“Yet, before the twins were born…—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand…—she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ …It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”Romans 9:11, 16
Do you struggle with being assured of your salvation, with being certain that you will dwell in heaven someday? Today’s passage, especially in its context, should relieve you of that insecurity. Paul tells us plainly that our salvation depends on God’s mercy alone. Mustering up enough emotional desire for God or doing religious activities with faithfulness and sincerity will not increase the strength of our salvation, much as we would like them to.
Think of this: The foretold child came to Abraham by promise, not by the conniving efforts of Sarah, Abraham and Hagar. And then look at the perfect illustration Paul gives: Isaac and Rebekah had twin boys, Esau and Jacob. The older would normally get the inheritance, but God said the older would serve the younger. He chose Jacob to carry out His covenant promise through the generations and even to us. But it certainly wasn’t because Jacob was a saint. He was, in fact, a moral failure, a perfect example for you and me of how God assures us of His love, despite our flaws.
Rejoice that God chose you in Christ. Salvation is of the Lord, not of our efforts. Rest in God’s provision through Jesus.