Israel’s Rejection of Christ 9 1I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience is testifying to me with the Holy Spirit[U]2that I have intense sorrow and continual anguish in my heart. 3For I could almost wish to be cursed and cut off[V] from the Messiah for the benefit of my brothers, my own flesh and blood. 4They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises. 5The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent,[W] came the Messiah, who is God over all, praised forever.[X] Amen.   God’s Gracious Election of Israel   6But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7Neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants.[Y] On the contrary, your offspring will be traced[Z] through Isaac.[A] 8That is, it is not the children by physical descent[B] who are God’s children, but the children of the promise are considered to be the offspring. 9For this is the statement of the promise: At this time I will come, and Sarah will have a son.[C] 10And not only that, but also Rebekah received a promise when she became pregnant[D] by one man, our ancestor Isaac. 11For though her sons had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to election might stand— 12not from works but from the One who calls—she was told: The older will serve the younger.[E] 13As it is written: I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.[F]   God’s Selection Is Just   14What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! 15For He tells Moses:   I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.[G]   16So then it does not depend on human will or effort[H] but on God who shows mercy. 17For the Scripture tells Pharaoh:   I raised you up for this reason so that I may display My power in you and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth.[I]   18So then, He shows mercy to those He wants to, and He hardens those He wants to harden. 19You will say to me, therefore, “Why then does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?” 20But who are you, a mere man, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” 21Or has the potter no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor? 22And what if God, desiring to display His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath ready for destruction? 23And what if He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory— 24on us, the ones He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25As He also says in Hosea:   I will call Not My People, My People, and she who is Unloved, Beloved.[J] 26And it will be in the place where they were told, you are not My people, there they will be called sons of the living God.[K]   27But Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:   Though the number of Israel’s sons is like the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved; 28for the Lord will execute His sentence completely and decisively on the earth.[L][M]   29And just as Isaiah predicted:   If the Lord of Hosts[N] had not left us offspring, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah.[O]     Israel’s Present State   30What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness—namely the righteousness that comes from faith. 31But Israel, pursuing the law for righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law.[P] 32Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works.[Q] They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33As it is written:   Look! I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over and a rock to trip over, yet the one who believes on Him will not be put to shame.[R]
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