Bible: Romans 9-11
Israel’s Rejection Considered
I am telling the truth in Christ (I am not lying!), for my conscience assures me 2 in the Holy Spirit – 9:2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 9:3 For I could wish 4 that I myself were accursed – cut off from Christ – for the sake of my people, 5 my fellow countrymen, 6 9:4 who are Israelites. To them belong 7 the adoption as sons, 8 the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple worship, 9 and the promises. 9:5 To them belong the patriarchs, 10 and from them, 11 by human descent, 12 came the Christ, 13 who is God over all, blessed forever! 14 Amen.
9:6 It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel, 15 9:7 nor are all the children Abraham’s true descendants; rather “through Isaac will your descendants be counted.” 16 9:8 This means 17 it is not the children of the flesh 18 who are the children of God; rather, the children of promise are counted as descendants. 9:9 For this is what the promise declared: 19 “About a year from now 20 I will return and Sarah will have a son.” 21 9:10 Not only that, but when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, 22 our ancestor Isaac – 9:11 even before they were born or had done anything good or bad (so that God’s purpose in election 23 would stand, not by works but by 24 his calling) 25 – 9:12 26 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger,” 27 9:13 just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 28
9:14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! 9:15 For he says to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 29 9:16 So then, 30 it does not depend on human desire or exertion, 31 but on God who shows mercy. 9:17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh: 32 “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may demonstrate my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” 33 9:18 So then, 34 God 35 has mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy, and he hardens whom he chooses to harden. 36
9:19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who has ever resisted his will?” 9:20 But who indeed are you – a mere human being 37 – to talk back to God? 38 Does what is molded say to the molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 39 9:21 Has the potter no right to make from the same lump of clay 40 one vessel for special use and another for ordinary use? 41 9:22 But what if God, willing to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects 42 of wrath 43 prepared for destruction? 44 9:23 And what if he is willing to make known the wealth of his glory on the objects 45 of mercy that he has prepared beforehand for glory – 9:24 even us, whom he has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 9:25 As he also says in Hosea:
9:26 “And in the very place 48 where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’” 49
9:27 And Isaiah cries out on behalf of Israel, “Though the number of the children 50 of Israel are as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved, 9:28 for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth completely and quickly.” 51 9:29 Just 52 as Isaiah predicted,
“If the Lord of armies 53 had not left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
and we would have resembled Gomorrah.” 54
Israel’s Rejection Culpable
9:30 What shall we say then? – that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness obtained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith, 9:31 but Israel even though pursuing 55 a law of righteousness 56 did not attain it. 57 9:32 Why not? Because they pursued 58 it not by faith but (as if it were possible) by works. 59 They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 60 9:33 just as it is written,
“Look, I am laying in Zion a stone that will cause people to stumble
and a rock that will make them fall, 61
yet the one who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 62
10:1 Brothers and sisters, 63 my heart’s desire and prayer to God on behalf of my fellow Israelites 64 is for their salvation. 10:2 For I can testify that they are zealous for God, 65 but their zeal is not in line with the truth. 66 10:3 For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes.
10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is by the law: “The one who does these things will live by them.” 67 10:6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, 68 ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” 69 (that is, to bring Christ down) 10:7 or “Who will descend into the abyss?” 70 (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” 71 (that is, the word of faith that we preach), 10:9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord 72 and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10:10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness 73 and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. 74 10:11 For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 75 10:12 For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. 10:13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 76
10:14 How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them 77 ? 10:15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How timely 78 is the arrival 79 of those who proclaim the good news.” 80 10:16 But not all have obeyed the good news, for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 81 10:17 Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word 82 of Christ. 83
10:18 But I ask, have they 84 not heard? 85 Yes, they have: 86 Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. 87 10:19 But again I ask, didn’t Israel understand? 88 First Moses says, “I will make you jealous by those who are not a nation; with a senseless nation I will provoke you to anger.” 89 10:20 And Isaiah is even bold enough to say, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I became well known to those who did not ask for me.” 90 10:21 But about Israel he says, “All day long I held out my hands to this disobedient and stubborn people!” 91
Israel’s Rejection not Complete nor Final
11:1 So I ask, God has not rejected his people, has he? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 11:2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew! Do you not know what the scripture says about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 11:3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left and they are seeking my life!” 92 11:4 But what was the divine response 93 to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand people 94 who have not bent the knee to Baal.” 95
11:5 So in the same way at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 11:6 And if it is by grace, it is no longer by works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace. 11:7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was diligently seeking, but the elect obtained it. The 96 rest were hardened, 11:8 as it is written,
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear,
to this very day.” 97
11:9 And David says,
“Let their table become a snare and trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
11:10 let their eyes be darkened so that they may not see,
and make their backs bend continually.” 98
11:11 I ask then, they did not stumble into an irrevocable fall, 99 did they? Absolutely not! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel 100 jealous. 11:12 Now if their transgression means riches for the world and their defeat means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full restoration 101 bring?
11:13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Seeing that I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 11:14 if somehow I could provoke my people to jealousy and save some of them. 11:15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 11:16 If the first portion 102 of the dough offered is holy, then the whole batch is holy, and if the root is holy, so too are the branches. 103
11:17 Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them and participated in 104 the richness of the olive root, 11:18 do not boast over the branches. But if you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 11:19 Then you will say, “The branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 11:20 Granted! 105 They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear! 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you. 11:22 Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God – harshness toward those who have fallen, but 106 God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; 107 otherwise you also will be cut off. 11:23 And even they – if they do not continue in their unbelief – will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 11:24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree?
11:25 For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, 108 so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel 109 until the full number 110 of the Gentiles has come in. 11:26 And so 111 all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion;
he will remove ungodliness from Jacob.
11:27 And this is my covenant with them, 112
when I take away their sins.” 113
11:28 In regard to the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but in regard to election they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. 11:29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. 11:30 Just as you were formerly disobedient to God, but have now received mercy due to their disobedience, 11:31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now 114 receive mercy. 11:32 For God has consigned all people to disobedience so that he may show mercy to them all. 115
11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!
11:34 For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor? 116
11:35 Or who has first given to God, 117
11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever! Amen.