How To Understand Romans Chapter 9

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Embankment

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2017
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#61
I think it exists because the Jews were taking a fatalistic approach to their situation. It's like they believe we're screwed forever and ever and that's not the case because they could have a change of heart and reverse their situation.
It's more like the Jews wanted the states quo of living under the old covenant & refuse the new. Paul is dropping the bomb. Brothers, the old covenant is gone for good.... like it or not.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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#62
well, the Psalms indicates God knows us in the womb..I am sure you know that verse....so I will venture that Esau was the little stinker there too before he became the big stinker

although really I kind of think Jacob was a stinker too ;)

I believe the Bible indicates that God knows who will do what because He is not limited by a linear concept of time as are we

therefore, He can say we are chosen before the foundation of the world and also whosoever will at the same time
yes i think Jacob is a stinker too, and i think Jacob thought so as well - just before he wrestled with the angel of the Lord he prayed, saying 'i am not worthy of your kindnesses'

i am sure Jah i not limited by any measure of time; He created it. He also created each of us - "
our inmost being," same Psalm - so i don't think it's the best choice of description to say that the One who formed me and who formed time itself knows me by virtue of being able to peek at the last page of my book before He finishes reading it, if you get what i mean.

He hid eternity in our hearts, and He knows it even while we don't. ultimately you and i see this the same way; that we don't see it clearly, but '
through a glass, darkly' :) don't have to be able to explain something to know it's true
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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#63
That does not mean He hardens hearts arbitrarily or chooses some for damnation as He pleases. There are many Scriptures (including God's dealings with Pharaoh) which show that before God hardens a wicked person's heart, He gives them many opportunities to repent.
if Pharaoh had repented, God's purpose would have been made void - the first mention is in Exodus 7:3, where God foretells Moses that He will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply signs. in many other places after the exodus God reveals that His purpose was to bring them out with great signs - in exactly this way, hard-hearted Pharaoh and all - in order that the Egyptians ((who He later calls "My people" through Isaiah)) know He is God. for example right here in Romans 9:17, its quoted, from Exodus 9:16 - "for this very reason" God Himself raised Pharaoh up. the scripture presents it as demonstration that God has mercy on whom He will, and hardens whom He will ((v. 18)).

((interestingly, this is about an individual, Pharaoh, while other parts of this section of Romans are speaking corporately, about nations))

so God fore-purposed that Pharaoh's heart should be hardened, because it was spoken through prophecy. if God has prophesied, is it really possible that Pharaoh could have relented after plague #2? like, is that actually a realistic scenario?
and if God told Moses the future because God '
has a special Dr. Who telescope' and can see what Pharaoh will do before he does it, how does God then say He is the one who raised him up for His own purpose, instead of that Pharaoh raised himself up, and God foresaw it and then acted to make use of it?

"the axe does not wield itself"
 
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7seasrekeyed

Guest
#64
yes i think Jacob is a stinker too, and i think Jacob thought so as well - just before he wrestled with the angel of the Lord he prayed, saying 'i am not worthy of your kindnesses'

i am sure Jah i not limited by any measure of time; He created it. He also created each of us - "our inmost being," same Psalm - so i don't think it's the best choice of description to say that the One who formed me and who formed time itself knows me by virtue of being able to peek at the last page of my book before He finishes reading it, if you get what i mean.

He hid eternity in our hearts, and He knows it even while we don't. ultimately you and i see this the same way; that we don't see it clearly, but 'through a glass, darkly' :) don't have to be able to explain something to know it's true
well then what explanation do you have for the apparent contradiction?

