Romans 9:29

“And as Isaiah predicted, ‘If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.’”

Paul notes, quoting from Isaiah, that because of sin, we all deserve to be treated like Sodom and Gomorrah.  But God had mercy and spared some in these cities from his wrath.  Similarly, just like he should destroy us all because of our sin, he gives us children to perpetuate the human race.  That’s only because of his rich grace and mercy.

If you’ve received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you know his rich grace and mercy,  You know God has give you mercy and that you’ve not received what you deserve (eternal separation for him), but you’ve also been given what you don’t deserve (eternal communion with him).

Today, spend some time giving thanks to God for his rich, amazing, powerful grace and mercy in your life in Christ. He is the reason you are going to heaven. 

He is worthy of our praise.


Romans 9:28

“…for the Lord will carry our his sentence upon the earth full and without delay.”

Most people have forgotten about what the Bible calls “the fear of the Lord.”  We have forgotten that God is holy and our sin is an offense against his holiness.  He must hold us accountable for our sins or he is not just.

But he is just.  His righteous anger against all our sin must occur.  One day, this verse clearly says, God will carry out his sentence of judgment upon all the earth.  He will do so without delay.

Some say, “But this was written thousands of years ago!  He has delayed!"  Not from his standpoint.  From eternity’s perspective, one day is like a thousand years.  Jesus will return one day, soon, without delay, and hold us accountable for how we have lived his life that he gave us.

Are you ready to meet him when he returns?  Can you do so confidently with your sins forgiven and the confident expectation of eternal life?  Do you have the fear of the Lord in your heart?

Jesus is returning.  He said so.  That’s all we need to know.

How will you respond now to this reality?


Romans 9:27

“And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: ‘Though the number of sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved,…”

Paul begins a quote here from Isaiah 10:22-23.  He is addressing that fact that the prophet prophesied centuries earlier that only a remnant of Israel would receive salvation.  Not all Jews would be saved.  Most of Israel was judged.

Israel deserved to be wiped from the face of the earth because of its sins.  So do you and I.  If it were not for God’s rich grace and mercy, all of us would be eternally condemned.

That’s why God sent his Son, Jesus, to rescue us from our sin.  He came to forgive all our iniquities and give us eternal life.

It is the most precious gift God could give us.  Have you received it today?  It can only be received by grace through faith.  It’s available to you.  

Will you now receive it?


Romans 9:26

“And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called, ‘sons of the living God.’”

Here Paul quotes from Hosea 1:10.  In this verse, and what Paul is trying to prove with this verse, is the absolute, amazing, stunning grace of God by calling the reprobate Gentiles to himself for eternal salvation.

As he saved Israel in their degradation when they weren’t his people and then made them his people, and called them his very own sons and daughters, so he is doing the same with the Gentiles.  Paul’s point is simply this one: no one deserves salvation, Jew or Gentile.  All people everywhere have rebelled against him.

Yet he still reaches out to us.  He still desires to give us his rich grace and mercy—to those who are and are not his people.  It’s a startling reality when we stop and think about it.

Are you overcome with how much you’ve sinned and don’t deserve God’s mercy?  If so, don’t despair.  You are the only kind of person God can reach with his gospel of grace.  It’s only for those who know they need it.  Is this you?  

Then praise God!  You are ready to receive his amazing grace.


Romans 9:25

“As indeed he says in Hosea, ‘Those who were not my people I will call my people, and her who was not beloved I will call beloved.’”

Paul quotes here from Hosea 2:23.  It is a startling statement about God’s love for the Gentiles, calling them to salvation.  They were a grossly sinful, rebellious people, not seeking God much at all.  Yet God showed his great grace and magnificent mercy to the underserving—just as he had done to the Jews.  Just as he has done to you and me.

Spend some time today, if you are a follower of Jesus, reflecting on how undeserving you were for God to intervene in your life and give you his eternal forgiveness through Jesus.  Ask yourself this question: “Lord God, why in the world did you ever extend your gracious call of salvation to me?”  

That kind of question drives you into God’s enormous grace and mercy.  You realize he is everything and you are nothing.  Everything I have, especially eternal life, is a gift from him.

