Romans 9-Lucien LeSage
1 ¶ I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
a) I say the truth in Christ, I lie not: The apostle Paul, about to begin discourse on the doctrine of predestination, which he had mentioned in the previous chapter, says that what he is about to say is the truth, and that it is no lie. Some of the things he was about to put forth concerning the Jews and the calling of the Gentiles might be very distasteful to the carnal man, but it was the truth. The fact that he prefaced this chapter with such a statement should warn us that it is of something that is hard to hear and that we might as well accept it whether we like it or not.
b) my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost: His conscience was an enlightened one by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit and it beareth witness that he spoke the truth in Christ. We know that the words he penned were of the Holy Spirit.
2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
a) He had great sadness and uninterrupted grief in his heart concerning the Jews, who were his kinsmen according to the flesh. Some may say that he was prejudiced toward the Jews now that he was of the Christian faith and that was the reason for putting forth what this chapter contains; but it was not the case at all.
b) continual: It was not some sudden passion that he had felt, but had carried it for a long time. He knew their end, for he had traveled that path himself. They had rejected the Messiah and were trusting in their own righteousness, which Paul knew would end in their eternal destruction, and this weighed heavy on his heart.
3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
a) Gill says, that what the apostle is saying here is that he wished that he was excommunicated from the church, the body of Christ and its ordinances, that his brethren according to the flesh, might participate in the blessings of Christ.
b) Gill gives some reasons why this does not mean that he wished to be eternally cut-off from Christ in order that his brethren could be saved.
1) He knew that it was an impossible thing.
2) It is inconsistent with his love for Christ and it would make him love the Jews more than Christ.
3) It is contrary not only to the principles of grace, but also to the principles of nature.
c) Another possibility not mentioned by Gill, is that he is relating feeling that he has had in the flesh, and not in the spirit. Have we not entertained the idea that we would trade places with our loved ones in the flesh, especially our children, in order that they might be saved; but realizing that this cannot be and is contrary with our love for Christ and with his command. LUK 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. LUK 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. I believe the reason he relates this to them is to show that he was not prejudiced toward them in the flesh.
4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
a) the adoption: National adoption. Not all Israel was adopted.
b) The promise of the Messiah came through the Jews.
c) EPH 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: EPH 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. EPH 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
a) Whose are the fathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. According to Jewish writers, these are the only three that are referred to as the fathers. They were the descendants of these, which was a privilege, though they placed too much value on it.
b) and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came: From the fathers or from the nation of Israel. A son of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of David, and the son of Mary, as concerning the flesh.
c) who is over all, God blessed for ever: He was the creator of all and therefore is over all. He had another nature which was a divine nature, being God wrapped in human flesh.
6 ¶ Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
a) Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect: Which is what the Arminian believes when men do not respond to their pressure tactics. ISA 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. The reason they do not believe is not that the word is weak with them and cannot overpower their stubborn will.
b) For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: That is, they which are the descendants of Jacob, whose name was Israel, are not all of the Israel that was to be redeemed. PSA 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles. Though they are Israel after the flesh, they are not Israel after the spirit.
7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
a) Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: The Jews placed much value on being of the seed of Abraham, and because of this thought they were children of God. JOH 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? JOH 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. JOH 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. JOH 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. JOH 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. JOH 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. JOH 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. JOH 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. JOH 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
b) Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: This fact did not make them the children of God. It was not through the flesh, but through the election of God. JOH 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
c) but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called: Abraham had two sons which were both from his loins. One was not anymore his son than the other according to the flesh, yet one was chosen over the other, and this chosing was before either had been born. Isaac was according to promise.
8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
a) That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: Both Isaac and Ishmael were both equally the sons of Abraham according to the flesh. But neither was a child of God, though one was, because of the flesh.
b) but the children of the promise are counted for the seed: God had promised Abraham that he would have a son that would from his loins bring forth the Messiah. God had promised Abraham a seed. If it is by promise then he had forethought as to who was to be promised and has nothing to do with works.
9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
a) This son was the product of divine grace and power and not of nature. GEN 18:10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. GEN 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. GEN 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? GEN 18:13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? GEN 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
b) At this time will I come: It was at God’s appointed time.
