Bible Study

Romans 9:15

Interesting passage—For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” (Romans 9:15, EMTV)
A1 Start
B1 Prayer
B2 Context
B3 Historical setting
B4 Grammar
B5 Plain, normal sense
A2 Romans
B1 Theme
C1 The Gospel
C2 Most commentators see Galatians as the shorter summary and Romans as the long treatise.
C3 Theme verse: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, both to the Jew first and to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17, EMTV)
B2 Author
C1 The author is the Holy Spirit
C2 The writer is Paul, the Apostle
C3 The amanuensis, scrivener, the penman is Tertius. I, Tertius, the one writing this epistle, greet you in the Lord. (Romans 16:22, EMTV)
B3 Place written and to whom written.
C1 Written in Corinth (though others have suggested Ephesus or some other place).
D1 Erastus is mentioned as most likely from Corinth. Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick. (2 Timothy 4:20, EMTV),
D2 Having resigned the position of city treasurer to travel and minister with Paul. And having sent to Macedonia two of those who were ministering to him, Timothy, and Erastus, he himself stayed on for a time in Asia. (Acts 19:22, EMTV)
D3 See. All of which suggest Corinth.
E1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, (Romans 16:1, EMTV). Cenchrea is near Corinth.
E2 Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, the brother. (Romans 16:23, EMTV)
E3 I thank God that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius, (1 Corinthians 1:14, EMTV)
C2 Written to saints in Rome
D1 Many suggest the date of year 57
D2 Compare
E1 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years, night and day I did not cease, with tears, exhorting each one. (Acts 20:31, EMTV). Paul was in Ephesus for 3 years.
E2 Now when he had gone over that region and encouraged them with many words, he came to Greece and stayed three months. And when the Jews plotted against him as he was about to sail to Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. (Acts 20:2-3, NKJV). Paul was in Greece for 3 months.
E3 For Macedonia and Achaia thought it good to make some contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. For they thought it good, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles shared in spiritual things, they are obligated also to minister to them in material things. Therefore, having finished and having sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. (Romans 15:26-28, EMTV). The offering for the poor in Jerusalem appears to be complete.
B4 Why written
C1 Judaizers were corrupting the Gospel.
C2 To clarify issues regarding Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians
B5 Outline
C1 Bridgeway Bible Commentary
D1 1:1-17—Paul introduces himself and his subject
D2 1:18-3:20—Humankind’s sinful condition
D3 3:21-5:21—The way of salvation
D4 6:1-8:39—The way of holiness
D5 9:1-11:36—A problem concerning Israel
D6 12:1-15:13—Christian faith in practice
D7 15:14-16:27—Plans, greetings, and farewell
C2 Utley The Divine Purpose for All Humanity (Romans 9:1-11:32)
D1 The election of Israel (Romans 9:1-33)
E1 Real heirs of faith (Romans 9:1-13)
E2 Sovereignty of God (Romans 9:14-26)
E3 God’s universal plan includes the heathen (Romans 9:27-33)
D2 The salvation of Israel (Romans 10:1-21)
E1 God’s righteousness vs. mankind’s righteousness (Romans 10:1-13)
E2 God’s mercy necessitates messengers, a call for world missions (Romans 10:14-18)
E3 Israel’s continued disbelief in Christ (Romans 10:19-21)
D3 The failure of Israel (Romans 11:1-36)
E1 The Jewish remnant (Romans 11:1-10)
E2 Jewish jealousy (Romans 11:11-24)
E3 Israel’s temporary blindness (Romans 11:25-32)
E4 Paul’s outburst of praise (Romans 11:33-36)
C3 Constable’s Commentary The vindication of God’s righteousness chapters. 9-11
D1 Israel’s past election chapter 9
E1 God’s blessings on Israel 9:1-5
E2 God’s election of Israel 9:6-13
E3 God’s freedom to elect 9:14-18
E4 God’s mercy toward Israel 9:19-29
E5 God’s mercy toward the Gentiles 9:30-33
D2 Israel’s present rejection chapter 10
E1 The reason God has set Israel aside 10:1-7
E2 The remedy for rejection 10:8-15
E3 The continuing unbelief of Israel 10:16-21
D3 Israel’s future salvation chapter 11
E1 Israel’s rejection not total 11:1-10
E2 Israel’s rejection not final 11:11-24
E3 Israel’s restoration assured 11:25-32
E4 Praise for God’s wise plans 11:33-36
A2 Notes on Romans 9:11-23
B1 The first 10 verses deal with
C1 Paul’s sorrow that most Jews have rejected their Messiah—Jesus.
