Romans 9 is said to be discussing National Israel’s election and not personal salvation – is this the case?

Romans 9 is said to be discussion of the election of National Israel and not of individuals. Is this what is really happening?

The statement was made: “Romans 9 is clearly about Israel. Verse 12: “It was said unto her. The Elder shall serve the younger.” This is God’s promise to Rebecca……not about personal salvation. Christ was going to come from the line of Jacob.”

Yes, the promise was to Rebecca, but it demonstrated how God chooses – in a way which does not depend on the person who wills or the person who runs.

Paul begins this section (Romans 9:6-7) speaking of how God chose who were Abraham’s descendants

Genesis 21:12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named.

Then He tells us that its not the physical children who are considered Israel, but those of the promise (Romans 9:8).

In mentioning promise, Paul brings back to mind Abraham and Sarah having been promised a child (Genesis 18:10).

Then Paul mentioned more of how God chooses – bringing to mind Rebecca and her children – how God chose one over the other before either were born, before either had done anything good or bad. So God’s purpose according to God’s choice would stand – not because of what someone might want or do but because of GOD, He who calls (Romans 9:11).

Then Paul reminds us what God told Moses in Exodus 33:19 – that He has compassion upon whom He has compassion and mercy upon whom He has mercy.

Then in Romans 9:19 Paul addresses those who complain of God’s choice being the deciding factor, rather than what people do: “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?””

Paul’s response reflects back to Isaiah 29:16, 45:9, and Jeremiah 18:6 – The potter is not the same as that which the potter makes. The potter gets to decide, not the pottery. The potter gets to decide for what use he will make vessels – some for honorable use, some for common use, some for mercy, some for wrath and destruction.

And then in Romans 9:24, Paul makes it clear he is not merely discussing national Israel and its election, but the election of mankind – those Jews and Gentiles that God called. He makes this doubly clear by quoting what God said in Hosea – how God said He will call those who were NOT His people as His people.

So the calling of the Jews and Gentiles to be His people is not based upon choices men make, or actions men do – but totally and completely depend upon God. So while the discussion mentions National Israel, it is done to show God chooses whom GOD chooses, for GOD’s reasons and not because someone wants to be saved or because someone does something.


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