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Romans Chapter 9:14-33


Memory verses for this week: 1 Pet 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Pet 1:4  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,


Introduction:     Last week, in  the first part of chapter 9, we saw the desire and love that Paul had for his nation of Israel.  We covered the many benefits of being a member of God’s chosen nation.  This week we cover more deeply the two nations  that descended from Isaac, Jacob and Esau.   

I.                     Is God Unrighteous in Distinguishing between the Nations?  

Rom 9:14  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 

In verse 13 of last week’s lesson, we saw Paul speaking of the special love God showed towards Jacob(the nation Israel) and hating Esau (the nation of Edom.)  He then asks in this verse, “Is there unrighteousness with God?” for establishing between the nations?  The answer is straight and direct, “God forbid.”  

We have special privileges today her in America that no other nation has.   We are so blessed.  What God does among the nations is His business, and no man can stay His hand.  

Rom 9:15  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.

Rom 9:16  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.

Rom 9:17  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.

 In verse 15, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion”.  It is important to distinguish that God does not say “I will condemn whom I will condemn to eternal destruction.”   God’s desire is that none should perish. 

2 Pet 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 

In verses 16 and 17, it speaks of at least one of the purposes of life for Pharaoh. 

Exo 9:16  And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.


II.                  The Potter and the Clay


Rom 9:18  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Rom 9:19  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 

God says he will have mercy on whom He desires.  Each of us who have found Christ as our Savior should really be thankful that He showed us mercy.  If you study some of the scriptures over in Exodus, you find that Pharaoh made up his own mind of his own free will.  God allowed him to go on in his wicked way. 

Exo 4:21  And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. 

Exo 8:15  But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. 

Exo 8:19  Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.


Exo 8:32  And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.


Rom 9:20  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Rom 9:21  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 

In Chuck Swindoll’s study on Romans, “Learning to Walk by Grace”, he explains what Paul meant concerning “For who hath resisted his will?”   “Paul isn’t condemning the asking of sincere searching questions.  Rather, he’s dealing with a spirit of rebellion—those who call into question God’s sovereign right to do as He wishes with His creatures.  That’s as foolish as the clay asking the potter to explain himself.  Paul’s  answer is a reminder that God works according to His own perfect counsel and wisdom, even though we may not understand all His reasons. 

God has the right to even give men over to a reprobate mind if He so desires.  

Rom 1:28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 

Because God hardens whom He will and has mercy on whom He will does not mean that God forces men to do every thing.  If man did the will of God, all men would b saved.  II Pet 3:9 (listed above) 

1 Tim 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 

The very moment that one speaks of God, he must realize that He is God and has a right to do as He pleases.  To replay against God is vanity.   The potter has the right over the clay to make it as it pleases Him.  Man in his fallen state has no right to claim anything at the hand of God, for we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.


Isa 29:16  Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?


Isa 45:9  Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? 

Rom 9:22  What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Rom 9:23  And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 

If He so chose, God would have a perfect right to destroy al sinners.  He has a right to show mercy according to His own will, in order to carry out His purpose. 

Rom 9:24  Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 

The riches of God’s grace and glory extends to all believers, both of the Jews and Gentiles.


III.                  Prophecy about the Gentiles from the Old Testament 

Rom 9:25  As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

Rom 9:26  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.

 We are told in these verses that only a remnant shall be saved.  Some today teach that a Jew (born as a Jew by a natural birth) is born into the family of God.  This is not so.  Only those who are born again are born into the family of God. 

John 8:39  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

John 8:40  But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

John 8:41  Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

John 8:42  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

John 8:43  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

John 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 


Rom 9:27  Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

Rom 9:28  For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

Rom 9:29  And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.


Verse 27 comes from Isaiah 10:22 and verse 29 comes from Isaiah 1:9.  It is the Lord who is the one who left the remnant.



IV.               The Gentiles Attained Righteousness because they Sought it by Faith


Rom 9:30  What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

Rom 9:31  But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.


What shall we say then?  The Gentiles, who did not follow after righteousness, have attained to righteousness by faith.   They believed the Gospel and were saved by faith in Christ. 

Acts 13:44  And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

Acts 13:45  But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

Acts 13:46  Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Acts 13:47  For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

Acts 13:48  And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.


V.                 The Gentiles attained Righteousness because they Sought it by Faith 

Rom 9:32  Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

Rom 9:33  As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 

Israel sought righteousness by the law and failed to obtain it because God’s righteousness is not obtained by the law or works of the law, but by faith.  Rom 4:1-5, Gal 3:11  

Because the Jews sought righteousness by the works of the law, they stumbled at the stumbling stone which is Christ. 

1 Cor 1:23  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

1 Cor 1:24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.


Acts 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 

Salvation is not now, neither has it ever been obtained in any other way except  by a trusting faith in Jesus Christ.   In Isaiah, he spoke of a special stone.  That stone is foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation.   That sure foundation is Jesus Christ. 

Isa 28:16  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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