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Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
Rom 9:1-3, “I am communicating doctrine, I am not lying, my conscious bearing joint testimony with me in the Holy Spirit, but I have a great sorrow and constant pain in my right lobe, so I could wish that I myself would be accursed. Consequently, separated from Christ, but it cannot be, for the sake of, or on behalf of my brethren, the racial Jews. My fellow countrymen, national Jews. According to earthly descent,” [that would be Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve patriarchs].
ROM 9:4-7, “who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, From whom are the fathers, that is the regenerate ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in fact, from whom is the Christ, the one the who came in the flesh, the one who is God, ruler over all, extolled, praised, eulogized forever, Amen. However this is not to imply that the word of God has failed, for not all who are descended from Israel, are really Israel.”
ROM 9:7-14, “Neither because they are Abraham's posterity, his seed, his descendants, are all racial Jews, the children of the inheritance or the promises, but, [quotation, from GEN 21:12] ‘in Isaac your posterity shall be elected, designated’ This means that the descendants of the flesh, the racial Jews with the genes of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, this means that these are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are imputed for the seed. For the word of the promise is this, [quotation from GEN 18:10] ‘at this time maturity adjustment to the justice of God, I will come to impute blessing, and Sarah will have a son.’ And not only the previous case history, but also Rebecca when she had become pregnant, literally had sex from one Isaac, our father, for though the twins Esau and Jacob had not yet been born and though they had not accomplished anything good or evil, in order that the predetermined plan of God, the divine decrees might remain in status quo in relationship to the election, not from works, but from him who elects, it was said of her,[quotation from GEN 25:23] ‘The older Esau shall be subservient to the younger Jacob.’ Just as it stands written,[quotation from MAL 1:2-3] ‘I love that Jacob, but I hate that Esau. Therefore to what conclusion are we forced, there is no injustice with God is there, definitely not.’”
These people are the ones who judge, condemn, find faults, they oppose, and they do all of this because they have a serious problem with the worst sin a believer can commit: arrogance! Arrogance is always self destructive. Iconoclastic arrogance merely complicates one's life. Arrogant people don’t even realize that they have enough problems without getting involved with others. We are warned about this in JER 17:5 Thus says the Lord, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the Lord.” The key to understanding this passage is the Hebrew word for trustwhich is batach which means to trust, be confident, secure, put confidence in something or someone. This is something that you are to do towards God, but never towards man! Never put your trust in man, never be confident of man, and that includes yourself. In fact the first half of this verse says, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind” whichrefers to trusting and relying upon others. Then the verse continues “Cursed is the man who makes flesh his strength” which refers to trusting in self. David put it like this PSA 62:9 “Men of low degree are only vanity, and men of rank are a lie; In the balances they go up; They are together lighter than breath.” In PSA 118:8-9, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in princes.” Iconoclastic arrogance ignores all these principles, so this is a warning not to depend upon man or trust in man.
JER 17:5-6, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the Lord. For he will be like a bush in the desert And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt without inhabitant.’” That means that if you depend upon man or self, you won't recognize prosperity when it comes your way. You will think that it came from man, or from your own decisions rather than from God. On the other hand, JER 17:7-10 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.”
