Romans 9

 God is Sovereign! 

We do HIS Will – Therefore -
We Have NO “Free Will”

Lorraine Day, M.D.


1 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience is testifying together with me in the Spirit (Breath) of holiness (Holy Spirit),

“Paul was in acute sympathy with his brethren according to the flesh (the Israelites), for he himself had been the most rabid of all in opposing the Christ he now adored.  This is a most apt confession, as he is about to introduce the great doctrine of the divine Sovereignty, for he is the star example of God’s sovereign grace.”  Concordant Commentary p 239

2 that my sorrow is great, and unintermittent pain is in my heart

3 for I myself wish to be accursed from Christ for my relatives according to the flesh,

4 who are Israelites, whose is the sonship (adoption) and the glory and covenants and the giving of the law, and the divine service and the promises

To the Israelites of old - those who were followers of the true God, such as Jacob (who was re-named “Israel” – a spiritual name) just as to the true followers of Christ of today, have been given God’s promise of “sonship” (becoming Sons and Daughters of God), the law (the Ten Commandments), the divine service (worshiping God) and the promises (the numerous promises in the Bible, including those for PHYSICAL and Spiritual healing, as well as Salvation FOR ALL!)

5 Whose are the fathers, and out of whom is the Christ according to the flesh, Who is over all, God be blessed for the eons.  Amen!

Jesus Christ was born in the land of Judea, in the land of Israel.  He was an “Israelite.”  Remember, Jesus was NOT a Jew!  There was NO SUCH THING as a “Jew” at that time.  The word “Jew” is a mistranslation of the word Iudean or Judean, describing a location (Judea) and/or a true type of worship (to the single True God of heaven) that gave allegiance to the God of heaven rather than to multiple pagan FALSE gods.  The word “Judean” did NOT refer to an ethnicity.

6 Not as though the word of God has taken none effect.  For not all those out of Israel, are Israel;

7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. (Gen. 21:12)

Just because a person was a physical descendant of Abraham did not mean that person was a child of God.  Only those who had/have FAITH (they BELIEVE that God WILL do what He has already PROMISED to do), can truly be called the “seed” of Abraham.  Their genealogical ethnicity has no bearing on this.

8 That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are NOT the children of God; but the children of the promise ARE counted as the seed.

“Children of the flesh” refers to TWO conditions: 1) a literal descendant of Abraham, or 2) a person who “walks in the flesh” (living the life of the world)  instead of living a life with God. 

“Children of the promise” means those who BELIEVE that God WILL do what He has already promised to do, as Abraham FINALLY BELIEVED that God COULD give Abraham a son, at his old age, through his wife, Sarah, who was also about 90 years old, even though it was physically impossible in earthly terms.

But God can do ANYTHING.  Yet, Christians perpetually run to “man” – pastors, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, support groups, “Christian” mentors, churches, “small groups” at churches – INSTEAD of running to God!

Because they really DON’T believe God can - or will - do what He has already promised He will do: heal us, save us, take away our fears, provide all our needs, etc.

9 For the word of the promise is this:  “At this time I shall come and there will be for Sarah a son.” 

10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac:

11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth.)

Long before Jacob and Esau were born, God had predestined who would get the birthright and who would be the father of the Israelites.  It had NOTHING to do with their “works”, it was ALL predestined by God.

GOD does the “electing” and GOD does the “calling.”  He runs everything!  Everything is done according to HIS will – NOT our will!

Neither Jacob nor Esau had any “Free Will” about the matter.  Their lives, as ours are, were predestined by God before “ the foundations of the earth.”

“It is God’s sovereign privilege to display Himself through any of His creatures in any way best suited to His purpose. . . In God’s great purpose to eventually bless ALL mankind, it is His prerogative to form and use suitable vessels to convey His mercy. . . Pharoah was elevated by God, not that his name might be great, but that God’s name might be made known through all the earth. . . God has a large purpose which will eventuate in the blessing of ALL.  But in the process of its fulfillment it demands the temporary use of some as foils to set forth His indignation and power, that He may make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy.”  Concordant Commentary, p 239

12 It was said unto her (Rebecca), The elder shall serve the younger.

13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

God did not “hate” Esau, but in earthly terms God appeared to favor Jacob.  But, as we see at the end of the story, God loved both Jacob and Esau.  He was just proving a point on how we should and should not live.

14 What shall we say then?  Is there unrighteousness with God?  God forbid.  (Certainly not.)

One may ask,  “If we have no ‘free will,’ then how can God hold us accountable for what we do?  Isn’t that unrighteousness on God’s part?” 

Keep reading!

15 For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

God decides who receives mercy and compassion – and when.  If you read to the end of the story in the Bible, you will see that EVERYONE will receive God’s mercy and compassion, but they will receive it during different time periods.  God loves everyone the same.  But He has a Plan that requires this sequence.

16 So then it is NOT of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.

This is one of the most important texts in the entire Bible.  It clearly tells us that we human beings have NO “Free Will.”  Paul tells us that NOTHING is according to a human being’s “will,” NOR to his deeds (works), but that EVERYTHING is according to God, who rules the universe with mercy.  In other words, God is in control – NOT man.  It is GOD’S will that runs the universe, not OUR will.

If we are not doing it God’s way, then we are doing it Satan’s way.  There is nothing in between.

17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show My power in thee, and that My name (character) might be declared throughout all the earth.

