Romans Chapter 9
The promises made to Israel were actually misunderstood by the nation and its people. It never occurred to them that they needed to be saved, because they considered themselves God's chosen people (they were) making them in some way, by those promises, untouchable, holy, saved by their religion and not in need of the Promised Saviour, which is why all prophecies concerning the LORD Jesus Christ, king of the Jews themselves, were hidden to them and ignored.(Romans 9:1)
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
- It is possible that Paul expected many to falsely accuse him of a lie for what he is about to say
- Notice the truth is "In Christ", not just the truth
- Saying both that one is speaking the truth (not lying) and that one is not lying is repetition, to make emphasis on that fact
- Our conscience without the Holy Ghost is meaningless
- What he is about to say is impossible for a person in the flesh to say honestly, candidly
That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
- This is an understatement for what Paul is about to tell them
- "Continual" dignifies that Paul thinks about this a lot, even though he was the apostle to the Gentiles, the Jews were his own people, kin, by blood
For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
- The phrase "accursed from Christ" means separated from God forever in hell!
- Paul's "kinsmen according to the flesh" is the Jews, Israel
- The Jews who rejected Christ and reject Christ today were not to Paul and are not to us our kinsmen according to the Spirit of Christ
- They are only his kinsmen in the flesh only, and not spiritually related, only through flesh and blood, by nature of being born Jews
- Imagine saying that he wished himself wished to go to hell so that all of his own people would go to Heaven...let that sink in
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; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
- God adopted Israel, choosing them. He created them as He created the Church body, and they also were adopted by Him, as we are
- All of the promises, made and thus far fulfilled, the Scriptures, the patriarchs, the blessings, the separation as God's chosen people, the line through which the Messiah (their Messiah) came, the rich history
- Jesus was a Jew, of the tribe of Judah, born in the lineage of King David, via Mary
- Christ is over all, GOD, clearly a verse on the deity of the LORD Jesus Christ!
Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
- That was the physical, earthly, fleshly world of Israel...now the spiritual side, the salvation side, the Church, the Jew and Gentile combined
- Spiritual Israel was different now from the genetic, blood-brother, fleshly Israel
- Paul had said this earlier in chapter 2
- Jesus confirmed this in John 8
- Eternal blessings, not earthly, were to all believers in Israel, always-never unbelievers, Jew or Gentile
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
- Both Isaac and Ishmael were Abraham's seed in the flesh, but that is not what counts. THE Seed was through the promised child, the miracle child, the spiritual seed-child of Abraham, Isaac, through whom the lineage ran all of the way to Jesus THE Seed
- There is a kingdom unavailable to any unbeliever, seed of Abraham or now.
- The implication stated clearly is that Abraham was not their father, spiritually, not physically (where it counts eternally)
- Ishmael was also a child of Abraham, but was not the child of promise, was not a Jew, but rather a father of Israel's enemies
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
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.
- There is a difference between being a child, and an adopted child
- There is a difference between being born once (everyone is) and being born-again, now twice (few will be)
- There is a difference between being a child of parents in the fleshly realm, and an adopted child of the King of Kings, a child of God by grace through faith, believing
- That difference is eternity
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
- The start of the nation of Israel was a miraculous birth, just like Christ's birth was an even larger miraculous birth, in a different way
- God is about to differentiate two children of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael
- Both are children of Abraham, but not Sarah through whom the impossible child Isaac was to come
- One is of the flesh who would lead the charge as an enemy of Israel and everyone else throughout history until today (Muslims, Arabs, etc.), one child is of the promise, of the spirit, to lead to the Messiah through a line maintained by God alone
And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
- Then on to Jacob (Israel) and Esau (Edom), two warring nations to this day
- Jacob was also a miraculous child, born from a barren woman, pleaded for by Isaac
And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac: And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.
And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
(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;)
- There is an age of accountability, and being not born they would have not sinned yet, but give any child time and they will, 100% of them, 100% of the time
- They were tied even at 0-0 in the womb, and time would be all that was needed to separate them by faith (Jacob) and by works (Esau)
- The calling was open to Esau as the elder, firstborn. He simply said, "NO!" and passed it on to Jacob
Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. (Romans 9:13)
As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
- This is a quote from Malachi 1,verses two through three
- The covenant was always made with the elder, the firstborn, in this case Esau who rejected it, so then it went to Jacob, the younger, who accepted it
- Esau rejected God like any unbeliever, so he was judged in this life accordingly, because he was offered a gift no one else was ever offered before or since
- the offer was only on one condition-that it be accepted, no work involved, just like the Gospel
I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. (Romans 9:14)
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
- So then, since God is Holy and perfectly Just, then God hating someone who rejects Him is also Holy and just
- Only an unbelieving mind can sit in judgment and say God is evil, wrong, unjust-just like the world says in their mocking
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.
- It is more like God is Sovereign, and decides for us what we can do
- This is what God said to Moses when He passed by him in the cleft of the rock
- Moses had asked to see God's Glory
- The original says God would be gracious, which means God's compassion is gracious towards us
And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
- Our salvation is never up to us, which is the Gospel
- It is up to God's Sovereignty, His will, His Mercy and Grace, not our wishes and not our works
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
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.
