BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 16, Day 5: Romans 9:22-29

Summary of passage:  God reserves the right to choose whom He wants to choose for salvation and let those whom choose destruction be destroyed.

Questions:

11)  God demonstrates His power by choosing those for salvation whom He wants to choose (he also is showing mercy here to those chosen).  This includes both the Jews and the Gentiles.  He also shows His power by letting those heading down the path of destruction continue so, being destroyed, and showing His power in the process.  He does all of this to show His power and mercy and ultimately to bring more to Him.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The fact I am saved and chosen moves me to bring more to Him.  The fact I have life and heaven and hope here and now moves me to thank Him and follow Him and do His will in my life.  The fact I do have grace and works to do here on this side of heaven moves me to praise Him and love Him and obey Him.

13)  God has a right to call whom He wants to call.  He has a right to choose a remnant.  It is in His mercy that a remnant is even chosen for He could destroy us all like in Sodom and Gomorrah.

Conclusions:  A difficult passage to understand due to the nature of Paul’s questioning and his use of the Old Testament, but an important point:  God in His infinite power and control does what He wants, chooses whom He wants, shows mercy to whom He wants, allows those to stay in wrath whom He wants, and saves whom He wants.  God is in control and it is only by mercy that we are His!

End Notes:  Here Paul asks doesn’t God have the right to glorify Himself as He sees fit?  Here, God lets people go their own way and receive his righteous wrath to make His power known.  And on the flip side, if God decides to show mercy, being more than fair, who can oppose Him?  And if God wants to show mercy to the Gentiles as well, who can oppose Him?

Hosea says God has a right to call whom He wants as well.  God also has the right to choose a remnant for salvation.  In the original context these passages from Hosea refer to the spiritual restoration of Israel.  Paul finds in them the principle that God is a saving, forgiving, restoring God, who delights to take those who are “not my people” and make them “my people.”  Paul then applies this principle to Gentiles, whom God makes his people by sovereignly grafting them into covenant relationship.

Isaiah is speaking first of the remnant saved from the Assyrians who were all afraid they’d be destroyed.  God’s promise of salvation never applied to all.  It applies to the remnant whom God chooses.  Isaiah says how Sodom and Gomorrah were completely destroyed.  It is only in God’s mercy that a remnant is chosen.  It could always be worse!

Isaiah 10:22-23; 1:9 indicate only a small remnant will survive from the great multitude of Israelites.  God’s calling includes both Jews and Gentiles but the vast majority are Gentiles.

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BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 16, Day 4: Romans 9:14-21

Summary of passage:  All is in God’s mercy and God’s plan.  All is just.  God (being God) can do what He wants.  He made us.  He chooses us for His purposes.

Questions:

8 )  Part personal Question that’s completely unnecessary.  My answer:  Paul is just using past examples that his listeners would understand to drive home his point:  God can do whatever He wants and we have no right to question it.   It’s all in His will for His purposes and for His glory.  I understand this completely.

9a)  Like I’ve repeatedly said to this same line of questioning in this lesson and YESTERDAY’S.  God whom made us can do whatever He wants and us stupid humans have no right to question His authority or His reasons or His justness.

b)  I think people today think everything should be fair and should line up with their idea of justice and really don’t care about God and what He thinks.  They waste so much precious energy and time, trying to figure out a way to be fair and just instead of just letting God handle it.  In essence, people need to get over themselves.

10)  Personal repetitive question I’d rather not answer again.  My personal repetitive answer again: God shows me mercy every day as I fail Him constantly by calling me back and embracing me.  When I’m far, He is near.  When I stray, He guides me back.  When I fall, He picks me up.  When I sin, He forgives.  When I hate, He loves.  When I need Him, He is there.

Conclusions:  Paul is expounding on his points from the first part of Romans 9.  This is just a continuation.  Poor job by BSF on the repetitive questions.

End Notes:  Frequently, Paul interrupts his writing with a question or series of questions.  In doing so, he is imitating the style he learned from the rabbis in his earlier training.

God clearly explains His right to give mercy to whomever He pleases in Exodus 33:19.

Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. God is never less than fair with anyone, but fully reserves the right to be more than fair with individuals as He chooses.

