Not only that, but Rebecca's children were conceived by one man, our father Isaac.
|Children||T. Robinson, D.D.||Romans 9:6-13|
|Children of the Flesh and of the Promise||J. Morison, D.D.||Romans 9:6-13|
|Election not the Ground of Our Faith||W. Gurnall.||Romans 9:6-13|
|God's Faithfulness Vindicated||J. Morison, D.D.||Romans 9:6-13|
|God's Word of Promise||J. Lyth, D.D.||Romans 9:6-13|
|Israel's Rejection no Violation of the Divine Promise||C.H. Irwin ||Romans 9:6-13|
|The .Freedom of God's Election||T. F. Lockyer, B.A.||Romans 9:6-13|
|The Children of the Promise||R. M. Edgar, D.D.||Romans 9:6-13|
|The Distinction Between the External and the True Church||J. Lyth, D.D.||Romans 9:6-13|
|The Election of Grace||J. Lyth, D.D.||Romans 9:6-13|
|The Freedom of God's Election||T.F. Lockyer ||Romans 9:6-13|
|The True Children of Abraham||J. Lyth, D.D.||Romans 9:6-13|
|The True Heirs of Grace||J. Lyth, D.D.||Romans 9:6-13|
|The True Seed of Abraham is Called||J. Lyth, D.D.||Romans 9:6-13|
|The Word of God Taking Effect||Bp. Ellicott.||Romans 9:6-13|
|The Word of God Taking no Effect||J. Lyth, D.D., J. Lyth, D.D.||Romans 9:6-13|
|The Work of God's Word||S. Martin.||Romans 9:6-13|
|The Children of the Promise||R.M. Edgar ||Romans 9:6-18|
|Election: How to be Regarded||T. Chalmers, D.D.||Romans 9:10-12|
|God's Sovereignty||J. Lyth, D.D.||Romans 9:10-12|
|Lessons from the Case of Esau and Jacob||Elnathan Parr, B.D.||Romans 9:10-12|
|The Divine Call||J. Morison, D.D.||Romans 9:10-12|
|The Election of Jacob and the Rejection of Esau||J. Lyth, D.D.||Romans 9:10-12|
|The Means and End of Predestination||Sir Richard Hill, M.A., letter to a friend.||Romans 9:10-12|
The natural question suggests itself to the mind, on thinking of the rejection of the Jewish people - What, then, becomes of the promises of God? Has the Word of God, then, become of no effect? The apostle answers this question in the negative (ver. 6), and proceeds to give his reasons.
I. THE PROMISE WAS A SPIRITUAL PROMISE.
1. It was a promise of spiritual blessing. "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."
2. It was a promise made on spiritual conditions. It was not a promise made to Abraham's children according to the flesh, for then Ishmael and his children would have been partakers of it. "In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed" (vers. 7, 8). Isaac was Abraham's son, not in the ordinary course of nature, but by reason of the special promise of God, and Abraham's faith in it. Many think they have a claim on God's promises who forget that every promise has a condition attached to it, and who fail to fulfil that condition.
II. ABRAHAM'S TRUE CHILDREN ARE THOSE WHO EXHIBIT ABRAHAM'S FAITH. "For they are not all Israel, who are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children" (vers. 6, 7); "The Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith" (ver. 30). The same thought is brought out in Romans 4:9-17. Abraham's righteousness was the righteousness of faith. He had this faith when he was yet uncircumcised, "that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised" (Romans 4:11). Hence the Gentiles who exhibit Abraham's faith are heirs of the same promise and partakers of the same righteousness. There is no violation of the Divine promise in rejecting those who are Abraham's seed according to the flesh, but who do not exhibit Abraham's faith, and in including those who are Abraham's true spiritual children, because they exhibit Abraham's faith, though they are not his seed according to the flesh. God looketh on the heart. "In every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him." External forms and outward privileges will not save us unless we have the change of heart which is required of all who would enter into the kingdom of God. "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."
III. GENTILES AS WELL AS JEWS WERE INCLUDED IN THE PROMISE. The apostle not only argues by inference, but also from God's specific statements. "As he saith also in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved" (ver. 25). The Jews were too much inclined to limit the Divine promises to themselves only, though there were many clear indications in the Divine Word that, while they were God's chosen people, other nations also were to be partakers of the blessing conveyed through them. We may so pride ourselves upon our privileges, while we neglect our duties, that at last even the privileges themselves shall be taken away. - C.H.I.
And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by... our Father Isaac. 1.
Not personal, but national.
2. Not to eternal salvation, but to earthly privileges.
3. Not determined by works, but by grace.
4. Not intended to establish the doctrine of unconditional election to eternal life and the predestination of others to eternal damnation, but the unconditional election of the Gentiles to the benefits of the gospel and the national rejection of the Jews.
As in Rebeeca's womb there was a striving between Esau and Jacob, so in every true Christian there is a combating between corruption and grace; and as Esau is the elder, so is corruption.
