(Jonathan Edwards, Selections, 58–59). We are not to ascribe inefficacy to any word of God: nothing that he has spoken does or can fall to the ground see Isaiah 55:10,11. The expression is very emphatic, and the repetition makes it more so: I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. There was a difference in the way of their seeking, and therefore there was that different success, though still it was the free grace of God that made them differ. 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. Is there unrighteousness with God? The apostle comes here at last to fix the true reason of the reception of the Gentiles, and the rejection of the Jews. In order to fully understand this verse it is vital to see the context in which it is found. Romans 9. By showing how this rejection of the Jews, and the taking in of the Gentiles, were foretold in the Old Testament, Romans 9:25-29. 9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 7 And only some of Abraham’s descendants are true children of Abraham. In Philippians, I was confronted with the intractable ground clause of Philippians 2:13: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure,” which made God the will beneath my will and the worker beneath my work. There was a previous difference between Ishmael and Isaac, before Ishmael was cast out: Ishmael was the son of the bond-woman, born long before Isaac, was of a fierce and rugged disposition, and had mocked or persecuted Isaac, to all which it might be supposed God had regard when he appointed Abraham to cast him out. But, in the case of Jacob and Esau, it was neither so nor so, they were both the sons of Isaac by one mother they were conceived hex henos--by one conception hex henos koitou, so some copies read it. The apostle, having asserted the true meaning of the promise, comes here to maintain and prove the absolute sovereignty of God, in disposing of the children of men, with reference to their eternal state. Even so, Father, because it seemed good unto thee. (3.) There are two experiences in my life that make Romans 9 one of the most important chapters in shaping the way I think about everything, and the way I have been led in ministry. (8.) He lays down this proposition--that they are not all Israel who are of Israel (Romans 9:6), neither because they are, &c., Romans 9:7. A serious conundrum for those that deny the sovereignty of God in choosing who will be saved, this verse must be approached with great care. I will come, and Sarah shall have a son - And he shall inherit the blessing. We have here the apostle's solemn profession of a great concern for the nation and people of the Jews--that he was heartily troubled that so many of them were enemies to the gospel, and out of the way of salvation. They had confidence in the flesh, and looked for justification in a fleshly way, by those carnal ordinances which Christ had abolished. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? [2.] II. Observe the great dignity and honour of the saints, that they are called the children of the living God and his calling them so makes them so. Because of their relation to them: My brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh. 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. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Under the Old Testament he seemed to tarry, and to make a longer and more tedious work of it. … He would be willing to undergo the greatest misery to do them good. b. They now stood upon the same level with the Gentiles and the question is not now whether of the seed of Abraham or no, that is neither here nor there, but whether or no called according to his purpose. It’s not. In respect of those to whom he shows mercy, Romans 9:15,16. 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. How they missed their end: they followed after the law of righteousness (Romans 9:31)-- they talked much of justification and holiness, seemed very ambitious of being the people of God and the favourites of heaven, but they did not attain to it, that is, the greatest part of them did not as many as stuck to their old Jewish principles and ceremonies, and pursued a happiness in those observances, embracing the shadows now that the substance was come, these fell short of acceptance with God, were not owned as his people, nor went to their house justified. Things have not been working well with his marriage. I tried to answer every important exegetical objection to God’s absolute sovereignty in Romans 9. Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. Observe, The promises accompany the giving of the law, and the service of God for the comfort of the promises is to be had in obedience to that law and attendance upon that service. But there might be colour for the objection against his arguing for the sovereignty of God in giving and withholding differencing and preventing grace and the objection is commonly and readily advanced against the doctrine of distinguishing grace. Will nothing separate us from the love of God in Christ? Which is not a thing to be imagined concerning any word of God. This he does in four ways:-- 1. Thus were the great mysteries of salvation taught under the Old Testament, not in express words, but by significant types and dispensations of providence, which to them then were not so clear as they are to us now, when the veil is taken away, and the types are expounded by the antitypes. Sanctification is the preparation of the soul for glory, making it meet to partake of the inheritance of the saints in light. The promises and threatenings shall have their accomplishment and, one way or other, he will magnify the law and make it honourable. Romans 9 comes after Romans 8 for this utterly crucial reason: it shows that the word of God’s covenant with Israel has not failed, because it is grounded in God’s sovereign, electing mercy. Will the predestined be called and the called be justified and the justified be glorified? Romans 9 was the watershed text and the one that changed my life forever. He appeals likewise to his own conscience, which was instead of a thousand witnesses. (7.) Copyright StatementThese files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. He was a child promised (so were many others), and he was also conceived and born by force and virtue of the promise, and so a proper type and figure of those who are now counted for the seed, even true believers, who are born, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God--of the incorruptible seed, even the word of promise, by virtue of the special promise of a new heart: see Galatians 4:28. This leads, then, to the question in verse 19, “Why does he still find fault? 