Romans 9 Summary Outline
Section 4: God and Israel—what about Israel? Romans 9-11
Romans 9 theme statement: God is just in choosing Israel to be his redeemer nation
- Romans 9:1-5. At this point in Paul’s letter he voices his great sorrow about Israel. She has such a great heritage (adoption, glory, covenants, Law, religious service, promises, Christ) from God as his choice or elect nation to bring in redemption, yet Israel is not experiencing God’s blessings at this time because she has rejected the way of redemption which is faith in Jesus the Christ, as noted in Romans 3.3 and 9.30-33.
- Romans 9:6-13. Israel’s failure is not evidence that God has failed to keep His word. Israel is still God’s choice nation and in God’s plan. God has the right to select the nation Israel. Paul explains that the line of promise and redemption is through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 50:24; Exodus 33:1; Deuteronomy 6:10; Acts 7:8; many more). These three are related to God through God’s choice, God’s promise, and faith response to him.
- Romans 9:14-29. God cannot be accused of unfairness in selecting Israel. He has the right to choose to whom he will show mercy and to whom he will show wrath. This fact Paul then illustrates in several ways: by Moses pleading for Israel (Exodus 32-33), by Pharaoh rejecting God and God subsequently hardening him so that he let Israel leave (Exodus 7.1;5; 9.12; and others), by God molding the nation Israel for a purpose as a potter does clay (Jeremiah 18.1-12), by God calling out the church made up of Jews and Gentiles as indicated by Paul using Hosea’s words for Gentiles, “not my people” and “not beloved,” (Romans 9.24), and by having a remnant of Israel who will in the future be saved (Romans 9.27).
- Romans 9:30-33. Faith in God’s promises are the needed human response by all people. The Gentiles are not God’s appointed redemptive people, but they believed God and attained righteousness while Israel tried to get righteousness by works instead of by faith. They stumbled over Jesus the Messiah. Though God chose Israel to be his redemptive nation, the way of individual salvation is by faith in Jesus Messiah, the stone of stumbling and rock of offense. Israel as a nation has temporarily stumbled at him and Gentiles have believed in him.
Romans Main Lessons to Remember
Romans 9, God’s Promise and Israel
- Romans 9 is not about choosing individuals for everlasting salvation. God called, chose, and formed the nation Israel through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be the nation through whom he will redeem the world—the redemptive nation. (Romans 9.1-13; 11.1-2)
- God is free and sovereign. He can do what he wants to do. He is the creator and king over all creation. A free person can choose to limit himself in order to accomplish his good will. Human free will does not intrude upon that. God has planned that people may freely choose him and this honors God more than He making all choices for them. Our choices will either honor God or bring dishonor to him (Romans 9.6, 14-27).
- God formed the church, a unique spiritual body made up of Jews and Gentiles, not to replace Israel in His plan, but to prod Israel to realize that righteousness is only gained by faith (Romans 9.23-24; 10.19; 11.11).
- Israel’s present unbelief did not annul God’s purpose for Israel. She continues to hold her redemptive purpose in God’s plan. Romans 9-11 teach that Israel will be grafted back into their root. There is a remnant that will accept the Messiah in the future. We ought to pray for Israel and witness to them (Romans 9.27; Romans 11.1-2, 11.23-32).
- Eternal salvation (justification) is by faith for both Jew and Gentile (Romans 9.30-33.