RAP Sheet 9/20/20
Series: Love is Blind
This week we dug in to one of the scriptures more difficult passages, Romans chapter 9. We went to this passage to answer the question, "HOW does God love us?"
Is God's love blind? Does he really love all people without prejudice? Is God's love truly equal opportunity for all people everywhere?
We saw that the Jews at the time of Christ did not see it as fair that God would take his message, mission, and movement to the Gentiles of the world (non-Jews). We also encountered a part of Christianity today, Reformed theology, that believes God has pre-selected who will go to Heaven and who will not. They believe that the few God chooses will irresistably choose God back and the many that God did not choose have absolutely no hope of ever being in relationship with Him.
Both of these groups make a fundamental mistake: they see scripture as a list of WHO God loves instead of seeing it as the plan for HOW God loves the world and plans to redeem it.
Have you ever encountered Christians who believe God only loves some people?
Did you grow up, or know people who grew up, in religious environments that saw themselves as superior because of God "choosing" them?
In Romans 9 (and continued in chapters 10 and 11), Paul confronts this idea head-on. He shows the Jewish people that their ancestry does not guarantee relationship with God, their work of obeying the law does not guarantee relationship with God, and their history as a part of God's plan does not either!
This complicated chapter boils down to one simple truth:
30 What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness—namely the righteousness that comes from faith.31 But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law.32 Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works.They stumbled over the stumbling stone. (Romans 9)
God's love is blind!
God loves ALL people! He has been executing a plan throughout all of history. That plan has not always made sense from a human perspective, but who cares?! God's way is the right way. His plan is what brought us Jesus which brought us hope and eternal life! We are not loved by God simply because He chose us and not someone else. We did not win the cosmic lottery. God doesn't love us because of our race or class or gender. God loves us because he loves the world!
How do we come into loving Union with God and be assured of eternal life? It is simple - we put our faith in Jesus. That same offer is given to everyone, everywhere, because God loves all people!
It is easy to take our reality and use it as the lens to view God. We discriminate in who we love and how we love. If we aren't careful, we will assume God does the same!
What is a way that you may be seeing God or Jesus through the lens of your own experiences instead of the lens of scripture?
God does not love how we love. His plans are not on the same level of our plans. God is God and we are not!
HERE IS YOUR APPLICATION QUESTION FOR THE WEEK:
What is ONE WAY I will seek to better understand God's love this week?
Spend some time reflecting on a love that is truly Blind. Let the Spirit convict you of where you are projecting your own understanding onto God. Honestly ask what it would look like for you to love more as Jesus loves. Thank God that he loves us right where we are and has made a way for all of us to be His children!