Chapter 9, Verses 1-5
"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."
Paul had a
great heaviness in his heart and he continually sorrowed for his
brethren, his kinsmen according to the flesh. Paul was an Israelite
and he knew the customs and backgrounds of the Israelites. By his
actions that we read about in the book of Acts, Paul was continually
trying to convince the Jews of the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul at one time had been where many of the Jews were at this time.
He had been a non-believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord
struck him down on the road to Damascus and revealed himself to
Paul. This heaviness and continual sorrow that Paul had in his
heart was not for all that were the natural descendents of the
nation of Israel, but was rather for the elect among the natural
descendents of the nation of Israel. We will see this truth when we
get to verse 6.
Old Testament economy, God had adopted the nation of Israel to be a
peculiar nation unto him. He was to them a God and they were to him
a people. Beginning when the children of Israel were in Egyptian
bondage the Lord manifest his glory to them. He appeared to them in
a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Likewise,
he manifest his glory at Mount Sinai when he gave the ten
commandments and made a covenant of worship and service with them.
Many other times he manifest his glory unto them.
made covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, telling them he would
multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, as the sand upon the
seashore, and as the dust of the earth. In addition, he made the
covenant of the law with the nation of Israel. Later he made other
covenants with Israel also.
Sinai, God gave the covenant of the law and service to the children
of Israel at the hand of his servant Moses, who went up into the
mount for forty days and forty nights. God wrote upon two tables of
stone the ten commandments and these were given to the nation of
Israel and God made a covenant of service with the children of
Israel using the ten commandments as a foundation for that service.
Furthermore, God gave the ordinances of the tabernacle and
priesthood and the worship of God unto Moses and the children of
Israel. He gave to them all the sacrifices and ordinances and
feasts that they were to keep at the appointed times and manners in
which God appointed.
many promises that God made unto Israel based on the covenants that
God had made with them. As long as they kept the commandments God
promised them multitudes of blessings and also if they failed to
keep the commandments then God promised them many curses would come
upon them. These promises included delivering the inhabitants of
the land of Canaan into their hands and the possession of the land
of Canaan and that God would be with them in their battles and would
bless their labors, etc.
of the Messiah was after the promises of God. He was the promised
seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God also promised that he would
be the Lion of the tribe of Judah. God also promised David that he
would be of his seed. He was also promised to be the seed of a
woman. Christ fulfilled all of these promises according to the
Choosing the law path rather than
all of this, most of the Jews of Paul's day had rejected Christ and
sought for righteousness under the keeping of the law. This, of
course, was the cause of Paul's great heaviness and continual
sorrow. Paul sorrowed even to the extent that he felt he could
desire to be separated from Christ if it would bring his brethren
into a relationship with Christ. This, however, could not be that
Paul be accursed from Christ.
Chapter 9, Verses 6-13
As it is
"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 Sarah 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."
"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not
return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please,
and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." God's word
that goes forth from his mouth cannot be of none effect. It will
accomplish that which God intends for it to accomplish. We should
never assume that God intended to do something, but was unable to
bring it to pass. When it comes to the salvation of God's people,
he will not fail even unto the loss of a single one.
For they are
not all Israel, which are of Israel.
other things, this teaches that there are two Israels taught in the
scriptures. There is a natural Israel and there is a spiritual
Israel. These two Israels are not identical. We can take the above
statement and show that there are two applications that are both
they are not all natural Israel, which are of spiritual Israel.
they are not all spiritual Israel, which are of natural Israel.
these statements are true. God has a large number of spiritual
Israelites, which are not natural Israelites. Similarly, there are
some natural Israelites, which are not spiritual Israelites.
because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In
Isaac shall thy seed be called." Many of the Jews of Paul's day
rested in the fact that they were the natural descendents of Abraham
and subsequently they believed they were children of God because of
their lineage from Abraham. Paul refuted that idea by showing that
while God had promised great blessings to the seed of Abraham, he
promised that in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Abraham had eight
sons. He had a son by the bondwoman Hagar named Ishmael. He had a
son by Sarah named Isaac. He had six sons by the concubine Keturah.
