The Right Approach
THE WRONG APPROACH
"It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel." Romans 9:6
The Jews believed they'd be saved because of Abraham. But one's ancestry is not a golden ticket to heaven. Sadly, many assume they're 'all good' (Heaven) because they were born into 'this or that', and so, they're all set."…Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." Romans 9:13 God didn't hate Esau, only what he represented - works. Good works do not negate our sin, because there isn't an equal exchange rate. The one (good deed) does not undo the other (sinful act). Only God can erase sin. "For Scripture says to Pharaoh: 'I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Romans 9:17 Pharaoh thought he was god - so arrogant. The real God had to show him just how wrong he was. Likewise, many people today think they can be their own 'god' and save themselves. But only the name of Jesus is exalted.
WE APPROACH GOD BY HIS GRACE…
"…Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time… Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad - in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by Him who calls - she was told, 'The older will serve the younger." Romans 9:10-12
In Jewish Law, the older (the deserving) was the one who inherited the father's estate. In God's kingdom, inheritance is given to the underserving (younger). In the natural, the older one might 'lord' over his brothers, because he was 'rightfully' given everything. But God wants it clear who is Lord - Jesus, who will not 'lord' over us, but will Lord for us. Only those of grace 'get' this, because like the younger, we do not deserve the inheritance.
…AND BECAUSE OF HIS MERCY.
"What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For He says…, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.' It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy." Romans 9:14-16
Clearly, mercy is God's choice. In other words, no-one can make Him show mercy if He chooses not to. And who will argue with Him? Even Pharaoh had no case before God. God shows mercy (not receiving what is deserved) to those who humbly seek Him out of grace (receiving what is not deserved). So unless God is merciful, we can not approach Him for His grace. God owes us nothing, His mercy and grace are given only to the undeserving (humble).