Monday, May 19, 2008

Romans 9 Outline

Note how sovereignty, justice, and mercy all intertwine in Romans 9.

Romans 9:1-6b: The Problem: Israel’s rejection of the Gospel makes God’s promises appear to fail.

2. Romans 9:7-13: God’s Sovereignty
a. Romans 9:7-9: His Sovereignty. God chose the seed of Isaac.

b. Romans 9:10-13: His Sovereignty. Case of Rebekah: Both boys were conceived at the same time. Neither one more deserving than the other, but Jacob was chosen. (Psalm 139:21-22; Deuteronomy 32:4)

3. Romans 9:14-18: God’s Justice and Mercy
a. Romans 9:14-16: His Sovereignty, Justice, and Mercy. Paul quotes Exodus 33:19. See Romans 3:25-26

b. Romans 9:17-18: His Justice and Mercy. Israel rejected Jesus in the same way that Pharaoh rejected Moses (Exodus 4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 14:4) – sheer self-will, disobedience, and refusal to listen. Pharaoh had five chances to repent (during the first five plagues), but each time he hardened his own heart. Only after he willfully became a confirmed rebel did God harden his heart. God does not harden the heart of anyone but a confirmed rebel (John 12:39). He wants all to turn from sin to Him (Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). And with Israel as with Pharaoh, their rejection provides for God to demonstrate His power through deliverance from the “Egyptian bondage” of sin and death. Just as the Passover lamb delivered Israel, now the Messiah’s sacrifice delivers all who receive His mercy. Israel’s self-will, like Pharaoh’s, serves God’s merciful ends.

4. Romans 9:19-21: God’s Sovereignty: Paul quotes Isaiah 29:16; 45:9; and alludes to Jeremiah 18:6. Paul does not let go of either side of the paradox between predestination and freedom of choice. He points away from idle, destructive questioning of the way God governs to a practical solution – come humbly to God through Christ Jesus. The point is not predestination or free will. Jesus is the point. See Romans 10:13.

5. Romans 9:22-29: God’s Justice and Mercy
a. Romans 9:22-24a: God’s mercy is more wonderful when we see His justice.

b. Romans 9:24b-26: Originally Hosea wrote this passage about Israel in rebellion one day becoming His people. Paul uses the passage with a twist. Not only Israel, but also Gentiles. See Romans 9:30-10:4; 11:17-32; Ephesians 2.

c. Romans 9:27-29: The first part of Hosea 1:10 includes God’s promise to Abraham (Genesis 22:17) and Jacob (Genesis 32:17). A remnant, not every single Jew, will come to Christ. This idea was expressed in 9:6 and will be explained in 11:1-6. The seed refers to the remnant of v. 28. By referring back to verses 6-7, v. 27-29 close the first part of Romans 9-11 on God’s role in Israel’s apostasy. God cannot be blamed for Israel’s failure to accept Jesus as their Messiah. Instead, God should be thanked for showing enough mercy to preserve a remnant of Israel who have accepted or will accept Him.