Romans 9:30
What then will we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;
Vessels of Wrath and Vessels of MercyR.M. Edgar Romans 9:19-33
A Great ReversalProf. Thomson.Romans 9:25-33
A People Who Were no PeopleC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 9:25-33
God's Judgments AreJ. Lyth, D. D.Romans 9:25-33
Hope for the OutcastsJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:25-33
JudgmentJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:25-33
Some Points in the Divine ProcedureJ. W. Burn.Romans 9:25-33
The Calling of the GentilesJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:25-33
The Character and Privileges of the SaintsJ. W Burn.Romans 9:25-33
The Divine ConsideratenessJ. W. Burn.Romans 9:25-33
The Example of Israel a Warning to the WorldJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:25-33
The Lord of SabaothM. Thomson.Romans 9:25-33
The Rejection of the JewsJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:25-33
The Remnant SavedB. Beddome, M.A.Romans 9:25-33
The Sovereignty of GodJ. J. S. Bird, M.A.Romans 9:25-33
A Common Stumbling BlockRomans 9:30-33
A Reliable SalvationT. De Witt Talmage.Romans 9:30-33
Christ a Stumbling Stone and Rock of CollisionJ. Morison, D.D.Romans 9:30-33
Christ Rejected by Jews and Accepted by GentilesC. Simeon, M.A.Romans 9:30-33
No Righteousness by the LawJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:30-33
S.S.: or the Sinner SavedC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 9:30-33
Seeking After RighteousnessH. W. Beecher.Romans 9:30-33
The Divine Method of SalvationJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:30-33
The Folly of Rejecting the GospelH. W. Beecher.Romans 9:30-33
The Gospel for the GentilesJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:30-33
The Reasonableness of God's WorkingT. F. Lockyer, B.A.Romans 9:30-33
The Reasonableness of God's WorkingT.F. Lockyer Romans 9:30-33
The Righteousness of the GospelJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 9:30-33
The Unsuccessful SeekerJ. Lyth, D.D., Prof. Beet., C. H. Irwin, M.A.Romans 9:30-33
Un-Believers Stumbling; Believers RejoicingC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 9:30-33

The question hitherto has been - How can God set aside an elect people? And the answer - God chooses whom he will for the carrying on of his saving work. But now a reason is adduced. For though God does what he will, yet we may be sure he never wills what is not right. And here the great reason of the rejection of Israel, and the choice of the Gentiles, for the carrying out of God's purposes, is this - that the former have altogether failed to apprehend the nature of salvation, when all has been done by God to teach them its true character; whereas the latter, left, it might seem, to themselves, have eagerly received the proffered gift when once it was presented. Needs it any arguing to show that they are better fitted to work for God than the others?


1. The previous history of the Gentiles, from the religious point of view, is set forth in this - that they "followed not after righteousness." That is, they sought not justification with God. For a subjective righteousness they did seek after, as is witnessed by the earnest inquiries of the great ethical leaders, e.g. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle; and of their poets and historians, who also sought to set forth the principles of right. But as to an objective righteousness, a being right with God, this was not in all their thoughts. They regarded God as not much troubling himself with human conduct, and sin itself as rather a defect, an ignorance, than something for which man is gravely culpable. So, in this sense, it was emphatically true that they "followed not after righteousness."

2. But of the same Gentiles it is said, of their acceptance of Christ's gospel, that they "attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith." The dormant conscience awoke; the weakness of their ethical systems was revealed; the exceeding guilt of sin, as well as the exceeding love of God, was set forth in the cross of Christ; and being stricken to the heart, and crying, "What must I do to be saved?" they were ready, nay, eager, to respond to the blessed command, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." And, accepting the great salvation, they stood as justified in the presence of him who forgiveth for the sake of Christ. They "attained to righteousness."


1. The history of the Jews is stated, by way of contrast to that of the Gentiles, as consisting in this - that they "followed after a Law of righteousness." The wording is most accurate. They followed a Law, which was designed by God to teach them their sin, and lead them to look to his free grace, through Christ, for pardon; but it was not this "end of the Law" which they in reality followed, but rather the Law itself. They made an end of the means, and thus entirely subverted its design; for instead of learning by the Law their sin, they sought, by a supposed fulfilment of its precepts, to make themselves just before God. So, instead of learning to be poor in spirit, they learned an arrogant self-complacency; instead of coming to God's grace for pardon, they thanked God they were not as other men, and stood before him self-justified.

2. What was the result? They "did not arrive at that Law;" not at its true purport, its ultimate design. And so the real law of justification, the being saved by grace through faith, was hidden from their eyes. To them the Rock of Ages was "a Stone of stumbling, a Rock of offence." Oh, let us learn, from the history of the past, that there is shame for us, and shame only, if we seek to make ourselves just before God. But, accepting freely the grace which is freely given, we shall prove, "He that believeth on him shall not be put to shame." - T.F.L.

The Gentiles which followed not after righteousness have attained to righteousness... but Israel which followed after the law of righteousness hath not attained.

1. Were without righteousness.

2. Without the knowledge of it.

3. Without the desire for it.


1. The righteousness of God.

2. Without works.

3. By faith.

4. In Christ.


1. As the free gift of God.

2. As the source of unspeakable happiness.

3. May be attained by all.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)






(J. Lyth, D.D.)