2. This is the great truth which this scripture teacheth us. Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. 9 that . Our exegesis needs to take into account four things: 1) the context of Malachi 1:2; 2) the context of Romans 9:13; 3) the verse itself, and 4) the covenantal realities that both of these texts communicate. And it is utterly crucial for us as we move to the Lord’s table. Former badness is no bar to God's present grace and mercy.--And her beloved which was not beloved. They had the ordinances of God's worship among them--the temple, the altars, the priests, the sacrifices, the feasts, and the institutions relating to them. 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. Grace does not run in the blood nor are saving benefits inseparably annexed to external church privileges, though it is common for people thus to stretch the meaning of God's promise, to bolster themselves up in a vain hope. What are the conditions they must meet to be the “children of promise”? Margin, He will finish the account. With this frame of mind, I entered a class on Philippians with Daniel Fuller and class on the doctrine of salvation with Jaymes Morgan. Mentioning Christ, he interposes a very great word concerning him, that he is over all, God blessed for ever. The difference was made between them by the divine counsel before they were born, or had done any good or evil. It might be objected, Is there unrighteousness with God? He cites it in 9:7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17, 25-26, 27-29, & 33. God makes known his glory, this goodness of his, in the preservation and supply of all the creatures: the earth is full of his goodness, and the year crowned with it but when he would demonstrate the riches of his goodness, unsearchable riches, he does it in the salvation of the saints, that will be to eternity glorious monuments of divine grace. His conclusion concerning both these we have, Romans 9:18. Some understand it of the evangelical law and covenant, which Christ has introduced and established in the world: he has in that finished the work, put an end to the types and ceremonies of the Old Testament. Bibliography InformationHenry, Matthew. In the class on salvation, we dealt head-on with the doctrines of unconditional election and irresistible grace. Amen. 1. The people of Israel were taken into the covenant of peculiarity, had the land of Canaan given them, were blessed with the more signal appearances of God for them in special protections, supplies, and deliverances, while the Edomites were rejected, had no temple, altar, priests, nor prophets--no such particular care taken of them nor kindness shown to them. That repliest against God. Whose are the fathers ( Romans 9:5 ), Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, those … First, as with all theological issues, … The sovereignty of God’s grace is brought in as the final ground of God’s faithfulness in spite of Israel’s failure, and therefore as the deepest foundation for the precious promises of Romans 8. The Gentiles did neither will it, nor run for it, for they sat in darkness, Matthew 4:16. In order to this, God endured them with much long-suffering--exercised a great deal of patience towards them, let them alone to fill up the measure of sin, to grow till they were ripe for ruin, and so they became fitted for destruction, fitted by their own sin and self-hardening. Though it be cut short, it is clear and plain and, because short, the more easy. We ought to be in a special manner concerned for the spiritual good of our relations, our brethren and kinsmen. Whatsoever God does, or is resolved to do, is both by the one and the other proved to be just. (NASB: Lockman)Greek: epaggelia s gar o logo s ho utos, Kata ton kairon touton eleusomai kai estai te Sarra hu ios.. Amplified: For this is what the promise said, About this time [next year] will I return and Sarah shall have a son.(4). Romans 9:9. (1.) Now this part of his discourse is in answer to two objections. The following passage is the Scripture, which contains the promise concerning the birth of Isaac; which was the produce, not of nature, but of divine grace and power; and was typical of the regeneration of God's elect, who "as Isaac was, are the children of promise", ( Galatians 4:28 ) , for as Ishmael was a type of them that are born after the flesh, and are carnal men, … But still there is a remnant that do believe on him and they shall not be ashamed, that is, their hopes and expectations of justification by him shall not be disappointed, as theirs are who expect it by the law. Our eye therefore must not be evil because his is good but, of all the grace that we or others have, he must have the glory: Not unto us, Psalm 115:1. In verse 14 he says, “What shall we say then? And yet only a remnant shall be saved for many are called, but few are chosen. This must be shown to all the world, God will make it appear that he hates sin. Observe, (1.) That is the gospel of Romans 9. (5.) Ho antapokrinomenos--That answerest again. The purposegiven why God acted this way is that his goals in creation andredemption might in no way hang on the \"works\" of men but might bewholly dependent on himself.That God should have no respect to human deeds in electing menmay seem to some unjust. What is the conclusion of the whole dispute? 