Romans for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron
Romans Chapter 9
Verse 1. “I am telling the truth
in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me
in the Holy Spirit,”
Paul, who wrote the Book of
Romans, told the truth (and so did all the other Bible
writers). His conscience would not let him tell a lie. The
Holy Spirit of God was in Him, and God wants all of us to be
Verse 2. “that I have great sorrow
and unceasing grief in my heart.”
Paul had JOY because God’s Holy
Spirit brings JOY to the people of God. But he also had
great sadness, deep inside his heart.
Verse 3. “For I could wish that I
myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of
my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,”
Paul was a Jew and he loved the
Jewish people (his “brethren”).
He actually would have gone to “hell,” if it would somehow
make his Jewish people trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Moses felt the same way (Exodus 32:32).
Verse 4. “who are Israelites, to
whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the
covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service
and the promises,”
God was the “Father” of the nation
called “Israel.” He created that nation and brought His
glory to it. He gave them everything, including His Law,
His Temple and His promise that He would be their God and
they would be His people.
Verse 5. “whose are the fathers,
and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is
over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were
among the human “fathers”
(ancestors) of the nation Israel. Jacob’s name was changed
by God to “Israel.”
God brought Jesus Christ into this world as a Jew, a Man of
Verse 6. “But it is not as though
the word of God has failed for they are not all Israel who
are descended from Israel;”
Even though many Jews said “No” to
Jesus, there is nothing wrong with God’s promise. But there
was something wrong with many of THEM (most of them did not
want to have faith in the Lord).
Verse 7. “nor are they all
children because they are Abraham's descendants, but:
‘Through Isaac your descendants will be named.’"
The people of Israel, the Jews,
all came from one man, Abraham. They also came through
Abraham’s son, Isaac. Abraham had other children, but God’s
blessing to the world (Jesus Christ) came through Isaac
Verse 8. “That is, it is not the
children of the flesh who are children of God, but the
children of the promise are regarded as descendants.”
God promised that His Christ
(Anointed One), Jesus, would come from Abraham and also
through Abraham’s son, Isaac (Genesis 17:19, 21, 18:10,
14). When you trust in Jesus, you believe in the Promise of
God and actually become His child.
Verse 9. “For this is the word of
promise: ‘At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a
This verse is a quote of Genesis
18:10. Abraham already had a son named Ishmael, who was NOT
the son of God’s promise. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, would bear
that son, and Isaac, her son, was the only child she ever
Verse 10. “And not only this, but
there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one
man, our father Isaac;”
Rebekah was the wife of Isaac, and
Isaac was the son of Abraham. Rebekah and Isaac had twin
sons named Esau and Jacob.
Verse 11. “for though the twins
were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so
that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not
because of works but because of Him who calls,”
The twins, Esau and Jacob, were
still babies inside their mother, Rebekah, when God spoke to
her about them and told her what would happen (Genesis
25:23): One of the boys would trust in God and the other
Verse 12. “it was said to her,
‘The older will serve the younger.’”
God spoke to Rebekah, Isaac’s
wife, before her twin sons were born (Genesis 25:23) and
told her that the one born first (Esau) would be like a
servant to his younger brother, Jacob.
Verse 13. “Just as it is written,
‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’”
The prophet Malachi (Malachi
1:1-2) spoke about these boys, hundreds of years later. He
said, “Jacob I loved, but
Esau I hated.” In other
words, God took away something important from Esau (the
blessing given to the first born) and gave it to the younger
Verse 14. “What shall we say then?
There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!”
This verse asks the question – Is
God unfair? Is He unjust? The answer is: NO! God is fair
and God is GOOD in what He does – in everything.
Verse 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.’”
This verse is a quote of Exodus
33:19. Moses wanted to know that God would be with them
(Israel) and that He would have grace (mercy) on them
(33:16). God’s answer – He’ll have mercy on whoever He
wants! He is God!
Verse 16. “So then it does not
depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God
who has mercy.”
God’s mercy (His grace) is not
necessarily given to those who try really hard. His mercy
is given because God cares! If you want God’s help, ASK Him
– He IS full of mercy!
Verse 17. “For the Scripture says
to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I raised you
up, to demonstrate My power
in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the
This verse is a quote of Exodus
9:16. When you wonder: Why? WHY does God allow evil men to
be in power? – Remember this verse. All leaders (like the “Pharaoh”
of Egypt) will bring glory to God and show His power.