Now you may reject the gospel if you please, but wherein will your condition be improved? If on a ship where some pestilence is raging, the crew and the passengers throw the doctor and the medicine chest overboard, and keep the pestilence with them, how much better are they off? Many there are who are bent on casting Christianity overboard, on getting rid of the Church and priest and theology, and who are bent on keeping their sin and all its multitudinous train of mischief and evils. If men had become pure of heart, then there might be some reason in dispensing with these superflous ministrations; but, thus far, scepticism and the rejection of Christianity is only to make darkness darker and sickness more fatal and distress more painful.

(H. W. Beecher.)


1. Plain and undeniable.

2. A verification of prophecy.


1. That however earnest we may be after salvation, we shall never attain it if we seek it in a self-righteous way.

2. That however regardless we have been about salvation hitherto, we shall attain to it the instant we believe in Christ.

3. That however calumniated this way of salvation is, the very calumnies that are raised against it attest its truth.

(C. Simeon, M.A.)

Paul had two facts before him; the first was, that wherever he went preaching Christ certain Gentiles believed the doctrine, receiving at once forgiveness of sin and a change of heart; and although he had usually commenced his ministry in the synagogues, yet the Jews had almost everywhere rejected the Messiah, and at the same time missed the righteousness which they conceived they had obtained. Note —


1. Certain men had attained to righteousness. Now that alone is a great wonder, for we are all sinners both by nature and by practice.

2. The wonder grows when we consider that these persons had attained to righteousness under great disadvantages; for they were Gentiles, considered by the Jews to be offcasts and outcasts given up to idolatry or to atheism and lusts. There are virtues for which the heathen had no name; and they practised vices for which, thank God, you have no name. They were ignorant withal of the requirements of the law, the light of which alone shone upon the seed of Israel. The strange thing is that such originally were those men who attained unto righteousness. Having no righteousness of their own, and being convinced that they needed one, they fled at once to the righteousness which God has prepared for all who believe in Christ. Are there not persons here whose condition is somewhat similar? You are not religious; but why should not you also attain to righteousness by faith? Wonders of grace are things which God delights in; why should He not work such wonders in you?

3. The marvel of grace was all the greater because, "They followed not after righteousness." Some of them were thoughtful, just, and generous towards men, but righteousness towards God was not a matter after which they laboured. Gold or glory, power or pleasure, were the objects for which they ran. Yet when the gospel burst in upon the midnight of their souls they received its light with joy. They had not sought the Shepherd, but He had sought them, and, laying them on His shoulders, He brought them to His fold. They were like that Indian who, passing up the mountain-side pursuing game, grasped a shrub to prevent his slipping, and as its roots gave way they uncovered masses of silver. These Gentiles discovered in Christ the righteousness which they needed, but which they had never dreamed of finding.

4. These unlikely persons did really believe, and so attain to righteousness. They did not want hammering at so long as some of you do. At the first summons many of them surrendered. They rose at a bound from depths of sin to heights of righteousness. The apostle asks us, "What shall we say then?"(1) Herein is seen the Sovereign appointment of the Lord. He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, He will fulfil His promise to His Son, "Behold, Thou shalt call a nation that Thou knowest not," etc.(2) This also is according to Divine prophecy. "I will call them My people, which were not My people," etc.

3. This is, in fact, the gospel of the grace of God. That God smiles upon worthy people and rewards their goodness is not the gospel. The gospel is that God hath mercy upon the guilty and undeserving.

II. A MARVEL OF FOLLY: "Israel," etc. These people —

1. Were very advantageously placed. They were of the chosen race, born within the visible Church, and circumcised, and brought up to know the law of Moses, and yet they had never attained to righteousness. There are those present who were nursed in the lap of piety; they have scarcely been a single Sabbath absent from the Lord's house. Now that they have reached riper years they are still hovering around the gates of mercy, but they have not entered upon the way of life. I tremble for you who are so good and yet are not regenerate.

2. Were earnest and zealous in following after the law of righteousness. Alas! many who have never forgotten a single outward rite are nevertheless quite dead as to spiritual things. Nobody could put a finger upon an open fault in you, and yet you, at least, have a shrewd suspicion that all is not right between you and God. It is concerning such as you that Paul had great heaviness and continual sorrow of heart. You may be earnestly seeking righteousness in the wrong way, and this is a terrible thing.

3. Made a mistake at the very beginning. Israel did not follow after righteousness, but after "the law of righteousness." They missed the spirit and followed after the mere letter of the law. They looked at "Thou shalt not kill," "Thou shalt not commit adultery," etc.; but to love God with all their heart was not thought of. They thought of what a man does, but they forgot the importance of what a man is. Escape from this error; be not so eager for the shell as to lose the kernel, so zealous for the form of godliness as to deny the power thereof!

