Romans 9 Lesson

God's Authority

GOD’S AUTHORITY

In Romans Chapter 9, we read about God’s mercy and compassion, and how He alone has the authority to determine who receives it. This makes sense. If God does not have the final say in all things, then who does?

God said to Moses:

  • “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” – Romans 9:15-18.

In this scripture, God makes it clear that He is in control, and we serve Him, not the other way around.

WHO ARE WE TO QUESTION GOD?

It is human nature to wonder why things happen, and in most things that is a perfectly fine thing to do. Curiosity helps us to learn and to discover new things. But it is not ok to question why God does what He does. That is not our place. He is God and we serve Him – not the other way around. If we challenge His plan or resist it, we have chaos. Much the same way as when a child is constantly questioning their parents’ decisions and disobeying them. As Christians, our role is to trust in His plan and to be hopeful about the future:

  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –  Jeremiah 29:11.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, we are warned not to question God:

  1. "Who are you, O man, who answers back to God?” – Romans 9:20 (a)
  2. “The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” – Romans 9:20 (b).

In the Book of Job, God put Job in His place with the following words of authority:

  • “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me if you have understanding. Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it?  “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” – Job 38:4-7.

TRUSTING GOD’S PLAN

It is important that we trustin God’s plan and then allow it to unfold. The following scriptures teach us that we need to trust God with all our heart and that if we do, He will provide for us and lead us to Heaven. The scriptures tell us that God is our strength and our shield. We cannot get to Heaven without trust in God and faith in Jesus.

  1. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.   In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” - Proverbs 3:5-6,
  2. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart triumphs, and with my song I shall thank Him.” - Psalm 28:7,
  3. "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” – Psalm 37:4-6.

The greatest example of trusting in God’s plan comes from Jesus right before His crucifixion. In the agonizing moments leading up to His death, Jesus said the following prayer to God:

  • My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” -Mathew 26:39.

In this scripture, we see the human side of Jesus asking God if there is another option for Him. As He thinks about the torture He is about to endure, He asks if there is another way. But then He acknowledges God’s authority and submits to it. That is what we are to do as Christians. God hears our prayers, and our prayers can accomplish remarkable things(James 5:16). But we must always remember to acknowledge God’s authority in our prayers and accept God’s will and the outcome that He provides.

GOD’S WAYS ARE HIGHER THAN OUR WAYS

In the Book of Isaiah, we read the following words about God:

  • "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." - Isaiah 55:8-9.

This scripture tells us that we do not need to try and figure everything out. As Christians, we do not need to know why God is doing the things that He is doing. We simply need to trust Him and obey His commands. This may contrast with our fleshly desire to feel like we are the ones that are in control. But as we see from the scriptures, God is always in control.

CONCLUSION

God is in charge, and we serve Him, not the other way around. And while in other areas of our lives it is perfectly acceptable, even at times advantageous to question things, that is not the case when it comes to God.

When it comes to God, we are to trust in His plan for us, submit to it, and allow it to unfold. If we resist His plan and try to do things our way instead of His, we will become lost and condemned. But if we trust in His plan for us, He will shower us with His love, grace, and mercy.

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture from the book of Joshua. It reminds us that we all have a choice to make. Choose wisely!

  • But if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served, which were beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15.

Comments

Pat Dermody

This drives home the point that God’s plan is not for those who try to earn his favor by doing good, it is for those who realize they can never be good enough and so depend on Christ. We can only be saved by putting our faith in what Jesus Christ has done.

Reply
Kennedy

I have recently been very passionate towards Jesus and the whole idea of Christ. Before reading scripture and having dissuasions with myself and God, I struggled to put all of my faith into him. I have started to pray much more and this study today had helped me realize that Jesus will forgive who he forgives and he will have mercy on who he chooses. It has been a great thing for me to come to realization that with putting all of my faith into Jesus, brings salvation and peace throughout my days and helps me through them, because God is good and is here for all of us, no matter what.

Reply
Pat Dermody

The times , which I confess are far too few, when I can place complete faith in God have been the times of less stress and more contentment. “Let go, let God” . Easier said than done sometimes.

Reply
John

I am struck by how many times God emphasizes the importance of faith for our salvation. It has been great for me to remind myself that it is through faith in Jesus that we receive salvation. Focusing on my faith and not my works takes the pressure off of me, makes me happier, and puts me in a state of peace.

Reply