I don't believe God is directly behind every thing that happens. He sees the sparrow fall, but He does not make the sparrow fall

to be clear, I'm not at all saying God set everything in motion then sat back and watched the show
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
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#65
...if Pharaoh had repented...
But God already knew that Pharaoh would not repent, even after being given many chances. So God's eternal purposes are tied in with His divine foreknowledge.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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#66
But God already knew that Pharaoh would not repent, even after being given many chances. So God's eternal purposes are tied in with His divine foreknowledge.
the One who formed the innermost being of Pharaoh said this to him:

And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power;
and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
(Exodus 9:16)
Paul quotes this in Romans 9:17.
in 9:18 he says this is an example that God both shows mercy and hardens whom He will.
in verse 19 he raises what is in the light of what he has just said, an obvious question.
in vv. 20-23, in answering this question, he establishes God as the 'molder' of man, the 'clay' saying that God may make vessels according to His own purpose, whether holy or profane, for wrath or for mercy. that God creates and forms.


how does God know the end from the beginning? because He created Pharaoh or because He has a crystal ball to see the future with?
how does mere prescience lead to the conclusion, "who can resist His will?"
how does anthropomorphic 'foresight' jive with Romans 9:19-26?
IMO it is clear that it does not jive at all.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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#67
God already knew that Pharaoh would not repent, even after being given many chances.
God's omniscience is not in question.
what is in question is "
how" God knows all things:
whether this is because of a divine attribute of future-seeing, or because He forms all things and '
turns the hearts of kings like water' ((Proverbs 21:1)) according to His purpose. at the time of the first chapters of Genesis, does He know what John will say in Revelation because He is able to peek at the last pages of the book? or does He know because He Himself writes it?

the existence of prophecy throws a big wrench at the idea of unlimited human free agency. we have to understand whether God simply 'sees' what He foretells, or if He 'ordains' it.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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#68
well then what explanation do you have for the apparent contradiction?

I don't believe God is directly behind every thing that happens. He sees the sparrow fall, but He does not make the sparrow fall

to be clear, I'm not at all saying God set everything in motion then sat back and watched the show
it's not like i know, dude!

His will is that man should have life, but He appointed that man should die. and it is good; it is His will and all things work together for His glory - that He may be all in all, there is no contradiction.
 
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7seasrekeyed

Guest
#69
it's not like i know, dude!

His will is that man should have life, but He appointed that man should die. and it is good; it is His will and all things work together for His glory - that He may be all in all, there is no contradiction.

I think we already agreed that our perspective is similar

but I also think believing God ordains absolutely everything that transpires as opposed to having a choice makes a difference in our lives

bottom line, we do have the responsibility of our growth in Christ and God does not force us

this is a bunch of words. we don't have the cosmic answers
 
Mar 14, 2011
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#70
But nobody actually asked that question. My point is that Paul is asking the question himself.
It's more like the Jews wanted the states quo of living under the old covenant & refuse the new. Paul is dropping the bomb. Brothers, the old covenant is gone for good.... like it or not.
I think it is more directed at gentiles asking the question, Did God make a mistake.

if we think about it

1. God chose abraham, and this nation.
2. nation rebelled against God, and when God sent them their messiah, They crucified him.
3. God now is taking this message to the gentiles (who were hated by the nation God chose)
4. This nation is now trying to thwart the outpouring of the gospel. by continuing to add law and reject christ.

so the questions is as follows

Did God make a mistake choosing Isreal

Paul spends 3 chapters answering that question, and refuting Israels arguments against the christians (chapters 9 - 11) finishing off the fact God is not done with Isreal. so the answer is. Has God failed? No.
 
Mar 14, 2011
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#71
if Pharaoh had repented, God's purpose would have been made void - the first mention is in Exodus 7:3, where God foretells Moses that He will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply signs. in many other places after the exodus God reveals that His purpose was to bring them out with great signs - in exactly this way, hard-hearted Pharaoh and all - in order that the Egyptians ((who He later calls "My people" through Isaiah)) know He is God. for example right here in Romans 9:17, its quoted, from Exodus 9:16 - "for this very reason" God Himself raised Pharaoh up. the scripture presents it as demonstration that God has mercy on whom He will, and hardens whom He will ((v. 18)).

((interestingly, this is about an individual, Pharaoh, while other parts of this section of Romans are speaking corporately, about nations))

so God fore-purposed that Pharaoh's heart should be hardened, because it was spoken through prophecy. if God has prophesied, is it really possible that Pharaoh could have relented after plague #2? like, is that actually a realistic scenario?
and if God told Moses the future because God '
has a special Dr. Who telescope' and can see what Pharaoh will do before he does it, how does God then say He is the one who raised him up for His own purpose, instead of that Pharaoh raised himself up, and God foresaw it and then acted to make use of it?

