In our last visit we began looking at what Paul said in Romans 9 about what won’t work in the faith relationship and righteousness that is experienced in salvation. Privilege and parentage will not help us. It was through Isaac, not Ishmael that God’s promise would be fulfilled (Romans 9:7-9).
Though Esau and Jacob were twins, God declared the promise would be fulfilled through Jacob, the younger brother. This was contrary to the tradition of the day where the older would be chosen. Romans 9:11-12 explains: “Before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad – in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls – (Rebecca) was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’” Jacob was no better than Esau. God didn’t choose him because of performance.
Finally, we don’t get saved because of our pursuing or desiring it. Verse 16 says, “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” The Israelites “pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the ‘stumbling stone’” (verse 32).
Men and women over the centuries have sought salvation based on privilege, parentage, performance or pursuit only to find futility and failure. Don’t be deceived, thinking you are different. It won’t work for you either.
What are you basing your hope on? Are you helping others understand God’s plan for them?