4. Went upon a wrong principle — viz., that of works. This principle is wrong for —(1) It exalts man.(2) It ignores the great fact that you have sinned already. Are you going to be saved by your works? What about the past? If I am going to pay my way for the future, this will not discharge my old debts.(3) It makes nothing of God. It shuts out both His justice and His mercy.(4) It is impossible to you. You cannot perfectly keep the law of God, for you are sold under sin. Who can get clean water from a polluted spring? "There is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not." But suppose you could outwardly keep the law of God out of a sense of obligation to do so, yet the work is not done unless you yourself are made right with God. Your heart must love God as well as your hands serve Him.

5. Fully developed their unrighteousness when they stumbled at Christ. Jesus Christ came among them, and became to them a rock of offence. They seemed to stand upright until then; but when He came among them, down they went into actual rebellion against the Lord and His Anointed. Yes, your moralists are the great enemies of the Cross. They do not want an atonement; they can hardly endure the doctrine.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)


1. According to human judgment those who most earnestly seek after righteousness should be the first to attain it.

2. But the Gentiles who sought it not have obtained the righteousness of faith.

3. While the Jews who followed after the law of righteousness utterly failed.

II. ITS SECRET HARMONIES (vers. 32, 33).

1. The righteousness is only by faith.

2. The Jews, who sought it by works, took offence at the Cross.

3. But the Gentile, conscious of his demerit, believed and was saved.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

The question hitherto has been — How can God set aside an elect people? And the answer — God chooses whom He will for the carrying on His saving work. But now a reason is adduced. For although God does what He will, we may be sure He never wills what is not right. And here the great reason for the rejection of Israel and the choice of the Gentiles is this, that the former have failed to apprehend the nature of salvation, whereas the latter have received the proffered gift. Needs it any arguing that they are better fitted to work for God than the others?


1. Their previous history, from a religious point of view, is that they "followed not after righteousness," i.e., they sought not justification with God. For a subjective righteousness they did seek — witness Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and poets and historians who sought to set forth the principles of right. But as to an objective righteousness, a being right with God, this was not in all their thoughts. They regarded God as not much troubling Himself with human conduct, and sin itself as rather a defect than guilt.

2. Yet they "attained to righteousness." The dormant conscience awoke; the weakness of their ethical systems was revealed; the guilt of sin and the love of God was set forth in the Cross, and being stricken to the heart, and crying "What must I do to be saved?" they were eager to respond to the command "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ," etc.; and accepting salvation they "attained to righteousness."


1. Their history is stated by way of contrast. The wording is most accurate. They "followed a law" which was designed by God to teach them sin, and lead them to look to His free grace in Christ for pardon; but it was not this "end of the law" which they followed, but the law itself. They made an end of the means, and thus subverted its design; for instead of learning from the law their sin, they sought by a supposed fulfilment of its precepts to make themselves just before God. So instead of learning to be poor in spirit they learned an arrogant self-complacency; instead of coming to God's grace for pardon, they thanked God they were not as other men, and stood self-justified.

2. What was the result? They "did not arrive at that law" not at its true purport, its ultimate design. So the real law of justification, salvation through faith, was hidden from their eyes. To them the Rock of Ages was "a stone of stumbling," etc. Learn, then, from the history of the past that there is only shame for us if we seek to make ourselves just before God. By accepting freely the grace that is freely given, we shall "not be put to shame."

(T. F. Lockyer, B.A.)

They also gave to the world, by their ancient economy, a religion whose genius was the development of mankind. In other words, they gave to the world an ethical religion, as distinguished from a worshipping and superstitious religion. Although the Jew made manifest every office of devotion and reverence, and although you might select from the Jewish writers saints as eminent in observances as any others, yet the distinctive peculiarity of religion among the Israelites was that it had a practical drift as regards the conduct of men. It did not expend itself in lyrics and prayers of worship. It descended to the character of men, and sought first, and above all other faiths of that age, to develop manhood. For the whole flow of that word "righteousness" in the Old Testament is the equivalent of our word "manhood" in modern phrase, and seeking after righteousness was the distinctive peculiarity of the Hebrew religion. It bred a race of men who put into the building of themselves the attributes of truth, of justice, of humanity, of morality, of gentleness, and of humility. It reared men who had no equals, and with whom there was nothing that could compare in their own time. The Greeks built better temples than the Hebrews; but though the Hebrew hand never carved a marble, it did better — it carved men. Such was the very drift of their religion. And the apostle, having received the culture of Greece at the feet of his great teacher, and knowing what it meant, declared that his brethren sought after righteousness, but that they did not well understand what were the instruments by which the higher development of manhood was to be attained. They sought to develop righteousness by institutions; but Paul says that no race of people ever did or ever will, merely by institutions, develop the highest form of character. That must be done by following a living example under a heroic inspiration.

(H. W. Beecher.)



III.THE CAUSE OF HIS FAILURE. He seeks it not by faith, but by works, consequently stumbles at Christ.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)





(J. Lyth, D.D.)

Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith. — This verse plainly teaches that the reason why one man is unsaved while others are saved is not in God, but in himself. So always (Romans 10:3; Romans 11:22f; Matthew 23:37). This by no means contradicts ver.18, but looks at the same subject from another point. The reason why any one criminal is put to death is, if justice be done, entirely in himself. But the question whether any criminals are to be put to death rests entirely with the legislature. Those who oppose capital punishment may leave out of sight the conduct of the criminal, and speak only of what it is expedient for the government to do. And the moralist may leave out of sight the expediency of capital punishment, and speak only of the consequences of sin. Or again, the motion of the withered leaves of autumn is due entirely to the wind. They do not in the least degree even co-operate to produce their own motion. But the stones on the wayside remain unmoved. The difference arises, not from a difference of the influence brought to bear on them, but simply from this, that while the leaves yield to, the stones resist, the influence which both alike experience. So with us. That believers are justified at all springs entirely from the undeserved mercy of God, and every step towards salvation is entirely God's work in them. But the reason why when some are justified others are not, is that they put themselves by unbelief outside the number of those whom God has determined to save. When Paul replied to the objection that the gospel is inconsistent with the justice of God, he said that salvation is not a manner of justice at all, and that God bestows it on whom He will. But when explaining why the Jews have not obtained salvation, he says that the reason is in themselves. Observe also that their position is attributed not to their sin, but to their unbelief.

(Prof. Beet.)

Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence. — It seems strange that Jesus the Saviour of men should be set before us in this way; but the great object is to cause us to consider what our own attitude is toward Christ. Am I clinging to Him as my Rock of Safety, or am I being repelled from Him as from a rock of offence? Jesus Himself alluded to the same idea (Matthew 21:42-44).


1. The way He came into the world (Matthew 12:54-57). The people stumbled at the difficulty of His lowly parentage. Yet why? for it was all predicted, and ought rather to confirm faith.

2. The surroundings of His daily life. It was with the poor that He chiefly mingled. Here, however, is a proof that Christ was Divine. God is no respecter of persons. Had Christ been a mere man with an ambition to found a kingdom, He would have sought very different society. The persons He chose for His ambassadors were themselves a proof that their religion was Divine. Without rank or riches or worldly influence, and only by the power of their words, they founded a religion which will one day conquer the world.

3. His death. This was to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness. And now men, while willing to regard Christ as the greatest of teachers and sublimest of examples, stumble at His atonement. Yet it is this only that gives meaning to the Old Testament, and without it Christ's own teaching is inexplicable, and to stumble at it is to find a difficulty in the most convincing proof of God's love. Instead of stumbling at it they should find it as Paul did "the power of God."


1. To human pride. If we are to be saved by Jesus we must as guilty sinners lay aside all trust in our own merits. God's way of salvation is too simple. If He would bid us do or suffer some great thing we would gladly do it. But is not this again unreasonable? If I will not take God's way of getting to heaven, how can I expect to get there by any other?

2. To human sins. Many would like to get to heaven, but do not like to give up their sins. But how unreasonable.

3. To human selfishness. "Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

(C. H. Irwin, M.A.)

1. These are astounding words. Who is the speaker? Not Paul, for he quotes Isaiah: not Isaiah, for in both passages (Isaiah 28:16; Isaiah 8:11, 13-16) he ascribes them to Jehovah — one therefore who has a right to speak great and terrible things. What, or rather who, is referred to? It is none else than Jehovah Jesus.

2. When He, then, is represented under the alternative figure of a refuge and a stone of stumbling it is implied that men need a refuge. Why? Because men are everywhere pursued — pursued by penal evils, and that because they are themselves pursuing after evils of another kind. They love "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, or the pride of life," and are keenly pursuing them. One man is making life subordinate to the ignoble pursuit of sensual indulgence, others to fame and power, myriads more to wealth. But the earth on which men live belongs to God, and He has therefore a right to rule in it and over it, and having this right and being holy His malediction is lying on every form of sinful gratification. Hence every nation is pursued by a host of evils, and is time after time driven to Divine means to stave them off for a season. In vain.

3. But, what, then, is to become of each mortal man, of nations, of the great world? Let us hear the voice of God. "Behold I lay," etc. Every man's refuge is in Jehovah Jesus. "There is none other name," etc. Never till the world takes refuge on or in Him will it be happy, and as the world is but a world full of individuals, never will individual men be happy until they flee to Him.

4. But why, then, is He called "a stumbling stone and a rock of collision"? Is a stumbling stone a refuge? Is a rock of collision an asylum? Undoubtedly. It is just according as Christ is made use of as that He will be found to be one or the other. That which is our greatest boon when rightly used may become our utter ruin when abused. Fire and water are among our greatest blessings, but if a man will leap into a blazing furnace, or into a seething flood it will be his destruction. Look how steam engines have multiplied the comforts of life! But if a man will rush into machinery in full motion, all the world's comforts will in one moment cease to be comforts available to him. The same principle holds good in the relation of Jehovah Jesus to men. If they use Him aright He will prove a sanctuary, but if they insist on going on as if He were not in existence at all then He will be a rock of dreadful collision, and they will rush upon Him and be broken and ruined. The Divine idea is this: if men will have none of Jesus, and run on in their way without deigning to look so low as to see Jesus, the interests they pursue must come into terrific collision with the interests He pursues; and whensoever the collision comes, they and they only, will suffer. They will be like fugitives from a flood, who dash with all their highest pressure of force full on, upon a jagged rock. The rock will remain uninjured; but they will fall and be broken, and the flood will overtake and overwhelm them. But there is the sweet addition to the potentous threatening "Whosoever believeth on Him," the Rock of Ages, "shall not be ashamed." His security is certain. The rain may descend, etc., but his hopes will not fail because they are founded upon the Rock.

