It was a difficult task! Yesterday I asked those in attendance in my Sunday School class to describe Romans, chapters nine, ten and eleven in one word. If you know the contents of the chapters, let me ask you: What one word comes to your mind? Two of the answers that were given included salvation and sovereignty. My answer was transcendence. That’s a big word that simply means God is God. In other words, God is so unlike His creation that He is in a separate category unto Himself. He is “far greater than the universe” (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, Zondervan, 1994, p.270). Reformed theologians often discuss God’s attributes as falling into categories–communicable attributes and incommunicable attributes. God’s communicable attributes are those He shares with men, proving humanity to be made in His image (holiness, justice, love, etc.). God’s incommunicable attributes are those He alone possesses, proving that He truly is distinct from His creation (aseity, eternality, infinity, etc.). Romans 9-11 boldly declares God’s incommunicable attributes as Paul discusses the subjects of the true descendents of Abraham and the present and future of the physical nation of Israel. Without a doubt, it is a section of Scripture which teaches theology (9:1-11:32) leading to doxology (11:33-36), resulting in walkology (12:1-15:13).
When is the last time you read these awesome chapters of Scripture?
Before you answer that question, let me ask you the same question I posed to the Sunday School class:
“Can you handle the truth?”
These particular chapters contain much more that “Jesus loves me, this I know…”! The Holy Spirit–using the mind of the Apostle Paul–authored a section of Scripture which serves to exalt God and humble man. The argument given loudly asserts that God is BIG and man is small. In reality, that is the message of the entire Bible. However, Romans 9-11 sets forth these truths without excuse. Paul is not ashamed to discuss God’s sovereignty in a broader discussion about salvation. In His mind (as in the mind of G0d) the two concepts are inseparable. So also are sovereignty and ministry (Romans 10 follows Romans 9)! Can you tell that I am excited about studying these chapters in-depth?!
The Word of God never gets boring!
Our getting bored with the Word of God reveals that we have a strange disorder!
Spend some time in God’s interesting Word this week! I dare you!