Romans 9: Election by Gospel Promise

(33 verses, 2:45 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • Paul explains God’s election in such a way that removes human will or effort to attain salvation.


  • Paul laments the unbelief of his kinsmen, the Jews (1-5).
  • Old Testament history viewed from the perspective of God’s calling (6-18).
  • Can we therefore call God to account if we cannot resist his will (19-24)?
  • The calling of God to righteousness by faith (25-33).


  • Pastor Wolfmeuller told me that this is one of the most difficult passages of the Bible, and he’s probably right. Nevertheless, I believe that there is nothing here that should throw our doctrines of grace and election into question.
  • The Scripture is clear. God elects the saints which is what Paul describes by recounting the history of the Old Testament saints. What’s the point of this? It shows us that we cannot achieve God’s favor by our effort or work. “So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”
  • Someone once told me that the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart has something to do with God’s primary and secondary will. If anyone wants to know more you can ask.
  • Notice that righteousness was available to the Jews, but they did not have faith in the promise. Rather they tried to attain righteousness by the law. I think that this is what makes Paul especially sad.


  • Election is taught for our comfort, not our confusion. The Lord promises that he has chosen us out of this sinful and fallen world to be his children. How do you know that you are elect? Listen to God’s voice. Hear the absolution in church and know that this is God, working at that very moment, electing you to life eternal. Thanks be to God!

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

-Pastor A. Brian Flamme


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