(J. Morison, D.D.)

Our apostle was inspired, and yet he was moved to quote the Old Testament, and thus he sets us an example of searching the Scriptures. The passage is composed of two Scriptures woven into one. A part is found in Isaiah 28:16; of which the apostle gives us rather the sense than the words, and another part in Isaiah 8:14. In the latter of these passages we have a striking proof of Christ's divinity. Observe ver. 13, "Sanctify the Lord of Hosts Himself... and He shall be for a sanctuary" to believers; "but a stone of stumbling," etc. Isaiah utters a prophecy of the Lord of Hosts, Paul quotes it in reference to the Lord Jesus, plainly intending us to infer that Christ is no other than Jehovah. In his quotation from the former the apostle has omitted the words "for a foundation," and has inserted the words of the other passage, "a stumbling stone, a rock of offence," But the original prophecy serves to show that God's real object in laying Christ in Zion was not that men might stumble at Him, but that He might be a foundation for their hopes; but the result has been that to one set of men Christ has become a sanctuary and a stone of dependence; and to others a stumbling stone. Note —


1. No sooner did He commence His ministry than men began to stumble at Him. "Is not this the carpenter's son?" was the question of those who looked for worldly pomp. "His father and His mother, we know," was the whispered objection of His own townsmen. In His own country the greatest of all prophets had no honour. The Pharisee stumbled at Him, because He did not wash His hands before He ate, nor make broad His phylactery. He healed the sick upon the Sabbath; He had no respect for traditions, and befriended publicans and sinners. The Sadducee, on the other hand, detested Jesus, because His teaching had in it very much of the supernatural element. All His life long, in the high courts of Herod or of Pilate, or in the lowest rank of the mob of Judaea, Christ was despised and rejected of men. But the Jew was not alone in his offence at the Cross. The polished Greeks, when they heard Paul preach, they saw nothing flattering to their philosophy, and therefore they openly mocked. In every age Christ has been rejected by the very men whom He came to bless. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not."

2. However, we have very little to do with these past ages. There are amongst us some who stumble at Christ because of —(1) His holiness. He is too strict for them. Christ offends men because His gospel is intolerant of sin.(2) His plan of salvation by faith. They say, "What, are our good works to go for nothing?" This is too humbling.(3) The doctrine He preaches, more especially the doctrines of grace. If we preach virtue some will say, "I enjoyed that discourse"; but if we preach Christ, and begin to talk about the deep doctrines which lie underneath the gospel, straightway they are angry. Ah! Christ will not shape His doctrine to suit thy carnal taste.(4) His people and their inconsistencies. As though it is an excuse for going to hell because others do not walk straight to heaven. What if David falls and is restored, is this any reason why thou shouldst fall and never be restored? The shipwrecks of others should only make thee sail more carefully.(5) The real objection, however, is Christ Himself. You will not have this man to reign over you. If thou hast no objection to Christ, accept Him.

3. Now let me reason with those who have made Christ a stumbling stone.(1) Hast thou ever considered how much thou insultest God the Father by rejecting Christ? Would it not bring the blood into thy face if thou shouldst give thine only son to fight for thy country, and they to whom he was given should despise thee and thy gift?(2) What a proof is here of thy sinfulness, and how readily wilt thou be condemned at the last when this sin is written on thy forehead. There will be no reason to bring up any other sins against thee. Thou hast objected to God's dear Son, why need we any other witness?(3) How will this increase thy misery? Dost thou think God will be tender over thee when thou hast not been tender with His Son? How can you escape if you neglect so great salvation? You have broken down the only bridge which could have led you into safety.


1. When those who trust Christ might be ashamed of having trusted Him.(1) Well might they be ashamed if Christ should ever leave them.(2) If Christ should fail them either as to providence or grace in times of trial and temptation.(3) If Christ's promises were not fulfilled.(4) If when he came to die he should find no support. But have ye ever heard of a Christian who was ashamed in his dying hour?

2. Why they might be ashamed if such things were to come.(1) We have ventured our all upon Christ. The world says you should never put all your eggs in one basket, and the world is quite right in human things. But here are we, we are depending everything upon one man. If He can fail us, we are of all men most miserable.(2) We have given up this life for the next. The world's proverb is, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," but we, on the other hand, have said that the bird in the hand is nothing at all, that the bird in the bush is everything. Now, if things should turn out wrong, and we have believed in vain, then we shall be ashamed of our hope, but not till then, and that shall be never.(3) We began boasting before we had ended the battle. You have boasted in Christ; you have said that He is a sure foundation, but if He should fail you, why then you would be in the position of a man who boasted before the time. But we shall never be ashamed.(4) We have actually divided the spoil; and oh! if the battle should be lost, then we should be ashamed. The French once, before the battle began, commenced selling the English captives, but then, fortunately, they never gained the victory. But you and I have already entered into our rest; and if it should be a delusion we should be ashamed, but not till then.(5) Men are ashamed when they have made a bad speculation, because they have induced others to enter into it. You and I have been inducing others to embark in this great venture. Oh, sweet assurance, we have not preached cunningly devised fables, and shall never be ashamed.