The point is that preoccupation with others, especially a pastor, is disastrous. Usually this becomes excessive admiration for someone you have placed on a pedestal. Arrogance and excessive admiration for a person also is a guarantee for a let down, and one day, arrogance then becomes disenchantment! People become disenchanted with the object of their admiration, and once disenchanted, they seek to destroy the idol that they have themselves created. It's admiration one day; antagonism the next! These people are what James calls “double- minded man, unstable in all his ways.” All humans possess an old sin nature (OSN) however the arrogance of admiration seems to forget this, and once the OSN shows itself in some way, the arrogant person is offended and wounded. Many times this is a part of God's plan to wake these people out of their incredible arrogance. That's why the Lord said in JER 30:14 “For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, With the punishment of a cruel one.” There is no loyalty, love, faithfulness, or humility in the arrogant believer and the arrogance of admiration is one step toward unreality in any human relationship. The arrogant believer who is involved in iconoclastic arrogance takes an ordinary person, and with illusions of one sort or another, builds that person beyond reality. The illusion could be romantic, self importance, sexual, or power lust, but eventually these illusions are destroyed by reality, and then the arrogant person, in subjectivity, attacks! The idol of perfection created by arrogance is an image of something that does not really exist. When you truly love someone in a state of humility and have a lot of doctrine, you love people with their faults! Your eyes are wide open to their failures, and their faults, but it doesn't make a difference! This is because you operate in impersonal or unconditional virtue-love. 1CO 13:4 says this type of love is patient (poise and self-control). With impersonal unconditional love you are able to handle suffering, hostility, provocation and unjust treatment! 1CO 13:4 goes on to say this type of love is kind or it performs acts and deeds of kindness, it is not jealous, which means it is not envious, or resentful, and it does not brag and is not arrogant.When a person has impersonal unconditional love, they have no need to brag, in fact, arrogant people are the biggest phonies you'll ever meet. 1CO 13:5 says this type of unconditional love does not act unbecomingly, which means that it does not behave dishonorably, it does not seek its own, meaning that itis not preoccupied with self, and this type of love does not get angry easily. Anger is not only a sin, but it is an emotion out of control. This type of love does not take into account a wrong suffered. Here is where impersonal unconditional love can save you from a lot of wear and tear. When you operate in impersonal unconditional love you will not keep tabs on people! You will not keep an account of all the wrong that you have suffered! So many people have a miserable life because they are constantly concerned with what others have done or are trying to do to them.
Impersonal unconditional love will cause you to give up resentment, excuse a guilty party, release others from payment, forget an offense, never bringing it up again, not even to discuss it! 1CO 13:6-7 tells us that Impersonal unconditional does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; Impersonal unconditional love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. This means that all things are kept confidential. Where are all the believers who have this type of love today? Instead we see arrogance, and jealousy, and bitterness, and vanity, and self pity, and lack of thoughtfulness, courtesy and kindness. When you lack virtue, you lack character, and you repeat things and you do not operate in impersonal unconditional love. People who are easily shocked are just simply arrogant self-centered, self-righteous people. So impersonal unconditional love is the ability to cover and overlook the faults of others. It is the type of love that protects each individual from being jealous, bitter, and unfaithful. Impersonal love accepts and tolerates people as they are. On the other hand, the arrogance of criticism destroys friendships, romances, marriages, business relations, and even spiritual relations in the local church.
One of the most devastating forms of arrogance is to idolize someone who communicates doctrine, and that's what Paul taught about in 1TI 5:24 “The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after.” This is very devastating because the person who does this always confuses the communication with the communicator. When the communicator says something or does something to let you down, you will end up rejecting the communication. The smart believer accepts the doctrine and ignores the communicator. It is the communication of information (Bible doctrine) that is important. Rejection of that doctrine means rejection of God's plan, God's purpose and God's policy. This is why the elevating of any spiritual leader can be devastating to your soul. So this whole concept can be perfectly described by the phrase “iconoclastic arrogance.” When you elevate a person and then that person lets you down, iconoclastic arrogance results. Occasional disappointment with friends, loved ones, husbands, wives, children, bosses, pastors, coaches, etc., is normal, but disenchantment or disillusion with a self-manufactured idol is destructive!
Now what has been described here is one of the main problems in interaction among people. Arrogance never takes the responsibility for being arrogant. For the believer, the only escape from becoming the villain or the victim of the iconoclast is spiritual maturity. When you are in spiritual adulthood, it means that you don't put others on a pedestal because you don't need to. If others try to put you on a pedestal, you take yourself right off, you don't go along with that nonsense. You begin to tolerate all kinds of people, and you never get involved to the point of getting disillusioned or disenchanted with anyone. In fact, sharing the happiness of God is a part of the problem solving device in this area. The mature believer always remembers that God is perfect and people are sinful. ROM 7:18-8:1, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” God is to be worshipped and become the object of our personal love! People are sinful and to become disenchanted with people is arrogance. To be disenchanted with God is blasphemous!
