Before finishing the next part in Romans, I wanted to study Romans 9 before consulting commentaries, theological articles, etc. in order to understand the primary meaning of the passage. I’m not finished, but I thought I would post this until I have time to study it more.
C1 Secular dictionary: Knowledge or awareness of something before its existence or occurrence; prescience. [Source]
C2 Theological/biblical dictionary
D1 Most have a Calvinistic redefining as knowing the future before it happens, but it also has the idea of a predetermined plan.
D2 It is hard to find anything honest.
C3 Greek word with examples
D1 The Greek word is πρόγνωσις prógnōsis. It is used 2 times in the New Testament.
D2 It means to know before something happens.
D3 It is an attribute of God. Personally, It is near blasphemy to believe that God does not have foreknowledge as it is commonly defined. To have it mean “prearrangement” (Source) or When the Bible speaks of God’s foreknowledge it means more than merely that he knows what will happen. Usually God’s foreknowledge is linked with God’s purpose, which means that it is often the same as his pre-determined will (Source) takes away from the simple idea that God truly knows the future before it happens instead of predetermining it. Having a plan is different than predetermining a plan and rendering it certain. Foreknowledge is not causative. See Ed Jarrett, “Arminianism: Foreknowledge, Predestination and Election” This article also addresses some point in this topic of Romans 9.
D4 Bible verses:
E1 How can this verse have foreknowledge mean predetermined? …according to God’s determined plan and predetermined purpose? Acts 2:23 CSB Though he was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail him to a cross and kill him.
E2 1 Peter 1:2 CSB according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient and to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
C1 Secular dictionary: previous determination as if by destiny or fate [Source]
C2 Theological/biblical dictionary: Divine predestination means that God has a purpose that is determined long before it is brought to pass. It implies that God is infinitely capable of planning and then bringing about what he has planned… [Source]
C3 Greek word with examples
D1 The Greek word is προορίζω proorízō. It means to decide beforehand. It is used 6 times in the New Testament.
D2 Bible verses (Acts 4:28, Romans 8:29-30, 1 Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 1:5, and Ephesians 1:11)
E1 Romans 8:29-30 NIV For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
E2 Ephesians 1:5 NIV he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will
Side note topic on Romans 9
B1 We know
C1 God knew the outcome of these two boys before birth
C2 Note that it was before they had done any good or evil
C3 A prophecy was given to Rebecca that older will serve younger
B2 God had a purpose
C1 A choosing not based on works but on God’s call
C2 Teaches us that just because both are sons of Isaac does NOT mean both are chosen. One is the chosen, Jacob, the younger. The DNA relationship does not affect spiritual outcome. God foreknows the future. His foreknowledge is truly knowing the future, not decreeing the future, and having a perfect memory for what was decreed. Truly knowing the future is a character trait of God.
B3 We see a hardening
C1 Hardening is not for heaven or hell, salvation, or damnation.
C2 It appears to be related to a decision on the part of individuals towards God and His ways instead of an arbitrary decision based on some secret will of God.
C3 Romans 11:25 NIV I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,
C4 Ephesians 4:18 NIV They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
B3 Romans 9:15-16 NIV For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
C1 Why does God show mercy?
D1 Asking God for mercy:
E1 Isaiah 55:6-7 NIV Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
E2 Seeking God’s help: Daniel 2:18 NLT He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon.
E3 Psalm 4:1, Psalm 9:3, Psalm 25:16, etc.
E1 Pharaoh did not humble himself, so he was given no mercy: Exodus 10:3 NIV So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
E2 Daniel did humble himself, so he was given mercy. Daniel did not merit this mercy of answered prayer, but it was a condition for receiving God’s mercy: Daniel 10:12 NIV Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.
D3 Truth: Matthew 9:13 NLT Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.
D4 Showing mercy to others: Matthew 5:7 NIV Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
D5 A contrast of one who does not seek God’s mercy and one who does. One depends on what he does; the other depends on his plea for mercy. Luke 18:9-14 NIV To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
C2 Why doesn’t God show mercy?
D1 Not seeking God’s help and trusting Him: Isaiah 27:11 NLT The people are like the dead branches of a tree, broken off and used for kindling beneath the cooking pots. Israel is a foolish and stupid nation, for its people have turned away from God. Therefore, the one who made them will show them no pity or mercy.
