God in Control - Romans 9

God in Control

Romans 9:1-33

The God, who works all things together for our good, has an eternal purpose over which He is completely in control.  He "works all things according to the counsel of His will."  Ephesians 1:11.  To the house of Jacob the Lord said, "I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.'"  Isaiah 46:9, 10.

In Romans 9 God exhibits His sovereignty in personal choices.  Paul, a Jew, believed that "they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham."  The apostle goes on to say, "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."  Romans 9:6-8. 

What does he mean?  Sarah, Abraham's wife, was barren and bore him no children.  However, Abraham did have a son, Ishmael, who was born to Hagar, an Egyptian maidservant.  Ishmael was Abraham's firstborn.  Later Sarah conceived and gave birth to another son, Isaac.  He was the child of promise.

Next Isaac's wife, Rebecca, gave birth to two boys, Jacob and Esau.  "It was said to her, 'The older shall serve the younger.'"  Esau was the firstborn, the eldest.  The younger was supposed to serve the older brother.  This was contrary to the customs of the time, as God had another plan before the boys were born "that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls."  Romans 9:10-12.

Isaac and Jacob were the children of the promise, according to the sovereign choice of God.  Ishmael and Esau were not.  The true Jew was not one merely by race, but rather also by grace.

In this chapter we not only find Jews who are not true Jews, but people of God who were not people of God.  These were Gentiles, whom the Jews loathed and despised.  The Lord had said to the prophet Hosea, "I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved."  See Romans 9:25 and Hosea 2:23.  The recipients of Paul's letter to the Romans were Gentiles, who had come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

What about the Jews?  "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....'"  See Romans 9:27 and Isaiah 10:22.  "God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew."  Romans 11:2.

Questions always arise concerning the sovereignty of God.  Some are stated in this chapter.  "Is there unrighteousness with God?"  Romans 9:14.  "Why does He still find fault?"  Romans 9:19. 

The creature is not competent to sit in judgment on His Creator.  "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?'"  Romans 9:20.  To judge the validity of God's actions is to imply that man is more righteous than God, and to judge the wisdom of God is to imply that man is wiser than God.

The sovereign God of Romans 9 is not some mean tyrant, but rather a God of mercy and grace.  Human action is not reduced to a charade and rendered insignificant.  He is in control, and is able to save all who come to Him through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.


O sovereign Lord, You are rich in mercy, and generous in extending Your grace to us.  You are worthy of our praise.  Your greatness is unfathomable.  Help us to walk humbly before You.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!


What Does It Mean to Believe? - Romans 10



All About God

Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
Copyright ©
1979, 1980, 1982
by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by Permission.
All rights reserved.

Navigation Tips

Since visitors use different browsers and monitors, and have different preferences in how they navigate through a website, we've provided multiple ways to progress through the studies on KnowingJesusChrist.com.

1) For those who find drop-down, slide-out menus convenient, just hover over the category (menu link on the top bar) and sub-category (menu link in the drop down list).  If there is an arrow to the right of the item, the articles in that category will slide out.  (If there is no arrow, just click on the item.)  Click on any article to read it.  If you have a "wheel mouse," you should be able to roll it toward you to see more of the drop-down menu.

2) If you are unable to see all the drop-down or slide-out items (or just prefer a different way of navigating), click on the category (menu link on the top bar), then on any sub-category in the list that appears.  You will see a list of articles to choose from OR use our Site Map.

3) Most studies are part of a series (category or sub-category).  Each article within the category has a link to the next article so you can progress easily to the next study.

4) At the top of the page, you will also notice "Breadcrumbs" that show which category and sub-category you are in.  You may click on those links to return to the "parent" category or sub-category list.

5) ANSWERS to Review Questions and Quizzes are found in links at the end of the Review Questions or Quiz.  They may also be accessed by clicking on the category (which will show a list of all articles in the category).  The link at the end of the article will cause a pop up window to appear so you may easily refer to other pages on the site; the link in the Category list will open a normal page.

If you're looking for a particular topic, word, or phrase, try the Search feature in the right column.

Close this box by clicking on the top (dark brown) part again.