Paul discusses God’s sovereign choice of Israel. They will always be his Chosen. But now through Jesus Christ, Gentiles are also being Chosen. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. I tell the truth in Christ. I am not lying, my conscience testifying with me in the Holy Spirit
VERSE 2. that I have great sorrow and unceasing pain in my heart.
VERSE 3. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers’ sake, my relatives according to the flesh
wish that I myself were accursed from Christ. Paul is not rejecting Christ. Rather, he is indicating the extent of his love for the Jews.
for my brothers’ sake. If it were possible, Paul would give up his own eternal salvation so they could have it.
my brothers. Paul saw the Jews as his own siblings.
my relatives according to the flesh. Paul was of the same lineage as all Jews of those days.
VERSE 4. who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service, and the promises;
whose isthe adoption. God favored the Jews in a special way by adapting them as his very own people. His adaption of them will never cease. It is permanent.
the glory. The Jews were specially chosen to behold the glory of God. Through the millennia, God manifested his glory to them in many ways.
the covenants. God established a special covenant with the Jews. It is permanent.
the giving of the law. God favored the Jews to be the recipients of the Holy Scriptures. From a human perspective, they were the authors of the entire Old Testament, as well as the majority of the New Testament.
the service. God favored the Jews with the privilege of having the temple, and having the God-given rites for the proper worship of God in the temple.
the promises. God’s many promises were given to the Jews. Even the promise of the Messiah was given to the Jews.
VERSE 5. of whom are the fathers, and from whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God, blessed forever. Amen.
the fathers. The Jews are the direct descendents of the great patriarchs and prophets. Think: Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, and every great figure in the Old Testament.
from whom is Christ. Without any doubt, Jesus Christ was a Jew. He never rejected his Jewish heritage.
VERSE 6. But it is not as though the word of God has come to nothing. For they are not all Israel that are of Israel.
they are not all Israel, that are of Israel. Some people are of the genetic lineage of Israel. But spiritually, they do not live as actual Jewish people. Hence they are “of” Israel, yet they are “not” Israel. Perhaps their Jewish identity is more cultural than anything else.
This paradigm can be applied to Christians as well. Many Christians are members of a local church, and yet they do not live a spiritual life in Jesus Christ. Their Christian identity is more cultural than anything else.
VERSE 7. Neither, because they are Abraham’s offspring, are they all children. But, “your offspring will be accounted as from Isaac.”
VERSE 8. That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as heirs.
VERSE 9. For this is a word of promise, “At the appointed time I will come, and Sarah will have a son.”
VERSE 10. Not only so, but Rebekah also conceived by one, by our father Isaac.
VERSE 11. For being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him who calls,
VERSE 12. it was said to her, “The elder will serve the younger.”
VERSE 13. Even as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
VERSE 14. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? May it never be!
VERSE 15. For he said to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
NLT translation. When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?
VERSE 17. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I caused you to be raised up, that I might show in you my power, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
VERSE 18. So then, he has mercy on whom he desires, and he hardens whom he desires.
VERSE 19. You will say then to me, “Why does he still find fault? For who withstands his will?”
VERSE 20. But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed ask him who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?”
VERSE 21. Or hasn’t the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel for honor, and another for dishonor?
the potter. The Bible envisions God as a potter, and we believers as clay. Are you pliable in the hands of God? Will you let him form you into the person he desires? Read more »
VERSE 22. What if God, willing to show his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
VERSE 23. and that he might make known the riches of his glory on vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory,
VERSE 24. us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles?
VERSE 25. As he says also in Hosea, “I will call them ‘my people,’ which were not my people; and her ‘beloved,’ who was not beloved.”
VERSE 26. “It will be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ”
VERSE 27. Isaiah cries concerning Israel, “If the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant who will be saved;
a remnant. The Bible describes a uniquely faithful group of believers called “the remnant.” Are they Jewish or Christians? Now or in the future? Who are they really? Read more »
VERSE 28. for He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth.”
VERSE 29. As Isaiah has said before, “Unless the Lord of Armies had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, and would have been made like Gomorrah.”
VERSE 30. What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who didn’t follow after righteousness, attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith;
VERSE 31. but Israel, following after a law of righteousness, didn’t arrive at the law of righteousness.
VERSE 32. Why? Because they didn’t seek it by faith, but as it were by works of the law. They stumbled over the stumbling stone;
VERSE 33. even as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and a rock of offense; and no one who believes in him will be disappointed.”
Romans 9:33. even as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and a rock of offense; and no one who believes in him will be disappointed.”
Romans 14:13. Therefore let’s not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block in his brother’s way, or an occasion for falling.
1 Corinthians 1:23. but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks,
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.