Jesus spoke of this right of God in the parable of the landowner in Matthew 20:1-16.

God allowed the Pharaoh of Moses’ day to rise to power so that God could show the strength of His judgment against him, and thereby glorify Himself.  Sometimes God will glorify Himself through showing mercy; sometimes God will glorify Himself through a man’s hardness.

We should not think that God persuaded an unwilling, kind-hearted Pharaoh to be hard towards God and His people. In hardening the heart of Pharaoh, God simply allowed his heart to pursue its natural inclination.

Does the sovereign right of God to choose relieve man of responsibility?  If someone asks, “How can I go against God’s choice?”, Paul says we are not to ask because God is the creator and has the right over all things including us.  God chooses AND we are responsible.  This is what God says.  Deal with it.

Paul is not silencing all questioning of God, but he is speaking to those with an impenitent, God-defying attitude who want to make God answerable to them for what he does and who, by their questions, defame the character of God.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 16, Day 3: Romans 9:6-13

Summary of passage:  It is only Abraham’s children through Sarah who are chosen by God to be saved.  Not all are chosen.

Questions:

6a)  God calls those whom He chooses and those who are governed by Him by grace.

b)  Paul reminds us that those chosen were from Sarah’s son, Isaac, not in Esau’s line.  Both had Abraham as a father.  God choose one son only.

7)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Paul’s example.  All is in God’s grace.  God chooses whom He wants.  There is always hope because we don’t know whom God chooses and why.  Our job is just to pray.

Conclusions:  In essence, Paul says God chooses whom He wants.  It’s all planned.  It is not for us to question or wonder why.  And we are grateful.  Can you imagine if we were in charge?

End Notes:  One meaning of the name “Israel” is governed by God, which is what Paul means here.  He means not all of Israel is governed by God.  Same is true for the word “Christian”.  Not everyone who is called a Christian is a follower of Christ.

When people ask:  “How can God’s promise stand when so many who comprise Israel are unbelieving and therefore cut off?”  Here’s the answer:

God’s word didn’t fail.  Instead, it reaches the children of the promise which may not include all of Israel.  Paul uses Ismael here as an example.  He is of the flesh not of God.  God chose Jacob over Esau before they were born out of grace not works.  It is God’s sovereign right to choose whom He wants.

God’s love and hate here is merely God’s preference to Jacob over Esau.  The idea here is more like accepted and rejected.  Places in the Bible where hate clearly seems to mean something like “loved less”: (Genesis 29:3133Deuteronomy 21:15Matthew 6:24Luke 14:26John 12:25).

Esau was a very blessed man indeed.  Just not with the covenant.

“A woman once said to Mr. Spurgeon, ‘I cannot understand why God should say that He hated Esau.’ ‘That,’ Spurgeon replied, ‘is not my difficulty, madam. My trouble is to understand how God could love Jacob.'” (Newell)

We may not be able to fathom God’s reasons for choosing, and they are reasons He alone knows and answers to, but God’s choices are not capricious. He has a plan and a reason.  We just don’t know it.  Expecting to know God’s plan is where a lot of us cause ourselves heartache and despair.  Let God handle it.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 16, Day 2: Romans 9:1-5

Summary of passage:  Paul is lamenting how the Jews have not accepted Christ as their Savior and he says how he’d give up his relationship with Christ for their sakes.

Questions:

3)  The truth in this passage is that the people of Israel are God’s chosen people.  The truth Paul is going to talk about in the rest of Romans 9 is how the Jews are not saved because they don’t believe in Christ.  He is grieving how they have not accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.  Moses and Jesus were the same way:  wanting all to come to God, praying for them, and willing to sacrifice his life for them.  See Galatians 3:13.

4a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Cursed is condemned here probably to eternal damnation.  No believer will ever be cut off from Christ (which we just studied LAST LESSON).  Paul’s point is he wants all to come to Christ.

b)  We should always be praying for unbelievers, grieve for them, and desire them to turn to Christ.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I was raised a Christian so it’s been a relatively easy journey to Christ.  It’s easier as a child when you’re not bogged down with life’s junk to choose him.  I could always be doing more for God’s kingdom.  Give Him the credit more.  Talk about Him more.  Evangelize more.  I myself could be closer to God as well personally and spiritually.

