We recently, here at A.C.P., had a request by one of our readers of Thy Kingdom Come, to do an expose on Romans Chapter 9. This reader indicated that he has been studying said chapter and that he had some questions that he would like us to concentrate on and possibly clarify what the Apostle Paul is, in effect, saying to us. So, let me begin by breaking this chapter in segments. First, Paul writes about His sorrow for his fellow kinsmen that are unwilling to accept the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, secondly from vs 4 to vs 13 Paul is talking about the election of God’s people, thirdly vs 14 through vs 24 Paul explains the mercy that God shows toward His people. Lastly the remainder of the chapter deals with the restoration of Israel, God’s elect, in and through Jesus Christ. We should also realize that Paul in his writings uses Israelites and Jew interchangeably; a fact that often confuses people.
Thus, when Paul laments his brethren and kinsmen in the first three verses, Paul is talking about those of the Jewish persuasion, for it was from among them that Paul experienced his greatest opposition. In Phil. 3:5 Paul makes the statement that he is an Israelite, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, but a Pharisee by persuasion, and in Acts 21:39, Paul claims to be a Jew. “But Paul said, I am a man who is a Jew of Tarsus”, also Acts 22:3. So, it is clear here in Rom. 9 that Paul’s sorrow is for unbelieving Jews, his brethren and kinsmen according to the flesh and being ruled by law.
In the following verses Paul starts to explain that the Israelites are God’s chosen and that to them and them alone pertains the adoption, (as sons of God), and the glory, and the Covenants and the Law and promises. These attributes pertain to Israel only. In Isa. 45 it says, “For Jacob my servants sake and Israel my elect” (Isa. 45:4), and in Amos 3:2 God said “You only, [meaning Israel], have I known.
Now in verses 6 and 7 we come to some very tricky verses when Paul writes that they are not all Israel that are of Israel. The mainstream Evangelical churches use these verses as their building block for their multicultural, multiracial churches and back them up with Gal. 3:7,8, 26-29 where is says that if someone is a believer he or she is a son of Abraham. These churches claim that Jewry is all that is left of Israel and claim that the church itself is Spiritual Israel. How foolish! When Paul wrote these words, he was using them in a negative tense. That meant that we must subtract from Israel those that are not Israelites. Those non-Israelites go back a long way in the history of God’s people, even before Jacob and his family moved to Egypt because of the famine. A case in point is Judah’s son Shelah, that son was a mixed, his mother being a Canaanite, a cursed people. (Gen. 9:25). But Shelah stayed with his father, went with the whole family to Egypt and was allotted a portion of the land given to Judah after they returned from Egypt. Furthermore, during the Maccabean period around 125 BC all the Edomites and Canaanites were forcibly induced into Jewry at that time. When our Lord walked on Earth, all those people claimed to be from Israel. “I know the blasphemy of them who say they are Jews and are not, but are the Synagogue of Satan.” [Jesus speaking] (Rev. 2:9) Thus we can see that instead of adding a multi-cultural or multi-racial segment to the church and call it spiritual Israel, we should instead remove the imposter from among the body of Christ, the Church.
In the following 11 verses, vs 14 through vs 24 Paul goes to great length to explain God’s mercy. He, Paul, is very firm and thorough in pointing out that God in fact is very selective in His mercy and that He bestows it on whomever He wishes, all to the glory of His own name. In verse 17 he shows that He raised up Pharaoh, the most powerful Potentate of his time, to show forth His own Glory and Power to all the world. We can read the story of that event in the Book of Exodus, mostly chapter 5 through chapter 12. These events took place in a relevantly short period until God showed His power to the world by destroying Pharaoh and his army and showing forth His mercy to Israel. At that time, not even a nation yet but a gathering of tribes chosen beforehand to become God’s Kingdom nation. Now, in vs 22 we read that God is extremely patient in showing forth His wrath to those vessels of wrath fitted for destruction. Foremost among the vessels of wrath are Edomite and Canaanite peoples. For over 3500 years God and His Elect have suffered the indignities of those accursed peoples, but in the fullness of time, according to God’s plan, their destruction will come to show God’s power and glory and His mercy to His Elect, those who have gone through the sieve of time and having the dross removed, and called the Remnant. (Isa. 10:21-23). The Remnant, according to Paul in verse 24, being the called-out ones both of the Jew (Judahites), and Gentiles, are dispersed Israelites.
In the remainder of the chapter Paul goes to great length to quote the prophets Hosea, and Isaiah. Isaiah talks here mainly about the Remnant that the Lord will save, while Hosea in the first three chapters goes to great length to explain the restoration of the people of Israel to God. These people were for their sin and idolatry cast away by God and banned from their Palestinian homeland and through their migrations and wanderings, they lost complete sight of their heritage and their God and became to be called Gentiles. But God never forgot them and it was for that reason He sent His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus the Christ, to save and redeem them that were lost. In John 10 we read Jesus saying, “Verily, verily, I am the door of the sheep.” (vs 7), and “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (vs 11), “I am the good shepherd and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” (vs 14), “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (vs 27).
It is from among the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Scandinavian and kindred peoples that Christ has for better than the thousand years found the greatest following, so it stands to reason that these so-called Gentiles are the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. (Mat. 15:24; Jer. 50:6). Paul finishes this chapter by stating that the Gentiles, (the Lost Sheep) have attained righteousness before God through faith. But Israel, in this case Jewry, has not attained the same because they sought it through works by the Law and not by Faith.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8-9)