1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. 6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. 27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. 30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Romans 9:1-33 (KJV)
most common word: “I”. “Mercy” is used 6 times.
Shortest Verse (13 words) Rom 9:13, As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Longest Verse (35 words) Rom 9:17, For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Middle Verse(s) (of 33 verses) Rom 9:17, For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Middle Five Words (of 724 words) [‘mercy on whom he will’] Rom 9:18, Therefore hath he [mercy on whom he will] have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
Key verses: 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? Romans 9:22-24 (KJV)
I’ve talked about this issue before – this chapter speaks a lot on the judgment of God, and that if He wanted to, He could condemn us all. But the longsuffering of God is shown in that He set up a way for us to be saved.
Now, the biggest issue in the book of Acts is pretty amazing to today’s readers – I’m sure most passed by it without any knowledge they just read it!
Can a gentile be saved? If you’d asked the earliest Christians, the answers would have ranged from “no” to “I don’t know, maybe…” it was felt that Gentiles were too indoctrinated in idolatry to be saved. After all, God established His covenant with Israel. So if you wanted to be saved, logically you’d have to convert!
But Cornelius was preached to by Peter, which amazed everyone. And everyone was dumbfounded when Cornelius began speaking in languages he didn’t know.
“Wait! That’s a sign he’s saved???”
yup. In those days, while the sign gifts were still with us, in this one case – it was. The Jews who were watching would require proof he was saved. Now, we don’t see every Gentile speaking in unknown tongues after this. But they needed proving that Gentiles could be saved!
Once that was settled, Paul could explain in this chapter the contrast between the Gentiles and the Jews. Paul starts out by making the point that God has the right and can choose to save whoever He wants, and that God has the right to reject anyone. However, this is not something God does. God is the judge of all the world, and due to the Gentiles rejecting Him for thousands of years, He would be completely right to reject all of them.
However, God is glorified in that He is willing to shew mercy to ALL. And even in the midst of the rebellion of the Gentiles, He was announcing His willingness to forgive if they just turned to Him.
We are in a position today where the Jewish people find themselves in exactly the same spot the Gentiles were in two thousand years ago. Among the churches, it is a predominantly Gentile membership – the Jews are by far a minority, with one or two per church, if that many.
The day will come when all Israel will be saved – literally. This alas does not contain the numbers that have passed away without Christ – there’s some kind of bizarre reluctance today to share the Gospel with Jews, in the mistaken belief that either they will all be saved in the future, that Jews are saved by virtue of being Jews, or… I’m not sure. There’s got to be other logical thought processes. I just can’t understand why the priority among God’s churches is not the evangelizing of Jews.
Now, among the Reform, there are countless scores of Calvinists who obviously have never read this chapter of the Bible, as they think of themselves as Israel and spiritual Jews. They also have concluded that as the Jews have rejected God, that God in turn has rejected the Jews. This they get from Augustine I believe – they certainly didn’t get it from the Bible! But we’ll get to that point in just a couple of lessons.