. Back to Home Page..
The letter to the
But what about those who were called first?
The nation of Israel
01 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 02 that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 03 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers [and sisters], my kinsmen according to the flesh, 04 who are Israelites - to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises. 05 Whose are the fathers [or the patriarchs], and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, Who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Note 1
They are not all spiritual Israel
06 Not as though the word of God has taken none effect, for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel. 07 Neither, because they are the [physical] seed of Abraham, are they all [spiritual] children, but [the word was],
In Isaac shall your seed be called.
08 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not [necessarily] the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 09 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 calls); 12 it was said to her,
The elder shall serve the younger.
13 As it is [also] written,
Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Note 2
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid! 15 For He says 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 wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy [according to His nature].
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh,
Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show My power in you, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth. ["that I might show My power in you" = either way - salvation OR destruction!]
18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens. Note 3
Is this fair?
19 You will say then to me, Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will? 20 But, O man, who are you that reply against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why have You made me thus? 21 Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour? Note 4
We dont always understand His ways
22 What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted [or heading] to destruction? 23 And that [or, just so] He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels [or people] of mercy, which He had before prepared to glory, 24 even us, whom He has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? Note 5
25 As he says also in Hosea,
I will call them My people, which were not My people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
27 Isaiah also cries concerning Israel,
Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, [only] a remnant shall be saved.
28 For He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 29 And as Isaiah said before,
Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom, and been made like to Gomorrha. Note 6
Gods choice depends on our choice
30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of [self] righteousness, has not attained to the law of [Gods] righteousness. Note 7
Faith or works?
32 Wherefore [or why]? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that Stumblingstone. 33 As it is written,
Behold, I lay in Sion a Stumblingstone and Rock of offence: and whoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed. Note 8
On to Chapter Ten of the Letter .................
Return to Chapter Eight
Back to Home Page .......................... To the top of this page