that you are wrong. And that you need to look at the text of Scripture and realize that this is an active verb. This is something God is doing and every time God is the subject and this is the verb in the New Testament, the object is personal it is never actions. To simply say God knew who was going to believe, there is no example of that statement in the New Testament. It is not there. It is not an untrue statement but it doesn't answer anything and it doesn't tell us what it means for God to foreknow someone. It says God foreknew Christ, does that just mean God had knowledge of what Christ would do? No. This is an active verb. It is something that God does. So, "For those whom He foreknew, he also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren. And these whom He predestined He also called. And these whom He called He also justified. And these whom He justified He also glorified." Here is the Golden Chain. God is the one doing every single verb. Foreknew - predestined - called -justified - glorified. God does each one. It is the exact same audience in each one. Those whom He foreknew he does all the other things that result in their glorification. It is a certainty. It is all to God's glory.
Now, we know for example that one of those things is justification. And we know that the bible says we're justified by grace, we're justified by the blood of Christ, and we're justified by faith. So obviously, the means by which these things then come into play, they come into our experience are included in God's sovereign capacity and power to do these things. And so having said this, then verse 31 "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us who is against us?" Notice those terms that are used there. Us. Follow the pronouns. Follow the pronoun. "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" If the 'us' here is all humanity, you are going to be forced into the position of absolute universalism here. You will not be able to affirm the existence of those who are saved and those who will be lost.
Who is the us in Romans chapter 8 verse 33? "Who will bring a charge against God's elect? " God's elect. God is the one who justifies. Justifies who? Justifies the elect. Who is it that is justified in the Golden Chain? Foreknown, predestined, called, justified, glorified. "Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised to the right hand of God." Who also does what? "intercedes for us." ...
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