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A. God's Selection, Our Destiny
1. Of God Who Calls
1 I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie, my conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit,
2 That I have great grief and unceasing pain in my heart.
3 For I could wish that I myself were a curse, separated from Christ for my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh,
4 Who are Israelites, whose are the sonship and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the law and the service and the promises;
5 Whose are the fathers, and out of whom, as regards what is according to flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
6 But it is not as though the word of God has fallen away, for not all who are out of Israel are Israel;
7 Neither is it that because they are the seed of Abraham, they are all children; but, ``In Isaac shall your seed be called,''
8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are accounted as the seed.
9 For this is the word of promise, ``At this time next year I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.''
10 And not only so, but Rebecca also, having conceived by one, Isaac our father,
11 Though the children had not yet been born nor had done anything good or bad (that the purpose of God according to selection might remain, not of works but of Him who calls),
12 It was said to her, ``The greater shall serve the less'';
13 As it is written, ``Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.''
2. Of God's Mercy
14 What then shall we say? Is there unrighteousness with God? Absolutely not!
15 For to Moses He says, ``I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.''
16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ``For this very thing I have raised you up, that I might show in you My power, and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.''
18 So then He has mercy on whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills.
3. Of God's Sovereignty
19 You will say to me then, Why does He still find fault? For who withstands His will?
20 But rather, O man, who are you who answer back to God? Shall the thing molded say to him who molded it, Why did you make me thus?
21 Or does not the potter have authority over the clay to make out of the same lump one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor?
22 And what if God, wishing to demonstrate His wrath and make His power known, endured with much long-suffering vessels of wrath fitted for destruction,
23 In order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory,
24 Even us, whom He has also called, not only from among the Jews but also from among the Gentiles?
25 As He also says in Hosea, ``I will call those who were not My people My people, and her who was not beloved beloved;
26 And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, there shall they be called sons of the living God.''
27 And Isaiah cries concerning Israel, ``Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that shall be saved;
28 For the Lord will execute His word upon the earth, accomplishing it and cutting it short.''
29 And as Isaiah has previously said, ``Unless the Lord of hosts had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom and been made like Gomorrah.''
4. Through the Righteousness Which Is out of Faith
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have laid hold of righteousness, but a righteousness which is out of faith;
31 But Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not attain to that law.
32 Why? Because they pursued it not out of faith, but as it were out of works. They stumbled at the stone of stumbling,
33 As it is written, ``Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling, a rock of offense, and he who believes on Him shall not be put to shame.''