3. Who are they who shall never be ashamed? "Whosoever believeth" — that is, any man who ever lived, or ever shall live, who believes in Christ, shall never be ashamed. Whether he has been a gross sinner or a moralist; whether he be a prince or a beggar, it matters not.

4. The text means more than it says, viz., the believers shall be glorified and full of honour. If thou trustest Christ to-day, it will bring shame from men, it will ensure trials, but it will also ensure honour in the eight of God's holy angels and glory at the last in the sight of the assembled universe.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

A preacher of the gospel had gone down into a coal mine during the noon hour to tell the miners of that grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ. After telling them the simple story of God's love to lost sinners — man's state and God's remedy, a full and free salvation offered, the time came for the men to resume work, and the preacher came back to the shaft to ascend to the world again. Meeting the foreman, he asked him what he thought of God's way of salvation. The man replied, "Oh, it is too cheap: I cannot believe in such a religion as that!" Without an immediate answer to his remark, the preacher asked: "How do you get out of this place?" "Simply by getting into the cage," was the reply. "And does it take long to get to the top? "Oh, no; only a few seconds!" "Well, that certainly is very easy and simple. But do you not need to help raise yourself?" said the preacher. "Of course not!" replied the miner. "As I have said, you have nothing to do but get into the cage." "But what about the people who sunk the shaft, and perfected all this arrangement? Was there much labour or expense about it?" "Indeed, yes; that was a laborious and expensive work. The shaft is eighteen hundred feet deep, and it was sunk at great cost to the proprietor; but it is our only way out, and without it we should never be able to get to the surface." "Just so. And when God's Word tells you that whosoever believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life, you at once say, 'Too cheap!' — 'Too cheap!' forgetting that God's work to bring you and others out of the pit of destruction and death was accomplished at a vast cost, the price being the death of His own Son." Men talk about the "help of Christ" in their salvation — that if they do their part, Christ will do His, forgetting, or not seeing, that the Lord Jesus Christ by Himself purged our sins, and that our part is but to accept what has been done.

My friends, I do not want to make an experiment about my own soul. I cannot afford to do it. I have but one soul to be saved or lost, and if you can show to me that this gospel of Jesus Christ is an experiment, I want nothing to do with it. I do not want to go on a trial trip. Some years ago, in the Canadas, there was a bridge built over an awful chasm. Far down beneath the waters rushed very violently. After this costly and beautiful bridge was done, the day for opening it came. Thousands of people assembled. Flags were flying, guns were. sounding. There was a large coach drawn by six horses, a coach loaded with passengers, and at just the advertised moment, the architect of the bridge, to show that the structure was what it pretended to be, mounted the box of this coach, took the reins in his hands, and started, amid the huzzas of thousands and thousands of people. He drove on until he came to the centre of the bridge, when the timbers cracked, and all went down — some dashed against the abutments, some whelmed in the stream. You tell me that there is a bridge built for my soul over sin, and death, and hell, and you ask me to go on it, and ask me to take all these people on it. No; unless I am sure it is a safe bridge, But this is no experiment. We are not the first to go over it. Scores, and hundreds, and thousands have gone over it. "A great multitude that no man can number," have gone over it. That bridge is buttressed at one end with the "Rock of Ages," and at the other with the throne of the Lord God Almighty, and I am not afraid to trust it. Wilt you go with me to-day? Venture on Him. Venture wholly. No experiment about it. If it had been an unsafe salvation, your fathers and mothers would long ago have found it out. Oh, what a glorious salvation from sin, and death, and hell! Peter preached it at the Pentecost, and there went up the shout of three thousand delivered captives. Paul preached it in official circles, and the knees of Felix knocked together. Robert McCheyne preached it in Dundee until all Scotland was in a blaze. Richard Baxter preached it until Lord Jeffries trembled on the judicial bench, and James II turned pale on his iniquitous throne, and hundreds of souls started from Kidderminster for the saints' everlasting rest. It has dried up rivers of tears.

(T. De Witt Talmage.).

Esaias, Esau, Hosea, Isaac, Isaiah, Israelites, Jacob, Osee, Paul, Pharaoh, Rebekah, Romans, Sarah
Gomorrah, Rome, Sodom, Zion
Arises, Attain, Attained, Bring, Conclusion, Didn't, Faith, Follow, Followed, Gentiles, Got, However, Nations, Obtained, Overtaken, Principle, Pursue, Pursuing, Pursuit, Righteousness
1. Paul is sorry for the Jews.
7. All of Abraham not of the promise.
18. God's sovereignty.
25. The calling of the Gentiles and rejecting of the Jews, foretold.
32. The cause of their stumbling.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Romans 9:30