The Bible tells us that “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.”  Pharaoh was, at times during the plagues, beginning to relent and was willing to let the Israelites go.  But God stepped in and hardened Pharaoh’s heart so he would NOT let them go – at least until the time God had completed His purpose with the plagues.

18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will, He hardens.

God has mercy on some and on others, He hardens their heart.  But the “hardening of the heart” is only temporary until God’s purposes are fulfilled.  Eventually, He will change everyone to be like Him.

19 You will say then to me, “Why does He (God) find fault?  For who has resisted His will?”

This is a very legitimate question.  If we have no “Free Will” and God is running everything in our life, how can God hold us responsible for what we do – since, whether bad or good, it is HIS WILL?

“God has a large purpose which will eventuate in the blessing of all.  But in the process of its fulfillment it demands the temporary use of some as foils to set forth His indignation and power, that He may make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy.  This chapter does not deal with the ultimate destiny of the individual.  That has been settled.  All mankind will be justified eventually.” (Romans 5:18)  Concordant Commentary p 239

20 Nay but, O man, who are YOU that you reply against God?  Shall the thing formed (man) say to Him that formed it (God), “Why have you made me this way?”

God formed us (created us) and He has the right to control our life.

21 Doesn’t the potter have power over the clay, to make from the same lump – one vessel of honor, and another vessel of dishonor?

How much “Free Will” does clay have?  God describes Himself as the Potter, and WE are the clay.  God has the right to do with us what He wants.

22 What if God, showing His wrath, which is His WILL, to make His power known, endured with much patience the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction:

This last word “destruction” is the Greek word apollumi.  It does NOT mean to be permanently annihilated or to burn forever – or even for a short time.  It is the same word used in the Bible for the “lost” sheep and the “lost” coin, both of which were “found” and saved!  The Greek word “apollumi” means “lost” waiting to be found.  It does NOT mean to be permanently destroyed.

God “destroys” us as the Potter “destroys” the vessel when he finds a mar in it.  But the Potter then makes a new vessel without the clay ever leaving the hand of the Potter.

We must be “destroyed” of all our pride, arrogance, desires of the flesh, and the idea that we are self-sufficient and that we are capable of running our own life.  Only then can God begin to teach us to be like Him.

God will “destroy” the wicked - - - in order to make them “new creatures in Christ.”

23 And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had beforehand prepared unto glory,

In the end, God will be the BIG winner, not a loser of most of His children, as the Organized “Church” teaches.  He will show His great glory by turning all His children back to Him, after they have reaped what they have sown.

24 Even us, whom He has called, not of the Believers (Judeans) only, but also to the Unbelievers (Nations – incorrectly translated “Gentiles”).

God is going to save EVERYONE!

25 As He said also in Osee, “I will call them My people, who 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, You are NOT My people; there shall they be called, the children of the living God.

Those who are not now God’s people eventually will be drawn back to Him by His great love and mercy.

27 Isaiah also cried out concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

Of all those who have ever professed to know God, a “remnant” will be saved – at the Second Coming.  But these are just the “First Fruits.”  The whole “harvest” will be saved AFTER the Judgment, when everyone has finally “reaped what he has sown.”

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 Isaiah said before, “Except the Lord of Sabbath had left us a seed, we would have become as Sodom and been made like unto Gomorrha.

God will allow virtually the entire population of the earth (with the exception of the “remnant”) to be overcome by Satan (“the WHOLE world will follow after the Beast” Rev 13:3), to give Satan everything he needs to make good on his claim that he (Satan) can run the world better than God. 

30 What shall we say then?  That the Unbelievers (Gentiles) that did not follow after righteousness have actually attained righteousness, even the righteousness that is of faith.

These BELIEVE in God and their actions reveal their belief.  They trust God and NOT “man.”  They go to GOD, instead of doctors, when they are sick, they go to GOD, instead of a minister or priest, for salvation.  They have God’s Spirit of holiness in their hearts.  They do right because it is right, not because they are concerned about God punishing them.  They keep God’s LAW by their very nature because it is written in their heart.

31 But Israel, that followed after the LAW of righteousness (right-doing), has NOT attained to the Law of righteousness (right-doing).

The “Church” has many demands:  one must 1) be in church every week, 2) support the church financially and by giving of their time, 3) do “service” for the Lord as the “Church” dictates, 4) participate in the rituals (Communion/Lord’s Supper/Eucharist, weekly services with their rituals) of the “Church,” etc.  They have a relationship with the “Church” and have little or no time for a relationship with Jesus Christ, which ONLY comes by daily, private Bible Study and prayer – searching for the Lord “with all your heart.”

THIS is “Salvation by works”, exactly what the “Church” says it DOESN’T believe in!

32 Why?  Because they sought it NOT by faith, but as if it were by the works of the law.  For they stumbled at that Stumblingstone:

33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumblingstone and Rock of offence: and whosoever believes on Him shall not be put to shame. (Isaiah 8:14; 28:16)

The “Stumblingstone” is Jesus Christ.  Christianity is NOT a religion – with church buildings, officers, a hierarchical structure and a dogma of doctrine that everyone must believe, or get thrown out.  Christianity is a personal, one-on-one, relationship with Jesus Christ.  Christ will be our Teacher, our Plan-maker and our Problem-solver.  We must turn to HIM – and NOT to “man’s” unwise solution – the “Church!”

© Lorraine Day, M.D. 2006. All Rights Reserved.
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