Romans 9:5 Jesus, Who is God


The opening paragraph of Romans 9 lists the extraordinary privileges and advantages of the Jews, God’s ancient people. In the words of Paul, they have been given “the adoption as sons…the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship… the promises [and]…the patriarchs.” But to this extraordinary list of privileges Paul now adds the greatest privilege of all, namely, that they are those through whom the Redeemer of the human race has come. “…from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”

This is a very striking statement. For Paul is not only saying that the Messiah was born of Israel, that is, that He was a Jew. He is also saying that this Jewish Messiah, born of Israel according to the flesh, is, in fact, God. And he is saying it in a stark language. If we substitute the name Jesus for Christ, which we can do, since Paul is obviously writing about Jesus, we have the statement: “Jesus, who is God over all, forever praised!” Or, to simplify it even further, “Jesus…is God over all.” The sentence means that Jesus is Himself the only and most high God.

Yet this is not all the passage teaches. It actually contains four very important teachings, including Jesus’ deity. (1) The humanity of Jesus. The first heresy in church history was the denial of the true humanity of Christ. It was called docetism, from the Greek word dokeo, which means “to seem.” It taught that Jesus only “seemed” to be a man. There is none of this in the New Testament. For here in Romans 9:5, as in other passages, the biblical writers are united in their insistence that Jesus was a true human being, a descendant of Abraham according to the flesh. This has a number of important implications, for it means that God not only fully understands but has also Himself likewise experienced all that we experience as human beings. The doctrine of Christ’s humanity is of great importance for us if we are to live a victorious Christian life.

(2) The deity of Jesus. As I said, the earliest heresy in the history of the church was the denial of Christ’s humanity. But today the case is the exact opposite. Few would deny His humanity since to our way of thinking Jesus was obviously a man, even an exemplary man. Instead there are strong, numerous, and popular attempts to deny His deity. Countless numbers of our contemporaries regard Jesus as having been nothing but a man. Far more is lost with this denial than in denying Christ’s humanity. What is lost is the value of His atonement for sin, for no mere man, however good, would be able to pay the infinite price required for our redemption. The combination of Christ’s humanity and deity, and the reason for it, makes Calvary the very center of the Christian faith. It is the reason the Son of God came to earth. There is no gospel without it.

(3) The supremacy of Jesus. But Jesus didn’t only die, humbling Himself for our salvation. He also rose again and has now ascended to heaven, where He is honored as God, having being given the name that is above every name (Phil. 2:8-11). If Jesus Christ is Lord, as these passages say He is, the supremacy of Christ described in Romans 9:5 (“who is God over all”) includes His rule over us, who are His people, and we are not His people if we fail to submit to that rule. There is a great deal of bad thinking and even error in this area at this present time. It has become customary in some places to think of Christianity as a two-stage commitment. In the first stage we come to Jesus as Savior, simply believing on Him as the one who died for sin. In the second we come to Him as Lord, thereby becoming serious about our Christianity and about being Christ’s disciples. But nothing like this is found in the New Testament. On the contrary, to become a Christian is to become a disciple and vise versa. Submitting to Christ’s lordship is the very essence of true faith, or Christianity.

(4) The rightness of praising Jesus. The fourth doctrine taught in Romans 9:5 is the rightness of praising Jesus, for the text reads, “Christ, who is God over all, forever praised!” It raises two questions: “Do we praise Him?” and “Do we praise Him as we should?” The answer to the second question is obviously no, for no mere human or earthly words can be adequate for praising Christ properly. Yet we should do it, knowing that it will be our privilege, joy, and glory to praise Jesus Christ in heaven forever. The angels are doing it (Rev. 5:12). According to Revelation, one day we are going to join with them (Rev. 5:13). So let’s do it now! Let us praise our Savior, who is God over all, as best we know how – live for Him until He comes again.

There is one last thought as we return to the paragraph in Romans from which our text is taken (Rom. 9:1-5). We have seen that Paul is expressing sorrow over the fact that the ancient nation of Israel had as a whole rejected Jesus and that, in that context, the ascription of deity to Jesus is appropriate as conveying the full tragedy of the Jews’ rejection. It’s bad enough that the nation should have missed the full value of the other privileges listed: the adoption, the divine glory, the covenants, the law, the temple worship, the promises, and the patriarchs. But it’s a tragedy beyond description that they should have rejected Jesus as the Messiah whom God had promised. Yet we also need to say more. However tragic the Jews’ rejection of Jesus may have been (and is), the rejection of Jesus by others, both Jews and Gentiles, is equally tragic today, perhaps even more so, since the gospel has been so widely proclaimed and been so amply defended in the many centuries of subsequent church history.