Yet only one of those sons was by promise of God. That son was
Isaac. This teaches us that God's children are children of promise
not children by natural descent. "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." Therefore, a Jew
could not make the claim that he was a child of God based on his
descent from Abraham. Likewise, a Gentile, who had no natural
descent from Abraham could rejoice in being a child of God if he was
a child of promise from God. The key to being a child of God is to
be a child of promise. The children of promise are the children of
is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall
have a son." In addition in Gal. 4:28 we read, "Now we, brethren,
as Isaac was, are the children of promise." Isaac's birth was by
promise from God. God promised Isaac before Sarah ever conceived.
God promised that Isaac would be born at God's set time in the next
year. Further, Isaac was born of parents who were unable to have
children according to nature. The children of promise are promised
beforehand in the covenant of redemption. Their spiritual birth is
at God's appointed time. They are born of the Spirit when they were
dead in trespasses and sins. Thus, they are born contrary to
only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our
father Isaac." Jacob and Esau had the same natural father-Isaac and
natural mother-Rebecca. Yet as we will see, God chose one and did
not choose the other. This destroys the belief that one is a child
of God based on natural descendency.
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." From this verse of scripture, it is plain
that God chose Jacob and did not choose Esau. What is also clear is
that this choice was not based on works. The children had not been
born, neither had done any good or evil. God's choice of a people
is not based on their works, furthermore, it is not based on good or
evil done by the individual. God chose Jacob and did not choose
Esau before they were born. God loved Jacob and hated Esau before
they were born. God is sovereign and maintains his sovereignty at
all times. This choice of a people is based on the sovereignty of
God and according to the purpose of God. God purposed to choose and
save Jacob and he did not purpose to choose and save Esau.
According to the covenant of redemption, this purpose and choice was
made before the world began. Man had no voice or choice in this
purpose of God.
Chapter 9, Verses
"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 showeth mercy. 17 For the scripture
saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee
up, that I might show 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."
most people give when you quote to them the scripture, "Jacob have I
loved, but Esau have I hated," is "that's not fair." The assumption
is that God has to be fair and that everyone deserves an equal and
fair chance to be saved. To them, to love one and hate another, is
unfair. Further, they believe that God loves everyone, until they
reject him or fail to choose him. Thus, they accuse God of being
unrighteous if he loves Jacob and hates Esau.
is sovereign. That is, he acts independent of all others and he
answers to no one. He is under no obligation to act as we may want
him to act. This sovereignty is manifest in the statement, "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." As the above
plainly teaches, it is God who chooses to have mercy and it is God
who chooses to have mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy. Man has
no right to demand that God have mercy on him. If God chooses to
have mercy on one and not on another, then that is God's sovereign
choice and he is just to do so. While God is merciful and
compassionate to some, he is not merciful and compassionate to
men are to varying degrees merciful to some and compassionate to
some and not merciful to others or compassionate to others. Yet
they believe it okay for them to be this way, and then accuse God of
being unjust if he is this way. Yet God has more right than man as
God is sovereign.
do we really want God to be fair? Is it fair for the just to die
for the unjust? No, it is not fair for the just to die for the
unjust. Yet, this is the only way that anyone will see heaven's
glory world, that the just (Jesus) die for the unjust (his elect).
I would rather look for the mercy and compassion of God toward his
elect than to see a fair God who always must act in a fair way.
it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God
that showeth mercy." The vast majority of religious people today
believe that salvation from sin is based on the choice and the
actions of the sinner to get right with God.
new birth or salvation from sin is not by the will of man: John
1:11-13, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But
as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of
blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of
God." Thus this new birth and salvation from sin is not by the
"will of man" but by the sovereign actions of a sovereign God.
the new birth or salvation from sin is not by the actions of man:
1. Titus 3:5 "Not by works of righteousness
which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the
washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."
2. Eph. 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of
works, lest any man should boast."
3. 2 Tim. 1:9 "Who hath saved us, and called us
with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to
his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before
the world began."
conclusion, the salvation and new birth is not by the choice or
actions of men but by the mercy of a sovereign God.
scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I
raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name
might be declared throughout all the earth." The very God of glory
hardened the heart of proud Pharaoh that he would not let the
children of Israel go until God had showed forth the ten judgments
on the land of Egypt and thus show His mighty power and that His name
might be declared throughout all the earth. God in his sovereignty
chose to harden Pharaoh's heart.
"Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he
will he hardeneth." As can be seen, the main theme of chapter 9 is
the sovereignty of God in election and salvation. God has mercy on
whom he chooses and he hardens whom he chooses. God is sovereign.