Verse by verse commentary
by Andre Dellerba
The entire Bible is God's Word to us for us to respond to God’s Plan - our choice. God has given us the ability to choose away from His will or choose His will. But He will hold us accountable for the choices we make. Rom. 1&2 sets up the rest of Romans. Rom 3-8 Talks primarily about God’s Plan; Rom. 9 is about the Israelites lack of response to the plan; Rom 10-15 talks about our response to the plan.
What people get confused over is a 3-staged process to accept Jesus Christ as Owner, Lord. They either highlight or emphasize or place more importance on one stage than the others:
1. Plan - God made the redemption plan available to all (John 3:16). And Holy Spirit shines light on the plan so people can see their sinful state, the need for Jesus, and accept the plan of God (John 16:9).
2. Qualifier – People respond to His plan – either a yes or no. This happens a few times in our life. We get the opportunity but the yes is ours to give. This is part of God’s plan, our will to surrender to Him (Rom. 9:32-33; 10:13; Matt. 11:28; 1 Peter 1; Matt. 22:1-13).
3. Executed - When they accept the plan by faith then God executes it by sealing us with Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13) and we do the works that God originally assigned Adam to do as we surrender to Him (Rom. 8:1-28), that we walk in good works (Eph. 2:8-10).
Here is one of many verses talking about the first 3 stages to salvation Romans 1:16 Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God (Stage 1 – Plan) unto salvation (Stage 3 – Executed) to everyone who believes (Stage 2 – Qualifier). When a person does the qualifier (Eph. 1:12) then they are considered the elect of God, i.e. a Christian, child of God, predestined by God (Eph. 1:5; Matt. 22:13). If they don’t believe He hands them over (Rom. 1:21-24).
Rom. 8 talks about choosing to walk in the spirit “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1) and what this looks like “brethren, we are debtors--not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom 8:12-13). It is a choice to walk in the spirit. God helps us through Holy Spirit, who also helps us in our prayer (v26). Paul then steps back to talk about how much God loves us and He provided the plan for us to be transformed into the image of His son (v29-39).
Rom. 9: (1) I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, (2) that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. (3) For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, (4) who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; (5) of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
Rom. 9:1-5: Paul is saddened for his kinsmen (the Israelites). Why? For God revealed Himself through them with law, adoption, promises, service and they (a large majority) haven’t recognized The Seed (the Messiah). So Paul goes on to explain the seed and how the Seed came through Israel. The Israelites reject the Messiah because they are saying God made us like this. Paul spends most of the time taking about the implication of those who reject the Seed – God’s plan – uses Esau and Pharaoh as the examples in History. Then ends Rom. 9 talking about the choice they have: either reject the plan - rock of offense or accept the plan - they believe on Him. So ask yourself as you read Romans 9 “WHY is Paul telling them this - to inspire them to do what?” Is it to tell them tough luck God has made you like this or is He encouraging them to reflect on history and change? It is the latter, this is the conclusion of what Paul is talking about in Rom. 9.
Rom 10:1-4 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. (2) For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the END of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
(6) But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, (7) nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "IN ISAAC YOUR SEED SHALL BE CALLED." (8) That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.
v6-8 Not all who are born of Israel are born of Israel - but those who are of the Seed, the Seed (the promise of the Messiah) is what they should be focusing on and not the lineage of Israel. Those who are of Christ these are the children of promise, these are the sons of God. Paul sets them up and then in Rom 10:9 tells them how they can be of Christ. Not Isaac but IN Isaac (the Seed) – huge difference. It is not about lineage but about the Messiah. Also Jacob is the starting point of Israelites (Jacob’s name was changed to Israel), thus uses the starting point to show them the focus is on the Messiah (the Seed) from the very beginning.
(9) For this is the word of promise: "AT THIS TIME I WILL COME AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON." (10) And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac
V9-10 What’s the word of promise? The Messiah would come (“I will come”) by the will of God and noted by the miracle – for example, Sarah would conceive at the old age revealing that it is ordained by God and have a son (Isaac). But the seed didn’t stop at Isaac but continued. Now Rebecca had 2 Sons, where would the seed go through? Notice the importance or emphasis isn’t about either of the people but on the promise, the plan of God. This establishes the importance. It is about the plan of God not the people.