10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
a) Some may entertain the thought that Ishmael was not the son of Sarah, who was Abraham’s lawful wife and this is the reason, not any choosing on God’s part. But that was not the only case. We have another case in which both had the same father and the same mother, and yet one was chosen over the other, and as we shall see it was before they had done any good or evil.
b) but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac: One woman, Rebecca, had conceived two men, by one man Issac. And not only did they have the same father and mother, but were in the womb of Rebecca at the same time. GEN 25:21 And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. GEN 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. GEN 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. GEN 25:24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. GEN 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. GEN 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.
11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
a) For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil: The children, not the nations that would come from them. This was a personal election before they had done any good or evil. Though two nations are mentioned in Genesis the election had respect to the persons of Esau and Jacob first. It primarily respects the persons of Jacob and Esau, and only in a figurative and secondary sense their seed. No works or parentage played any part here. Esau was not hated and rejected because he had more evil works than Jacob, and Jacob was not loved because he had good works. That played no part in it, for if it had they would have been both hated.
b) that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth: That it would be according to the purpose of God’s choosing. EPH 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: EPH 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, EPH 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
c) not of works, but of him that calleth: Not any works, foreseen or otherwise in Jacob or Esau.
12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
a) GEN 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
a) As it is written: MAL 1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, MAL 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
b) Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated: This verse explains the previous. It is in a spiritual sense and not a temporal sense and of their persons and not their posterity. Hate: Greek = miseo; to detest.
c) Jacob have I loved: God provided for his salvation and God so loved him that he gave his only begotten Son that he should not perish, but have everlasting life.
d) but Esau have I hated: Esau could not have been part of the world that God so loved in John 3:16. PSA 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. PSA 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. PRO 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: PRO 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, PRO 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, PRO 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
e) Same Greek word for hate in Luke 14:26. This is in the spiritual sense. If our father or mother are Christians then they are our brother or sister in Christ. In our flesh we are to honour our parents (Matt 19:19; Luk 18:20). See also Luk 9:52.
14 ¶ What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
a) What shall we say then: Which shows that he is about to introduce an objection that might be raised because of what has been put forth.
b) Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid: This is not an objection of his own, but one that would be raised by the carnal mind. Unrighteousness: Greek = adikia: legal injustice; moral wrongfulness. This objection headed off by Paul should confirm the meaning of what he has said. No carnal man would charge God with unrighteousness if he chose one over the other because of their good works. No that would sit perfectly well with man’s nature. But if he chose one and not the other entirely from his sovereign will, then that would be detested by any carnal man.
c) There is no legal injustice here for if we received according to our works, then we would all perish in the lake of fire. What is in view here is mercy and a sovereign God, and not the worth of man.
d) God forbid: Perish the thought of any unrighteousness with God. It is not unrighteous for God to chose one totally depraved sinner, who deserves eternal damnation, over another totally depraved sinner who equally deserves eternal damnation.
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.
a) For he saith to Moses: This was not some new doctrine that Paul was pushing, but was the doctrine of God himself, for he saith the same to Moses, concerning his sovereignty in showing mercy. EXO 33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. EXO 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
b) I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion: Paul produces this passage of scripture as a proof of a particular and personal election. It is clear that the mercy and compassion that God bestows on undeserving, else it would not be mercy, creatures is determined entirely by the sovereign will of God (notice, I will). This will of electing certain men to salvation must have been from all eternity, since God wills nothing new in time. He knows the beginning from the end. ISA 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, ISA 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: ISA 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
a) So then: The conclusion from the previous verse.
b) it is: Election to salvation (mercy, compassion).
c) not of him that willeth: Election is not based on the will men, or to their desires or inclinations. This does not mean that men do not desire mercy or that God will reject any who see themselves as a hell deserving sinner and who come to Christ for refuge. But this is only the results and not the cause of sovereign election.
d) nor of him that runneth: Neither is it determined by the works of men or the actions of their lives. These are not the motives, conditions, or causes of it.
e) but of God that showeth mercy: It is entirely of God, who sovereignly shows mercy to whom he will. He is not obliged to show mercy in any way by the actions and will of the creature.
