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January 20 - Has God's Promise Failed? (Romans 9:1-13)

Prepare for Sunday morning worship by using the guide below.

Worship Songs

Glorious and Mighty
How Great Is Your Faithfulness
By Faith
How Deep the Father's Love for Us

Adult Education

Nik Lingle and Phillip Taylor will continue teaching a series on How the Church Works. This class will be at 10:00am in the Youth Room. 

Romans 9:1-13

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”


In reading chapter 9, you will notice a sudden shift in this letter. The shift is so severe that many scholars think that chapters 9-11 were written by another person or a later addition to the book. But Paul is the author, and he writes this to address theological confusion. The confusion in the church was raised by the question, "Is God faithful to his promises?" As you remember, Paul ended chapter 8 with some of the most hope filled promises of Scripture.  He assured us that in Jesus, God promised nothing will separate us from God. But is God’s promise certain when seen in the light of Israel rejecting Jesus as her Messiah?  In other words, if God promised Israel that they would be his people and yet the majority did not believe in his Messiah, has his promise failed? And if this is true, should Christians be assured and confident in God’s promises in Jesus? 

In this chapter, Paul seeks to prove God's faithfulness and in so doing will speak to one of the most difficult and controversial doctrines, God's unconditional election. Please read through chapter 9 numerous times. It will take a few weeks to cover, but read through it asking God for wisdom and humility to understand. While this chapter causes great anxiety for many it is meant to lead us into deep adoration of God.

Review and Apply

How often do you give thought to those who reject the message and life of Jesus?  Is this a concern to you, why or why not?

Why might some think that God's word has failed? 

How does Paul explain that God's word has not failed?  

How does he distinguish between ethnic Israel and true Israel?

How does these two examples show God is sovereign in election?

How would this chapter explain why some believe and others not?

What challenge or comfort does his sovereignty in salvation bring to you?

How can one know if he or she is chosen by God?   

What are some of the other mysteries of God that leave us in wonderment and amazement?