11) (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), (12) it was said to her, "THE OLDER SHALL SERVE THE YOUNGER."
v11-12 - God chose the seed to come through Jacob and said, "Older will serve the younger before they were born." He said this to Rebecca (Jacob was Rebecca’s favorite and Esau was Isaacs. God has no favorites but He chose Isaac to carry the seed). Later Jacob tricked His father Isaac and received the blessing and Isaac unknowingly repeated the same thing the Lord had said before he was born (Gen. 27:29). God set the course of the Seed but Esau didn’t honor it, and actually rebelled against it. He didn’t want to serve but wanted to lead, and ended up wanting to kill Jacob so that those blessings given weren’t going to happen. He didn’t agree with God’s plan and never served Jacob, neither did most of his descendants. Paul is comparing the Israelites to Esau who didn’t recognize nor honor the plan of God. They are focusing on the flesh, the lineage and missing the point of the Messiah being the focus.
(13) As it is written, "JACOB I HAVE LOVED, BUT ESAU I HAVE HATED."
v13 – God loved Jacob but Esau He hated? Just because He felt like it? No, because Esau rejected His plan by not serving Jacob. He not only didn’t hear his mother, but became bitter towards Jacob and sold his own birthright for food (Heb. 12:16). Later didn’t obey his father, but actually dishonoured him, “Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan did not please his father Isaac. So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife in addition to the wives he had (Gen. 28:8-9).
Some may ask, “Did God know that Esau would do this?” Whether He knew about it before or not, who knows. There are times in the scripture where God seems like He didn’t know the outcome, maybe He chose not to know the future of an individual e.g. He regretted making Saul King (1 Sam. 15:11; 35) and for delivering them like the Israelites from Egypt and then wanting to kill them (Ex. 32:10). The point is whether He knows or chooses not to know is not for us to know, we are to respond to His plan.
“Jacob I have loved but Esau I have hated” wasn't written before Esau was born, neither was this in reference to Esau only. Those who received Pauls’ letter would have known this because they studied the scriptures. In the modern church most people have forgotten Paul’s statement 2 Tim. 3:16, and only focus on the New Testament scriptures, thus much error in doctrine has crept in. This was written 1000+ years AFTER Esau was born. It was in reference to not only Esau but all his descendants who were like Esau and rejected the plan of God (Mal. 1:2-3). Paul is comparing these Israelites who are not surrendering to the Messiah (Rom. 10:3-4) to Esau.
Mal 1:1-4 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. "I have loved you," says the LORD. "Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?' Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" Says the LORD. "Yet Jacob I have loved; but Esau I have hated, and laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness." 4 Even though Edom has said, "We have been impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places," Thus says the LORD of hosts: "They may build, but I will throw down; they shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, and the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever.
(14) What shall we say then - Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!
V14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Meaning is God unfair? CERTAINLY NOT, God chose the plan, we are not to choose our own plan or to try another way like “follow the laws to get righteousness” (Rom. 10:3-4) or “Lineage” (Rom. 9:5-6). We are to submit to His plan/His way that He established in and through the Messiah. They probably came across this scripture Deut. 18:18-19 “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. (19) And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.”
(15) For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOMEVER I WILL HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOMEVER I WILL HAVE COMPASSION."
V15 First you need to understand that mercy and compassion are both very good. Mercy is not giving the punishment they deserve, and compassion is helping them out in a situation they are in. Did God show mercy or compassion on Esau? In the beginning both, He still blessed Esau because Esau had enough (Gen. 33:9; Matt. 5:45) and He also gave his descendants Mount Seir as an inheritance and told Israel not to try take it (Deut. 2:5). Then after lots of longsuffering with their rejection of His mercy and compassion (His plan revealed in the Messiah), He became angry with them.
What is interesting with this statement is that God said this to Moses AFTER God was going to show Moses His Manifested Presence (His Glory) Ex. 33:18-19. When Moses sees His glory, he will know His Character and then understand His plan – God is very merciful and compassionate. God is GOOOOOOD!
(16) So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
v16 It is God who shows mercy, it is He who we are to seek mercy from. Having our own self mercy doesn’t mean anything. Thus it is not our will or our effort but it is His mercy (His plan) which should be our focus. Just like Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).
