Many theologians call Romans chapter 8 one of the most glorious chapters in all the Bible. It resounds with God’s marvelous promises and His infinite protection of His people! There is promise after promise which God makes to His chosen people. But we move into chapter 9 and it appears as though God retracts everything He promised to His children? Before we walk through this chapter I would like for us to look back at Romans 8 and pull out some of the promises Paul recorded.
God’s Promises in Chapter 8:
- There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
- We have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but a spirit that cries out Abba Father. Romans 8:15
- The Holy spirit helps us when we do not know how to pray with groanings do deep for words. Romans 8:26
- God promises to work all things together, predestination, calling, justification, and finally glorification. Romans 8:28-30.
- Nothing can separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus! Romans 8:35-39
Romans Chapter 9 is not a contradiction it is a pause to glorify God’s Sovereignty! It is also here to wake up those who stumble over the stumbling stone. Romans 9:30-33. Hang on to these promises because God’s Word never fails!
The Promises Were Made to a Remnant:
We enter Romans 9 with Paul mourning for the salvation of His people, Israel, God’s chosen people. God made great promises and gave Israel many privileges.
- Adoptions as sons. Romans 9:4
- His glory. Romans 9:4
- Temple services. Romans 9:4
- The giving of the Law. Romans 9:4
The biggest blessing that Israel received was the promised Messiah. Not only would He be the One who would save them from their sins but He would be born of the flesh through this nation. So what happened? Why are the promises of God not realized through Israel? There are two things we need to keep in mind as we attempt to answer these questions.
- God’s Word never fails. Romans 9:6
- Not all Israel is Israel. Romans 9:6
Israel, true Israel, the remnant, Romans 11:1-4,will receive ever promise that God ever made to them. But the Israel that is seeking to establish a righteousness of their own, those who are of the flesh, will not receive the promises. (Romans 9:30-33.) That is what this chapter is about. God never fails. It is the man who stumbles and falls over the very One who is sent to save!
The Israel that will receive the promises of God is the Israel who is in Christ Jesus!
God is Sovereign Over His Will:
I am going to give a broad overview of Romans 9:7-22. There is so much doctrine to go through in this passage that I cannot in this post exhaust it all. It is my purpose to give you the highlights and to bring you and I, to the main point, namely Jesus Christ. It is my hope and desire that you will go back to Romans 9 and mine out the truths in this chapter. (I have written lessons that will take you through this chapter and this book. See details below.)
It is the will of God that in the end that He establish a kingdom. Christ His one and only Son will reign as King over that kingdom, a kingdom of priests. This kingdom of priests are the ones, Jew and Gentile, who are in Christ Jesus.
God is sovereign over His will. It is His will that the Messiah would come through His chosen nation, Israel. It is the will of God that man come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Before the foundation of the world, God planned a plan and His word will not fail.Before the foundation of the world God planned a plan and His word will not fail! Click To Tweet It is the will of God that man come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ! Click To Tweet
“It is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.”
God’s plan for Establishing the Nation of Israel:
God made a promise to Abraham that a nation of people would descend from him. (Genesis 12:1-3.) Abrahams wife Sarah would have a son. The Old testament teaches that Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac.(Genesis 16 and 21.) But the children of the promise would come through the son of Abraham and Sarah, their son Isaac. Romans 9:8-9.
Then there was Rebekah who conceived twins. Romans 9:10. Before the twins were born, before they had done anything good or bad God chose the younger over the older, Jacob over Esau. Why? So that His purpose of choice would stand. Romans and Malachi teach God loved Jacob but Esau He hated. Romans 9:13. It is God’s right to choice one over the other. He tells Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and compassion on whom I have compassion.” No man can will himself to be a kingdom nor can he will himself saved. Romans 9:15-16
Through Jacob, the twelve tribes of Israel would come. To have an understanding of the establishment of the nation Israel there needs to be a study in the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy.
God’s Plan to Graft in the Gentiles:
In Romans 9:17-21, Paul describes God’s use of Pharoah in demonstrating His power and proclaiming His Name throughout the whole earth. David proclaims in Psalm 24:1, “The world is His and all that is in it.” Who are we to answer back to God? Romans 9:20.
“What if God although willing to demonstrate His wrath and make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?”
God could have demonstrated His wrath and power from the moment Adam and Eve sinned. At any time He can do the same on a sinful disobedient people, Jew and Gentile alike, but instead He is enduring with much patience until He accomplishes His plan.
Why does the text tell us He is patient? His plan of redemption was for all tongues, tribes, and nations, (Jew and Gentile). He would usher in His redemption through the nation of Israel.
” And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory.” Romans 9:23.
There are vessels prepared for glory and for destruction. Those who reject God and His Son Jesus Christ will undergo God’s wrath, destruction. Those through God’s gift of grace, mercy, and faith who believe in Christ through Him will receive mercy and glorification. Remember Romans 8:28-30.
In this context, we learn of the mystery Paul teaches in other New Testament books. This mystery, God’s plan to graft in the Gentile nations. Those nations other than the Jew. Paul uses Old Testament prophecy to bring in this truth.
“I WILL CALL THOSE WHO ARE NOT MY PEOPLE, MY PEOPLE, AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, BELOVED.” Hosea 2:23
Wake Up Israel: God’s Word Never Fails!
” Isaiah cries our concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved. For the LORD will execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly. ” Romans 9:27
Wake up Israel God’s word never fails. Remember God is being patient but one day He will unleash His justice. Isaiah goes on to say that unless God had not left a posterity, Israel would have become like Sodom and resembled Gomorrah. But He made a promise and He will fulfill it.
What can we say Israel? The Gentiles did not pursue righteousness but they obtained it through faith in the promised Messiah.
Israel did not obtain righteousness because they were seeking to establish a righteous kingdom of their own. This text answers the questions we asked in the beginning. Romans 9 does not contradict Romans 8. God’s plan of establishing a righteous kingdom will one day be fulfilled through His son Jesus Christ. He will accomplish this through a remnant that is predestined, called, justified, and soon to be glorified.
This post is written as an overview of Romans chapter 9. I am currently doing an online Bible study in Romans 8-16. This study runs September 12th through December 16th. I would like to encourage you to study the word on your own. So I have written lessons that go along with this post. See below for details!
Can I still participate?
Yes!! Most certainly you can still take part in this Romans study. I would never turn anyone away! BUT, if you wait too late you will not get the benefit of our community discussion. We will be studying together for 13 weeks asking questions and sharing what God is teaching us each week. I will leave the Facebook discussion open for a few weeks after we have finished. But after that, we will move on to a new study. If it is impossible for you to participate with the group I am always available to answer your questions. I love to hear what God is doing in your life!