     2072   Christ, righteousness
     2424   gospel, promises
     5362   justice, believers' lives

Romans 9:30-10:4

     5110   Paul, teaching of
     7135   Israel, people of God

Romans 9:30-31

     6650   finding
     8157   righteousness, as faith

Romans 9:30-32

     6678   justification, Christ's work
     8022   faith, basis of salvation

April 1. "Vessels of Mercy which He had Afore Prepared unto Glory" (Rom. Ix. 23).
"Vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared unto glory" (Rom. ix. 23). Our Father is fitting us for eternity. A vessel fitted for the kitchen will find itself in the kitchen. A vessel for the art gallery or the reception room will generally find itself there at last. What are you getting fitted for? To be a slop-pail to hold all the stuff that people pour into your ears, or a vase to hold sweet fragrance and flowers for the King's palace and a harp of many strings that sounds the melodies and harmonies
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Jacob and Esau
Now, it is one thing to refute another man's doctrine, but a very different matter to establish my own views. It is very easy to knock over one man's hypothesis concerning these truths, not quite so easy to make my own stand on a firm footing. I shall try to-night, if I can, to go safely, if I do not go very fast; for I shall endeavour to keep simply to the letter of God's Word. I think that if we kept more simply to the teachings of the Bible, we should be wiser than we are; for by turning from
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

God's Will and Man's Will
The great controversy which for many ages has divided the Christian Church has hinged upon the difficult question of "the will." I need not say of that conflict that it has done much mischief to the Christian Church, undoubtedly it has; but I will rather say, that it has been fraught with incalculable usefulness; for it has thrust forward before the minds of Christians, precious truths, which but for it, might have been kept in the shade. I believe that the two great doctrines of human responsibility
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 8: 1863

Of Predestination
Eph. i. 11.--"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."--Rom. ix. 22, 23.--"What if God, willing to show his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared unto glory." In the creation of the world, it pleased the Lord,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

That a Man Ought not to Reckon Himself Worthy of Consolation, but More Worthy of Chastisement
O Lord, I am not worthy of Thy consolation, nor of any spiritual visitation; and therefore Thou dealest justly with me, when Thou leavest me poor and desolate. For if I were able to pour forth tears like the sea, still should I not be worthy of Thy consolation. Therefore am I nothing worthy save to be scourged and punished, because I have grievously and many a time offended Thee, and in many things have greatly sinned. Therefore, true account being taken, I am not worthy even of the least of Thy
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

The Coming of the Called.
"That the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth."--Rom. ix. 11. The question is, whether the elect cooperate in the call. We say, Yes; for the call is no call, in the fullest sense of the word, unless the called one can hear and hears so distinctly that it impresses him, causes him to rise and to obey God. For this reason our fathers, for the sake of clearness, used to distinguish between the ordinary call and the effectual call. God's call does not
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Love which Withers.
"Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth."--Rom. ix. 18. The idea of hardening is so awful that, with all its unsanctified pity and natural religion, the human heart rejects it as a horrible thought. Natural compassion can not bear the idea that a fellow man, instigated to evil by it, should forever ruin himself. And natural religion can not conceive of a God who, instead of persuading His creature to virtue, should give him up and incite him to sin. This
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

It is Also Written, "But I Say unto You...
28. It is also written, "But I say unto you, Swear not at all." But the Apostle himself has used oaths in his Epistles. [2342] And so he shows how that is to be taken which is said, "I say unto you, Swear not at all:" that is, lest by swearing one come to a facility in swearing, from facility to a custom, and so from a custom there be a downfall into perjury. And therefore he is not found to have sworn except in writing, where there is more wary forethought, and no precipitate tongue withal. And
St. Augustine—On Lying

Flee Away, My Beloved, and be Thou Like to a Roe or to a Young Hart Upon the Mountains of Spices.
The soul having now no other interest than that of the Bridegroom, either for self or for any other creature, and who can will nothing except His glory, seeing something which dishonors Him, cries out, Flee away, my Beloved! Leave these places which offer Thee no perfume. Come to those souls who are as mountains of spices, raised above the fetid vapors corrupted by the wickedness of this world. These mountains owe their sweetness to the odor of the exquisite virtues which Thou hast planted in them,
Madame Guyon—Song of Songs of Solomon

Messiah's Innocence vindicated
He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was he stricken. L et not plain Christians be stumbled because there are difficulties in the prophetical parts of the Scriptures, and because translators and expositors sometimes explain them with some difference, as to the sense. Whatever directly relates to our faith, practice, and comfort, may be plainly collected from innumerable
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

Consecration to God --Illustrated by Abraham's Circumcision
Let me remind you of the order in which these blessings come. If we should speak of sanctification or consecration, it is not as a first thing, but as an elevation to be reached only by preceding stepping-stones. In vain do men pretend to be consecrated to God before they are called of God's Spirit; such have yet to be taught that no strength of nature can suffice to serve the Lord aright. They must learn what this meaneth, "Ye must be born again," for assuredly until men are brought into spiritual
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 14: 1868

Concerning God's Purpose
1. God's purpose is the cause of salvation. THE third and last thing in the text, which I shall but briefly glance at, is the ground and origin of our effectual calling, in these words, "according to his purpose" (Eph. i. 11). Anselm renders it, According to his good will. Peter Martyr reads it, According to His decree. This purpose, or decree of God, is the fountainhead of our spiritual blessings. It is the impulsive cause of our vocation, justification, glorification. It is the highest link in
Thomas Watson—A Divine Cordial

