This is a book study on John Lennox’s book ‘Determined to Believe: The Sovereignty of God, Freedom, Faith, and Human Responsibility’. Lennox openly acknowledges that he has not provided definite solutions to these deep questions of the faith and that there is mystery involved. He clearly acknowledges that God is sovereign, but that we need to think carefully about what the word ‘sovereign’ means Biblically. This book, per my understanding, is an invitation for Christians to spend time thinking deeply about what the Bible means when it describes God as sovereign.
Greetings fellow bookies (@Interested_in_book_studies) - we are now on Chapter 12! I look forward to hearing your favorite quotes and your reflections on this subject matter.
My main takeaways were:
- We are chosen in Christ; not because of our ethnic identity or a predestined choice on God’s part
Questions for Discussion
- What does it mean that the Church is the ‘Israel of God’? (Gal 6:16)
- How does the fact that Abraham was saved by faith relate to the relationship between God and the true Israel?
- Any other thoughts?
God has known them, and knows all about them – and he has a purpose for them. What is that purpose? He has predestined them to be conformed to the image of his Son.
In light of such a magnificent and gracious message, how is it that his fellow Israelites, Paul’s own kith and kin, mainly reject such a wonderfully gracious message and deny that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God?
How can Israel have lost her way so dramatically?
So Paul writes Romans 9–11 in order to show that, far from being an objection to the Christian message, what has happened historically with Israel, in their rejection of the Lord Jesus, in fact confirms the truth of it.
To deduce from these verses that, now that Christ has come, there is absolutely no difference between the roles of Jews and Gentiles, would be as absurd as saying that, since Christ has come, there is absolutely no difference between the roles of slave and free or between the roles of male and female.
The first main argument is based on the fact that not all ethnic Israelites are the genuine people of God.
The second main argument is that Israel’s unbelief is culpable.
The third main argument concentrates on the fact that there are some Israelites, like Paul, who do believe in Jesus. Indeed, all through history there has been a “remnant” of true believers within Israel, whose number has at times been underestimated.
Paul is in no doubt that there remains a role for his nation in the future, but not until they come to faith in Jesus as Messiah.