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Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 07/26/09
We have now come to the conclusion of the first section of this great chapter, which deals with the origin of Israel and its significance and application to history.
We have looked at this verse, So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. (ROM 9:18)
We have noted that God is not arbitrary or inconsistent, He functions in compatibility with His perfect integrity, plus His perfect plan of grace. However, man continues to be a free agent in history, responsible for his own decisions, his thoughts, actions, and motives. God, in grace, has no way to take the non-meritorious actions of man known by His omniscience in eternity past, and relate it to the positive volition of grace.
We also noted that Bible doctrine and spiritual growth, (rebound and recovery), is one way that makes certain changes in certain areas of your life on a consistent basis. People are still going to express their Old Sin Natures (O.S.N.). God knew this in eternity past and still provided a system of blessing, and actually has the opportunity of showing mercy, which is the production of divine blessing.
For example, both Esau and Jacob (twins) had the same potential, the same imputation of Adam's sin, one of them made it, and one of them did not. Esau remained in his O.S.N. all his life, whereas Jacob made the salvation adjustment to the justice of God and that made the difference in how the Jewish race was formed. Abraham and Nahor were brothers, both had the same potential from the same imputation, Nahor never made it, but Abraham did. The same thing was true with Ishmael and with Isaac, both had the same potential, one made it the other did not.
So, God desires to show mercy to those believers who appropriate grace blessing through non-meritorious perception and the accumulation of doctrine in the soul.
Every printout that is to your advantage is based upon the fact that you learned a long time ago that Bible doctrine and understanding the grace of God was the most important thing in your life. Therefore you persisted on a daily basis of taking in this doctrine. You made decisions, and every one of those decisions adds up to eventually the attainment of maturity adjustment to the justice of God. Once you have attained that particular state, than God is free to start pouring blessings to you. Not only pouring out blessings, but preparing you for what inevitably is going to occur in every generation, and definitely in ours, the historical disaster of the future.
You therefore, beloved, [proginosko] knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, (2PE 3:17)
So, God can have mercy on whomever He wants to, but God happens to know what you're thinking, and He knew it billions of years ago. The fact that your thoughts were recorded, before you ever had them, in the divine decree, your decisions, actions, motivations, and everything about you was recorded there. Therefore God can say “I will have mercy, I will harden.”Hardening is simply making you live with your own negative thoughts and your own negative volition. There's nothing worse than living with negative volition.
Therefore, God shows mercy on whom He wills because He knew our decisions billions and billions of years ago, and therefore knowing all of these things, He's qualified to have mercy. But, if He wants to harden someone, He lets them live with their own negative volition in time, in Hades and eventually in the lake of fire. He certainly has the right, because you see His justice is absolutely untarnished and incorruptible. For example, if it wasn’t recorded in the divine decrees that Abraham believed in the Lord and it was credited to him for righteousness, how could God do these things for him? He couldn't, and He cannot. That is why Paul is so burdened for the Jews because unless they believe in Jesus Christ, they do not have plus R, and they do not have eternal life, and therefore there's no way that the Jews who have the genes of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Jews who have human life only can ever have these blessings.
Therefore they are really not true Jews, they are racial Jews, the physical seed of Abraham. They are not spiritual Jews, the regenerate seed of Abraham, the spiritual seed.
The racial Jew has a great spiritual heritage, but the grace heritage has no meaning until he is justified, he is adopted as the heir and an adult son through faith in Jesus Christ, the Shekinah Glory, the God of Israel. To be a son of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is nothing until a Jew becomes a son of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Paul brought this out in GAL 3:26, where the Jews had infected the Gentile of Galatians with their system of legalism.
But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (GAL 3:22-26)
Israel has an eternity future, but the Jew must be adopted as an adult son. He must have a readout called justification. He must have a printout called election. He must have printout called foreordination. If he does not have these things we go back to our premise in ROM 9:6, However, this rejection [of the Jews concerning their spiritual heritage] is not to imply as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;
The real Israel, the true Israel are those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob believed in Jehovah Elohim (the Lord Jesus), and therefore God willed to have mercy on them and all those who follow in their pattern of faith alone in Christ alone. Either you believe the following passages or you don't. Your actions, not your words prove what you believe.
I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you, (ISA 44:22)
The Lord is always inviting the one who has failed to return.
For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. (HEB 8:12)
And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. (HEB 10:17)
Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? Yes You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (MIC 7:18-19)
Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, Thou dost forgive them. (PSA 65:3)
But He, being compassionate, forgave {their} iniquity, and did not destroy {them}; And often He restrained His anger, And did not arouse all His wrath. (PSA 78:38)
It is mercy which motivates forgiveness. There must be compassion and mercy on the part of the one who forgives, and God is compassionate and merciful.
If Thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, That Thou mayest be feared. (PSA 130:3-4)
(The word “feared” in the Hebrew is “jare'” which means reverently worshipped).
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. (PSA 103:10)
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. (PSA 103:12)
For You have cast all their sins behind their back. (ISA 38:17c)
For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. (Jer 31;34c)
...He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions. (COL 2:13)
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, (EPH 1:7)
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake [because of my honor and integrity].  Furthermore, I will not remember your sin.” (ISA 43:25)
“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.” (IJo 2:12)
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob advanced in the spiritual life in spite of their failures, therefore, God desired to show them mercy by imputation of blessing from the justice of God.
So, the integrity or holiness of God includes both His perfect righteousness and absolute justice. As we have seen In judging Pharaoh, God was fair, completely compatible with His own righteousness, He did not violate His perfect righteousness. God was not unfair, God was not arbitrary in these judgments, but completely compatible with His own perfect righteousness and the plan of grace. God just simply gave Pharaoh more opportunities to be saved. More opportunities to be positive. However, the more opportunities He gave him, the more he became negative.
There are a lot of people who are that way. The sweeter you are to them, the kinder you are to them, the more opportunities you give them to respond to grace, the more negative, the more cruel, the more adverse they will be, and they will eventually destroy you if possible. A lot of you are under the mistaken concept that you can be nice to a lot of people, and sweet, and that its your Christian duty and compassion, it's a sign of love. It's just about as much a sign of love as petting a rattlesnake. These passages are designed to give you some discernment, so that impersonal love, which is commanded, can always exist in your soul, but not personal love in the sense of being sweet and nice to evil people, to dogooders, to people who are blind. The more good deeds that some legalistic believers do, the more blindness in part has occurred to fundamentalist Christianity.
All of your Christian love and compassion merely intensifies the scar tissue and increases the ego, arrogance, and results in pushing them farther and farther away from reality.
You see, if a person is negative toward doctrine, there's not alot of things you can do for them. The sooner you learn it, get them to a psychiatrist, get them to a hospital, get them out of circulation. So a great portion of our population are completely divorced from reality, which only increases and intensifies our problem, with regard to freedom versus socialism and so on. We are left here, therefore, to glorify God. We are left here to have capacity for life. We are here to find the meaning and purpose and definition of life, as it relates to being a member of the royal family of God, and therefore a stranger in cosmos diabolicous.
We are left here for many reasons, which demand that we learn and observe and understand Bible doctrine. The doctrines we have been understanding lately, for many of you have been a test of motivation.
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