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Romans 9:1-5


Intro: We have arrived, in our study of the book of Romans, to a passage that is ignored and misunderstood by many great commentators and preachers of the Gospel. The next three chapters form something of a parenthesis between chapters 8 and 13. Many Bible scholars feel that this passage had no relevance to the church at all. However, as we shall see from going through these verses, there are truths that must be understood. Up until this point, Paul has been about the task of proving that salvation is a sovereign work of God brought about through grace by faith. He has been telling his readers that men are saved by trusting the finished work of Christ on Calvary, apart from any rituals or works. Any Jew reading Romans, up to this point, might get the idea that salvation by faith was for Gentiles only. He might come to the conclusion that there was no hope for those who were the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, Paul pauses in his teaching to let all of his readers know that God wasn't finished with the Jew! They still figured prominently in God's plan for the future. As we move through the next three chapters, we will see that they have a lot to say to the Jews. But, there is also some meat for the church as well.

In these opening verses of chapter 9, Paul reveals his heart for his people the Jews. In doing so, he teaches us a lesson about the kind of heart we should have for the lost around us tonight. I would like to preach for a while this evening on this thought: Burdened For A Lost People.


(Ill. These first three verses really expose Paul's heart for those who are lost in Israel. For eight chapters, Paul has been revealing truth that is thrilling to anyone who is saved by grace, but truth which is devastating to the unbeliever, especially to the unbelieving Jew. Because he had been the recipient of such great amounts of truth, he felt an obligation to reach out to those who did not know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. Notice the burden on Paul's heart as he lays it bear in these verses.)

A. V. 1 Paul's Honesty - All lost people, but especially the Jew, have looked with distrust and doubt at the message of the cross. Paul has shared a lot of truth. Truth that if taken literally proved that outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ there was no hope of salvation. Some people, hearing the message of Paul, may have been tempted to think that Paul was lying. After such a scalding condemnation of Judaism, some Jews may have felt that they were utter outcast, hopelessly written off by God forever. Yet, Paul wants these people to know that he has a heart for them. He wants them too see that he is sincere about what he is saying and that he really does care. That is why he calls the Lord, the Holy Spirit and his own heart to testify to his honesty. Paul wants them to know that his message is absolutely true!

(Ill. It is vital that believers operate from an honest heart! This world must know that we love them and that we are concerned about them. John warned us about a false love. He told us that true love manifests itself in action on behalf of others, 1 John 3:18. We must give them no reason to mistrust us or the Gospel massage we preach. We must never be guilty of saying anything that is untrue or hypocritical to those outside of the family of God. We may be the only hope they will ever have of coming to Jesus!)

B. V. 2 Paul's Heaviness - Paul now tells his readers that his life is paralyzed by constant grief. The words used here refer to those who are overcome by mourning. If you have ever seen people from the Middle East mourn, you know that they are very vocal about their grief. To listen to them wail it almost makes you feel as though they think they are being ripped apart. Paul wants his readers to know that he is operating under a heavy burden for the lost! Like a mother who has lost a child, Paul's heart is broken over the condition of the lost sinner. He lives under the constant burden of the reality that they are headed to Hell. The fact that they are perishing lies on his shoulders like a weigh that is nearly impossible to carry.

(Ill. Did you know that this is the kind of burden that we should all be under for the sinner tonight? We are surrounded by millions of people who are headed to Hell and often the church acts like she does not care. We live our lives and attend our worship services and never give them a second thought! When is the last time you were burdened to pray for a lost sinner? When was the last time God woke you up in the middle of the night so that you could seek His face for a person who was lost in sin? When was the last time that it moved you to think that men were going to Hell?

Sadly, most of us simply aren't affected by the condition of the lost sinner. We are sorry that he is lost, but not sorry enough to pray for him and tell him about Jesus! Before we leave here tonight, everyone of us ought to confess our cold, callous attitude to the Lord and ask Him to kindle a fire in us that will burn for the perishing! Are you willing to do that? If so, God will surely bless it!)

C. V. 3 Paul's Hunger - Here in this verse, Paul makes a statement that is astounding! He says that if it were possible, he would allow himself to be separated from God and sentenced to Hell if it would save the lost Jews! That is an amazing statement! Friend, Paul isn't joking! He meant that thing! He knew it was an impossibility. He knew that he was eternally secure in the Lord Jesus, but he was willing in his heart to go to hell that others might be saved. What a burden must have gripped this man's heart!

(Ill. I wonder if we have ever been to the place where we would be willing to pray a similar prayer? I wonder if we are burdened enough for the lost sinner that we would pray for the Lord to save them regardless of what it took to do it. Could we say, "Father, if it means that I must be stricken, or even if I must die, save them from Hell!"? When our burden grows to the place that it consumes us with its weight, we will pray that kind of prayer. When we get that serious, we will see the Lord speak to hearts!)

(Ill. I remember reading of a woman who became burdened for her drunken, abusive husband. She loved God, but he would not listen to the Gospel! He was a vile man and had no use for the church or for God. One time, there was a revival in the church where his wife attended and she invited the evangelist for dinner. When she set the table for the meal, she only set two plates, one for her husband and the other for their visitor. She did not set a plate for herself. When her husband brought this to her attention, she replied, "I am too burdened to eat. How can I eat when I know that any breath might be your last and that if you die you will go to Hell." She said, "I shall not eat any more food until the day you come to Christ as your Savior, but I shall pray for you and for your soul." He responded by laughing at here and telling her that he would never be saved! It wasn't many days until the husband became broken over his sins and came to know Jesus as His personal Savior.)