Therefore, he receives all the glory in my life.

Thank you, Jesus, for your rich grace and mercy you have given to me in my life!


Romans 9:24

“—even us whom he has called, nor from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?”

God has called both Jew and Gentile to himself.  All previous ethnic barriers have been broken down through Jesus.  His mercy knows no ethnic boundaries.

Do you feel broken today?  Do you feel bankrupt from God’s love?  If so, please realize today that the steadfast love and mercy of God knows no boundaries.  It’s available to you today, through Jesus. His love never ceases.  It’s new to you today, every day!

Be still for a moment.  Get in touch with the God who calls you to himself.  Feel his presence.  Experience his forgiving mercy.  Through Jesus, you do not receive what you deserve!  His mercy is magnificent.

Claim your call anew.  Experience his great mercy afresh.  And your day will be filled with new blessings from our great God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Romans 9:23

“…in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—“

When someone receives Jesus as his Lord and Savior, everyone should be in awe that salvation has come to him.  In fact, we should all be in awe when anyone is saved!  Everyone deserves eternal separation from God.  We all deserve God’s severest condemnation.  But when someone is saved, it shows he is a vessel of God’s rich mercy.  It shows someone God chose to know him before the world was ever created.

And this person was saved for God’s glory and God’s glory alone.  When someone is saved, there is nothing meritorious within him that would allow him to gloat.  Nothing!  Salvation is all about God!  It is all from God!  It is his gift to us and his gift alone.  He did the work completely.  When Jesus cried from the cross, “it is finished,” he alone is the one who finished the work.

When we realize that God and God alone accomplished the work of salvation in us through Jesus, only he can receive the glory—as it should be.

If you are saved today, make sure you spend time giving God all the glory for what he has done for you in your life.


Romans 9:22-23

“What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy which he has prepared beforehand for glory—“

There are two major characteristics of God that Paul outlines in these two verses: his wrath and his mercy.  His just wrath should be poured out on all humans because of their gross rebellion.  Yet his rich grace and mercy, given to us on Calvary’s cross, intervenes so that vessels of his wrath, who should have been destroyed in hell forever, instead receive the riches of his mercy and eternal life.

God owes no one eternal life.  It’s a gift from his grace.  The fact that we have been spared eternal separation from the Father should ignite praise and worship in us all.

Spend some time today praising God for your eternal life in Jesus, if you do indeed know him.  He is worthy of our praise.


Romans 9:21

“Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?”

Paul makes a strong, declarative statement.  God is the potter.  We are the clay.  Therefore, he has the right to do with his creation as he wills.  

If God chooses to mold “honorable” people for eternal salvation, that is his right to do.  God is God.  If he chooses to mold “dishonorable” people for eternal separation from him, that is his right to do.  Who are we humans, as moldable clay, to argue with the sovereign Potter of the universe regarding what he does and why?

God oversees all.  Everything that happens on earth is being used by him.  God cannot sin.  Nor his he morally responsible for sin.  But he uses all things, including sin, for his glory and purposes.

That should give peace to every person’s heart today.


Romans 9:20

“But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?  Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’”

Paul is addressing the question: “If God is sovereign over salvation, where does human free will enter the picture?”  Paul never addresses human free will.  Rather, he says that humans have no right to challenge what God does.  His ways are not ours.  How he orders his universe is his concern, not ours.

Humans cannot rebelliously question how God runs his universe.  He is the one who molded us.  We are the ones being molded.  What right does the one being molded have to question the one molding?  God is doing the molding.  Therefore, he can mold us as he wills.  It’s all about his will, not ours, according to Paul.

When we give God the right to mold us as he wills, it should give our hearts peace.  We should have an accompanying freedom.  We let God carry our burdens.  We cast all our cares upon him because we know he can cares for us and can carry them.

Then we are able to enjoy life to the full—which is God’s intention for us all!


Romans 9:19

“You will say to me then, ‘Why does he still find fault?  For who can resist his will?’”

