In this series, we are not going through Romans chapter 9 in depth. My goal is merely to give us some key cross-reference passages to help us come to a clear understanding of what Paul is communicating in Romans 9.
Up to this point (Romans 9:1-13), Paul has been trying to illustrate that God does not reckon His people according to lineage or according to obedience to the Law of Moses. He has done this by appealing to the history of the Hebrew patriarchs in verses 6-13. We have noted that Paul is having a hypothetical debate with his unbelieving countrymen. He has been defending God’s sovereign right to limit citizenship in Israel on whatever condition He so chooses. So let’s follow his argument all the way through verses 7 to 13.
He points out that though Abraham had two sons, the promise he received from God was only inherited by Isaac. What is interesting about this is that Isaac was not the firstborn son, and so, according to custom, it should have been Ishmael that received the promise. Paul’s countrymen would have quickly acknowledged that this decision was God’s prerogative.
Paul goes on in verses 10-13 and reminds his hypothetical debate partners that God did the same things with Isaac’s sons. Esau was Isaac’s firstborn, but God sovereignly chose to give the promise to the second-born son, Jacob. He made this decision before the twins were even born. Again, the Jews of Paul’s day would have had no objection to this arrangement but would have acknowledged that God was just in His choice. This would be acceptable to them, not only because God is sovereign, but also because Jacob was their ancestor, and so God’s choice happened to benefit them.
Continue reading “Keys to Understanding Romans 9 : 6-13 – God’s Sovereign Prerogative” →
In this series we are not going through Romans chapter 9 in depth. My goal is merely to give us some key cross-reference passages to help us come to a clear understanding of what Paul is communication in Romans 9. Most of these passages come from Paul in the book of Romans, Galatians or Ephesians. But we will also look to some of Old Testament passages he cites, as well as other related passages.
In the last post we saw that Paul, in Romans 9:6-9, uses Isaac, the child of promise, to represent the Church of Jesus Christ made up of Jewish and Gentile believers. And he points his finger at his unbelieving countrymen and suggests that they are like Ishmael, the son of a slave women. This was clarified by referring to Galatians 4:21-31 and Romans 4:13-16. Now we want to turn to the next section in his argument found in 9:10-13.
10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”
Rom 9:10-13 NKJV
Continue reading “Keys to Understanding Romans 9 : 10-13 – Who Is Jacob? Who Is Esau?” →
In this series, we are not going through Romans chapter 9 in depth. My goal is merely to give us some key cross-reference passages to help us come to a clear understanding of what Paul is communicating in Romans 9. Most of these passages come from Paul in the book of Romans, Galatians, or Ephesians. But we will also look at some of the Old Testament passages he cites, as well as other related passages.
6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”
Rom 9:6-9 NKJV
In the last post, we looked at Romans 9:1-6 and noted what issue Paul intends to discuss in the chapter. He is asking and answering two primary questions. He is pointing out to the reader that Israel was promised the New Covenant, and yet they have for the most part rejected it. Firstly, he wants to answer why it is that Israel has rejected Christ and the New Covenant in Him. And secondly, he wants to let us know with confidence that this has not hindered God’s promise and plan. In 9:6 he told us that the unbelief of Israel did not thwart God’s promise to Israel because Israel is not reckoned according to natural descent. In 9:7-9 he is going to expand on this idea and present evidence for his assertion.
Continue reading “Keys to Understanding Romans 9 : 6-9 – Who Are The “Children of Promise”?” →