It would be especially tragic is you yourself should reject Him, either forcefully (“I will not have this man to rule over me”) or by neglect (“Speak to me about it again, some other time”). If you are doing either of those two things, how can we who know Jesus have anything other than “great sorrow and unceasing anguish” in our hearts for you? To reject our words is nothing, but to reject Him is a loss of cosmic proportions. So we say, “Do not reject Him. Believe on Him. God is making His appeal through us as we say with Paul, “Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20) and remind you that “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (v. 21). That is the gospel. Do not allow the opportunity to respond to that wonderful message pass you by.

Romans 9:5 Reflection Questions:

What is the cause of Paul’s emotions in verses 1-5?

Why is Paul so upset about the Jews’ lack of response to the gospel?

Paul seems to be searching for possible explanations for this troubling problem. What are some of the solutions he explores?

Weekly Seed of Faith 9/23/20

Seed of Faith – The Gentleness of Jesus   By Pastor Dave  

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10

Dear Faithful and Fearless Seed Sowers,

It is my prayer that as we go through this pandemic of Covid-19 and are shut-down in so many ways, we will stand strong in the grace and mercy of Jesus.

We have been looking at John 4:1-26 for our entire SUMMER SERIES!  I encourage you take a few minutes over the next week and read and re-read this story.  Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Try to put yourself into this story. There are many characters in the story, try on several of their sandals and see the story from their side: Jesus, unnamed woman, disciples, town people, ex-husbands, current partner–and YOU.

Have you ever been surprised by God? 

I asked that question this week to several of my friends. Some of them shared how God has surprised them.  One friend who is struggling with emphysema and multiple myeloma cancer wrote to me and said, “Amazingly this humanly incurable cancer I have is sensitizing me to the Presence and Reality in ways not previously expected. Jesus is wonderful.” Another friend said that he moved to California to find love but Jesus showed up and changed his life unexpectedly .A good friend in Illinois texted me after I asked him, “Have you ever been surprised by God?”  He shared how he was lost at 21 and while driving his motorcycle he hit a car head-on.  He was driving without a license plate, insurance, and helmet.  The doctors who did surgery on him after the accident told his parents that it would be a miracle if he gained 100% use of his right hand.  The doctor said he would be hoping for 50% use of his right hand. My friend’s parents were Christian, and they prayed for their son. Today, after battling and overcoming the accident, my friend has 100% use of his right hand and is a strong believer in miracles.

Have you ever been surprised by God?

Let’s focus on Jesus and how He responds to the woman at the well.  Next week we will look at the woman and we will focus on her response to Jesus.

When we read this story, we see that Jesus is always in control. This is a good point for us to ponder.  Each one of us is going through a zillion different situations.  Many are struggling emotionally with the fear of the virus, the panic of the pandemic, and the emotional lockdown  and isolation of this physical epidemic. As we read this story, please notice that Jesus is in control of the situation. Maybe we should apply this to our own situation right now:  “God is in control.”

Another point to ponder is that we are told that Jesus had to go through Samaria.  Why?  Because Jesus had it on his agenda to meet this woman. Jesus was in control of this meeting. As a pastor, I meet hundreds (if not thousands of people) and after a few minutes, I wonder why so many of us try to control so much of our life. Why in the world do we feel that it is our job to control our friends, families, workplaces, schools, neighbors, and even our religion or faith experiences?  Some of us are trying really hard to control the virus, and the germs. I have a great point for us to think on: when Jesus sets his heart and affection upon a person, Jesus always takes charge, and does not let go.

Maybe an early “SO WHAT?” question that we need to ask is “Who is in charge of my life?”  I’m hoping that by reading this story and studying it, we are going to let go of our end of the rope of control. If we know that we are in Jesus’ hands, we can find real comfort for our souls. We can trust that Jesus is in control of our lives. We can trust that God is not surprised by our situation.

What amazes me in this story is the extreme gentleness of Jesus. The gentleness of Jesus is such a beautiful aspect of this story. Do not miss it!

Look how Jesus’ gentleness pours out with this woman.  The woman at the well was living in adultery and had been for some time. Jesus does not scorn her or ridicule her.  Jesus does not force the situation.  Jesus does not shame her or disgrace her. Jesus is full of grace and wants the fullness of grace for her. Oh, how I pray that you will know that Jesus wants the fullness of grace for you, too.

