International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday August 14, 2016
Purpose: To embrace our identity as children of God
Bible Lesson: Romans 9:6-18
Background Scripture: Romans 9:6-29
Key Verse: That means it isn’t the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children from the promise who are counted as descendants. (Romans 9:8)
Romans 9:6-18 (CEB)
(6) But it’s not as though God’s word has failed. Not all who are descended from Israel are part of Israel. (7) Not all of Abraham’s children are called Abraham’s descendants, but instead your descendants will be named through Isaac. (8) That means it isn’t the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children from the promise who are counted as descendants. (9) The words in the promise were: A year from now I will return, and Sarah will have a son. (10) Not only that, but also Rebecca conceived children with one man, our ancestor Isaac. (11) When they hadn’t been born yet and when they hadn’t yet done anything good or bad, it was shown that God’s purpose would continue because it was based on his choice. (12) It wasn’t because of what was done but because of God’s call. This was said to her: The older child will be a slave to the younger one. (13) As it is written, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau. (14) So what are we going to say? Isn’t this unfair on God’s part? Absolutely not! (15) He says to Moses, I’ll have mercy on whomever I choose to have mercy, and I’ll show compassion to whomever I choose to show compassion. (16) So then, it doesn’t depend on a person’s desire or effort. It depends entirely on God, who shows mercy. (17) Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have put you in this position for this very thing: so I can show my power in you and so that my name can be spread through the entire earth. (18) So then, God has mercy on whomever he wants to, but he makes resistant whomever he wants to.
Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter
This week’s lesson is a continuation of God’s grace and goodness that was discussed in last week’s text.
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he is appealing both to the Jewish Christians, and Gentile Christians. He tells of the difference between descendants of Abraham and the descendants of the Promise of God. Not all descendants of Abraham were automatically included in God’s overall plan of redemption. Paul points out that only those that come from the female that God chose, namely Sarah and Rebecca. He goes even further and separates the twins Jacob and Esau. God, because He can, chooses whom he will to carry out His plan.
So, initially, God set aside those descendants of Abraham and Isaac that did not fit his plan, namely Ishmael and Esau. If you understand the world as we know it today, that would be the Islamic and Arab followers, the direct descendants of these two people.
The good news of today is that Christ changed all of that, and as a fulfillment of God’s plan, redemption is now available to all; Jew, Gentile, Arab, and Muslim alike. God as the creator, is also the one that determines who are redeemed, and those that believe in Christ are now set apart.
It is because of God’s goodness and mercy that any are saved, since none of us deserve it. God, is not only the creator, but also the judge of what or who is worthy to receive God’s gift of eternal life with Him.
You cannot separate this week’s lesson from last week’s lesson. Romans 8:28 towers over this passage. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
We must never lose sight of the fact that God is sovereign and His purpose is his design. We are but the clay he uses to achieve that plan.
My hymn for this week is “Have Thine Own Way Lord.”