-Paul’s longing as he comes out of his expose on life in the Spirit is for his people according to the flesh, the Israelites. As he speaks truth (Romans 9:1), he has great sorrow and unceasing anguish in his heart for his brothers and kinsmen to which belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the worship, the promises, the patriarchs, and the Messiah (Romans 9:2-5). He would give up even his relationship with Christ, he tells us, for their sake if they would receive their Savior. What an incredible statement the writer makes here. I personally wouldn’t want to give up my relationship with Christ Jesus for anything, but he loves them that much even though it had been Jewish people who had tried to take his life for his belief in Messiah Jesus. This plea of course is completely hypothetical and rhetorical. He had just finished a section on how nothing could separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus. So, his relationship is secure and assured even though his desire is for his brethren and their salvation. *Application* Do we love those who persecute and ridicule us this much? If not, we need to check our spirit and do some confession and repentance. Christ’s love extends to all and our love needs to as well.
-Paul now addresses the fact that their rejection of their Messiah does not nullify the Word of God in any way. He goes into an explanation of the promise and how it applies to those of faith. The Father is working things for His glory, even in those He foreknew would reject Him and turn unto their own wide path of destruction. He is the Potter and we are the clay. He has mercy on whomever He wills, and he hardens whomever He wills (Romans 9:18). Some will take this as a double predestination proof text (Romans 9:14-21). There is no doubt that the Lord is sovereign and will get the glory even in those who turn away from His love and mercy. But, He also extends His plan the same to all as we can see in other portions of His Word (John 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9). He is impartial and wants all to know Him in truth (2 Chronicles 19:7, Job 34:19, Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11, Galatians 2:6, Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 3:25, 1 Peter 1:17). Paul’s point in this context should be clear enough. Even though God had given His people every opportunity to accept Him through His Son, they turned away, just as He knew they would, but He works it all together for good in that others are now opened up to the promise of God and the opportunity to hear about salvation by faith. This he verifies by the prophetic Word from the Old Testament passages he cites. The message is this: Christ has become a stumbling block because of their unbelief in Him as their chosen Messiah. *Application* God has an over arching plan and purpose for everything that He wills and allows in His sovereignty. We have limited understanding about all the intricacies of His work to bring Himself ultimate glory, which He deserves. Our job is to love Him with all our heart and share the good news with as many as He will call to Himself for salvation. Salvation is of God, not man. Enter by the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14). Trust in Him!
Verses to Memorize- Romans 9:22-24