- This is an example of God's Will, exercised
- God took Pharaoh, did the work to make him great and then used him to show Himself to Israel in the Exodus
And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
- These are all old Testament examples, showing the importance of knowing, reading the Old Testament to understand the New
- God hardened Pharaoh's heart, but essentially God allowed Pharaoh to harden his own heart by leaving him alone to harden.
- Fifteen times God says He hardened Pharaoh's heart
And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go. (Exodus 7:22)
And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the LORD had said. (Exodus 8:15)
But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. (Exodus 8:19)
Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. (Exodus 8:32)
And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go. (Exodus 9:7)
And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go. (Exodus 9:12)
And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses. (Exodus 9:34)
And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. (Exodus 9:35)
And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses. (Exodus 10:1)
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: (Exodus 10:20)
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go. (Exodus 10:27)
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. (Exodus 11:10)
And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land. (Exodus 14:8)
And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. (Romans 9:19)
Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
- In his arrogance mankind uses God's Sovereignty as an excuse to claim God is unjust in His dealings with mankind
- Sitting in judgment of God is not a wise thing......one will always lose
- God's ways are mysterious to us.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
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?
- Plain and simple, we are nothing, we are dust to which we shall return
- We are created, and only God is the Creator
- Mankind also likes to say that God is unfair because he created mankind, in order to fall, because he does not understand the LORD
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
- Since God created man and not the other way around, God gets to decide everything....we can only watch
- Mankind now for 6,000 years has been and is literally fulfilling God's prophecies about himself, while mankind denies God even exists. Think about that
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:
- The longer God lets something evil to go on, some behavior by mankind, the more the wrath will come into play, harsher and harder....
- Have you ever met an Amorite today? A Canaanite? A Hittite?
- We can meet an Egyptian still, a Babylonian (Iraqi), Persian (Irani), a Turk, a Moabite (Jordanian), an Assyrian (Syrian), Israeli, Lebanese, etc.
- God, in His Sovereignty, has allowed some nations to last until now, and others not, simply and only because He has a plan for them all in the last days
- All of them, for good or evil, will be used by God for his master plan as the book of Revelation plays out
- Seeing everything, think about how much God saw men do for decades until He simply had enough.
And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
- God's Glory is also revealed in His wrath, judgment, and destruction of the wicked as well as in His mercy, grace, creation
- The longer God allows, the more "impossible" (spectacular) the task of destroying evil, the more God is needed, and the more glorious and fantastic the miracles
Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
- God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is now the God of His bride, the Gentiles in the church
- This us here is the Church, in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile
- We were not Israel, not in Israel, we were estranged-but God called us in as He did with them
As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
- Again, we are aliens and pilgrims and strangers-until God called us into the Body of Christ, so now we are one with Jews, but in the Church only
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
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.
- This is simply a quote of Hosea 1:10, referring to the Gentiles in the church
- We are children of God by virtue of our adoption through our second birth, being born again, not by our first birth, the natural, fleshly birth
Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.
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:
- Out of all, a few will be saved.....as goes Israel, so goes the Gospel
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
- The original prophecy in Isaiah 10 is dual, the armies of Sennacherib
- The "short work" is the speed at which God will finish His work in the end
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
For many are called, but few are chosen.
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.(1 Thessalonians 5:3)
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
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.
- Without God leaving a remnant so many times in history of the people of the nation of israel, they would have ceased to exit a long time ago, under Egypt, or Assyria, Babylon, Rome, and even recently under Hitler....
- Sodom and Gomorrha are no longer there, and destruction was very fast, as soon as Lot was away.
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
- As the Jews in the Old Testament, most of the time, most of them, did not walk with God the way He asked them to (by faith), the Gentiles were even more pagan as any society goes
- They were so bad that this is where the Jews went to make their high places, child sacrifices, idolatry, to intermarry, etc. see Judges
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
- Israel had the Law to guide them; the Gentiles had no such written law, just a seared conscious
- While they may not have always followed that law, they at least had it
- What Paul is saying here is that the Law was designed to bring them to God by faith, to show their sinfulness, not to make them rigid, legalistic, etc.
- Because of the heart in man, this had and has the opposite effect, unless applied properly (with faith)
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
- Imagine tripping over the Saviour who is there to save you!
- They sought God's favor and salvation not as a free gift, but as something to do, to be religious, to walk by works
- This makes on self-absorbed, self-righteous, thinking they are better than others, more spiritual, etc.
- Sound familiar? Try any single form of mainstream Christianity today! Better yet, try Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, the "Faith Movement", or the Roman Catholic "church"!
As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
- This is a prophetic set of verses in the Psalms, Isaiah, etc. fulfilled by Israel when Jesus came
- It was a teaching to them throughout the Old Testament, that the Messiah, the LORD Himself, would come for Israel in due time. All they had to do was wait and see
- instead, they tried to do their own works, and when the Messiah came, they expected Him to merely destroy the Romans, set up a kingdom for them.
- Because they did not read the Scriptures, but read INTO them that which was not there, they missed the Messiah right in front of their eyes, ears, noses, faces, and missed His whole purpose being there-to save them from their sin
- There is God's Plan (Come to me this way) and man's Plan (I will go to you the way I want to)
The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (run wild, to and fro in panic, Job 18:11)
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.