Paul explains that Israelites (not all) are doing their own thing and not submitting to the plan. In Rom. 10:1-4 “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. (2) For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their OWN righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Believing is a conscious choice we make – God has established this from the Garden of Eden. And even after, when He told Cain to rule over sin (Gen. 4:7). God wasn’t joking, or being sarcastic, God says what He means because it was possible. Deut. 30:19 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” Did God mean this? Yes. However every man’s desire has been self serving not God serving (Rom. 3). So God provided the plan.
Esau didn’t respond correctly to God’s plan but tried his own way and put in his own effort in, this was useless. Remember Esau used his own will and his own effort and didn’t submit to God’s plan. In Heb 12:14-17 “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, (see the effort and the will is on God’s plan not ours), without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”
This does not mean a sinner makes no effort to be part of His plan - we are to make an effort (Matt. 11:12; Matt. 22:1-13 Rev. 2 & 3; Matt. 25:1-13; Luke 16:16; 13:24-27; Matt. 7:20-24). Matt. 11:12 Jesus says, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” He is saying that apart from God’s plan we are wasting our effort and desires, it is useless. Acts 17:30 echoes this, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.”
A side note - Believing is our choice to accept His Plan or not. When the Pharisees asked Jesus, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" (29) Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." (John 6:28-29). If you don’t? The wrath of God abides on you (John 3:36)
(17) For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I HAVE RAISED YOU UP, THAT I MAY SHOW MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MAY BE DECLARED IN ALL THE EARTH."
V17 for “this very purpose He raised Pharaoh up” – what purpose? That God reveal His plan to the people, i.e. declare His name in all the earth. What did He do to reveal His plan? He raised Pharaoh up. Now the questions are – 1) Was he raised up from birth for this purpose, meaning God planned his destruction before he was born? If this is the case God made Pharaoh to destroy him, which implies no “will” by Pharaoh to choose. Or 2) God raised him up to a position of power? If this is the case, he places in authority whom He chooses. Through scripture God has done this but not everyone in authority is of God. Or 3) Pharaoh was prideful already and raised him up every time he buckled under the pressure of the plagues/signs? If this is the case God had enough of Pharaoh and instead of destroying him, He chose to use him.
So let’s first establish which of the 3 it is. Looking at the Greek word “Raised” in OT (through the Septuagint) and the NT, it NEVER refers to before birth or raised from birth. 10% of the time referred to as raised to power/authority. Most of the time, 90%, it is referred to as raised from a position of rest or death or collapse (e.g. 1 Cor. 6:14; Job 5:11; Dan 12:2). So from the word “raised” the answer is #3 “Pharaoh raised from a position of collapse/hardened Him”.
So now let’s look at the context - who made this statement and when? This statement was made by Moses in the MIDDLE of the plagues not before (Ex. 9:16). But the tense is past tense “have raised” so when did God raise him up/hardened him? The day before (Ex. 9:12) after the 6th plague. It was in reference to that specific hardening. However God hardened Pharaoh before this – so when was the first time? At the start of the plagues Ex. 7. Recall God told Moses He was going to harden him, not that He has but that He will, “And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I WILL harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go” (Ex. 4:21). Notice – the FUTURE tense “I WILL Harden – not that He has hardened but that He will. Hardened and raised is the same thing per Rom. 9:17-18. So it is definitely #3 “Pharaoh raised from a position of collapse/hardened Him”.
Even before God hardened Pharaoh, Pharaoh was already hard against God’s plan. We know from scripture that Israel crying out to God because “Pharaoh” was suppressing them (Ex. 2:23-24). God had enough of the bully Pharaoh but needed to work His power through a man, Moses. Amo 3:7 “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” God could have wiped him out but decided to use him to glorify His name. God knew that when the pressure was on, Pharaoh would buckle so He hardened him so that he stood strong against the pressure.
Now we know God hardened Pharaoh at the start of the plagues and not before he was born. Now the question is, did God harden him all the time during the plagues or was it dual – meaning did Pharaoh harden his own heart? It was dual, Pharaoh already dealt wickedly with Israel before and 2 times the scripture says that Pharaoh himself hardened his own heart not God; Ex. 8:15 and 9:34, and 6 times God propped him up/hardened him. Even the Philistines many years later knew that the hardness was a result of their own doing, not God’s. “Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart?” (1 Sam. 6:6).