Paul anticipates the objection to his statement in verse 18.  He had just said God gives mercy to whom he wants to give mercy.  He hardens hearts as he wills.  Salvation is all about God, not us.  That way he alone is glorified.

Here is the objection.  If salvation really depends solely upon God, then how can people be guilty before him when his will is absolute and irresistible?  Isn’t there such a thing as free will?

Paul addresses this conundrum in the next couple of verses.  Today, suffice it to say, that Paul believes that God sovereignly oversees all that happens—including our eternal salvation.  He must or he is not God.  Salvation must solely belong to God.  Otherwise, we would receive all the glory for choosing God.

This kind of faith in God’s great sovereignty should give rest to our souls.  We can trust him in all things, especially the bad that happens to us.  He knows and cares about it.  He is using it for his glory and our good.

He is worthy of our praise.


Romans 9:18

“So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.”

When Pharaoh refused to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt, his heart was hardened.  Paul clearly states here that it was God who hardened his heart. He wanted all to know that the Israelites were freed solely because of God’s mercy.  They were freed only because of God’s power.  Only then could God’s glorious name be spread throughout all the earth.

God gave the Israelites his mercy, only because of his will.  He hardens the hearts of whomever he wills.  He gives mercy to whomever he wills.  God is God.  Salvation, whether from Egypt or for our eternity, rests completely in the sovereign hand of almighty God.  It’s all about his will, not ours.  That way, God alone receives all the glory throughout all the earth.

May your faith in this kind of great, almighty God increase today!  He is worthy of all praise.  We can trust him in all our ways.

To him alone and always belongs all the glory.


Romans 9:17

“For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’”

Paul quotes Exodus 9:16 to prove his point that God alone is the author and finisher of the work of salvation.  “For this very purpose,” God raised up and installed Pharaoh as leader of Egypt.  He oversaw every one of Pharaoh’s actions, even when his heart was hardened.  That way, God’s saving work could be seen by the Jews and all the surrounding nations.  That way, his glorious name would be spread throughout he world.

God rules over all—even evil!  He is using it for his good, even though evil people don’t realize it.  

Evil does not win.  God is using it.  One day, we will see how God used it even to proclaim his glorious name throughout the nations of the earth

We can trust him with everything in our lives—even the bad.  He is using it for his glory.

Trust him today.


Romans 9:16

“So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy.”

The “it” here is our eternal salvation.  It is not based on human will, or works, or effort, or exertion.  If it was, we would receive all the glory for our good works.

Rather, salvation is solely rooted in God’s merciful will.  God and God alone is responsible for our human salvation.  He is the one who initiated it.  He alone completed the work through Jesus on the cross.  

Salvation is all about God, not us.

To him alone and always be the glory forever and ever!  Amen.


Romans 9:15

“For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’”

God chose Jacob over Esau in the womb.  Some object to this choice.  They say it makes God unjust.  But God’s justice in salvation rests in the reality that no one deserves to be saved.  Every single person sins and falls far short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).  There is no one just, not one!  Therefore, if anyone is saved it’s only because of God’s rich mercy.

The ability to give God glory throughout all our lives is rooted in this reality that salvation belongs only to God.  We deserve his strictest punishment for our rebellion against him.  We deserve eternal separation from him.  We deserve hell.  It’s only because of his great mercy that anyone is saved and can approach him in eternity.

Do you know God’s great mercy today?  Do you know there is nothing meritorious within you to deserve his mercy?  Do you know that he gives it simply because he chooses to have compassion on whom he has compassion?

If you do, then God alone receives all the glory in your life and salvation—as it should be!


Romans 9:14

“What shall we say then?  Is there injustice on God’s part?  By no means?”

Paul anticipates the objection to his previous teaching that God chose Jacob over Esau to continue his covenant promises.  He knew some would ask, “Well, if God chose Jacob instead of Esau before they were even born, not even examining their works, whether they were good or bad, how could God be just in choosing the one over the other.  Isn’t God unjust by this choice?”

Paul’s stern response is, “By no means.”  Of course not!  How so?  No one really deserves God’s gift of salvation.  We are all hopelessly lost sinners.  We all deserve hell and eternal separation from God.  The fact that anyone is saved is solely because of God’s rich mercy.