"the axe does not wield itself"
remember, Pharoah hardened his own heart many times, God did not have to work very hears to strengthen (harden) Pharoa to do what pharoah wanted to do in the first place.

God put phariah in place Because God knew pharaoh, and knew he would do what he did. God is not to be fooled. He knows our hearts.
 
Mar 14, 2011
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#72
God's omniscience is not in question.
what is in question is "
how" God knows all things:
whether this is because of a divine attribute of future-seeing, or because He forms all things and '
turns the hearts of kings like water' ((Proverbs 21:1)) according to His purpose. at the time of the first chapters of Genesis, does He know what John will say in Revelation because He is able to peek at the last pages of the book? or does He know because He Himself writes it?

the existence of prophecy throws a big wrench at the idea of unlimited human free agency. we have to understand whether God simply 'sees' what He foretells, or if He 'ordains' it.
God did not make robots.

He sees all things, and he knows our hearts. He knows if we will do what needs to be done, and choses based on that knowledge.

Again, Jonah is proof of this. He knew jonah would walk away He knew jonah would rebell. But he also knew he could use a great teaching aid by taking jonah through this, because he knew exactly what it would get to make jonah freely chose to do what God asked (three days in a fish)

he did not force jonah to rebel.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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#73
I think it is more directed at gentiles asking the question, Did God make a mistake.

if we think about it

1. God chose abraham, and this nation.
2. nation rebelled against God, and when God sent them their messiah, They crucified him.
3. God now is taking this message to the gentiles (who were hated by the nation God chose)
4. This nation is now trying to thwart the outpouring of the gospel. by continuing to add law and reject christ.


so the questions is as follows

Did God make a mistake choosing Isreal
i think the question ((esp. in v.6)) isn't 'did God make a mistake' - as in, did He choose the wrong people, but 'did God fail' - as in, was He unable to bring about the blessing and the inheritance He promised to Abraham.

what you're bringing up is reminding me of this:

. . do not look at the stubbornness of this people or at their wickedness or their sin, otherwise the land from which You brought us may say, “Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land which He had promised them and because He hated them He has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness."
(Deuteronomy 9:27-28)

Moses's petition wasn't about Egypt perceiving that God should have chosen some 'better' people, but about the perception that God lacked power or authority to carry out His will, or goodness to follow through with what He proclaimed. similarly Moses said to the people:

“Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people."
(Deuteronomy 9:6)

it ain't about Israel being a particularly great group of dudes ((
not by works but by Him who calls :)))
Moses is pretty scathing in destroying any thought among the Israelites that they were chosen for their inherent qualities:

“Do not say in your heart when the LORD your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
(Deuteronomy 9:4-5)

"
in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore" -- see?
so i think it's more a perceived question about whether God is able to do what He purposed, than it is about whether God is wise to have chosen this nation.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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#74
lol, i can hear it now...

"no post, Romans 9 not Deuteronomy 9 -- why are you always bouncing all over the Bible??"
 
Jan 6, 2018
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#76
i think the question ((esp. in v.6)) isn't 'did God make a mistake' - as in, did He choose the wrong people, but 'did God fail' - as in, was He unable to bring about the blessing and the inheritance He promised to Abraham.

what you're bringing up is reminding me of this:

. . do not look at the stubbornness of this people or at their wickedness or their sin, otherwise the land from which You brought us may say, “Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land which He had promised them and because He hated them He has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness."
(Deuteronomy 9:27-28)

Moses's petition wasn't about Egypt perceiving that God should have chosen some 'better' people, but about the perception that God lacked power or authority to carry out His will, or goodness to follow through with what He proclaimed. similarly Moses said to the people:

“Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people."
(Deuteronomy 9:6)

it ain't about Israel being a particularly great group of dudes ((not by works but by Him who calls:)))
Moses is pretty scathing in destroying any thought among the Israelites that they were chosen for their inherent qualities:


