The Letter to the Romans



33. God's Sovereign Faithfulness


Romans 9:25-33

25 As he says in Hosea: "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one"

26 and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people," they will be called "sons of the living God."

27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.

28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality."

29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: "Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah."

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;

31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it.

32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone."

33 As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."


Paul has discussed the absolute sovereignty of God which we mortals cannot question. He appoints people for destruction and also for glory. At the same time, He is patient that all people will have the opportunity to respond to the Holy Spirit and be saved. Now he draws on the Old Testament to show how through Jesus, God's promises are being fulfilled in ways Israel could not have foreseen.


1. Paul quotes Hosea 2:23 in verse 25, and he quotes Hosea 1:10 in verse 26. In the original context, what were these texts about, and how does Paul apply them here? (see Hosea 1 and 2, especially 1:10 and 2:23; see also 1 Peter 2:9-10)



2. How does God make Gentiles, or "not my people," into "my people"? (see Romans 11:17-24)



3. What is the olive tree into which the Gentiles have been grafted? (see Jeremiah 11:16; Psalm 1:1-3; Hosea 14:5-6; Psalm 52:8)



4.How do "not my people" become "sons of the living God", or grafted into the olive tree? (see Hosea 1:10; Matthew 16:16; Romans 8:13-17; John 1:12-13; John 3:6; Titus 3:4-7; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4)



5. In verses 27-28, Paul quotes Isaiah 10:22-23. The original Isaiah passage refers to Israel's eventual redemption from the attacks of the Assyrians. The phrase "a remnant will return" was the name of Isaiah's first son. At the time Isaiah wrote this, a remnant had survived the Assyrian invasion, and later a remnant returned from Babylonian exile. Chapter 11 connects Isaiah 10:20 and onward with the Messianic age. What is significant about the words, "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea"? (see Genesis 22:17-18; Hosea 1:10; Jeremiah 33:19-22; Hebrews 11:11-12)



6. What or who is the remnant that will be saved? (see 2 Kings 19:4; Isaiah 11:10-11; Jeremiah 23:1-4; 44:11-14, 25-28; 50:18-20; Joel 2:32; Zechariah 8:9-12; Romans 11:1-5)



7. What is the Lord's sentence on the earth that would nearly leave Israel like Sodom and Gomorrah, and how is Israel different from these two cities? (see Isaiah 1:9; 10:22-23; Genesis 19:;24-29; Deuteronomy 29:23; Isaiah 13:19-22; Jeremiah 50:35, 40)



8. According to verse 30, who is primarily responding to God's call? Why? (see Romans 1:17; 3:22-24; 4:5, 13-14; 10:6-9; 2:15-16; Philippians 3:8-9; Hebrews 11:7; Deuteronomy 6:25; Isaiah 51;1-2; Romans 10:1-3; Galatians 5:4)



9. Israel had known for centuries of Isaiah's prophecy of the stone in Zion "that causes men to stumble. "Who was this stone, and why did Israel stumble over it? (see 1 Peter 2:4-8; Psalm 118:22-23; Luke 20:17-19; Acts 4:9-11; Isaiah 28:16; Zechariah 10:4; Matthew 21:40-44; Ephesians 2:20)



10. What is your position relative to "the remnant"?



11. Has God called you "my person," "son our daughter of the living God?" If not, what stands between you and Him? If so, what is God asking you to surrender in order for you to grow in your relationship with Him?



12. Ask God to reveal to you the truth as you study even the difficult passages of Scripture. Ask Him to make your heart willing to know Him in deeper ways and to surrender the things that keep you from experiencing His peace. Praise Him for being faithful to His promises even when you are not faithful to Him. Praise God for Jesus and for your regeneration by the Holy Spirit!


Copyright (c) 2006 Graphics Studio, Redlands, CA USA. All rights reserved. Posted June 21, 2006.
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