Have you gotten in touch with the depth of your sin before a holy God?  Have you ever thought, “I deserve hell.  I don’t deserve the gift of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ.  I only have it because God richly chose to give it to me.”  If so, I can only imagine how much you love God and live to serve him.

How great is the Father’s love for us, that he’d send his Son, Jesus, to die for our sins!


Romans 9:13

“As it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’”

This verse is from Malachi 1:2-3.  Paul is again stating what he has stated before in the previous verses.  God chose Jacob over Esau by his sovereign grace.  Since he created us and the world, that is his right.

Some have objected to the strong usage of the word “hated.”  The word suggests a preference.  But the meaning is still clear.  God chose to continue his covenant promises through Jacob, not Esau.  God alone is just.  All sinners, including Esau (and you and me), sit under his righteous judgment. The fact that God initiates his love with anyone is evidence of his amazing grace.

Are you a follower of Jesus?  If so, you need to know that God was the one who initiated the love relationship with him (I John 4:10).  We love him only because he first loved us.  That way, God receives all the glory.  He did the entire work of salvation.  He alone is worthy of all our praise.

Take some time today to praise God.  Praise him for his goodness, kindness and love.  Praise him for your eternal salvation.  It’s a gift.

When properly understood, it should cause praise to erupt in our hearts.


Romans 9:12

“—she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.”

Rebekah was told by God that the older of her twin sons, Esau, would serve the younger, Jacob (Genesis 25:23).  God was saying that he had chosen the younger Jacob over the older Esau to continue his covenant promises.  It was then through Jacob that God eventually formed the nation of Israel, planted his people in the Promised Land, and brought his Son, Jesus, the Messiah, into the world to save us from our sins.

Why did God choose Jacob over Esau?  Some have suggested it was because Esau was a man of the flesh and Jacob of the Spirit.  Probably the best answer is God is God.  His ways are beyond our ways.  He chose Jacob because he desired to choose Jacob.  And that’s all that needs to be said.

God’s ways are not our ways.  His ways are higher than our ways.  Many of us question why God has allowed certain things to happen to us and his world.  Yet we continue to trust him.  We lean on him.  We believe he is sovereign over us and his world.

And that’s the essence of our faith.

Do you trust him today in all that is happening to you?


Romans 9:11

“…though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bd—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—“

God’s promise for salvation is not based on familial heritage or ethnicity, but  only on God’s call and choice.  

Paul says this point is especially evident with Jacob and Esau, the twin boys born to Isaac and Rebekah.  God chose Jacob to be the one through whom his continued promise was given.  This choice was not based on anything Jacob or Esau did or didn’t do, it was solely based on God’s plans and purposes.  It was rooted only in God’s sovereign grace and election.

What assurance this verse should give all followers of Jesus!  God will fulfill his promises in our lives not because of any work we perform but solely through his will.  Salvation is not based on works, which only prove our pride.  It’s rooted only in God’s grace and received simply through faith.

This choice assures God alone receives all the glory.  He alone is worthy of praise in our lives now and throughout eternity.

Make sure today you spend some time praising the one who is worthy of all all our praise.  it’s something followers of Jesus will do forever.


Romans 9:10

“And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather  Isaac…”

To prove that salvation is not for people simply born into it, Paul uses the example of Ishmael and Isaac (verse 9).  Now he turns to Rebekah and Isaac.  They gave birth to twin boys, Jacob and Esau.  Tomorrow we will look at verse 11 and we will unwrap Paul’s point further.

Today, simply realize that God chose to continue his covenant promise through Jacob, not Esau.  Why?  That is God’s choice.  How he chooses to operate election is his sovereign pleasure.  But the point is still true.  Salvation is not determined by familial heritage or ethnicity.  It is determined by God’s promise.

Do you know his promise today for your eternal salvation?  Everything else in your life is secondary to this decision you must make.

Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?  If not, please do so.  Please do it now!  If so, you are assured of being a child of promise.  Your eternal salvation is secure.

You should spend today praising him!