9:1 I am telling the truth in Christ (I am not lying!), for my conscience assures me in the Holy Spirit – 9:2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed – cut off from Christ – for the sake of my people, my fellow countrymen, 9:4 who are Israelites. To them belong the adoption as sons, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises. 9:5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, by human descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever! Amen.
9:6 It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel, 9:7 nor are all the children Abraham’s true descendants; rather “through Isaac will your descendants be counted.” 9:8 This means it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God; rather, the children of promise are counted as descendants. 9:9 For this is what the promise declared: “About a year from now I will return and Sarah will have a son.” 9:10 Not only that, but when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our ancestor Isaac – 9:11 even before they were born or had done anything good or bad (so that God’s purpose in election would stand, not by works but by his calling) – 9:12 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger,” 9:13 just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
9:14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! 9:15 For he says to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 9:16 So then, it does not depend on human desire or exertion, but on God who shows mercy. 9:17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh: “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may demonstrate my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” 9:18 So then, God has mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy, and he hardens whom he chooses to harden.
9:19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who has ever resisted his will?” 9:20 But who indeed are you – a mere human being – to talk back to God? Does what is molded say to the molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 9:21 Has the potter no right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special use and another for ordinary use? 9:22 But what if God, willing to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath prepared for destruction? 9:23 And what if he is willing to make known the wealth of his glory on the objects of mercy that he has prepared beforehand for glory – 9:24 even us, whom he has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 9:25 As he also says in Hosea:
“I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’ and I will call her who was unloved, ‘My beloved.’”
9:26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”
9:27 And Isaiah cries out on behalf of Israel, “Though the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved, 9:28 for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth completely and quickly.” 9:29 Just as Isaiah predicted,
“If the Lord of armies had not left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
and we would have resembled Gomorrah.”
9:30 What shall we say then? – that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness obtained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith, 9:31 but Israel even though pursuing a law of righteousness did not attain it. 9:32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but (as if it were possible) by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 9:33 just as it is written,
“Look, I am laying in Zion a stone that will cause people to stumble
and a rock that will make them fall,
yet the one who believes in him will not be put to shame.”