C2 God has not failed, because most Jews have rejected their Messiah—Jesus.
B2 Views
C1 Calvinist view (mainly centered on Romans 9:10-24). This is done out of greater context because it gives the appearance of double predestination without any human involvement.
D1 Of John Piper, R. C. Sproul, and many others
D2 Absolutely conclusive proof of double predestination (God chooses/predestines/elects some for heaven and some for hell).
Article 6: God’s Eternal Decree
The fact that some receive from God the gift of faith within time, and that others do not, stems from his eternal decree. For “all his works are known to God from eternity” (Acts 15:18; Ephesians 1:11). In accordance with this decree God graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of the elect and inclines them to believe, but by a just judgment God leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen. And in this especially is disclosed to us God’s act—unfathomable, and as merciful as it is just—of distinguishing between people equally lost. This is the well-known decree of election and reprobation revealed in God’s Word. The wicked, impure, and unstable distort this decree to their own ruin, but it provides holy and godly souls with comfort beyond words.
D4 Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 3, Articles 1,3, & 7
I. God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin; nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.
VII. The rest of humanity, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.
D5 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith Chapter 3, Articles 1, 3, & 4
1. God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree. (Isaiah 46:10; Ephesians 1:11; Hebrews 6:17; Romans 9:15, 18; James 1:13; 1 John 1:5; Acts 4:27, 28; John 19:11; Numbers 23:19; Ephesians 1:3-5)
3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his glorious grace; others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.
(1 Timothy 5:21; Matthew 25:34; Ephesians 1:5, 6; Romans 9:22, 23; Jude 4)
4. These angels and men thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished. (2 Timothy 2:19; John 13:18)
C2 Reformed Arminian
D1 Our passage—For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” (Romans 9:15, EMTV)
D2 Context
E1 Immediate context
And not only this, but also Rebecca, having conceived from the one man, our father Isaac; (for the children not yet being born, nor having done anything good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? By no means! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to be answering back against God? Shall the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Or does not the potter have the right over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and the other for dishonor? But what if God, wanting to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and so that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not only of the Jews, but also of the Gentiles? (Romans 9:10-24, EMTV)
E2 Greater context (Chapters 9, 10, and 11)
E3 Then the whole epistle to the Romans
E4 Then the whole New Testament
E5 Then the whole Bible
A3 Questions
B1 After reading our passage, the immediate contest (Romans 9:10-24), the greater (topic) context (Romans 9, 10, and 11) and all of Romans, then who is Paul writing about—individuals or nations/groups?
B2 In Romans 9:1-5 is Paul speaking of individuals or the nation of Israel? (particularly Romans 9:3-4)
B3 In Romans 9:30-32 is Paul speaking of individuals or the nation of Israel?
B4 Read these cross references.
C1 And the LORD said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:23, NKJV). Where is this quote in our passage? (It is quoted in Romans 9:11-12)
C2 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. “I have loved you,” says the LORD. “Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” Says the LORD. “Yet Jacob I have loved; But Esau I have hated and laid waste his mountains and his heritage for the jackals of the wilderness.” Even though Edom has said, “We have been impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places,” Thus says the LORD of hosts: “They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever. Your eyes shall see, and you shall say, ‘The LORD is magnified beyond the border of Israel.’ (Malachi 1:1-5, NKJV). Where is this quoted in our passage? (It is quoted in Romans 9:13).
C3 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the LORD. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! “The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, “if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. “And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, “if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it. (Jeremiah 18:1-10, NKJV). Where is this quoted in our text? (It is quoted in Romans 9:21).
C4 Does God decree what these nations do or see what they do? (He sees what they do. It is from a corporate view of the nation, not individuals).
C5 In the potter passage in Jeremiah does God decree or give conditions about God’s judgment?
C6 What happens if they don’t repent?
C7 How does this passage help us define God’s sovereignty?
C8 According to the context of Jeremiah 18:1-10, what decision did Israel make? (“Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now everyone from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.” ‘” And they said, “That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart.” (Jeremiah 18:11-12, NKJV)
B5 What Romans 9:7 say about the DNA descendants of Abraham or someone else? Do all DNA Jews receive the promise? What is the promise? See
C1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3, NKJV)
D1 You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ (Acts 3:25, EMTV)
D2 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying that, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” (Galatians 3:8, EMTV)
C2 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. (Genesis 17:19, NKJV)
B6 In Romans 9:7-13 what do you see regarding selection?
B7 In Romans 9:11 does purpose refer to salvation or to something else? What is that something else? Is it Messiah’s line of ancestry?
C1 We learn that God has a purpose. What was this purpose?
