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And yet the word which God had spoken, that he would be a God to Abraham and to his seed, did not therefore fall to the ground for the blessings wrapt up in that great word, being communicated by God as a benefactor, he was free to determine on what head they should rest, and accordingly entailed them upon Isaac, and rejected Ishmael. And herein God is to be considered, not as a rector and governor, distributing rewards and punishments according to his revealed laws and covenants, but as an owner and benefactor, giving to the children of men such grace and favour as he has determined in and by his secret and eternal will and counsel: both the favour of visible church-membership and privileges, which is given to some people and denied to others, and the favour of effectual grace, which is given to some particular persons and denied to others. Will the promises of Romans 8 stand? For who can resist his will?” He answers in verse 21, “Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?”. My one aim on this leave was to study Romans 9 and write a book on it that would settle, in my own mind, the meaning of these verses. Commentary on Romans 9:14-24. It is a common charity that begins at home this is something higher, and more noble and generous. They were in this respect greatly honoured, that, while other nations were worshipping and serving stocks, and stones, and devils, and they knew not what other idols of their own invention, the Israelites were serving the true God in the way of his own appointment. 3. 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? This was the great privilege of the Jews, that Christ was of kin to them. Or, the covenant of peculiarity, and in that, as in the type, the covenant of grace. That which he was going to assert was not only a great and weighty thing (such solemn protestations are not to be thrown away upon trifles), but it was likewise a secret it was concerning a sorrow in his heart to which none was a capable competent witness but God and his own conscience.--That I have great heaviness, Romans 9:2. Whose are the fathers (Romans 9:5), Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, those men of renown, that stood so high in the favour of God. Though it be cut short, it is clear and plain and, because short, the more easy. It shows him to be a man of a forgiving spirit. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. As God chose Isaac and Jacob, and rejected Ishmael and Esau, so he might and did choose faith to be the condition of salvation and reject the works of the law. Others therefore understand it of the election and rejection of people considered complexly. We are bound, as God hath bound us, to do our utmost for the salvation of all we have to do with but God is bound no further than he has been pleased to bind himself by his own covenant and promise, which is his revealed will and that is that he will receive, and not cast out, those that come to Christ but the drawing of souls in order to that coming is a preventing distinguishing favour to whom he will. He is debtor to no man, his grace is his own, and he may give it or withhold it as it pleaseth him we have none of us deserved it, nay, we have all justly forfeited it a thousand times, so that herein the work of our salvation is admirably well ordered that those who are saved must thank God only, and those who perish must thank themselves only, Hosea 13:9. Secondly, What he does for them he does before prepare them to glory. He could wish himself no more remembered among the saints, his name blotted out of the church-records though he had been so great a planter of churches, and the spiritual father of so many thousands, yet he would be content to be disowned by the church, cut off from all communion with it, and have his name buried in oblivion or reproach, for the good of the Jews. And yet only a remnant shall be saved for many are called, but few are chosen. If only some, what makes one person a child of promise and another not? The expression is very emphatic, and the repetition makes it more so: I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. (7.) What are the conditions they must meet to be the “children of promise”? I absorbed it from the independent, self-sufficient, self-esteeming, self-exalting air that you and I breathe every day of our lives in America. Christ himself is to some a stone of stumbling, for which he quotes Isaiah 8:14,28:16. Now the difficulty is to reconcile the rejection of the unbelieving Jews with the word of God's promise, and the external tokens of the divine favour, which had been conferred upon them. That repliest against God. (2.) There is a difficult section in Paul's letter to the saints at Rome. But never could give an account, how, or by what means, I was, thus convinced, not in the least imagining at the time, nor a long time after, that there was any extraordinary influence of God’s Spirit in it but only that now I saw further, and my reason apprehended the justice and reasonableness of it. But there might be colour for the objection against his arguing for the sovereignty of God in giving and withholding differencing and preventing grace and the objection is commonly and readily advanced against the doctrine of distinguishing grace. 9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. Romans 9:6 "Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. He concludes like an orator, What shall we say then? In Romans 9:11-13 Paul has asserted that God elected Jacob butnot Esau and that this election was not due to any works done bythem at all; in fact it was done before they were born. Margin, He will finish the account. Israel is my son, Exodus 4:22. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone 33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. And the giving of the law. For this he had great heaviness and continual sorrow. A serious conundrum for those that deny the sovereignty of God in choosing who will be saved, this verse must be approached with great care. Romans chapter 10 is actually the heart of a three-chapter passage, Romans chapters 9-11. Both lay struggling alike in their mother's womb, when it was said, The elder shall serve the younger, without respect to good or bad works done or foreseen, that the purpose of God according to election might stand--that this great truth may be established, that God chooses some and refuses others as a free agent, by his own absolute and sovereign will, dispensing his favours or withholding them as he pleases. If we want a steady heart in an unsteady world, among unsteady people, during unsteady days, we need to be upheld by God. He denies the consequences, and proves the denial. This is to be understood especially of the promise of God, which by subsequent providences may be to a wavering faith very doubtful but it is not, it cannot be, made of no effect at the end it will speak and not lie. A blessed change! Those whom he hath called (Romans 9:24) for whom he did predestinate those he also called with an effectual call: and these not of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles for, the partition-wall being taken down, the world was laid in common, and not (as it had been) God's favour appropriated to the Jews, and they put a degree nearer his acceptance than the rest of the world. Amen. [2.] God, in his eternal counsels, has taken an account of the children of men, allotted them to such or such a condition, to such a share of privileges and, as they come into being, his dealings with them are pursuant to these counsels: and he will finish the account, complete the mystical body, call in as many as belong to the election of grace, and then the account will be finished. He appeals likewise to his own conscience, which was instead of a thousand witnesses. Who then is? Such a difference did God put between those two nations, that both descended from the loins of Abraham and Isaac, as at first there was a difference put between Jacob and Esau, the distinguishing heads of those two nations. God would, by all this, serve the honour of his name, and manifest his power in baffling the pride and insolence of that great and daring tyrant, who bade defiance to Heaven itself, and trampled upon all that was just and sacred. God forbid. 