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Romans 9 Reading Guide

Watch a short overview of Romans 9

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Passage: Romans 9

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-5 - Suddenly, the tone of Romans shifts from one of the most triumphant in all of scripture to one of angst & sorrow. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, realizes that his own kin, the Jews, have by and large rejected the gospel. After all the promises God had made to them, all the history, they're cut off. Paul even says he'd trade places with them if he could (v3)!

  • v6-8 - Paul makes clear that the Jews' failure to believe was not because God's Word was insufficient. Rather, God's promise to Abraham is now being fulfilled in that the gospel is going out to all people, not just Jews.

  • v9-13 - The twins Jacob & Esau are used as an example. Esau would be considered the more righteous of the two, but yet God had chosen his conniving twin brother Jacob to be the one to receive God's grace and carry on His promise.

  • v14-18 - This is an incredibly hard concept to understand, and Paul anticipates the way you're feeling about it. God is not unfair (v14). This passage was not written to confuse or trouble you, but rather to bring you comfort that your salvation is totally in the hands of a sovereign God. V16 summarizes this difficult chapter:

It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or efforts, but on God's mercy.
  • v19-24 - Paul also anticipates the next objection many will have: If God has predestined everything way ahead of time, why does He still blame people who reject Him? Paul doesn't answer this objection, rather he states the question misses the point. God is God. He made all things for His purposes. Some of the things He made to keep forever, some of those things He made to use for a short time and cast away. Yes, this is a brutal truth. John Calvin calls it the Horrible Doctrine, not because it's bad theology, but because of the reality of it. Yet God does what He does for you, so that you - whom He prepared in advance for glory - would know the riches of His glory (v23).

  • v25-29 - Paul quotes several OT prophecies to support these doctrines.

  • 30-32 - Ultimately what caused Israel to lose their salvation is that they chose to depend upon their own efforts, rather than on God's mercy.

Old Testament Reference -

  • Genesis 25:19-34 - Read the story of the twins, Jacob and Esau.


Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions. For every comment or reply you post, you will receive an entry for this month's prize: a gift certificate to Lakeside Deli.

  1. Choose a verse and put it into your own words.

  2. What's the most jarring verse for you in this chapter? What's the most comforting?

  3. Which short phrase did you dwell on yesterday? How did your understanding of that phrase change, or how did the phrase change your day?



Keep one of these phrases in your mind throughout the day and come back to it often, asking God to speak to you through these words:

  • v6 - God's Word does not fail

  • v16 - Salvation depends on God's mercy

  • v20 - Who are you to talk back to God?

  • v24 - God prepared you in advance for His glory

Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our sovereign God, who forms all things for His glory

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will remind you how much you depend upon His mercy



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