D1 Descendants for Abraham, as God promised.
D2 A chosen nation. God was choosing a particular nation for His reasons.
D3 The Messiah, the promised redeemer was to come through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
C2 This purpose was carried out by God choosing Jacob over Esau.
C3 It had nothing to do with what Esau and Jacob did or did not do.
C4 God had a plan. He had a purpose which was going to stand, remain, continue. That purpose was to choose a nation and further to have the Messiah be born from that nation. See Romans 9:7-8 for the part of the plan that is applied in this passage. See
“The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; “but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; (Deuteronomy 7:7-9, NKJV)
C5 The Bible does not here refer to these individual’s personal salvation. God is talking about nations and His purpose. God did not choose the nation of Edom for the Messiah or for the chosen nation (Israel); He chose the nation of Israel for this. Why did He choose Israel over Edom? (The Scriptures do not say).
C6 The Greek word for children is not in the text. It has been supplied. The word for born/procreate is in the text. Instead of children one could supply the word nations as in Romans 9:12.
B8 In Romans 9:12 did Esau the individual even serve Jacob? (No). The quote is from Genesis 25:23 (NKJV) And the LORD said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.”
B9 Romans 9:13
C1 Where does this quote come from? (“I have loved you,” says the LORD. “Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” Says the LORD. “Yet Jacob I have loved; (Malachi 1:2, NKJV).
C2 How are we to understand the words love and hate? (This is a Hebrew idiom. Compare
D1 If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the unloved, and if the firstborn son is of her who is unloved Deuteronomy 21:15 (NKJV)
D2 He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly. Proverbs 13:24 (NKJV)
D3 He that loves his life shall lose it, and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it for eternal life. John 12:25 (EMTV)
D4 YET But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage for the jackals of the wilderness.” Malachi 1:3 (NKJV). Here God is speaking of a nation not a person.
B10 In Romans 9:14 is God unrighteous because He chose Jacob instead of Esau? Defend your answer. Compare Obadiah 1:1-21.
B11 Romans 9:15
C1 Is there a plan or conditions for God’s mercy or is God just choosing according to the mystery of His will (as a Calvinist would answer)?
C2 Where is this quoted from? The quote is taken from here: Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Exodus 33:19 (NKJV)
C3 What is the condition? Behold, his soul which is proud is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4KJ2000). Compare: Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38.
C4 Whose standards does God use for choosing? (His standards). But the Scripture has confined all under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Galatians 3:22 (EMTV)
B12 Romans 9:16 Can we choose on our own to God’s special person?
B13 Romans 9:17 Does this passage about Pharaoh refer to him alone or to all people? (It refers to Pharaoh but can be applied to others. Pharaoh met God’s conditions for judgment. His judgment was to harden. Pharaoh chose to harden his heart before God hardened it (But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said Exodus 8:15 (NKJV). God had backed off on many plagues after Pharaoh had pleaded with Moses to do so, but Pharaoh would then change his mind and rebel again, so God, in punishment, hardened Pharaoh’s heart to destroy him, which happened in the Red Sea when Pharaoh and his army all died. More on Pharaoh’s hardening here. Compare: Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her time to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:20-23KJ2000). John Wesley in his commentary on this passage writes, God was pleased to raise to the throne of an absolute monarchy, a man, not whom he had made wicked on purpose, but whom he found so, the proudest, the most daring and obstinate of all the Egyptian princes; and who, being incorrigible, well deserved to be set up in that situation, where the divine judgments fell the heaviest. Exodus 9:16.
B14 Romans 9:18-21. Here Paul deals with hardening again. God has a right based on His righteous conditions to bless or harden. If people meet God’s conditions for mercy, God shows mercy. If people meet God’s conditions for hardening, God will harden. Does God have this right? What about God’s love? I have heard and read people who say, “God is love” and expect for Him to just overlook any sin.
B15 Romans 9:22-29.
C1 How do the Gentiles fit into God’s plan? (If they meet His conditions, they can also be saved).
C2 Do those who DNA Jews have an automatic entrance into heaven, a forgiveness of sins, and God’s blessings?
B16 Summary
C1 Paul is speaking of Israel, the nation.
C2 Paul is speaking of choosing a nation.
C3 Paul is speaking of salvation in the sense that there is no guarantee that one goes to heaven and has forgiveness of sins based on the heritage.
C4 Paul is speaking of God’s sovereignty to implement his plan.
C5 Paul is speaking that God’s plan is just and righteous.
Posted by Choco at 14:05 on 30 Oct 15
Romans 9:15
Labels: Sunday School lesson


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