Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 4 Study # 6
January 20, 2009
24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
1901 ASV Translation:
24 even us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles?
25 As he saith also in Hosea, I will call that my people, which was not my people; And her beloved, that was not beloved.
26 And it shall be, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, There shall they be called sons of the living God.
27 And Isaiah crieth concerning Israel, If the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that shall be saved:
28 for the Lord will execute his word upon the earth, finishing it and cutting it short.
29 And, as Isaiah hath said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, We had become as Sodom, and had been made like unto Gomorrah.
- I. Paul's Declaration of God's International Plan.
- A. There is a balance between the very large picture of God's Grand Plan and the individual picture of the "believer" who is attempting to retain "faith" in "the Word of God" (9:6).
- 1. Paul had ended chapter eight with an outburst of his personal confidence of the inability of anything to separate him from the love of God in Christ.
- 2. But, then, he immediately turned to the fact that there is a vast host of his "kinsmen according to the flesh", who were within the folds of God's "elect nation", who, clearly, were separated from the love of God in Christ. This, at the very least, raises the question of how Paul can be so very confident in 8:38-39 on the foundations of God's "election" (8:33) when "Israel" had been known for centuries as "God's Elect Nation". He answered that question in 9:6 by making a distinction between those who were "of Israel" (as physical offspring) and those who were actually "Israel" (as the children of promise). His reasoning was uncomplicated: the "elect Israel" were those whom He produced as the direct outworking of His promises, not the ones the flesh of men produced as the outworking of their own sexual activity.
- 3. He went on to declare that God was doing what He was doing so that His "purpose ... according to election might stand" on the basis of "calling", not "works".
- 4. And as he moved into the declaration that this included "the Gentiles", he mentioned again the fact that the "vessels of mercy" are "us whom He hath called".
- a. This matter of it being God's "call" that makes one's salvation possible is a recurring theme in Romans.
- 1) Initially Paul appealed to it in respect to his "apostleship" (1:1).
- 2) From there he immediately goes to it again in 1:6 where he identifies his readers as "the called" and again in 1:7 the "beloved of God" are "called saints".
- 3) In 4:17 Paul makes the "faith that saves" a matter of "believing God, who ... calleth those things which be not as though they were."
- 4) And his next mention is 8:28 where those who love God are "the called according to his purpose."
- 5) Out of that reference comes the description of the process where "calling" is after predestination and before justification (8:30).
- 6) All of the remaining references to "calling" by Paul in Romans are in chapter 9.
- a) 9:7 rejects all of the seed of Abraham as "the children" except Isaac.
- b) 9:11 declares that God has set aside all manner of works so that the purpose of God according to election might stand "of Him that calleth."
- c) 9:24 makes the "vessels of mercy" those "whom He hath called" and reinforces it in 9:25 by quoting "Osee" (Hosea) and, with his last reference to "calling" in this letter, the apostle says of the "called" that they shall be "called" the sons of the Living God (9:26).
- b. The end of the matter is that "being called by God" results in "being called the sons of the Living God". The former refers to His actions and the latter refers to His characterization of us. There is a difference in the way the verb "call" is used. On one side of the coin, it refers to an action of summons and on the other it refers to the action of identifying. There is a cause/effect relationship.
- B. In pursuing the "very large picture", Paul, in the text before us, plainly extends "the Grand Plan" to the inclusion of "Gentiles".
- 1. In his dealings with God's intention of making "Life" possible through the knowledge of Himself, he said that God was willing to make "wrath", "power", "longsuffering", "destruction", "the riches of His glory", and "mercy" known by the actions that He was taking. In regard to this "will to reveal", Paul moved beyond the "Israel within Israel" context of limited activity to the more inclusive terms of "vessels of wrath" and "vessels of mercy" in a context of large activity that, he, rather shockingly to a "Jewish" mentality, claimed included "the Gentiles".
- a. It is interesting that Paul laid bare his own heart regarding his "kinsmen according to the flesh" by saying that he was willing to be "accursed" for their sake, but, when it came down to actual action, the Gentiles took up the vast majority of his time.
- b. For Paul, the "vessels of mercy" was God's focus, not whether they had this national identity or that one. This was the reality of the time in God's Plan as He set about building His Church. Paul's part in it was making the "calling" aspect of it feasible.
- 2. Because of this expansion by Paul of the scope of God's "Grand Plan", he felt compelled to root it in Scripture. Even though he was an apostle, he did not presume to declare concepts for which there was no Scriptural basis. As an apostle, he did declare his ability to declare what had been "mystery" in the past (Romans 11:25; 16:25; 1 Corinthians 15:51; Ephesians 3:3-4; etc.) as to the details, but the broad brushstrokes of the Plan were contained in the words of the prophets.
- a. Thus, we have Paul's reference to Hosea 2:23 in which he finds support in the idea that "those not My people" will be called "My people" for his inclusion of the Gentiles.
- 1) One related issue is this: The "My people" are "beloved".
- 2) A second related issue is this: The "My people" are "sons of the Living God".
- b. And we have Paul's reference to Isaiah 10:22-23 in which he finds support for the fact that "Israel" alone is insufficient for the vastness of the "Plan".