Conclusions:  We see Paul’s heart here.  He loves his people so much he’d sacrifice his eternity for them.  That’s powerful!  What a motivator for us when we encounter unbelievers either in our own circle of family and friends or those on the street.  We need more heart for them!

End Notes:  Chapter 9 brings a slight shift in focus to the Book of Romans.

In Romans chapters one through eight, Paul thoroughly convinced us about man’s need and God’s glorious provision in Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.

Now in Romans 9-11 Paul deals with the problem associated with the condition of Israel. What does it mean that Israel has missed its Messiah? What does this say about God? What does it say about Israel? What does it say about our present position in God?

In essence, how can I be secure in God’s love and salvation to me when it seems that Israel was once loved and saved, but now seems to be rejected and cursed? Will God also reject and curse me one day?

If God cannot bring his ancient people into salvation, how do Christians know that he can save them? Paul is not here proceeding to a new and unrelated subject. These three chapters are part of the way Paul will make plain how God in fact saves people.

Paul left us at the end of Chapter 8 on a high note:  nothing can separate us from God.  Now, he turns somber as he considers the Jews, God’s chosen people, who are separated from God.

Consider this:  Paul was concerned about the souls of men.  What does this say about your worries over what others think of you, the guy who cut you off in line, the increasing number of wrinkles on your face, the neighbor’s hideous lawn ornaments, your mother-in-laws quirks and fallacies, and any other daily or not-so-daily petty worry?  Worry about the souls of men and these will all disappear.

Consider this as well:  The Jews are Paul’s persecutors.  They (along with the Romans) are the ones casting stones, running him out of towns and villages, and beating him.  Yet Paul still has this much heart for them.

For us average people, it’s hard for us to grasp this deep love and heart like Paul, Moses, and Jesus had.  But this love is something we can build up and increase daily as we walk with Christ.  He can do all things in us!

Paul lists how privileged the Jews are/were in having the law, covenants, promises, etc.  They even had the divine glory (this is God in the cloud that led Israel out of Egypt Exodus 16:7, 10; Leviticus 9:6, 23; Numbers 16:19), God Himself, with them.  All the patriarchs are Jews and Jesus himself is a Jew from the nation of Israel.

Conscience is reliable only when enlightened by the Holy Spirit.

People of Israel:  The descendants of Jacob (who was renamed Israel by God in Genesis 32:28).  The name referred to the entire nation (Judges 5:7), then of the northern kingdom after the nation was divided (1 Kings 12) with the Southern kingdom being called Judah.  After this time and later in New Testament times, Palestinian Jews used the title to indicate they were the chosen people of God,

Paul is about to show that despite Israel’s unbelief and disobedience, God’s promises to her are still valid.

Adopted as sons:  Israel had been accepted as God’s son (Exodus 4:22; Jeremiah 31:9; Hosea 11:1).

Covenants:  Genesis 15:17-21; 17:1-8; Exodus 19:5; 24:1-4; Deuteronomy 29:1-15; Josiah 8:30-35; 24; Numbers 25:12-13; Jeremiah 33:21; Malachi 2:4-5; 2 Samuel 7; 23:5; Psalm 89:3-4, 28-29, 132:11-12; Jeremiah 31:31-34

Promises:  Genesis 12:7; 13:14-17; 17:5-8; 22:16-18; 2 Samuel 7:12, 16; Psalm 110; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5; 31:31-34; Ezekiel 34:23-24; 37:24; Daniel 9:25-27; Micah 5:1-4; Zechariah 9:9-10

Patriarchs:  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and his sons.

IMPORTANT FACT:  Verse 5 has Paul stating that JESUS IS GOD.  No where else is this written in Romans and some scholars even argue if this is in fact what Paul meant (Interesting commentary on this verse HERE)

Other passages explicitly or implicitly affirming the deity of Christ:  Romans 1:4; 10:9; Matthew 1:23; 28:19; Luke 1:35; 5:20-21; John 1:3, 10, 14, 18; 5:18; 8:58; 20:28; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Philippians 2:6; Colossians 1:15-20;2:9; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:2-3, 6, 8; 2 Peter 1:1; Revelation 1:13-18; 22:13