Letter Lxxxv. To Paulinus.
Paulinus had asked Jerome two questions, (1) how can certain passages of scripture (Exod. vii. 13; Rom. ix. 16) be reconciled with Free Will? and (2) Why are the children of believers said to be holy (1 Cor. vii. 14) apart from baptismal grace? For the first of these questions Jerome refers Paulinus to his version (newly made) of Origen's treatise, On First Principles. For the second he quotes the explanation of Tertullian. Written in 400 a.d. 1. Your words urge me to write to you but your eloquence
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

God's Sovereignty Defined
"Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as Head above all" (1 Chron. 29:11). The Sovereignty of God is an expression that once was generally understood. It was a phrase commonly used in religious literature. It was a theme frequently expounded in the pulpit. It was a truth which brought comfort to many hearts, and gave virility and stability
Arthur W. Pink—The Sovereignty of God

Bunyan's Last Sermon --Preached July 1688.
"Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God;" John i. 13. The words have a dependence on what goes before, and therefore I must direct you to them for the right understanding of it. You have it thus,--"He came to his own, but his own received him not; but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them which believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God." In
by John Bunyan—Miscellaneous Pieces

Whence Also the Just of Old, Before the Incarnation of the Word...
18. Whence also the just of old, before the Incarnation of the Word, in this faith of Christ, and in this true righteousness, (which thing Christ is unto us,) were justified; believing this to come which we believe come: and they themselves by grace were saved through faith, not of themselves, but by the gift of God, not of works, lest haply they should be lifted up. [2679] For their good works did not come before God's mercy, but followed it. For to them was it said, and by them written, long ere
St. Augustine—On Patience

The Sum and Substance of all Theology
Note: On Tuesday, June 25th, 1861, the beloved C. H. Spurgeon visited Swansea. The day was wet, so the services could not be held in the open-air; and, as no building in the town was large enough to hold the vast concourses of people who had come from all parts to hear the renowned preacher, he consented to deliver two discourses in the morning; first at Bethesda, and then at Trinity Chapel. At each place he preached for an hour and a quarter. The weather cleared up during the day; so, in the evening,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916

The Strait Gate. Warned against Herod.
(Peræa.) ^C Luke XIII. 22-35. ^c 22 And he went on his way through cities and villages, teaching, and journeying on unto Jerusalem. [This verse probably refers back to verse 10, and indicates that Jesus resumed his journey after the brief rest on the Sabbath day when he healed the woman with the curvature of the spine.] 23 And one said unto him, Lord, are they few that are saved? [It is likely that this question was asked by a Jew, and that the two parables illustrating the smallness of the
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Now Follows the Practice of Piety in Dying for the Lord.
The practice of piety in dying for the Lord is termed Martyrdom. Martyrdom is the testimony which a Christian bears to the doctrine of the Gospel by enduring any kind of death; to invite many, and to confirm all, to embrace the truth thereof. To this kind of death Christ hath promised a crown: "Be thou faithful unto the death, and I will give thee the crown of life." Which promise the Church so firmly believed, that they termed martyrdom itself a crown. And God, to animate Christians to this excellent
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

'As many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.' John 1:12. Having spoken of the great points of faith and justification, we come next to adoption. The qualification of the persons is, As many as received him.' Receiving is put for believing, as is clear by the last words, to them that believe in his name.' The specification of the privilege is, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.' The Greek word for power, exousia, signifies
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Letter xix (A. D. 1127) to Suger, Abbot of S. Denis
To Suger, Abbot of S. Denis He praises Suger, who had unexpectedly renounced the pride and luxury of the world to give himself to the modest habits of the religious life. He blames severely the clerk who devotes himself rather to the service of princes than that of God. 1. A piece of good news has reached our district; it cannot fail to do great good to whomsoever it shall have come. For who that fear God, hearing what great things He has done for your soul, do not rejoice and wonder at the great
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them,' &c. Matt 28: 19. I. The way whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemptions, is, in the use of the sacraments. What are the sacraments in general? They are visible signs of invisible grace. Is not the word of God sufficient to salvation? What need then is there of sacraments? We must not be wise above what is written. It is God's will that his church
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Mr. Bunyan's Last Sermon:
Preached August 19TH, 1688 [ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR] This sermon, although very short, is peculiarly interesting: how it was preserved we are not told; but it bears strong marks of having been published from notes taken by one of the hearers. There is no proof that any memorandum or notes of this sermon was found in the autograph of the preacher. In the list of Bunyan's works published by Chas. Doe, at the end of the 'Heavenly Footman,' March 1690, it stands No. 44. He professes to give the title-page,
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Reprobation Asserted: Or, the Doctrine of Eternal Election and Reprobation Promiscuously Handled, in Eleven Chapters.
WHEREIN THE MOST MATERIAL OBJECTIONS MADE BY THE OPPOSERS OF THIS DOCTRINE, ARE FULLY ANSWERED; SEVERAL DOUBTS REMOVED, AND SUNDRY CASES OF CONSCIENCE RESOLVED. BY JOHN BUNYAN OF BEDFORD, A LOVER OF PEACE AND TRUTH. 'What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.'--Romans 11:7 London: Printed for G. L., and are to be sold in Turn-stile-alley, in Holbourn. Small 4to, 44 pages. EDITOR'S ADVERTISEMENT. This valuable tract
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

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