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Romans 9 (Today's New International Version)

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Paul's Anguish Over Israel

1 I speak the truth in Christ--I am not lying,1 my conscience confirms2 it through the Holy Spirit-- 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself3 were cursed4 and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people,5 those of my own race,6 4 the people of Israel.7 Theirs is the adoption;8 theirs the divine glory,9 the covenants,10 the receiving of the law,11 the temple worship12 and the promises.13 5 Theirs are the patriarchs,14 and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah,15 who is God over all,16 forever praised!a17 Amen.

God's Sovereign Choice

6 It is not as though God's word18 had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.19 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."b20 8 In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children,21 but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring.22 9 For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."c23 10 Not only that, but Rebekah's children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac.24 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad25--in order that God's purpose26 in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger."d27 13 Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."e28 14 What then shall we say?29 Is God unjust? Not at all!30 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."f31 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God's mercy.32 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."g33 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.34 19 One of you will say to me:35 "Then why does God still blame us?36 For who is able to resist his will?"37 20 But who are you, a mere human being, to talk back to God?38 "Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,39 'Why did you make me like this?' "h40 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for disposal of refuse?41 22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience42 the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction?43 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory44 known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory45-- 24 even us, whom he also called,46 not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?47 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,"i48 26 and, "In the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'children of the living God.' "j49 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,50 only the remnant will be saved.51 28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality."k52 29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: "Unless the Lord Almighty53 had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah."l54

Israel's Unbelief

30 What then shall we say?55 That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;56 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness,57 have not attained their goal.58 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.59 33 As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame."m60
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