AMAZING GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH, HAMBURG BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL – LESSON 22, BY REV. JOHN KWASI FOSU

Topic: The Place of Israel in God’s Plan
Text: 9:1-13
Memory Verse: Romans 9:3

Introduction
Having looked at the theme of God’s righteousness through faith from Romans 1-8, Paul now turns to God’s plan for his own people, Israel. Thus the next three chapters (Romans 9-11) deal with Israel’s spiritual history: her past (chapter 9), her present (chapter 10), and her future (chapter 11). Paul’s purpose is to explain how God could set aside God’s chosen people and save the Gentiles, and how God will restore the nation at some future date.

Israel’s Election Described (9:1 – 13)
In Romans 9:1-13, Paul describes the spiritual journey of the Israelites with reference to their election. Here Paul identifies some blessings of their election and goes on to establish the basis of the election.

1. The blessings of the election (verses 1 – 5)
We must admire Paul’s burden for Israel. His words remind us of Moses in Exodus 32:31-32. The apostle lists some of the great blessings that have been given to Israel because of her election as the people of God. They are as follows:

• The adoption—chosen by God because of His love (Isaiah 43:20 – 21).
• The glory—the presence of God in the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34 –35).
• The covenants—through Abraham, Moses and David, God gave unchanging covenants to His people Israel.
• The giving of the Law—God did not do this with the Gentiles. Israel heard God’s voice and received His laws to govern their lives.
• The temple worship —the priestly service in the tabernacle and later in the temple was a privilege from the Lord.
• The promises—many Old Testament promises have been fulfilled, and many are yet to be fulfilled for the Jews.
• The fathers—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve sons of Jacob formed the foundation for the nation.
• The Messiah—the Lord Jesus was a Jew, of the tribe of Judah, born according to the Law. Note in verse 5 that Paul calls the Messiah “God over all, forever praised.”

No other nation had these wonderful blessings. However, Israel took them for granted and ultimately rejected the righteousness of God. The believer today also belongs to God’s elect and has similar blessings to enjoy. Some are as follows:

 – Adoption (Ephesians 1:5)
 –  Glory (Ephesians 1:6-7)
 –  The new covenant in Jesus’ blood (Hebrews 9-10)
 – The law written on our hearts (2 Corinthians 3 and Hebrews 10:16-17)
 –  Worship and service through the Messiah (John 4:23 – 26 and 14:6)
 –  Abraham as the father of the believing (Galatians 3:7)—all because we have Jesus        the Messiah as our Lord and Savior

2. The basis of Israel’s election (verses 6-13)
In election, God exercises His sovereign will to accomplish His perfect plan. Keep in mind that the election discussed in Romans 9-11 is national, not individual. To apply all the truths of these chapters to the salvation or security of the individual believer is to miss their message completely. Paul mentions three men.

• Abraham—He was chosen as the father of the Hebrew nation, but Paul states that not all Israelites are true sons of Israel. Abraham had many children (Genesis 25:1-6). But he had only one chosen son – Isaac.

• Isaac—He was the child of promise by faith (Galatians 4:21-31). Ishmael was a child of the old nature through works. But the true “seed of Abraham” are the believers, and not just those who are Jewish people.

• Jacob—God bypassed Esau, the firstborn, and chose Jacob. This choice was made even before the children were born. Why? To show that God’s purpose in electing His nation would be fulfilled. Esau made the choice to rebel against God, but God’s purpose does not depend on man’s decisions. We cannot explain the relationship between man’s choice and God’s purpose, but we know that both are true and are taught in the Word.

Conclusion
This lesson has sought to introduce the spiritual past of the Israelites by identifying blessings and the basis of their election. Interestingly, the believer today also belongs to God’s elect and has similar blessings. It is therefore worth noting that believers do not take their election for granted.

Questions
1. State three blessings of Israel as a result of their election as people of God.
2. Identify any two similar blessings of election as people of God that today’s believers in Jesus have.
3. Why did God bypass Essau who was the first born and chose Jacob even before they were born?