Verse 18. “So then He has mercy on
whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”
God is powerful and can do
anything. He can save anybody He wants. He can make
anybody into presidents, kings, pharaohs or other leaders
and cause them to do whatever He wants. He knows what He is
doing and it is best – for you and me.
Verse 19. “You will say to me
then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who resists His
If God does whatever He wants to
do, through whomever He wants, then why does He find fault
with what we do? How can He say we are sinners?
Verse 20. “On the contrary, who
are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded
will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this,"
We are ALL sinners. How can we,
as sinners, say ANYTHING to God? He created us and He is
the Creator. He gave us life and we really can’t complain
Verse 21. “Or does not the potter
have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one
vessel for honorable use and another for common use?”
Have you ever made anything out of
clay? What would you think if the clay you were using spoke
to you and started complaining about your work? It would be
silly, just like it is when we accuse God of not being fair.
Verse 22. “What if God, although
willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power
known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared
God could destroy this world in an
instant, along with everybody who lives here, but He doesn’t
want to. He LOVES you and He is patient with those who have
not yet trusted in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Verse 23. “And He did so to make
known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which
He prepared beforehand for glory,”
God’s real purpose in creating
humanity was NOT to destroy us, but instead He wants to pour
out His LOVE on all those who will receive His mercy. He
had this in mind from before the beginning of the world.
Verse 24. “even us, whom He also
called, not from among Jews only, but also from among
Paul, the writer of “Romans,” was
surprised that God had called (saved) even him! And he was
amazed at who ELSE God called! The Lord has His people in
EVERY nation, Jews and non-Jews alike.
Verse 25. “As He says also in
Hosea, I will call those who were not My people, 'My
people,' and her who was not beloved, 'Beloved.'"
This is a quote of Hosea 2:23.
God’s intention always, then and now, was to surprise us
with His love. It was thought that only the Jews could know
God’s love, but He gives His love to people everywhere. You
are His “beloved”
Verse 26. “And it shall be that in
the place where it was said to them, 'you are not My
people,' there they shall be called sons of the living God."
The “Gentiles” (non-Jews) were not
thought of as God’s people. But His people are everywhere!
ALL who trust in Jesus Christ are “sons
of the living God.”
Verse 27. “Isaiah cries out
concerning Israel, ‘though the number of the sons of Israel
be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be
This verse quotes Isaiah 10:22
(written in 700 BC) – God always knew that there would be
many Jews (people of Israel). He also knew that only some
of them would trust in the Lord (be “saved”).
Verse 28. “for the Lord will
execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly."
This verse quotes Isaiah 10:23.
When we are with the Lord someday, we will see that God has
to help us. Malachi 3:1 says – “the
Lord, whom you seek, will SUDDENLY come…”
and He did. Jesus will also “come
quickly” to us the second
time (Revelation 3:11). And He will.
Verse 29. “And just as Isaiah
foretold, ’Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us a
posterity, we would have become like Sodom, and would have
This verse quotes Isaiah 1:9.
Everyone should be happy that God’s people live in their
country. If no Jews believed in Christ, that nation would
have been destroyed long ago (see Genesis 19:1-28). Some
Jewish people DO believe in Jesus and it is GOOD for Israel
that they do.
Verse 30. “What shall we say then?
That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained
righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;”
are non-Jews. The Jews were surprised that many Gentiles
had faith in Jesus Christ and we should be surprised (and
pleased), too – for “Christ
died for the ungodly”
Verse 31. “but Israel, pursuing a
law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.”
The people of Israel, the Jews,
made this mistake – they tried to be saved, to be made right
with God by “doing good,” but it didn’t work for them and it
won’t work for anybody else, either.
Verse 32. “Why? Because they did
not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They
stumbled over the stumbling stone,”
WHY couldn’t Israel be saved by
doing good works? Why can’t ANY of us be SAVED by doing
good? – Because God ALWAYS has intended that “FAITH”
in Him, in His Son, not “works,”
is the way for us to be made right with the Lord.
Verse 33. “just as it is written,
‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of
offense, and he who believes in him will not be
In this verse, Paul quotes Isaiah
8:14 and 28:16, blending them together. Jesus Christ
changed everything. It’s like He is the big cornerstone of
a building that holds everything together and someone (the
Jews) came along and tripped over it (Him). If you want to
please God, just BELIEVE in Jesus.
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries