"Is God Unjust?" (Part 1)

Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  58:35
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In Romans 9:14-18 Paul begins to answer the question of how God is just in unconditional election by emphasizing God's mercy and compassion revealed uniquely in unconditional election.

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Tunneling Through the Text

You can be a circumcised jew without being a circumcised Jew (Romans 2:28–29).
You can be a child of Abraham and participate in the promises to Abraham by having faith like Abraham, whether Jew or Gentile (Romans 4).
Only the “sons of God” will be glorified (Romans 8:18-30), more specifically, Romans 8:29–30
This is not true of the majority of Israelites throughout history (vv. 1-5), so the majority of Israelites will not participate in the glorification of the sons of God.
God will keep His word to true Israel (v. 6).
True Israel are not descendants, but children of the promise (vv. 7-9). Abraham had 2 sons, only Isaac was the child of the promise.
True Israel are not descendants, but those who are chosen (vv. 10-14). Isaac had 2 sons, only Jacob was chosen. Why? (v. 11) Not because of any condition they met, but to promoted His elective purposes (Ephesians 1:4–5 “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,”).
This flows from Romans 8:29–30 and Romans 8:33

What should we notice about God in His elective purposes? (vv. 14-16)

We are tempted to question God’s justice (v. 14).
“injustice” - unrighteousness, wrongdoing
The fact that Paul must address the question of God’s justice proves that he is teaching unconditional election.
Also, he does not answer the question by “clearing up” that he is not talking about unconditional election (v. 11).
We cannot judge God. We must appeal to a higher authority - God’s Word (v. 15; Exodus 33:19).
God is free to choose in this way (v. 15).
This is the reason that God granted Moses’ request to see God’s glory (Exodus 33:19).
This is the reason that God was good to His people in the OT.
God’s choice/election reveals God’s mercy because no one deserves it (v. 16).

Why did God raise up Pharoah? (vv. 17-18)

To display His power for all to see (v. 17, Exodus 9:16 - God tells Moses to tell Pharaoh this).
“raise up” - exalt him to a place of prominence in history
Pharaoh would not let Israel God (Exodus 4-14).
Why? God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 4:21 “And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.” Exodus 7:13, Exodus 7:22, Exodus 8:19, Exodus 9:12, Exodus 9:35, Exodus 10:20; Exodus 10:27, Exodus 11:10, Exodus 14:4, Exodus 14:8, Exodus 14:17).
Pharaoh was already an undeserving sinner before God’s hardened him.
Why did God do all of this, including hardening Pharaoh's heart? To Glorify Himself. To display His power over rebellion. This revealed God power in a unique way.
Scripture proves the justice of God’s choices to Moses and to Pharaoh (v. 18).
God was right in showing mercy/compassion to Moses and Israel, and God was right in showing His power/authority to Pharaoh and the Egyptians, just as He was right in choosing Jacob and not Esau, just as He is right in choosing to save some and not others.
In choosing some He is merciful and gracious…in not choosing others He is righteous and holy.


Praise God for His righteousness and mercy.
Humbly thank God as a recipient of His mercy.
Long for others to experience this as well.
Benediction: Romans 11:33–36 “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
Scripture Reading: Exodus 9:1–10:2
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