One of my favorite passages from the prophet Isaiah is found in Isaiah 42:3, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice…” (Isaiah 42:3)

To me Jesus handles the bruised reed of this woman so very gently.  Her life is but a smoldering wick. Every day her life is trying to be snuffed out by the world, by the other women of Sychar, by her ex-husbands and even by herself.  This unnamed woman is lives a life of fear, anxiety, doubt, shame, disgrace, guilt, remorse, and forgiveness. She doesn’t want to see anyone, hence, she goes to the well in the middle of day, in the heat because no one else will be there.

Maybe some of us are living in fear, anxiety, doubt, shame, disgrace guilt remorse and unforgiveness.

Do you see the gentleness of Jesus in this story? He heads to Samaria and stops at the well. He is waiting for this unnamed woman.

We are told that Jesus must go to Samaria to meet this woman.  Jesus is concerned about her soul. Pay close attention; Jesus does not grab ahold of her, shame her or condemn her. Jesus gently brings this unnamed woman at the well face-to-face with the honest truth, the truth of her need for grace and love. Wow!  The gentleness of Jesus!

So What?
Why is it important for us to notice the gentleness of Jesus? Because Jesus uses this same method with us. The truth is that many times we miss this gentleness. We’re so in control of everything that we’ve even set up our own idea on how Jesus will meet us. “Jesus, I sleep in until 6 a.m. then I have my coffee.  I need a solid hour of peace and quiet. no talking but anytime between 7-9 a.m. is good.  I’ll leave that time slot open for you.”

I’m going to challenge you today. Your “SO WHAT?” is simply this:

In the middle of my ordinary day, am I open to meeting Jesus at the dry well of my life?

From what I know of Jesus, he rarely surprises us between our allotted time slots that we’ve reserved for Him to surprise us.

You never know where or when you are going to be surprised by Jesus.  You never know what words or questions Jesus is going to ask.

Let’s get one thing straight as we put ourself into this story: Jesus controls the SURPRISE factor, not you.

“If only you knew the GIFT OF GOD…and WHO IT IS THAT IS ASKING YOU FOR A DRINK….you would have asked and He would have given you living water.”

Surprise, that’s our gentle Jesus.

“Lord, do it again. Surprise me. As I study this story, surprise me. Help me to let go of the controls. I want living water. Amen.”
See you Sunday!

God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave

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Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Weekly Seed of Faith 9/19/20

Seed of Faith – Surprised By God   By Pastor Dave  

“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.'”John 4:10

Dear Faithful and Fearless Seed-Sowers,

During the world-wide pandemic it is my prayer that the Lord would bless you and keep you in His unfailing love.  May Jesus meet you at the well of living water as you work your way through this unprecedented time of covid-19. This week I pray that we learn that God shows up during our ordinary days and when we least expect Him to.

As I read the living word of God, I am always amazed at how God shows up on ordinary days. The purpose? To surprise you. Jesus met Peter and Andrew in their fishing boat getting ready to do their job–fish. Matthew (Levi) was at his tax collector’s booth doing his job: collecting taxes. I love this story of the woman at the well; she was not at a big, Jewish festival or at a concert in the local synagogue. She wasn’t away in the mountains on a private retreat.  The woman at the well was going out in the middle of the day in order to draw water from the well so that she could cook, clean, and do her ordinary tasks. She went out to get the water her many jobs at home required. We are not told how many people are in her household. We are not told how far she had to walk but we are told that she went out around the 6th hour (midday or the hottest part of the day) high noon. From the dialogue with Jesus, we know she had had 5 husbands and was living with a man who was not her husband. What we know about the Jewish culture of that day, if the woman went to well in the early morning, she would have been around all the women of town who were also getting water. The woman waited. She did not want to join the companh of the other women. My guess is she knew that they knew about her. They might look disgustingly at her and whisper about her.  The other women would shame her and ridicule her.

Instead, the unnamed woman comes out at the hottest part of the day, noon, and she is carrying two jars of water on her shoulders. Big, heavy clay jars. Her family and her household needed water. There was bathing to do, washing dishes to do, and cooking to do–just to name a few of her responsibilities. The woman arrived at the well not expecting a thing.

Don’t miss it: Today is just another ordinary day! {I think we call those days, “Monday!”}

Something amazing happens. On this very ordinary day, Jesus is waiting for her at the well of her ordinary life. How I have been hoping and praying for you to be surprised at the well of your ordinary life this series.

