9With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it.G3004G225G1722G5547G5574G3756G3450G4893G4828G3427G4828G1722G40G4151 2My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending griefG3754G3427G2076G3173G3077G2532G88G3601G3450G2588 3for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.G1063G1473G2172G846G1511G331G575G5547G5228G3450G80G3450G4773G2596G4561 4They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God's adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises.G3748G1526G2475G3739G5206G2532G1391G2532G1242G2532G3548G2532G2999G2532G1860 5Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.G3739G3962G2532G1537G3739G2596G4561G5547G5607G1909G3956G2316G2128G1519G165G281 6Well then, has God failed to fulfill his promise to Israel? No, for not all who are born into the nation of Israel are truly members of God's people!G3756G3634G1161G3754G3056G2316G1601G1063G3756G3956G1537G2474G3588G3778G2474 7Being descendants of Abraham doesn't make them truly Abraham's children. For the Scriptures say, "Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted," though Abraham had other children, too.G3761G3754G1526G4690G11G3956G5043G235G1722G2464G2564G4671G4690G2564 8This means that Abraham's physical descendants are not necessarily children of God. Only the children of the promise are considered to be Abraham's children.G5123G5043G4561G5023G3756G5043G2316G235G5043G1860G3049G1519G4690 9For God had promised, "I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son."G1063G3778G3056G1860G2596G5126G2540G2064G2532G4564G2071G5207 10This son was our ancestor Isaac. When he married Rebekah, she gave birth to twins.G1161G3756G3440G235G4479G2532G2845G1537G1520G2192G2257G3962G2464 11But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes;G1063G1080G3380G1080G3366G4238G5100G18G2228G2556G2443G4286G2316G2596G1589G3306G3756G1537G2041G235G1537G2564 12he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, "Your older son will serve your younger son."G3754G4483G846G3187G1398G1640 13In the words of the Scriptures, "I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau."G2531G1125G2384G25G1161G2269G3404 14Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not!G5101G2046G3767G3361G93G3844G2316G3361G1096 15For God said to Moses, "I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose."G1063G3004G3475G1653G3739G302G1653G2532G3627G3739G302G3627 16So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.G686G3767G3756G2309G3761G5143G235G2316G1653 17For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, "I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth."G1063G1124G3004G5328G3754G1519G5124G846G1825G4571G1825G3704G1731G3450G1411G1722G4671G2532G3704G3450G3686G1229G1722G3956G1093 18So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen.G686G3767G1653G3739G2309G1161G3739G2309G4645 19Well then, you might say, "Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven't they simply done what he makes them do?"G2046G3767G3427G5101G2089G3201G1063G5101G436G846G1013 20No, don't say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, "Why have you made me like this?"G3304G5599G444G5101G1488G4771G470G2316G3361G2046G4110G2046G4111G5101G4160G3165G3779 21When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn't he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?G2228G2192G3756G2763G1849G4081G1537G846G5445G3739G3303G4160G4632G1519G5092G1161G3739G1519G819 22In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction.G1487G1161G2316G2309G1731G3709G2532G1107G846G1415G1107G5342G1722G4183G3115G4632G3709G2675G1519G684 23He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.G2532G2443G1107G4149G846G1391G1909G4632G1656G3739G4282G1519G1391 24And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles.G3739G2532G2248G3739G2564G3756G1537G2453G3440G235G2532G1537G1484 25Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea, "Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before."G3004G2532G1722G5617G2564G3450G2992G3756G3450G2992G2532G25G25G3756G25 26And, "Then, at the place where they were told, `You are not my people,' there they will be called `children of the living God.'"G2532G2071G1722G5117G3757G3739G4483G846G5210G3756G3450G2992G1563G2564G5207G2198G2316 27And concerning Israel, Isaiah the prophet cried out, "Though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore, only a remnant will be saved.G2268G1161G2896G5228G2474G1437G706G5207G2474G5600G5613G285G2281G2640G4982 28For the LORD will carry out his sentence upon the earth quickly and with finality."G1063G4931G3056G2532G4932G1722G1343G3754G4932G3056G4160G2962G4160G1909G1093 29And Isaiah said the same thing in another place: "If the LORD of Heaven's Armies had not spared a few of our children, we would have been wiped out like Sodom, destroyed like Gomorrah."G2532G2531G2268G4280G1508G2962G4519G1459G2254G4690G302G1096G5613G4670G2532G302G3666G5613G1116 30What does all this mean? Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God's standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place.G5101G2046G3767G3754G1484G3588G1377G3361G1343G2638G1343G1161G1343G3588G1537G4102 31But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded.G1161G2474G1377G3551G1343G5348G3756G5348G1519G3551G1343 32Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over the great rock in their path.G1302G3754G3756G1537G4102G235G5613G1537G2041G3551G1063G4350G3037G4348 33God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said, "I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced."G2531G1125G2400G5087G1722G4622G3037G4348G2532G4073G4625G2532G3956G4100G1909G846G2617G3756G2617
New Living Translation (NLT). Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. More details.