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
a) For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh: Paul is further proving the doctrine of sovereign election from the scriptures. This is the same as saying, God saith. EXO 9:12 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses. EXO 9:13 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. EXO 9:14 For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. EXO 9:15 For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. EXO 9:16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
b) Proof of the other branch of predestination, which is reprobation. If some have been chosen to salvation, then others have been left to reprobation. (Choosing is to salvation; leaving is to reprobation.) Notice: I raised thee up. He put him upon the throne of Egypt, promoted him to that high honour and dignity, and preserved him there till the appointed time, while the whole time he thought it was of his own power and might. He hardened Pharaoh’s heart and stirred him up against his people Israel. PSA 75:7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. JUD 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
c) Why?: That I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. He with his host of army was destroyed in the Red Sea while the Israelites walked to the other side in safety. It was such a mighty destruction that it was declared throughout the earth. JOS 2:9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. JOS 2:10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. JOS 2:11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
a) Therefore: Because of what has been put forth from the scriptures the conclusion is.
b) hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy: He does not try to have mercy or wish to show mercy, but hath mercy and the objects are the ones whom he wills to have it.
c) and whom he will he hardeneth: If God is just in hardening Pharaoh’s heart, and this purposed from the beginning, then he is just in hardening anyone’s heart. All of the heart of the unregenerate man is desperately wicked and if God hardens it he does no injustice.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
a) Thou wilt say then unto me: This is another objection that will be brought up by the adversary, which Paul is heading off. This is the objection raised by the natural man. It is also proof of the interpretation of the text and the doctrine being advanced. Carnal men would not raise such objections if divine election was not the doctrine in view, nor would Paul head off such an objection if this were not his reasoning.
b) Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?: Notice the objector in his heart does not say „why doth God” but „why doth he” which shows their distaste for him. „yet”: If he has chosen some to salvation and the rest are left to damnation, then the objector says „why doth he YET find fault?”
c) Men fail to see total depravity.
d) For who hath resisted his will?: His will of purpose, his counsels and decrees, which stand firm and can never be changed nor frustrated and made void. If he hardens whom he will, and there is no resisting his will of purpose, the objector will say that the fault does not lie in them but in God and he has no reason for yet finding fault with them. The next verse contains the apostle’s answer.
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
a) Some would have, at this point, had Paul to explain it away. But Paul simply puts depraved man in his place, „who art thou?” Thou art but man, the creature and a fallen one at that. Thou art but a man, poor and naked and without understanding and in possession of a wicked heart. „O man, who art thou that repliest against God?”
b) Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?: ISA 45:9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? ISA 45:10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
a) Hath not the potter power over the clay: Cannot the potter shape the clay into whatever form it pleases him, and to make whatever vessel he pleases from the clay and for what purpose that he sees fit. ISA 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. JER 18:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, JER 18:2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. JER 18:3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. JER 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. JER 18:5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, JER 18:6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. In this scriptural picture the potter had only purchased the clay or at the most it was simply in his possession to do with as he seemed pleased. How much more power over the clay must God have since he is the one that created it in the first place.
b) of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour: God has fashioned the first man from the clay or the dust of the ground, and from that same lump he has fashioned all of mankind. The wise potter does not make a vessel and then try to figure out what is going to do with it, but makes it for a purpose; so God also has made man for a purpose that was already set. To make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour, is for God to appoint creatures, which are made out of the same lump, for his own glory. Gill says, „Concerning the vessels of honour, whom he appoints for his glory, he determines to create them; to suffer them to fall into sin, whereby they become polluted and guilty; to raise and recover them, by the obedience, sufferings, and death of his son; to regenerate, renew, and sanctify them, by his spirit and grace, and to bring them to eternal happiness; and hereby compass the foresaid end, his own glory, the glorifying of his grace and mercy, in a way consistent with justice and holiness: with respect to the vessels of dishonour, whom he also appoints for the glorifying of himself, he determines to create them out of the same lump; to suffer them to fall into sin; to leave them in their sins, in the pollution and guilt of them, and to condemn them for them; and hereby gain his ultimate end, his own glory, glorifying the perfections of his power, justice, and holiness, without the least blemish to his goodness and mercy.”
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
a) What if God, willing to show his wrath: One of God’s divine attributes is his wrath. This wrath is a holy and just wrath that is not kindled by emotion, but by holiness. Here God wills to show this wrath and to make his power known.
b) endured with much longsuffering: Sin in its own nature is to dishonour God. Why does God endure sin in the world? Why does he not make an end of the wicked at once? Since sinful men and a holy God are lightyears apart, then God has endured them with much longsuffering. He has put up with their sinful ways for his own glory, to show his wrath and to make his power known.
c) the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: They are vessels already formed and made, and brought into being. They are not only vessels but vessels of wrath; fallen and sinful creatures, and therefore deserving of God’s wrath. It does not say „fit” for destruction, but „fitted” for destruction. „fitted”: Greek = katartizo; to complete thoroughly; repair or adjust; —fit, frame, mend, (make) perfectly, prepare, restore.