Expect the Unexpected is a familiar theme in the scriptures.

-Abram becoming a father at 99 years old.
-Moses coming across a burning bush.
-Joshua called to lead the people after Moses dies.
-Ruth who follows her mother-in-law., Naomi, “Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.”
-Boaz, the Kinsman Redeemer, lets Ruth glean his fields.
-How about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego trapped in a fiery furnace with a fourth man in the fire?
-Daniel in the lion’s den.
-Jonah swallowed and in the belly of whale for three days.
-David facing a giant of a man over nine feet tall with a slingshot and five smooth stones.

The list is long. I believe with all of my heart that God loves to show up when you least expect it. Ordinary with Jesus is extraordinary.

Can we relate? It’s 2020.

Maybe you are facing a giant today with Covid-19.  Maybe the quarantine has you defeated and depressed. Maybe your finances are being depleted.  Maybe a relationship has fallen apart.

Expect the Unexpected.

I always will ask you to put yourself into the story we study.  Today is no exception. Maybe you are one of the people who is at home. WAITING. “What’s taking her so long? I need to get to my meeting.”  Maybe you’re one of Jesus disciples; waiting for a miracle.

The story of the unnamed woman at the well is your story. It’s my story.

Every beautiful morning, we wake up. What’s your routine? I’ll tell you mine: I check my phone to see if I have any messages from the church. I use the rest room. Brush my teeth. Make coffee. Stand around and try to wake up.

Go ahead. What’s your ordinary morning routine?

Okay. STOP.

Suddenly, in the middle of your ordinary morning, there’s Jesus. What’s He saying?

“Give me a drink.”

Would you? I want you to know that if you will let yourself be interrupted on this very ordinary day, it won’t be just coffee that you share. If you listen closely, you will be sharing LIVING WATER from the wellspring of eternal life. Let me give you a really fun example.

For the past 230 days my wife and I have cared for her Dad.  We’ve been his 24/7 caregivers.  It’s a whole lot of work. Recently, we found a wonderful woman whom we’ve hired for respite care. Twice a month my wife and I are going to go sleep in a hotel and rest.  Those are two things we don’t usually get to do these days of caregiving: SLEEP. REST.

We just got home today from our three days, and two glorious nights away. We sat on the beach all day. Let me clarify. Jac sat on the beach. I threw seaweed back into the ocean. We saw dolphins play in the morning. We enjoyed a two-hour sunset each night. We shared a filet mignon meal each night. Our TV didn’t work. Jac napped. I read. It was 98 degrees back home and smoky. It was 65 degrees on the beach, foggy.

Two weeks prior to making our hotel reservations, two friends called to ask what exact days we were going away.  They had the name of a great hotel they knew about and they wanted to see if it had vacancies.

So What?
I do not know what you are facing in this time of Covid-19.  Maybe you face loneliness, illness, homesickness. Maybe you are missing school, or work.  Maybe you are missing family. Maybe you have a loved one in the hospital or assisted living home. Maybe today you are just going to take your chances; you are going to go late to the well. You have a million things to do. You’re just going to run to the well, get the water and go home. It’s an ordinary day.

You plus your ordinary day equals an ordinary day.

You plus JESUS standing at the well of your ordinary day makes for quite an extraordinary day!

Your homework for this week is to sit with this question:


On the first day that my wife sat on her towel at the ocean, four sets of dogs came running over to her. Each of the four dog owners were like, “We’re so sorry.  Our dog never does this.  Our dog is shy. I’ve never in my life seen my dog run over to a perfect stranger.” One of the dogs came and sat down right by my wife.  I missed the whole thing.  He licked her face! Sat down. Then laid down. The owner ran over and called the dog, “Chase.  Chase.” The dog didn’t move. The man apologized profusely for barging in on her morning. Jac, as only Jac can say, told the man, “Your dog was sent by God to stand at the dry well of my ordinary day.” After the man left, somewhat perplexed by her comment, Jac told me, “Dave, Jesus chased me down–just like the woman at the well.  He saw her. He waited. He gave her a drink of living water.” I was somewhat perplexed by my wife at the moment.  She turned and yelled over her shoulder, “CHASE. The dog’s name was Chase. I didn’t have to chase God. God chased me.”

Are you ready for God to chase you? Are you ready for Jesus to turn your ordinary day into something more?

Something extraordinary? That’s my prayer for you this week.

God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave

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Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.