Romans 9* The apostle's concern that his countrymen were strangers tothe gospel. (1-5) The promises are made good to the spiritualseed of Abraham. (6-13) Answers to objections against God'ssovereign conduct, in exercising mercy and justice. (14-24) Thissovereignty is in God's dealing both with Jews and Gentiles.(25-29) The falling short of the Jews is owing to their seekingjustification, not by faith, but by the works of the law.(30-33)1-5 Being about to discuss the rejection of the Jews and thecalling of the Gentiles, and to show that the whole agrees withthe sovereign electing love of God, the apostle expressesstrongly his affection for his people. He solemnly appeals toChrist; and his conscience, enlightened and directed by the HolySpirit, bore witness to his sincerity. He would submit to betreated as "accursed," to be disgraced, crucified; and even fora time be in the deepest horror and distress; if he could rescuehis nation from the destruction about to come upon them fortheir obstinate unbelief. To be insensible to the eternalcondition of our fellow-creatures, is contrary both to the loverequired by the law, and the mercy of the gospel. They had longbeen professed worshippers of Jehovah. The law, and the nationalcovenant which was grounded thereon, belonged to them. Thetemple worship was typical of salvation by the Messiah, and themeans of communion with God. All the promises concerning Christand his salvation were given to them. He is not only over all,as Mediator, but he is God blessed for ever. 6-13 The rejection of the Jews by the gospel dispensation, didnot break God's promise to the patriarchs. The promises andthreatenings shall be fulfilled. Grace does not run in theblood; nor are saving benefits always found with outward churchprivileges. Not only some of Abraham's seed were chosen, andothers not, but God therein wrought according to the counsel ofhis own will. God foresaw both Esau and Jacob as born in sin, bynature children of wrath even as others. If left to themselvesthey would have continued in sin through life; but for wise andholy reasons, not made known to us, he purposed to changeJacob's heart, and to leave Esau to his perverseness. Thisinstance of Esau and Jacob throws light upon the Divine conductto the fallen race of man. The whole Scripture shows thedifference between the professed Christian and the realbeliever. Outward privileges are bestowed on many who are notthe children of God. There is, however, full encouragement todiligent use of the means of grace which God has appointed. 14-24 Whatever God does, must be just. Wherein the holy, happypeople of God differ from others, God's grace alone makes themdiffer. In this preventing, effectual, distinguishing grace, heacts as a benefactor, whose grace is his own. None have deservedit; so that those who are saved, must thank God only; and thosewho perish, must blame themselves only, #Hos 13:9|. God is boundno further than he has been pleased to bind himself by his owncovenant and promise, which is his revealed will. And this is,that he will receive, and not cast out, those that come toChrist; but the drawing of souls in order to that coming, is ananticipating, distinguishing favour to whom he will. Why does heyet find fault? This is not an objection to be made by thecreature against his Creator, by man against God. The truth, asit is in Jesus, abases man as nothing, as less than nothing, andadvances God as sovereign Lord of all. Who art thou that art sofoolish, so feeble, so unable to judge the Divine counsels? Itbecomes us to submit to him, not to reply against him. Would notmen allow the infinite God the same sovereign right to managethe affairs of the creation, as the potter exercises indisposing of his clay, when of the same lump he makes one vesselto a more honourable, and one to a meaner use? God could do nowrong, however it might appear to men. God will make it appearthat he hates sin. Also, he formed vessels filled with mercy.Sanctification is the preparation of the soul for glory. This isGod's work. Sinners fit themselves for hell, but it is God whoprepares saints for heaven; and all whom God designs for heavenhereafter, he fits for heaven now. Would we know who thesevessels of mercy are? Those whom God has called; and these notof the Jews only, but of the Gentiles. Surely there can be nounrighteousness in any of these Divine dispensations. Nor inGod's exercising long-suffering, patience, and forbearancetowards sinners under increasing guilt, before he brings utterdestruction upon them. The fault is in the hardened sinnerhimself. As to all who love and fear God, however such truthsappear beyond their reason to fathom, yet they should keepsilence before him. It is the Lord alone who made us to differ;we should adore his pardoning mercy and new-creating grace, andgive diligence to make our calling and election sure. 25-29 The rejecting of the Jews, and the taking in theGentiles, were foretold in the Old Testament. It tends very muchto the clearing of a truth, to observe how the Scripture isfulfilled in it. It is a wonder of Divine power and mercy thatthere are any saved: for even those left to be a seed, if Godhad dealt with them according to their sins, had perished withthe rest. This great truth this Scripture teaches us. Even amongthe vast number of professing Christians it is to be feared thatonly a remnant will be saved. 30-33 The Gentiles knew not their guilt and misery, thereforewere not careful to procure a remedy. Yet they attained torighteousness by faith. Not by becoming proselytes to the Jewishreligion, and submitting to the ceremonial law; but by embracingChrist, and believing in him, and submitting to the gospel. TheJews talked much of justification and holiness, and seemed veryambitious to be the favourites of God. They sought, but not inthe right way, not in the humbling way, not in the appointedway. Not by faith, not by embracing Christ, depending uponChrist, and submitting to the gospel. They expectedjustification by observing the precepts and ceremonies of thelaw of Moses. The unbelieving Jews had a fair offer ofrighteousness, life, and salvation, made them upon gospel terms,which they did not like, and would not accept. Have we sought toknow how we may be justified before God, seeking that blessingin the way here pointed out, by faith in Christ, as the Lord ourRighteousness? Then we shall not be ashamed in that awful day,when all refuges of lies shall be swept away, and the Divinewrath shall overflow every hiding-place but that which God hathprepared in his own Son.
Copyright information for MHCC
Welcome to STEP Bible
From Tyndale House, Cambridge UK
Use the search box to find Bibles, commentaries, passages, search terms, etc. Here are some examples:
This shows how to quickly lookup a passage.
Looking up a passage in three different translations is also easy.
This asks STEP to search for the Greek word for 'brother' and show the results in the ESV.
© Tyndale House, Cambridge, UK - 2018