Sermon Audio & Review
Pastor Tim Potter
- Category: Not Ashamed (Romans)
- May 6, 2018
God's Mercy Is Everlasting.
What Paul says about Israel in his context can be applied to religious people in our context. Even those who are stuck in their ways have not stumbled so badly as to never have opportunity to be saved again. The offer of salvation is always given to them. What Paul says of Gentiles in his context applies to irreligious people today. As they accept Christ, religious people see the joy that results and become jealous.
God has not forgotten His promise to the Jewish people. He will fulfill His plan for the nation of Israel in the Millennial Kingdom. The Messianic remnant is proof that its root (Abraham and the patriarchs) had integrity.
Those who receive presidential pardons can never be tried for that crime again. In Christ, God has granted those who believe an eternal pardon, and they will never be held accountable for sins. Christ made a once-for-all payment for sin.
God supports His desire for all to be saved with every aspect of His character. Several attributes are highlighted in Romans 11:11-32 that influence human hearts to consider turning from their sin and placing their faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Mercy is the "quality in God that directs Him to forge a relationship with people who absolutely do not deserve to be in a relationship with Him. Mercy is manifested in God's activity on behalf of His people to free them from slavery. It is neither theory nor principle." He withholds the punishment that we deserve. This attribute is shown in Romans 11:11, 23, 31-32.
Longsuffering is a combination of 2 Greek words that mean "long tempered." This attribute is shown in Romans 11:14, 24-25.
Three different sources are compiled to give this definition of the word: "To be longsuffering is to have a self-restraint when one is stirred to anger. A longsuffering person does not immediately retaliate or punish. Rather, he has a long fuse and patiently forbears." God has shown this quality with the Jewish people over centuries. He patiently gives unbelievers time to turn to Him today and will give 1007 more years of chances to repent after Christ's return.
God's impartiality is not talked about often, unfortunately. God judges all by the same measure and saves all people on the same basis. This attribute is shown in Romans 2:11-16 and 11:17-19.
"God will judge the Jews and the Gentiles not according to their appearance or their circumstances or their cultural or religious advantages or disadvantages, but according to something more intrinsic." There is nothing special about one group of people over another group. "God is not moved by irrelevant external appearances. He sees through them and goes to the heart of the matter and is not partial to appearance and circumstances." Nobody breaks the rules and gets away with it, no matter how powerful or clever or wealthy or networked or religious they are.
B.B. Warfield said, "God's grace is free, sovereign favor to the ill-deserving." John Stott said, "Grace is love that cares and speaks and rescues." Jerry Bridges said, "Grace is God reaching downward to people who are in rebellion against Him." It is unconditional love towards a person who does not deserve it. This attribute is shown in Romans 11:12, 15, 22.
Justice is to give every person what they are due. God's justice is "the rectitude of His nature whereby He is carried to the doing of that which is righteous and equal." He is self-propelled to do what is right. This attribute is shown in Romans 11:20, 22. Everyone gets a chance to accept or reject Christ.
Faithfulness is God's ability to unalterably be consistent with Himself and constant to His promises. "Being thus a characteristic of God, it is also characterized in salvation. It becomes the basis of confidence that God will hear prayer. It thus becomes the security of the spiritual man." God is faithful to save and sustain. This attribute is shown in Romans 11:13-16, 26-27.
God is unchanging in His character, will, and promises. The Westminster Catechism says, "God is a spirit whose being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth are infinite, eternal, and unchangeable." His gracious offer to save is constant, irrevocable, and unchanging. It is temporal for us due to our short lifespan.
- God is longsuffering. He patiently waits for those who don't know Him to realize their need and turn from their sin. If you have not done that yet, it is not too late for you to know Him today!
- Believer, don't grow weary in well-doing as you wait for religious friends and family to come to Christ. People who refuse to have a burden for lost people after they're saved will lose their spiritual influence. Take comfort in God's attributes and ask Him to help you reflect His character to them.
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore
- Romans 10:13, 1 Peter 3:18 – The offer of salvation is open to all.
- 2 Peter 3:9, Lamentations 3:22-23, Psalm 130:3, Romans 2:4 – God is longsuffering.
- James 2:9 – God is no respecter of persons.
- Psalm 40:10, 89:1-2, 5-8; Psalm 143:1, 100:5, 131:5, 91:4 – God's faithfulness.
- Revelation 22:13 – Jesus as God is unchanging.