Back to Rom 9:1-3, “I am communicating doctrine, I am not lying, my conscious bearing joint testimony with me in the Holy Spirit, but I have a great sorrow and constant pain in my right lobe, For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,”
The Greek word for wish is the verb euchomai, meaning to pray, to wish for something, and here it means to wish or desire. In the context of Rom 9:1-3 it means, in effect, that Paul can only wish for the impossible. Paul is stating that he recognizes the omniscience of God, in which God knew all of the facts before they would happen. God knew every person and their thoughts, and the context of those thoughts. God knew every decision that every person would ever make, and every action which would follow or proceed, and all of these were placed in the computer of Divine decrees. Then they were printed out of the decrees. For the believer, there is election, foreknowledge, predestination. For the unbeliever, there are terms like condemnation. God knew billions of years ago what free will decisions would be made. When we say that Jesus Christ controls history, we make it sound as though it's something happening in the present. However, Jesus Christ controlled history before history even existed, because He knew everything that would ever happen. With regard to actual things, God is the final and absolute authority (1SA 2:6-8). God is perfect, therefore His plan is perfect. A plan anything less than perfect could only come from someone who is not God.
Now, the beneficiaries of the plan are imperfect. This calls for all of Divine genius to create, maintain, perpetuate, and continue a perfect plan for imperfect persons. The key issue is to find out what the plan is all about. The perfect plan of God cannot be divorced from the perfect essence of God, but it must be related to the total depravity of man. Because of this, certain Divine attributes must be understood before the Divine plan can be understood or appreciated. The problem is that perfect God created a perfect plan for imperfect creatures. As far as God is concerned, we are total disasters, because we are full of human good, and evil. The function of the essence of God in planning and executing His plan requires a summery of a number of doctrines. God has to do the thinking (doctrine) and the work. Therefore, one of the biggest problems in this plan is to get the recipients of the plan to stop working. Remember what our Lord said in JOH 6:28-29, They said therefore to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” The Jews were constantly trying to impress God with their works (this does not refer to legitimate production). We always seem to want to do things to help God, such as, self-righteousness, emotion, or have a pleasing personality. This insertion of human good obscures the Plan of God. We must understand the will, sovereignty, and omniscience of God. We must understand the Divine decrees, the integrity of God, election, foreknowledge, predestination, retribution, and condemnation. Inasmuch as the volition of man is an instrument created by God for the execution of God's plan, human volition, whether positive or negative, serves the Divine purpose. Negative volition will never stop the Plan of God. You see, arrogance thinks the Plan of God depends on you, but God can get along without you. Man's failure to execute the Plan of God does not hinder or frustrate that plan; it moves on, with or without you.
The Sovereignty of God.
God is a person. That means that God has personality, but God is an eternal, infinite person. God never had a beginning. Infinite means our finite minds can never completely comprehend everything about God. God has explained Himself to us in terms of human activities called anthropopathisms. God has self-consciousness. He is eternally aware of Himself. God has self-determination. God recognizes Himself as a personality, and as such, He thinks and acts rationally in compatibility with His integrity. The sovereignty of God is bound up in the self-determination and the decrees of God. God thought out the history of the human race simultaneously in an instant of time. That is why we say the Lord Jesus Christ controls human history. This is why we should always be sensitive to the leading and the guidance of the Lord. You never know when it's going to save your life. However, the only way to be sensitive to the leading and guidance of the Lord is to know Bible doctrine. In fact, His own family did not believe that He was the Son of God!
JOH 7:5 “For not even his brothers were believing in Him.” They did not come to believe in Him until after His resurrection when He appeared to His brother James. Even His mother was mistaken at this particular time. In MAT 12:46 While He was still speaking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Notice that they were standing outside, they didn't want to even come in an listen to Him. This verse also tells us that they didn't want Him to speak to them, they wanted to speak to Him. MAT 12:47 And someone said to Him, “behold, your mother and your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to you.” They have been waiting outside for Him for a long time. MAT 12:48-49, But He answered the one who was telling Him and said, “who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “behold, My mother and My brothers!”
The Lord Jesus Christ taught that His followers are even closer to Him than His natural family and closet relatives. In fact, we are told that His disciples took the place of His earthly family because they had believed in Him. MAT 12:50 “For whoever does the will of My Father Who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” Remember that the Will of God is summed up in one verse: 1TI 2:4 He wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Relationship with God must have priority over relationship with people. Your number one priority demands that you have a right relationship with God. As an expression of this, emphasis on people over God must be set aside, and that includes emphasis on yourself.
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