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
a) might make known the riches of his glory: Here is another example where the word „might” is used as a certainty and not a possibility. The riches of his glory: love, grace, and mercy toward the vessels of mercy. He has revealed to them his love and mercy and his wisdom, power, faithfulness, justice, and holiness.
b) vessels of mercy: They were made from the same lump; but were fashioned, not differently, but for a different purpose. They were fashioned for the purpose of being vessels of mercy. They are vessels of mercy because they deserve condemnation and in their nature are no different than the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; but God was pleased to have mercy on them and redeem them, therefore they are vessels of mercy.
c) which he had afore prepared unto glory: These vessels of mercy were prepared for their end, which was unto glory, before hand. The potter knew before he made them for what purpose he was fashioning them. „afore prepared”: Greek = proetoimazo: to fit up in advance.
24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
a) Even us, whom he hath called: Effectually. The ones that he did predestinate he also did call. Calling is the evidence of the being a vessel of mercy.
b) not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles: All of God’s election were afore prepared unto glory. This predestination was not of the Jews only but also of the Gentiles and in time are called effectually to it. It includes the whole election of grace.
25 ¶ As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
a) As he saith also in Osee: Or Hosea. Greek = Hosee. HOS 2:23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
b) I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved: Paul is proving from the scriptures that God will call from the Gentiles a people to be the objects of his mercy. This was no after thought with God but was purposed from all eternity. They were afore prepared unto glory as well as the elect Jews.
26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
a) HOS 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.
b) it shall come to pass: Nothing can stop it from coming to pass. God has willed it and declared it to be so. He cannot lie. he has the power to bring it to pass. He has predestinated a number from among the Gentiles to be vessels of mercy and all the hounds of hell cannot prevent it from being so.
c) in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people: In the places where there was nothing but idolatry, and idolatrous worshippers. The place where their actions declared them not to be the children of the living God. In that place God shall have mercy on some of them and call them by his grace, and there they shall be called the sons of the living God.
27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
a) ISA 10:22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. ISA 10:23 For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.
b) Israel was God’s elect nation, but only a remnant were God’s elect. ROM 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. ROM 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, ROM 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. ROM 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. ROM 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
a) finish: Greek = sunteleo; to complete entirely. work: Greek = logos; something said including the thought. cut it short: Greek = suntemno; to contract by cutting.
b) It seems to me that since the apostle is dealing with election, then what he is showing is that God will call a remnant from the Jews and the Gentiles, and when the whole election has been called then he will end the age of grace in righteous judgement.
c) cut it short: See Isa. 50:2; 59:1; Num. 11:23 (Power & ability)
29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
a) ISA 1:9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
b) Sabaoth: Greek = sabaoth; armies; a military epithet of God. Hosts in Isaiah means a mass of persons.
c) Had it not been for sovereign election then we would all be as Sodom and like unto Gomorrah. This proves the fairness and necessity of it. We all deserve the same destruction as the sin laden people of Sodom and Gomorrah, so how can any kick against sovereign election. had it not been for sovereign election we would all go into a lake of fire.
30 ¶ What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
a) The Gentiles, who were idolators and who displayed a character that was foreign to righteousness, through sovereign mercy have attained to righteousness. God has quickened them to life and has presented the Gospel to them and has granted the faith to trust in the object of the Gospel which is Christ.
31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
a) Israel, the lost, not the remnant, has sought righteousness by the works of the law and have fallen way short of the mark. They will be judged and found wanting.
32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
a) They never saw themselves as hell deserving sinners else they would have sought after Christ. But they sought their eternal destiny by the works of the law and thought themselves righteous and therefore Christ was a reproach unto them, for to come to him meant acknowledging themselves as slaves to sin. Therefore they stumbled at the stumblingstone, which is Christ.
b) stumblingstone: 1PE 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 1PE 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 1PE 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 1PE 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 1PE 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
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.
a) As it is written: ISA 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. ISA 8:15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. ISA 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
b) stumblingstone and rock of offence: The truth will offend many, especially those who seek eternal life by the works of the law.
c) and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed: To trust in his finished work as their only hope of eternal life. Those who do not trust in Christ as their salvation will be ashamed when they stand before an all holy God. They will have only their filthy self-righteous rags of religion clothing them. The mass of humanity that are held by false religion will die in their sins, only to be cast into a lake of fire where they will spend all eternity.