“Do not say in your heart when the LORD your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
(Deuteronomy 9:4-5)

"in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore" -- see?
so i think it's more a perceived question about whether God is able to do what He purposed, than it is about whether God is wise to have chosen this nation.
How about interpreting within the context of the chapter. Then it means 'has God's Word failed about Jesus being the Messiah to the Jews since the Jews are rejecting Him?'
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
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#77
He can if He wants to.

i'm not saying there's no free agency; i can't deny it: right at the beginning, He told Adam that he could "
freely eat" of the trees in the garden. it's impossible for Adam to "freely eat" without freedom to choose what to eat. He ordained freedom, and His wisdom and power is so great that our agency doesn't preclude His ordination.
 
Mar 14, 2011
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#78
i think the question ((esp. in v.6)) isn't 'did God make a mistake' - as in, did He choose the wrong people, but 'did God fail' - as in, was He unable to bring about the blessing and the inheritance He promised to Abraham.

what you're bringing up is reminding me of this:

. . do not look at the stubbornness of this people or at their wickedness or their sin, otherwise the land from which You brought us may say, “Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land which He had promised them and because He hated them He has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness."
(Deuteronomy 9:27-28)

Moses's petition wasn't about Egypt perceiving that God should have chosen some 'better' people, but about the perception that God lacked power or authority to carry out His will, or goodness to follow through with what He proclaimed. similarly Moses said to the people:

“Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people."
(Deuteronomy 9:6)

it ain't about Israel being a particularly great group of dudes ((not by works but by Him who calls:)))
Moses is pretty scathing in destroying any thought among the Israelites that they were chosen for their inherent qualities:


“Do not say in your heart when the LORD your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
(Deuteronomy 9:4-5)

"in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore" -- see?
so i think it's more a perceived question about whether God is able to do what He purposed, than it is about whether God is wise to have chosen this nation.
I see what your saying,

My view is that paul was answering the question people had to have been asking, not saying himself that God made a mistake.

and example.

The jews always used the excuse, we were chosen because our fathers were so righteous, and obeyed the law. So God loved us more.

Pauls reply.

1. He chose before the child was even born (before they did any good or evil) the older shall serve the younger, so he did not chose based on how good the fathers were
2. He loved Jacob (the chosen nation) before they did any good or evil, He hated Esau (edom) less.

3. he then speaks to Isreals rebellion, where Moses asks God to have mercy on them (after the Golden calf) What was Gods answer? I will have mercy on whome I wil have mercy and compassion on whom I will have compassion. Not because they earned it, (not that inspite of their sin, God still through Moses led them through the wilderness)

4. He then speaks of the potter and the clay, If the clay (Isreal becomes deformed in his hand (by sin) does not the clay have the right to start over?

this is just a small example of How paul were answering the claims of the false teachers (jews) and the question the gentiles most likely were asking
 
Mar 14, 2011
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#79
He can if He wants to.

i'm not saying there's no free agency; i can't deny it: right at the beginning, He told Adam that he could "freely eat" of the trees in the garden. it's impossible for Adam to "freely eat" without freedom to choose what to eat. He ordained freedom, and His wisdom and power is so great that our agency doesn't preclude His ordination.
yes he could. but if he did he could not have a loving relationship with his creation, A robot does not respond to your love, he just does what you want.

In my view. God, wanting to love his creation, willfully gave up some of the things he deserves so he could have a loving relationship with his creation.

ie, He had to give his creation the opportunity to rebel and reject him, in order for his creation to also have the opportunity to love him and serve him in love, and appreciate all God does for it.

free will does not destroy Gods sovereignty, God can still use his free will creatures to do his will and make sure his ultimate plan is achieved.
 
Mar 14, 2011
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#80
knew him because He made him, or knew him because He's great at psychological profiling? ;)
I would just say this, If you think you will do something that surprises God, don't because God knows you, As david said, you knew me in my mothers womb,

God knows us better than we know ourselves. We can say we would never do somethiing, but God is not fooled. He KNOWS if we would or not (given all circumstances)