After finishing in Romans 8 yesterday, I turned the page to begin Romans 9 and was like, “Wow! No natural children, part TWO.”
Look with me at Romans 9:3-5.
Paul is expressing his compassion for his brothers in the flesh, the Jews. He writes, “They are Israelites and to them BELONG the adoption…” They were the CHOSEN children according to the flesh. And yet, God had chosen to bring in the Gentiles and God was not bringing in all of the Israelites. “What is going on here,” Paul is wondering.
Now move on to Romans 9:6-8
“6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,
7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”
8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.”
Do you see why I was like, “WOW. No children of the flesh!?”
But now is where it gets really tricky. Remember what I was writing about yesterday? That it is up to the parent to choose to adopt that child and that adoption is not based on their merit or worth.
Look at Romans 9:10-12
“10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,
11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—
12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.””
God had a purpose. He always has a purpose. And His purposes are always good. He chooses, not because of our works, but because of His good purposes.
Which brings us to Romans 9:22-24:
“22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—
24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?”
I, for one, am thankful that He chooses to have mercy on any of us. Truly, we have all like sheep gone astray. Truly, none of us are without sin. Truly, all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
I sincerely pray that all four of my children, both my biological ones and my adopted one, will seek the Lord with their whole hearts and find Him. I pray that they will be among those standing with me before the throne in Heaven. But when it all comes down to it, it is my job to train them up in the way they should go and my job to teach them the ways of the Lord, but it is ultimately between God and them. And not me. I cannot bear children into the kingdom by my own strength.
Which brings me to the end of Romans 9. Look at verses 30-32.
“30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith;
31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.
32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone,”
It is not by our works or our worth that we are saved, but by our faith. It has always been by faith and it will always be by faith. Abraham believed and it was counted to him as righteousness. Unfortunately, just as the Jews were pursuing a righteousness based on the law, many, many of us who bear the name of Christ today are attempting to attain righteousness by our works.
Brothers and sisters, this has never worked and it will never work. You will never be good enough. You will never do enough good needs to merit the favor of God.
God willing, my post tomorrow will be titled Wages Due and we will explore this together in more depth.
I’d love to hear from you. How do you struggle with this idea of No Natural Children? How has this impacted your upbringing? How does it impact how you bring up your own children?