Judicial Hardening

Paul's Gosple  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God elceted Israel, but becuase thye hardened their hearts, they were hardened

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Tonight we are going to continue through Romans
The subject tonight is “Judicial Hardening”
What is Judicial Hardening?
An act of judgment by God with reason
There are two sources of hardening that can take place:
Divine Hardening
Human hardening
Tonight we will explore this doctrine and hopefully get a better grasp of it and the issue os salvation
Verses 1-5

Israel was the chosen nation by God’s sovereign choice

Paul says he wished he were accursed for the sake of his brethren
The majority of Israel has rejected Christ
To Israel belonged the adoption, the glory of the covenants, the Law, etc
From Israel came the Christ (in the flesh)
In God’s perfect plan He chose Israel to be His covenant people
God called Abraham
From Abraham came Issac, then Jacob, the 12 sons who made up the 12 tribes of Israel
Israel was unlike any other nation because they had the One true living God as their God
But when Christ came something happened
Israel rejected Jesus, and Gentiles began to receive Him
Paul was willing to sacrifice his own salvation to see his people saved
How much more should we be burdened over our lost friends and neighbors?
I want us all to pray that God gives us a burden for the lost like Paul had
Verses 6-9

The true Israel knows God only through Faith (Verses 6-9)

“Nor are they all children (Israel) because they are Abraham’s seed”
All of Israel considered itself in God’s covenant because of their bloodline
Paul is telling them it is not enough to be a Jew
Paul quotes a passage, “through Issac your descendants will be named”
Sarah was promised to have a son
Sarah was over the child bearing age
Instead of trusting God by faith she took matters in her own hands and gave Hagar to Abrahm
The n came Ishmael
Then later Issac came juts as God promised
There were two sons now
This represents the two covenants
One covenant of faith (through Sarah)
One covenant of works (through Hagar)
Ishmael did not inherit the promises of Abraham just because he ascended from Abraham
Only Issac inherited the promise given to Abraham because he was the child of faith
It does not matter who we know, who we have, or who we are related to…the only way to God’s promises is by faith
Abraham recieved the promise of God through faith
Issac was the promised son through faith
We can only belong to God if we have a living faith in Him

Righteousness cannot be obtained by works but by God’s Sovereign choice (verses 10-13)

Just like Abraham had two sons representing two covenants, Sarah had twins
Both boys in the womb
Neither had yet been born
But God could only choose one for his divine purpose
“Jacob I loved and Esau I hated”
Does this mean God hated Esau? NO
Luke 14:26 NASB95
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
The word hate here means to choose
And what God did was choose Jacob over Esau not because one was bad or good but because God has a plan and
What Paul is saying is God chose Jacob over Esau
“not because of works, but because of him who calls”
The issue was that most of Israel had rejected Christ
They had rejected the Messiah
But not all had rejected
Paul is saying God has the right to choose who He wishes
Application: A relationship with God happens by God’s initiative
Salvation is not just a choice of man
It is a response to God’s call of that man
John 6:44 NASB95
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

The stumbling block for Israel was the Cross

“It is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs”
Israel was not outright rejecting God
They believed they were righteous
They believed they were right with God
But they tried to make their own righteousness by obedience to the Law
Romans 9:31–32 NASB95
but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,
In a sense, they did what they thought was best rather than God’s plan
They pursued the law of righteousness
They tried to work their way to God but never made it…WHY?
Lack of knowledge
Romans 10:2–3 NASB95
For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
They had a zeal for God but not in accordance with knowledge
They followed all of the observances
They were faithful in worship
They knew all the religious practices yet never understood what it meant to be saved
Their failed by rejecting Christ who is God’s righteousness
Application: It does not matter what we do for God, if it is not in line with the knowledge found in the Word of God
It is a dangerous thing to take Christianity into our own hands and do as we please with it
It is a dangerous thing to think that we know better than God
It is a dangerous thing to think we do not need the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit
It is a dangerous thing to think we can know the will of God apart from prayer
I am a firm believer every answer to every problem is written in the Word of God
One man wrote: “Inspiration of the Bible does not mean God dictated every Word the author wrote, but that the authors wrote every thing God wanted us to know”
Verses 17-29

One the other side of mercy is divine hardening (verses 17-29)

When someone has rejected Christ they begin a process of hardening their heart on their own
Every rejection of Christ makes the human heart a little harder
We begin the process of hardening
And after so many rejections, God begins to harden our hearts
Pharoah is the example Paul used
Exodus 7:1–3 NASB95
Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. “You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land. “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.
God did not harden Pharaoh’s heart here, He is speaking with foreknowledge
Exodus 7:13–14 NASB95
Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn; he refuses to let the people go.
Pharoah hardened his heart
Exodus 7:22 NASB95
But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
Exodus 8:15 NASB95
But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
Exodus 8:32 NASB95
But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and he did not let the people go.
Exodus 9:12 NASB95
And the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had spoken to Moses.
This is the first time God hardened Pharaoh’s heart
Hardening does not change a heart, it locks it in
To say God did this to Pharaoh is inaccurate
All God did was lock in what Pharaoh had already done
Application: To reject Christ is to play Russian Roulette
We are taking a chance every time we hear the gospel
Every rejection of Christ hardens the heart
And there is line we cross when God begins to lock in what we have began

Final thoughts:

Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, but after the 10th plague Pharoah let the Israelites go
Just because a heart is hard doe not mean it will be so forever
Just because God hardens someone does not mean it is permanent
Hardening is not always a salvation issue
We can harden our hearts to other people
We can harden our hearts to God calling on our lives
We can harden our hearts towards repentance
Hardening our hearts always has penalties
What is the answer to a hard heart?
Respond by faith
What ever God is speaking to you about, trust Him and do it by faith
Final Remarks
Love you all, see you Sunday at 10:00!
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