The 9th, 10th & 11th chapters form the second great section of the Romans epistle. The first section, chapters 1 - 8, teach justification by faith by the Grace of God apart from works, common to all, whether Jew or Gentile. The problem of how to reconcile this with the special privileges granted to the Nation of Israel is resolved in chapters 9, 10 & 11 with the doctrine or teaching of the Sovereignty of God in Election and Restoration. *
Saul, who became the Apostle Paul, exemplifies Israel’s Election and Restoration. Prior to the Lord Jesus Christ appearing to him, he was a lost sinner, albeit a very religious Jew. In his unbelief, he represented Israel as a Pharisee, Philippians 3:4 - 64 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
; Acts 26:4 - 54 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
. According to Thayer the Pharisees were a sect that seems to have started after the Jewish exile. In addition to Old Testament (OT) books, they recognized in oral tradition a standard of belief and life. They sought for distinction and praise by outward observance of external rites and by outward forms of piety, such as ceremonial washings, fasting’s, prayers, and alms giving, priding in their fancied good works. They believed in the existence of good and evil angels and expected a Messiah; and hoped that the dead, after a preliminary experience either of reward or penalty in Hades, would be recalled to life by him, and be requited each according to his individual deeds. In opposition to the usurped dominion of the Harrods and the rule of the Romans, they stoutly upheld the theocracy and their country’s cause, and possessed great influence with the common Jewish people. According to Josephus they numbered more than 6000 and were bitter enemies of Jesus and his cause.
Saul had imprisoned Jews who believed Jesus was Israel’s Messiah, forcing them to blaspheme and testifying at trials that convicted them to death, Acts 26:9 - 119 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
. During Saul/Paul’s ministry the Nation of Israel was set aside because of their unbelief and the salvation of God was sent to the Gentiles (almost 2000 years ago now), Acts 28:25 - 2825 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
. When Saul was saved and became the Apostle Paul, he represented God’s sovereignty in election and restoration. It was by no initiative whatsoever on Saul’s part that the Lord Jesus Christ appeared from heaven and saved him, Acts 9:1 - 81 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
. Paul was chosen/elected as a vessel to carry the Lord Jesus Christ’s name to the Gentiles, Kings and Children of Israel, Acts 9:1515 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
. Thus Paul testified: “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.” Romans 11:11 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.
Paul clearly understood that everything he previously held dear as a Pharisee was absolutely worthless, Philippians 3:7 - 97 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
, when he came to know the Lord Jesus Christ and understand what Christ had done on the cross for Israel and the Gentiles, Romans 3:21 - 2421 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
. However, even though he came to know his transgressions were forgiven he must have felt remorse for his past actions as a Pharisee. He knew how unbelieving Jews thought and acted; blind to the truth of Jesus Christ and so he wrote that his heart was continually heavy with sorrow and he wished, if possible, that he could be accursed from Christ for his Jewish kinsmen, Romans 9:1 - 31 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
Romans 9:4 - 54 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;
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
recounts: God’s adoption of Israel, they were reckoned as His son, Exodus 4:2222 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:
; that Israel experienced God’s Glory, Exodus 16:1010 And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
; Exodus 24:16 - 1716 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.
; Exodus 29:4343 And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.
; Exodus 40:34 - 3834 Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
36 And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:
37 But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.
38 For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
; God’s covenants made exclusively with Israel’s fathers Abraham and Isaac, Genesis 17:9 - 119 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
; Genesis 17:2121 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
; that they were promised many blessings, Genesis 32:27 - 2827 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
; and they had been entrusted with God’s Holy Law and the service of God, Exodus 24:1212 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
; Exodus 28, 29 & 30. In spite of all these privileges, most in Israel rejected their Messiah in unbelief; but “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect.” Romans 9:66 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
a. The argument here is that God’s Word did not return void as rejected or ineffectual and without effect just because Israel rejected their Messiah in unbelief and was cast off for a time; “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel,” Romans 9:6b. The former Israel in this phrase refers to the true spiritual seed of Israel; the latter denotes Israel according to the flesh, the natural descendants from Israel’s loins. In fact, for the last 2000 years, there is a remnant of Israel as well as a people from among the Gentiles for His name, according to the election of grace. In other words, since that time almost 2000 years ago when the Nation of Israel was set side, both Jews and Gentiles have been saved into the Body of Christ by God’s grace through faith, Romans 3:28 - 3028 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
; Romans 9:2424 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
; Romans 12:55 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
; 1 Corinthians 12:2727 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
; Ephesians 2:8 - 98 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
And for almost 2000 years now, every individual who has believed the Gospel, 1 Corinthians 15:1 - 41 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
, whether Jew or Gentile has been saved into the Body of Christ. God chose the Apostle Paul as the first of all who have followed: “And I (Paul) thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” 1 Timothy 1:12 - 1612 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Our text continues that all Israelites were not God’s children just because they descended from Abraham, Romans 9:77 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
a; but in Isaac the promised seed was called, Romans 9:7b. Those merely children of Abraham’s flesh were not the children of God, Roman 9:8a: “but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” Romans 9:88 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.
b. God promised Abraham and Sara they would have a son, Romans 9:99 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
; that being Isaac, the promised seed. There is no question as to the sovereignty of God in Isaac’s birth because Sarah was far beyond normal childbearing years when God empowered her to conceive him. Then, God’s sovereignty and choice was further displayed when Rebecca conceived twins by Isaac, Romans 9:1010 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
. “(For the children [Esau & Jacob] 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;)” Romans 9:1111 (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;)
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;)
. I’ve highlighted the word “election” in this verse because it indicates God chose or elected Jacob before he and his older twin Esau were born. The Greek word translated election is “ekloge” (G1589), found 7 times in the New Testament (NT), 7 being the number for Spiritual perfection in Scripture. The King James (KJV) translates it “election” 6 times and once as “chosen.”
The one time “ekloge” is translated “chosen” is the first time it occurs in the NT in the account of Saul’s salvation experience: “But the Lord said unto him, (Ananias) Go thy way: for he (Saul, later Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:15. It’s translated “election” in the following 6 passages:
• Concerning God’s choice of Jacob, the younger twin, over Esau: “(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;)” Romans 9:11.
• About Israel, Paul wrote: “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Romans 11:55 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
• “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Romans 11:77 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
• “As concerning the gospel, they (Israel) are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they (Israel) are beloved for the fathers' sakes.” Romans 11:2828 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.
• “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:44 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
• And from the Apostle Peter: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” 2 Peter 1:1010 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
Six times the Greek word “ekloge” refers to Israel as God’s chosen/elected and once, in 1 Thessalonians 1:4 it refers to Gentiles (although there were probably some individual Jews also saved in the Thessalonica church.) The Greek Lexicon and Concordance defines “ekloge” as “a picking out, selection, then, selection made, that which is chosen.” Faith comes to us by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, Romans 10:1717 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
; faith is believing and all who truly believe the Gospel are saved, Romans 9:3333 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
; Romans 10:1111 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
; Romans 10:1313 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
; Acts 16:30 - 3130 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
; Ephesians 2:8 - 9. After we come to believe, what a wonderful blessing it is to learn we were picked out/selected/chosen by God!
* George Williams’ The Complete Bible Commentary, page 866.