16.3 Romans – Hope

Here is what I know about my family and friends who are not believers:  no offense intended, but they are incredibly hard-headed and stiff necked.  They ping pong between denial of their own mortality and a level of self-righteousness that is truly appalling.  And, don’t even get me started on their judging of others, especially those with beliefs that differ from their own.

Their unbelief is not because they have not been informed.  Their unbelief is not because it has not been made clear or modeled.  They don’t believe because they don’t want to believe.  Frankly, they like being god of their own life.

But the fact that salvation is by grace and not by human effort provides me with great hope that my prayer will bear fruit.  Honestly, if it is up to them, they are not going to change and suddenly approach God.  But, it is not up to them, it is up to God.

I’m not saying they don’t get a choice.  They do.  But the hope comes in the assurance that God hears my prayers, loves me, loves them and, despite the fact that He is God, He is willing to come down to them and soften their hearts of stone into jelly.

This fact and realization changes how I must prayer.  Not for them to change, but for God to change them.  Not for them to come to God but for the Holy Spirit to knock so hard their heart cracks.  God not only can, but He will do these things.  That is hope!

My Answers:

6.
a.
God’s promise is true but it is not limited to physical ancestry. Not all descendants of Abraham are descendants of the promise. It falls on those who love God.

b.
Jacob and Esau. Isaac and Ishmael. Not by family or by physical ritual (circumcision).

7.
It shows God comes down to us, not us up to Him. It gives hope because God has the ability to soften any heart – He is in charge.

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