Romans 9:24-26

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 9:24
  • Romans 9:25
  • Romans 9:26

The Apostle Paul writes to the world-renowned believers in Rome, the center of the world at that time, in order to answer a slanderous charge made to them against Paul and his message. Paul’s detractors claim his emphasis on faith overturns the law. Paul says that ” just living by the law” does not achieve personal justice before God, while “just living by faith” does. Paul then demonstrates what a just life looks like: harmonious living with Jesus as the leader. Paul also makes clear the choice a believer has: to walk in faith and the power of the resurrection and experience resurrection life, or walk in sin and unnecessarily experience the negative consequences.

In Chapter 9, Paul addresses Israel’s relationship with God. He makes it clear that he is grieved the Israelites have rejected God’s offer of grace through faith, they have rejected Christ. Israel is God’s chosen nation, with whom He has made covenants and promises. So, even though Israel’s fellowship with God is suffering, this is not due to God breaking His word. As humans, we deserve nothing from God, yet He chooses to extend mercy to us. He is our maker, and we have no right or power to demand anything from Him. Yet, He chooses to show mercy to whom He chooses to show mercy. We cannot earn His favor; He gives it to whom He chooses. God does not care about our works apart from obedience to Him, and when He sent His Son to die for the world, all He required from us was faith. The Gentiles have been reconciled to Him because of their faith, but the Jews have alienated themselves from Him by only pursuing works. The fault lies with Israel. God has not abandoned them.

Paul is telling his audience of believers in Rome at the time, a group that contains both Jews and Gentiles (those who are non-Jewish), that it is not only Jews who are in God’s family, but also the Gentiles.

Here, Paul is referencing the book of Hosea from the Old Testament. The prophet Hosea was commanded by God to marry and stay with an unfaithful woman (a prostitute). God commanded Hosea to give his children symbolic names. Hosea named one of his children Lo-Ammi “Not My People” and other of his children Lo-Ruhamah, “Not my beloved.” The book of Hosea represents God’s desire to restore His people, and while Gentiles are not of the ethnic heritage of God’s people, God adopted them in through Jesus’s sacrifice. Paul is using this passage from Hosea to reiterate that those who were not God’s people (Gentiles) can now be a part of God’s people through faith in His son, He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. Verse 24 demonstrates this, as Paul says that it is not only Jews who have been pre-planned for mercy to display God’s glory (verse 23), but also the Gentiles. Paul quotes directly from Hosea, “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’ And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’” 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.”

Paul is telling the audience in Rome that it is not only the Jews whom God has called to be His people, but that some Gentiles will also be adopted into God’s people through faith in Jesus’s sacrifice. As we will see in verses 30 through 33, God has called some Gentiles to righteousness through faith to make them vessels of mercy for His glory (verse 23). In verse 26, Paul is emphasizing that some Gentiles have been called by God to be His children (verse 9-12).

Biblical text

24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 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.’ ”

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.”

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