2. As in Isaac's family there was a profane Esau as well as a godly Jacob, so is the visible Church a mixed company, as our Saviour teaches by divers parables. Examine how thou standest in the Church, whether as an Esau or as a Jacob.
3. Esau is Isaac's eldest son, yet rejected. Birth, degrees, and blood are to be regarded, and are especial favours of God, yet they further not election. As it was rather a disgrace for Esau to come of virtuous parents, because he was no better, so do thou account of thyself; then is the blood of thy famous ancestors thy credit when thou art like them in virtue. Better the honour of our families should begin than end in us.
4. Esau is disinherited, and yet God gave a law that the firstborn should not be deprived of his birthright, namely, without just and weighty cause.
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 calleth1.
He has the indisputable right to determine the conditions of individual life.
2. Exercises the right freely without reference to future conduct.
3. Does not thereby interfere with the possibility of personal salvation, but provides for it.
The doctrine ought never to be a stumbling-block in the way of your entertaining the overtures of the gospel. Leave it to God Himself to harmonise those everlasting decrees, by which He hath distinguished between the elect and the reprobate, with His present declarations of goodwill to one and to all of the human family. Your business is to let the decrees alone, and to cast your joyful confidence upon the declarations. Should an earthly monarch send a message of friendship to your door, must you reject it either as unintelligible or unreal because you have not been instructed in all the mysteries of his government? Because you cannot comprehend the policy of his empire, must you therefore not receive the offered kindness which has come from him to your own dwelling-place? And ere you can appreciate the gift which he holds out for your single and specific acceptance, must you first be able to trace all the workings and all the ways of the vast, the varied, superintendence which belongs to him? It is truly so with God, who, although presiding over a management which embraces all worlds and reaches from everlasting to everlasting, has nevertheless sent to each individual amongst us the special intimation of His perfect willingness to admit us into favour; and must we, I ask, suspend our comfort and our confidence therein till we, the occupiers of one of the humblest tenements in creation, and only the creatures but of yesterday — till we shall have mastered the economy of this wondrous universe and scanned the counsels of eternity?
Upon the principles of Christian predestination, you are still not less inconsistent; because you go about to separate two things which are inseparably joined together, viz., the end and the means which lead to it; and then you fly to the old threadbare objection of Papists, Quakers, and Arminians — "if I am elected, I shall be saved, do what I will; if I am not elected, I must be damned, do what I can." Now, this is the abuse of the doctrine, but by no means the doctrine itself, holiness of heart and life being the middle link of that chain which connects God's eternal decree with the execution of that decree in the salvation of all His elect. And if you can cast your eyes upon the Christian world in general, you will find that real practical religion is more to be found among those who adopt the Scripture plan of predestination than among those who reject it. But let us have recourse to a familiar illustration of the point in hand. When archbishop Chicheley founded All Souls' College, in Oxford, he made a decree that they who in future times were founder's kin should succeed to the fellowship of that college, in preference to all others. This decree is inviolable in the choice of the candidates; but I never heard of one that intended offering himself who reasoned after this manner: " If I am founder's kin, I must succeed, do what I will, or even whether I offer myself or not." No; but they all go about to prove their pedigree and relationship to the founder, and for this purpose they anxiously search the old book entitled "Stemmata Chiciliana," and apply themselves diligently to their probation exercises, in order that no requisite may be wanting on their parts. Now, my dear —, produce your pedigree, and learn your exercise, and the thing is done. Take but the same pains (though surely you ought to take more) to prove your relationship to the great Founder of the universe, whose decree is that none shall partake of His spiritual blessings but those who bear a relationship to Him through faith in Jesus Christ; apply yourself to the study of that old book the Bible, from which alone you can trace your descent, and study your exercise as becomes a candidate for a heavenly fellowship with God and glorified spirits. Set about this in earnest, and I will venture my own soul upon the safety of yours; for though I cannot climb up into heaven to read God's decree, yet I shall be very certain, from that middle link of the chain which is let down upon earth, that it is in your favour.
The word "calleth," when applied to moral agents, assumes the possession of free will. They are "called," not compelled or necessitated. According to the nature of the case, a "call" may assume the form either of a summons or an invitation. It may sometimes be allied to a commandment, sometimes to an entreaty. In the case before us, where reference is to prerogative, which in its inner ethical content may be either welcomed and prized, or spurned and stamped under foot, the call may be essentially of the nature of a Divine invitation. Some of God's greatest blessings He simply provides and confers without sending forth an invitation. To the enjoyment of others, He gives invitation, and, as it were, says, "Ho, every one! come ye." Some such invitation is addressed to persons, some such to peoples. And in both cases invitation may pave the way for further and ulterior invitation. They who "have," in the sense of accepting what has been proffered, and of keeping and prizing what they have got, to them shall be given, and they shall "have" more abundantly. Invitation to them will follow invitation, till the highest blessing is reached; and they find in their delightful experience that blessed are they who are God's invited guests to the everlasting banquet of bliss. To all the highest blessings there is a Divine "call" or "invitation" "For whom He did foreknow... them He also glorifies" (Romans 8:29, 30
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