How do I become acceptable to God? Can’t I just be a nice person… a good person… a law-abiding person… a loving person… and be accepted by God? What about the nation of Israel – are God’s chosen people automatically accepted by God? Or is there still something they need to do (and we need to do) to be accepted? This is where Romans 9 becomes applicable to us and to the nation of Israel. God is always making choices. Since he has the freedom to do choose what he wants to do… and the authority to do what he wants… and the power to do what he wants (all of this is infinite), we refer to this as God’s Sovereignty. Sovereignty means that God is the only one who gets a vote when it comes to choosing people or a nation! His choice or favor or acceptance of you is not based on living according to the Law. (that is, works) It’s not based on works. God does not choose you or accept you because of what you do. His choice is not based on your goodness, or being a nice person, or because you stayed away from being a murderer or a thief, or any other qualification you might point to. The second thing to know is: Because of our sin, God’s choice is not based on being good enough. (that is, effort) All of us must accept the fact that we are not deserving of God’s favor. We can’t be good enough. We are not worthy because of our sin nature, which Paul has talked about at length in the previous chapters. The conclusion is this: We’re only accepted by God on the basis of faith in his Son, Jesus! Messiah Jesus did both: he lived perfectly according to the Law and was good enough because as God’s Son, he never sinned. He was perfectly obedient and the perfect sacrifice. We are acceptable to God when we are in Christ!

If you make a decision to follow Jesus Christ and invite him to be Lord of your life, you are making the best decision of your life! When Alicia and I made that decision through the ministry of Jews for Jesus, somewhere along the line I was given a t-shirt that explained in Jewish terms what Jesus had done for me personally: Jesus made me kosher! I have been accepted by God on the basis of faith in what Jesus has done for me! And Jesus makes you kosher! He makes you acceptable to the Father! If you’re truly following Jesus, the Holy Spirit dwells within you and is transforming all of you – your thinking, your behaviors, your emotions, your spiritual life – everything about you begins to change. A total change for the better!

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