9 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. There is a difficult section in Paul's letter to the saints at Rome. 2. These involve both Israel's place in God's plans and God's own character. By reproving the objector (Romans 9:20): Nay but, O man. It is a power of strength and energy, an inflicting power, which works and effects the destruction of those that perish it is a destruction that proceeds from the glory of his power, 2 Thessalonians 1:9. Paul was a Hebrew of the Hebrews. How they attained to righteousness, notwithstanding: By faith not by being proselyted to the Jewish religion, and submitting to the ceremonial law, but by embracing Christ, and believing in Christ, and submitting to the gospel. To make matters worse, after Bob arrived at his destination he discovered that his most substantial client h… Gentile converts were now flying as a cloud. The apostle, having plainly asserted and largely proved that justification and salvation are to had by faith only, and not by the works of the law, by Christ and not by Moses, comes in this and the following chapters to anticipate an objection which might be made against this. For this is the word of promise. (2.) Whatever God does, must be just. III. The apostle's reasoning for the explication and proof of this is, however, very applicable to, and, no doubt (as is usual in scripture) was intended for the clearing of the methods of God's grace towards particular person, for the communication of saving benefits bears some analogy to the communication of church-privileges. 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. That doctrine therefore, might they say, is not to be embraced, from which flows such a consequence as this. The potter, out of the same lump, may make either a fashionable vessel, and a vessel fit for creditable and honourable uses, or a contemptible vessel, and a vessel in which is no pleasure and herein he acts arbitrarily, as he might have chosen whether he would make any vessel of it at all, or whether he would leave it in the hole of the pit, out of which it was dug. The apostle, having made his way to that which he had to say, concerning the rejection of the body of his countrymen, with a protestation of his own affection for them and a concession of their undoubted privileges, comes in these verses, and the following part of the chapter, to prove that the rejection of the Jews, by the establishment of the gospel dispensation, did not at all invalidate the word of God's promise to the patriarchs: Not as though the word of God hath taken no effect (Romans 9:6), which, considering the present state of the Jews, which created to Paul so much heaviness and continual sorrow (Romans 9:2), might be suspected. Now, in Romans 9 through 11, Paul deals with the problem associated with the condition of Israel. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of … Thus Moses (Exodus 32:33), in a like holy passion of concern, Blot me, I pray thee, out of the book which thou hast written. Having explained the promise, and proved the divine sovereignty, the apostle here shows how the rejection of the Jews, and the taking in of the Gentiles, were foretold in the Old Testament, and therefore must needs be very well consistent with the promise made to the fathers under the Old Testament. And the covenants--the covenant made with Abraham, and often renewed with his seed upon divers occasions. God is our master, and we are his servants and it does not become servants to answer again, Titus 2:9. If it is ultimately God’s unconditional, free, sovereign electing mercy, then is he unjust? God is a competent judge, even in his own case. The word “that” indicates the content of Christ’s saving message. Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? For who hath resisted his will? Verse 16: “So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”. "Now," says Paul, "I am willing to bear all this, and a great deal more, for your good. 1. The issue is genuine faith. I could wish he does not say, I do wish, for it was no proper means appointed for such an end but, if it were, I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren--a very high pang of zeal and affection for his countrymen. Love is apt to be thus bold, and venturous, and self-denying. Behold, what manner of love! It is wisdom as much as may be to mollify those truths which sound harshly and seem unpleasant: dip the nail in oil, it will drive the better. ( Romans 9:3 ). For if God is not faithful to his word, we can’t count on Romans 8 either. 9:6-13 The rejection of the Jews by the gospel dispensation, did not break God's promise to the patriarchs. My sovereignty is not simply to be scrutinized, it is to be heralded. For who can resist his will?” Those are the questions we are confronted with in this chapter. Isaac was a child of promise this his proves, Romans 9:9, quoted from Genesis 18:10. But thanks be to God’s mercy and patience, at the end of the semester I wrote in my blue book for the final exam, “Romans 9 is like a tiger going about devouring free-willers like me.” That was the end of my love affair with human autonomy and the ultimate self-determination of my will. And the ultimate answer — not the only answer — was God. II. My worldview simply could not stand against the Scriptures, especially Romans 9. Though they were very bitter against him upon all occasions, and gave him the most unnatural and barbarous usage, yet thus respectfully does he speak of them. As a shepherd and leader called to minister the gospel, his grief at their rejection must have cut deep. That the children of the flesh, as such, by virtue of their relation to Abraham according to the flesh, are not therefore the children of God, for then Ishmael had put in a good claim. 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