(Ill. By the way, we are under the same obligation that occupied the mind of the Apostle! There is a lost world all around us and we must get under a burden for their lost souls!)

I. A Manifest Obligation


A. V. 4-5a God's Gifts To Israel - Israel had been the partakers of many gifts from God. That had been given truth and revelation. They were in a special covenant relationship with Him and were considered to be His people. All of the Old Testament prophets and prophesies were given to them. All of the promises concerning the Messiah and the coming kingdom were given to them. The people of Israel had been given more light than any people group in their world. Yet, they became so bogged down in the letter of the Law and the religious rituals that they missed their Messiah when He came!

B. V. 5b God's Grace To Israel - When Messiah did come, He was born from among them as one of their own. No other people had ever had such a privilege! God became a man and was born among the Jewish people, yet when He manifested Himself to them, they refused to have Him rule over them, John 1:11, Luke 19:14; John 19:15. To come to that place, they had to ignore every prophecy concerning Him. They had to disregard every miracle and every proof that Jesus was the Messiah. How did they do away with Lazarus? What did they do with Zacchaeus? How did they keep Bartimaeus or the Gadarene Demoniac quiet? How did they silence the 5,000 who were fed by Him? What did they do to the 500 who saw Him after He had risen from the dead? Do you see that they had to climb over many high hurdles to get passed Jesus? What they did was sin away their season of grace!

(Ill. I have always said this , and I still believe it today, I would rather go to Hell from anywhere on this planet than to do so from the pew of a Bible believing, fundamental Baptist church! To sin against such light will surely require a great judgment!)

(Ill. My friends, what have you done with the light you have been given? Have you responded to it by embracing Jesus and His salvation? Or, have you turned a deaf ear to the pleading of the Holy Spirit? Don't let your life be one that is summed up as a missed opportunity!)

I. A Manifest Obligation

II. A Missed Opportunity


(Ill. Paul ends this section with a doxology of sorts. He reminds his readers that this Jesus he is preaching is no ordinary man. He is no poor fool who didn't know when to keep His mouth shut and got Himself nailed to a cross. He closes this section by reminding us Who Jesus is! May we never forget this great Lord we serve and love! Note Paul's magnificent observations:)

A. Concerning The Person Of Jesus - Paul calls Him "Christ". This is a word that means "Anointed". Paul is simply reminding us that Jesus is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. He is the One God the Father promised to send. He is the One Who came to take away the sins of the world, John 1:29. He is worthy of our faith, our love and our worship. He is the Christ! He is Lord and He is Saviour! May we never forget to love Him and honor Him as such!

B. Concerning The Power Of Jesus - Paul says that He is "over all". We must remember that Jesus is the agent of creation, John 1:3. We must remember that He possesses "all power in heaven and in earth.", Matt. 28:18. We must remember that He is "King of Kings and Lord of Lords.", Rev. 19:16. We must remember that Jesus is the One Who holds all things together, Heb. 1:3. Since He has that kind of awesome power, we can trust Him to be able to everything He has promised us He can and will do. He is able, Eph. 3:20! Friends, He is not the God Who was, He is still the Great I AM, Ex. 3:14. Simply stated, He is all you need!

C. Concerning The Position Of Jesus - Paul doesn't stop there. He goes on to remind us that Jesus is also God. Notice the phrase "Christ came, who is over all, God blessed, for ever" in verse 5. This is a strange way to construct a doxology. Without exception, in both the Old and New Testaments, the world "blessed" always comes before the name of "God". Notice a few of these instances, Gen. 14:20; Gen. 24:27; 48; 1 Kings 1:48; 8:15; 10:9; Psa. 41:13; 66:20; Dan. 3:28; Luke 1:68; 2 Cor. 1:3; Eph. 1:3; 1 Tim. 1:11; 1 Pet. 1:3. There are dozens more, but these are sufficient to prove my point. So then, what is my point? Just this, with that simple statement, Paul is very clearly trying to show his readers that Jesus is God. How? The pronoun "who" has as it's antecedent the word "Christ", and "who" is the antecedent of "God." Can you see how the Apostle tied them all together? It was no accident, it was the inspiration of the Holy ghost. Paul is merely giving the saints of God another reason to rejoice! He is reminding us that Jesus is God! Since that is true, He is worthy of all the love, worship and devotion we can give Him. Are you exalting Him like you should?

Conc: Paul's theme in these five verses has been the salvation of the lost sheep of Israel. Paul does not want them to go to Hell! He wants to share with them the truth that his heart is broken for their condition and that he would do anything to see them saved by grace. I wonder if that is your heart tonight? Not just for the lost Jew, but for your lost neighbors or your lost family members. Are you burdened for them? How long has it been since you brought their names up before the throne of grace? How long has it been since you wept for those who are separated from God by a gulf of sin? There is no better time to come before the God of glory and seek His face for them than right now.

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