God shows mercy to all, but there is a point where God gives them over to their uncleanness so that they repent and when they don’t then there is a tipping point, destruction point. He is slow to anger and great in mercy, but those who continually reject His plan His wrath abides on them (John 3:36). Romans 1:21-26 sets Romans up, “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (22) Professing to be wise, they became fools, (23) and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (24) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness (notice He didn’t give them up before but AFTER they made the choices to rebel), in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, (25) who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (26) For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.”
Paul is drawing the comparison of Israel to Pharaoh, like a slap in the face to the Israelites. They are rejecting the plan of God (the Messiah) and they too will reap the consequences. Rom 9:33 As it is written: "BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STUMBLING STONE AND ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND WHOEVER BELIEVES ON HIM WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME."
(18) Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
v18 He hardens and has mercy not based on how He feels like it or before they are born. But it is based on what Paul was saying prior “THEREFORE” (therefore is very specific to the “very purpose”) meaning God hardens and has mercy based on how people respond to His Plan (Rom. 1:21-24; 10:2-4). Like he was saying Esau who rejected serving Jacob, God ended up hating; and Pharaoh who rejected Israel and then God used by hardening Him to declare His name. He could have given many examples – but chose what Israel abhors (Pharaoh and Esau) and saying they too are like them if they don’t submit to God’s plan.
(19) You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?"
V19 Why does He find fault when He hardens and has mercy on who He desires. That’s what YOU will say, not what Paul will say but YOU will say. Why? Because it is the wrong question, the real question is, why aren’t they responding to His plan not why are they ending up like this. They are looking at the symptoms and not the cause. The reality is people can resist the will of God – this is not what Paul is saying but what they will say to Him. Paul is saying they ARE resisting God’s will. Trying to absolve their responsibility. Recall Stephen said the same thing to the Israelites Acts 7:6-37 and concludes with Acts 7:51 "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.”
By the way throughout scripture people have resisted God – started with Adam. Due to time, here are 3 examples:
• Asaph said they limited God’s work in their life because of their choice not to submit to God. “Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel” (Ps. 78:41).
• Jesus said the made the word of God (in their life) no effect by their traditions (Mark 7:13). Did you ever think something could make the Word of God powerless in their life? Well their tradition, their choice did because God will not violate choice.
• Jesus (Matt. 13:58) did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
(20) But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"
(21) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
V20-21 Thus why aren’t they responding to His plan, "Nay but, O Man you are you to reply God” Paul is saying that by that very statement they are resisting God. Then talks about the “WHY” made me like this vs. why don’t you obey the plan! “Shall the thing (us) say to him that formed it, "WHY have you made me like this?" Made me like what? Made me Israelite, molded me like I am now therefore I don't have to do anything. Esau was made to serve Jacob and didn’t want to thus God hated him. The potter (God) has power over the clay (them) to mold them based on their response.
v21 The potter (God) based on our inactiveness, our neglect to hear and obey His word - like Esau, like Pharaoh, He has the power to judge us now. Honour or dishonour. The humble to God’s plan will be exalted and those who find their own way are prideful and will be humbled (Ez. 21:26). Why? To bring them to repentance! They are not vessels of destruction - there is a tipping point where they become vessels of destruction. The dishonored vessel doesn’t mean they are vessels of destruction, they still have time to repent.
Jer. 18:1-10 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: (2) "Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words." (3) Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. (4) And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. (5) Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: (6) "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the LORD. "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! (7) The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, (8) if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. (9) And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, (10) if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.
So what does this look like to Christians (look at the condition for vessels of honor) - In 2 Tim. 2:20-21 this honor is in the sight of God. Those who do the plan of God these MAKE THEMSELVES vessels of honor (He is the one working with them – fashioning them into his son but this is our part of his plan) “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”
(22) What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
V22 – Paul now gives us an example of what God can do, not saying it is the only way – “IF” God wanting to show His wrath and make His power known, gives us an example of those who rebel against His word. Why does He make examples of those who rebel? To get us to repent. Once Saul was made a vessel of honor but he rejected the plan of God. God turns on Saul and then God repents that He made him king of Israel (1 Sam. 15:35). So what does God do with vessels of dishonor that cross the line to vessels of destruction? Either 1) Leave them to their own devices; 2) He can wipe them out instantly if they come against Him directly. Like killing Herod instantly for making himself god, or like Ananias who lied to His face. Or 3) He can bring the consequences on them for their arrogance like Neb in Daniel 4 (this is mercy causing them to repent). Or 4) He can hand them over to their own desires, no more trying to stop them and they will feel the consequences of their own decisions like Rom. 1:21-24, 1 Cor. 5:1-5; 1 Tim. 1:20. Or 5) He can use them for the vessels of Mercy. Like Paul is saying, “ENDURING with them”. Meaning He wants to wipe them out but is longsuffering/patient with them so that He can use them to help the vessels of Mercy. Like enduring with the hardness/pride of Pharaoh, to show His name to the world and especially to the Israelites.