AMAZING GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH, HAMBURG BIBLE STUDY MATERIAL – LESSON 20, BY REV. JOHN KWASI FOSU

Topic: Nothing can separate us from the love of God
Text: 8:18-39
Memory Verse: Romans 8:28

Introduction
Today’s section concludes the first doctrinal section of the Letter to the Romans, and specifically climaxes the doctrine of sanctification. Romans 8:18-39 identify a number reasons assuring us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. These include:

1. Romans 5-8 has already assured us of our Freedom
The wonderful salvation and freedom we have in Jesus are worth highlighting:
a. We are free from the penalty of sin because Jesus died for us (chapter 5).
b. We are free from the power of sin because we died with Jesus to the sin nature. Our old sin nature was crucified with Him (chapter 6).
c. We are free from the power of the Law because we died to the Law (chapter 7).
d. Someday, we shall be free from the very presence of sin when all of creation is delivered from its slavery.

2. Our ultimate deliverance from suffering and future glory is assured
Though believers endure suffering now, they will enjoy glory when Jesus returns. In fact, the whole creation is groaning under the bondage of sin because of Adam’s disobedience. When the Messiah finally imprisons Satan at the end of time, He will deliver the entire creation from this bondage. Then, all nature will enjoy with us “the glorious freedom of the children of God” (verse 21).

3. We have the Spirit of Adoption
According to Paul we have the Spirit of adoption, and we “wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (verse 23). The soul has been redeemed, but not the body. We wait in hope, however, because the indwelling Spirit is given as “the first fruits” of the deliverance God has for us in the future. Even if we die, the Spirit who has sealed us until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14) will raise our body to life (verse 11).

4. The Spirt Groans and Pray for us
Note the three times that the verb “groan” appears in verses 22-26:
 “The whole creation has been groaning” – verse 22
 “We ourselves…groan inwardly” as we wait for Jesus’ return – verse 23
 “The Spirit Himself …groans” as He intercedes for us –verse 26.

Remember the words of John 11:33 and 11:38 when Jesus “groaned” as He visited the grave of Lazarus? This indicated the very deep emotions of the Lord. How the heart of God is burdened because of the bondage of creation. What a price our Lord Jesus paid to deliver us from this slavery.

Paul points out that while we endure this suffering in hope we have the privilege of praying in the Spirit. Much of our praying is not of the Spirit — long, beautiful, “pious” prayers that only glorify man (Isaiah 1:11-20). Paul indicates that perhaps the most spiritual prayer might be a wordless groan that comes from the heart.

The Spirit makes intercession for us. The Father, who searches our hearts and knows what the Spirit desires, then grants our requests. The Spirit always prays in the will of God. What is the will of God? God’s will is that believers might be conformed to the image of His Son (verse 29). Thus, we can claim the promise of verse 28 because of the purpose of verse 29.

5. We have been Called, Justified and Glorified
In verse 30, you may note that all of the verbs are past tense. The believer has been called, justified and glorified. Why should a believer give up even under heavy persecution in this world when he has already been glorified? We simply wait for the revelation of this glory at the return of the Messiah.

6. The crucial questions concerning our eternal security have been answered
Paul closes by asking five questions (verses 32-35) and answers them clearly. There is no need to worry about what God will do, for God is for us and not against us. The proof is that He gave His very best gift on the cross. Surely He will freely give us anything else we need. Finally, look closely at these five questions.

  •  Will not God graciously give us all things? He has already given us His most precious gift – His Son – and we are already His heirs.
  • Can anyone charge us concerning sin? We have been justified, and our righteous standing before God never changes.
  • Can anyone condemn us? Jesus died for us and lives now as our Advocate (our lawyer) at God’s right hand.
  • Can anything separate us from the love of the Messiah? Not even the devil himself can separate us from the Lord’s love.
  • Can trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword separate us from God? No, nothing can. Therefore, we can say:

Conclusion
In Romans 8, Paul has pointed out that there is no condemnation, there is no obligation and there is no separation. For in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (8:37). In closing, the apostle tells the Roman believers that he is convinced that nothing in this life – not even Satan nor his demons – can ever separate us from the love of our God. Today we must emphasize practical holiness in the life of the believer. Every born again believer needs to progress into the type of life as described in chapters 6 through 8. It is essential that we understand the meaning of this section on sanctification and we should live it.

Questions
1. The whole creation groans in await of future deliverance. Explain
2. What does it mean to pray in Spirit?
3. Mention and explain any three extremes situations that can never separate us from the Love of God.