Children (Romans 9-11)

  • Romans 9:1-5 – It became apparent that the Jews were refusing Christ, which caused great sadness to Paul. Paul refers to their “adoption as sons,” which was through the lineage of Abraham in their case. In verse 5, “the fathers” refers to the patriarchs, through whom which Christ had an earthly lineage (Genesis 22:18).
  • Romans 9:6-8 - The fact that many Jews did not accept Jesus did not mean God failed. All people who are descended from physical Israel are not part of spiritual Israel. The promise of God’s blessing is available to more people than just the physical descendants of Israel. See Galatians 3:28-29. Note the quote in verse 7 – “through Isaac your descendants will be named” (compare Genesis 21:12; Hebrews 11:18). It took more than just descendancy through Abraham to be a child of God. God was choosing a particular branch of the family tree. The Jews would not want to think of the Ishmaelites as children of God! In a spiritual sense, God was choosing those who were of the promise, which was more than just physical lineage.
  • Romans 9:9-13 – God chose which branch of the family tree He would bring Jesus through. Calvinists sometimes misuse this passage, interpreting it to mean unconditional election on God’s part. The quote in Romans 9:13 is from Malachi 1:2.
  • Romans 9:14-16 – Paul quotes Exodus 33:19 to illustrate that God has the authority to make these decisions.
  • Romans 9:17-18 – God demanded things of Pharaoh that He knew Pharaoh did not want to do. See Exodus 9:11-17, 34-35; 10:1. God could have annihilated Pharaoh but did not because He had His own purposes. The same message from God can harden some people and cause others to repent. See also Romans 10:11-12. It was God’s choice on how to setup the plan of salvation. Thankfully, it is available to all!
  • Romans 9:19-21 – God can do what He wants. Who are we to question His ways?
  • Romans 9:22-26 – God can decide the criteria for salvation versus destruction. Lest the Jews counter that they were God’s chosen people, the writer quotes Hosea 2:23 and Hosea 1:10, indicating that salvation for Gentiles was always part of God’s plan.
  • Romans 9:27-29 – The writer is quoting from Isaiah 10:22-23; 1:9. He is reminding the Jews that God could have also wiped them out just like Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • Romans 9:30-33 – The Jews generally rejected Jesus, believing that they could be righteous according to the law. They failed to attain righteousness through the law, though, because they were trying to be saved by good works rather than by faith. In verse 33, the writer quotes from Isaiah 28:16. We must be careful to not make the same mistake, thinking that we can be saved by some way other than submission to God. We can’t invent our own way to be saved.