(23) and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,
V23 - To make known what? The "riches/the benefits" of His glory ON the vessels of mercy. This plan of God was from the beginning. They are called vessels of mercy because they are seeking His Righteousness (Hos. 10:12). Not that the vessels of mercy are prepared beforehand but that the benefits/“riches” of His glory are prepared beforehand for the vessels of Mercy. God’s Objective from the very beginning was for God to be with us. Intimacy with us (John 17:21), even the name "Immanuel" means "God with us” (Matt. 1:23).
(24) even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
(25) As He says also in Hosea: "I WILL CALL THEM MY PEOPLE, WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, AND HER BELOVED, WHO WAS NOT BELOVED."
(26) "AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, 'YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,' THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD."
V24-26 – EVEN US whom He called - NOT ONLY the Jews but ALSO the Heathens/Gentiles. The result of ALL people who accept His plan will benefit from it. “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, (31) because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead" (Act 17:30-31).
(27) Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: "THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL BE AS THE SAND OF THE SEA, THE REMNANT WILL BE SAVED.
(28) FOR HE WILL FINISH THE WORK AND CUT IT SHORT IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, BECAUSE THE LORD WILL MAKE A SHORT WORK UPON THE EARTH."
V27-28 – because of the choices of many only a remnant will be saved (read Matt. 22:1-13). It is not God’s will that a remnant be saved but it is a result of man’s will. Many of those who should know better, the Israelites through which the plan of God was revealed, have rejected the plan, these are the vessels of destruction. The plan of God is this “Those who accept the Messiah as their Lord will receive His glory (His presence)”, those who don’t the wrath of God abides on them (Rom. 9:33; John 3:36). Why is God so merciful? God desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4). The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that ANY should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9)
(29) And as Isaiah said before: "UNLESS THE LORD OF SABAOTH HAD LEFT US A SEED, WE WOULD HAVE BECOME LIKE SODOM, AND WE WOULD HAVE BEEN MADE LIKE GOMORRAH."
V29 - God left us the Seed – the Plan, the Messiah, so that we don’t come like Sodom and doesn’t want to destroy us like Gomorrah. And giving all the opportunity to respond to His plan. But how can they respond if they haven’t heard (Rom. 10:14). Thus the plea of Paul for laborers
(30) What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; (31) but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. (32) Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. (33) As it is written: "BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STUMBLING STONE AND ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND WHOEVER BELIEVES ON HIM WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME."
V30-33 How do we access the Plan of God – through Law? Or Through faith? Through faith like father Abraham (Gal. 3). The law is good and they are unable to attain it, it shows them their weakness and the need to surrender/have faith in the Seed. The Seed fulfilled the law and was made the sacrifice for those who surrender/ give themselves to Him. And whoever of these that BELIEVE in the plan, believe in the Seed/the Messiah, will not be put to shame. Those who do not believe, reject the plan or try another way like the Israelites (Matt 22:1-13), will stumble and the wrath of God abides on them (John 3:36).
Ch 10 Paul goes on to tell them how he desires that Israel be saved. Because they have zeal, which is good, but not according to knowledge because the scripture reveals the Messiah who they are to trust in and confess. However like he has been saying throughout Romans 9, they are seeking their own way (Rom. 10:3).
(1) Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
(2) For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
(3) For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
(4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
(5) For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "THE MAN WHO DOES THOSE THINGS SHALL LIVE BY THEM."
(6) But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, 'WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?' " (that is, to bring Christ down from above)
(7) or, " 'WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
(8) But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
(9) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
(10) For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
(11) For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES ON HIM WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME."
(12) For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
(13) For "WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED."
(14) How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
(15) And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!"
(16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?"
(17) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.