As predestination was discussed in chapter 9 of this letter to the Romans it only makes sense that the Holy Spirit would follow up with an explanation of our justification with God. In the ninth chapter, we have the doctrine of absolute predestination proclaimed in the sternest and boldest manner, – the doctrine that God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and will have compassion on whom he will have compassion on whom He will have compassion. Now, it is commonly thought, by those who do not rightly understand. Calvinism, that doctrine has a tendency to harden the heart and dry up the springs of compassion. It was not so in the apostle Paul’s case. It’s very clear that this chapter is a very affectionate one, and in it the apostle manifests a most loving spirit towards his fellow countrymen, the Jews, and the chapter also contains a large and spacious exposition of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the fact being that the extraordinary doctrine of divine predestination is by no means inconsistent with the fullest and freest teaching of the gospel Christ.
In verse 1 Paul is writing concerning the Jews, – the very people who had driven him from city to city, and who had again and again sought to take his life. Yet, he could not forget that these men were his own countrymen; and, accepting the results from their personal convictions, all he desired was that they, in contrast to their ‘ religion ‘, would be saved by the Lord. The Jews of Paul’s day was zealous, but they were zealous in ignorance. That is probably just what people might say, now, about the Jewish community of Paul’s day. Paul had made a comment of how they, ” have a zeal for God, but not of knowledge.”, and none could be more zealous than they are, but a great error is at the root of their whole system, a fatal ignorance concerning the truth of the gospel.
Man must have a righteousness of one kind or another; and if he doesn’t have a God given righteousness, he seeks to have one of his own making. As the spider spins her web out of her own bowels, so do sinful men try to manufacture a righteousness out of that “The gospel says, ” You have life freely given to you in Christ Jesus; now work for Him because you live by Him.” How simple is the Divine plan of salvation–confess Jesus Christ believing in Him;–or, in the other order, believe in Jesus Christ, and then acknowledge your faith, for so it is written, ” He that believes and is baptized shall be saved,”,– baptism being the way of confessing the faith which you already possess.
What precious promises these are, and how wide they are! ” Whosoever–Whosoever.” That must include you, dear friend, if you, dear friend, if you believe in Jesus, and call upon the name of the Lord.Here you have the whole plan of salvation. Christ is preached, sinners hear the message of the gospel, they believe it, and so they are saved. What a mass of rubbish men have interjected into this blessed simple plan! What counterfeits of so-called sacraments, and what a mass of human doings. Just simply,” Believe and live.” How different is this from the complicated plan by which men would destroy our souls! Cling to the old-fashioned gospel. Beloved, never turn from it. Too many have turned from the simplicity of the true gospel. There is nothing that can take the place of Divine Truth, Oh, God grant that throughout this world, from one end to the other salvation by believing, the result of hearing the gospel, may be proclaimed.
That’s the pity of it, – that so many have heard the gospel, but have not obeyed it.This shows that the gospel comes to us as a command, because we cannot disobey where there is no order or rule. Listen, when you hear the gospel, it is not left to your own choice to have it or leave it so that you are as free to do the one as the other; so if you reject it, you are disobedient to it. However, who has or has not heard the gospel? If they had not heard it, they could not be condemned for disobeying it, for the sin lies in hearing and yet not believing. ” Have They Not Heard?” Didn’t the Jews hear the gospel? Certainly they did, and they rejected it. Moses foretold that it would be so: So the poor outcast Gentiles have received Christ although Israel rejected Him.God grant that we mat not be disobedient and useless, as Israel was, but that we may all accept Christ at once as our only and all – sufficient Saviour!