D2 Seeking false gods and sinful pleasures: Jeremiah 16:5, 10-12 NLT This is what the LORD says: “Do not go to funerals to mourn and show sympathy for these people, for I have removed my protection and peace from them. I have taken away my unfailing love and my mercy. … 10 “When you tell the people all these things, they will ask, ‘Why has the LORD decreed such terrible things against us? What have we done to deserve such treatment? What is our sin against the LORD our God?’ 11 “Then you will give them the LORD’s reply: ‘It is because your ancestors were unfaithful to me. They worshiped other gods and served them. They abandoned me and did not obey my word. 12 And you are even worse than your ancestors! You stubbornly follow your own evil desires and refuse to listen to me.
D3 Concealing sins instead of confessing them: Proverbs 28:13 NLT People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
D4 Not showing mercy to others: Exodus 1:13 NLT So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy.
D5 Refusing to give God credit for what He has done, does, and will do, and, not being thankful for what He has done.
E1 Romans 1:21 NIV For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
E2 Punishment starts here: Romans 1:24 NIV Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
D6 Hardening their hearts (resisting the Holy Spirit [Acts 7:51] and refusing to believe [Numbers 14:11 NIV version and John 10:26 NET version]): Psalm 95:7-11 NET For he is our God; we are the people of his pasture, the sheep he owns. Today, if only you would obey him! 8 He says, “Do not be stubborn like they were at Meribah, like they were that day at Massah in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors challenged my authority, and tried my patience, even though they had seen my work. 10 For forty years I was continually disgusted with that generation, and I said, ‘These people desire to go astray; they do not obey my commands.’ 11 So I made a vow in my anger, ‘They will never enter into the resting place I had set aside for them.
D7 It is a principle of God. The punishment God gives is frequently delusion. God is the God of truth. When truth is rejected, people turn to imagination, a lie that they believe is truth. We note this today in that for many people truth is their opinion. 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 NIV For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
E1 Proverbs 16:5 NIV The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
E2 Luke 18:14 NLT I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
C3 Why did Jacob receive mercy, but Esau did not?
D1 Jacob confessed sins (it took until he was an old man), built an altar, believed God (shown in that he obeyed God), etc.
D2 Esau did none of the above.
C4 Why do some receive mercy today?
D1 After God initiates salvation, some do not resist God. They believe God, obey God (repent and believe the Gospel [Mark 1:14-15]), place their trust into Jesus alone (Acts 4:12). The others resist because of pride and love of sinful pleasures.
D2 It is not the secret will of God. God wants all people to repent.
E1 Acts 17:30 NIV In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
E2 Real repentance is seen by a change of life in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds: Acts 26:20 NIV First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.
D3 Belief that God (Yahweh) exists:
E1 Hebrews 11:6 NIV And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
E2 Exodus 5:2 NIV Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go.
D4 God shows mercy to all but most resist and refuse to believe: Romans 11:30-32 NLT Once, you Gentiles were rebels against God, but when the people of Israel rebelled against him, God was merciful to you instead. 31 Now they are the rebels, and God’s mercy has come to you so that they, too, will share in God’s mercy. 32 For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone.
C5 God has a purpose as well for choosing. Consider:
What was/is God’s purpose in election; what is his purpose for choosing people? 1 Peter 2:9-10 gives at least a partial answer to that.
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV
We are a chosen, or elect, people so that we can declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness and into his light. In the parable of the wedding banquet, who was it that would be praising the king who had invited them? It was the chosen ones. But would they praise because they were chosen, or were they chosen because they were the ones who would praise him? It is likely that it is the later; the ones not chosen couldn’t be bothered to come and were likely not inclined to praise the king. (Source)
C6 I believe that God created humans to have fellowship with Him and to serve Him forever. God does NOT need fellowship. It seems that He enjoys it.
D1 1 Corinthians 1:9 CSB God is faithful; you were called by him into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
D2 2 Corinthians 13:13 CSB The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
D3 1 John 1:3 CSB what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
A Few Thoughts on Romans 9
Romans 9, foreknowledge, predestination, God’s purposes, God’s reasons for His choice