2. By showing how this rejection of the Jews, and the taking in of the Gentiles, were foretold in the Old Testament, Romans 9:25-29. The Gentiles did neither will it, nor run for it, for they sat in darkness, Matthew 4:16. The eternal damnation of sinners will be an abundant demonstration of the power of God for he will act in it himself immediately, his wrath preying as it were upon guilty consciences, and his arm stretched out totally to destroy their well-being, and yet at the same instant wonderfully to preserve the being of the creature. Because of their relation to them: My brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh. The assuming of Christian churches into the divine favour, and the spreading of the gospel in other nations, was a work which God would likewise finish, and be known by his name JEHOVAH. (2.) Romans 10:9, ESV: "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Our duty is now, under the gospel, summed up in much less room than it was under the law the covenant was abridged and contracted religion is brought into a less compass. That is the gospel of Romans 9. When Christ said to the Jews (Matthew 23:32), Fill you up then the measure of your father, that upon you may come all the righteous blood (Romans 9:35), he did, as it were, endure them with much long-suffering, that they might, by their own obstinacy and wilfulness in sin, fit themselves for destruction. It becomes us to submit to him, not to reply against him to lie down under his hand, not to fly in his face, nor to charge him with folly. The promises and threatenings shall have their accomplishment and, one way or other, he will magnify the law and make it honourable. How they attained to righteousness, notwithstanding: By faith not by being proselyted to the Jewish religion, and submitting to the ceremonial law, but by embracing Christ, and believing in Christ, and submitting to the gospel. To them we lie under special engagements, and we have more opportunity of doing good to them and concerning them, and our usefulness to them, we must in a special manner give account. Contributed by C. Philip Green on Oct 22, 2020. based on 1 rating. Is there really now no condemnation, and will there be none tomorrow? Vessels of honour must to eternity own themselves vessels of mercy. 14 What shall we say then? He was a child promised (so were many others), and he was also conceived and born by force and virtue of the promise, and so a proper type and figure of those who are now counted for the seed, even true believers, who are born, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God--of the incorruptible seed, even the word of promise, by virtue of the special promise of a new heart: see Galatians 4:28. That he will contract it not only finish it, but finish it quickly. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? 9:9: For this is the word of the promise - By the power of which Isaac was conceived, and not by the power of nature. One happened in seminary and turned my mental world upside down. It does not follow that, because they are the seed of Abraham, therefore they must needs be the children of God, though they themselves fancied so, boasted much of, and built much upon, their relation to Abraham, Matthew 3:9; John 8:38,39. II. He would be willing to undergo the greatest misery to do them good. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. To vindicate the righteousness of God, in showing mercy to whom he will, the apostle appeals to that which God himself had spoken, wherein he claims this sovereign power and liberty. Vessels of mercy--filled with mercy. 2. If it is ultimately God’s unconditional, free, sovereign electing mercy, then is he unjust? Art thou able to fathom such a depth, dispute such a case, to trace that way of God which is in the sea, his path in the great waters?" It was likewise the honour of the Jews, and one reason why Paul had a kindness for them, that, seeing God blessed for ever would be a man, he would be a Jew and, considering the posture and character of that people at that time, it may well be looked upon as a part of his humiliation. Bibliography InformationHenry, Matthew. Grace does not run in the blood; nor are saving benefits always found with outward church privileges. (2.) Wherein the holy happy people of God differ from other people, it is God and his grace that make them differ. Romans 9:9. If it be his pleasure to discard them as not a people, and not obtaining mercy, their knocking off themselves was no resistance of his will. Chapter 9 brings a slight shift in focus to the Book of Romans. All God's reasons of mercy are taken from within himself. Ishmael was a child of the flesh, conceived by Hagar, who was young and fresh, and likely enough to have children. The other happened in the fall of 1979 and led to my coming to serve this church. (6.) … If God, in dealing with the children of men, do thus, in an arbitrary manner, choose some and refuse others, may it not be suspected that there is unrighteousness with him? Romans 9 comes after Romans 8 for this utterly crucial reason: it shows that the word of God’s covenant with Israel has not failed, because it is grounded in God’s sovereign, electing mercy. We are not to ascribe inefficacy to any word of God: nothing that he has spoken does or can fall to the ground see Isaiah 55:10,11. 9 that . (If you want Gentile salvation, Paul already talked about it in the first five chapters of Romans. Observe the great dignity and honour of the saints, that they are called the children of the living God and his calling them so makes them so. Whatever good comes from God to man, the glory of it is not to be ascribed to the most generous desire, nor to the most industrious endeavour, of man, but only and purely to the free grace and mercy of God. Furthermore, Paul believed that what Scripture says, God says. When we mistake the word, and misunderstand the promise, no marvel if we are ready to quarrel with God about the accomplishment and therefore the sense of this must first be duly stated. The corn reserved for next year's seedings is but little, compared with that which is spent and eaten. For they [are] not all Israel, … It was because it was his own pleasure to deny them softening grace, and to give them up to their chosen affected unbelief. If he hath rejected the Jews, and hid from their eyes the things that belong to their peace, why doth he find fault with them for their blindness? In this salvation of the remnant we are told (Romans 9:28) from the prophet, (1.) 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