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What I say is true and Christ knows it is. I do not tell a lie. My heart tells me it is true. And the Holy Spirit knows this.

I am very sad. I am always troubled. 3I could almost wish I were taken away from Christ for the sake of my brothers, the people of my own nation.

They are Jews. God gave them the right to be his sons. He showed them how great he is. He made agreements with them. He gave them the law. He told them how to worship him. He gave them the promises.

The great men were their fathers. Christ was born a Jew. He is God over all. Praise him for ever! Yes, he is!

God will do what he said he would do. Not all who are Jews belong to the real Israel.

Not all the people in Abraham's family are his children. But the holy writings say, `It is Isaac's family who will be called your family.'

This means that not all who were born in Abraham's family are God's children. God promised Abraham a son [Isaac]. His children [the Jews] are the ones that God called Abraham's true family.

For this is what God promised, `About this time next year I will come and Sarah shall have a son.'

And that is not all. Rebecca also had children. Their father was Isaac, our father.

11 When the children were not yet born, they had done nothing good or bad. God chooses the people he wants. He does not choose people because of what they have done. He chooses people who will answer his call. So he said to Rebecca, `The older one will be a slave of the younger one.'

12 The holy writings also say, `I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau.'

13 So what shall we say? Does God do what is not right? No, never!

14 He says to Moses, `I will be kind to a person if I choose to be kind to him. I will share in the suffering of others if I choose to be sorry for them.'

15 God is not kind to a person because the person wants God to be kind to him. God is not kind to him because the person runs to him to ask him for help. God is kind because he chooses to be kind.

16 In the holy writings it says to Pharaoh, `That is why I made you live. I wanted to show my power through you. I wanted people to know about me all over the earth.'

17 So God is kind to any person if he wants to be kind to him. And God makes a man's heart hard if he wants to do that.

18 So you will ask me, `Why does God still blame us? Who can fight against what God has planned?'

19 But you are only a man. Will you tell God what to do? Can the pot say to the man who made it, `Why did you make me like this?'

20 The person who makes pots has power over the mud. He can make two different pots out of one pile of mud. One pot will be fine and another will not be fine. Can the potter not make them so?

21 God has a right to be very angry if he wants to be. He has the right to show his power. God was very angry with some people who deserved to die. And yet he waited a long time before he did anything to them.

22 He did it to show how very great he is. He was kind to some people. He planned for them to be made great.

23 That means he also called us. He called not only those who are Jews, but also those who are not Jews.

24 In the book written long ago by the prophet Hosea, God says `They were not my people. But I will call them "my people". I did not love her, but I will call her "the one I love."

25 And in the very place where it was said to them, "You are not my people," they will be called "sons of the living God." '

26 Isaiah the prophet of God said long ago about Israel, `Even if the people of Israel are as many as the sand by the sea, only some of them will be saved.

27 The Lord will do what he said he will do on the earth. He will do it all and do it soon.'

28 And Isaiah also said, `The Lord who has power, left some of our children. If he had not, we would have been like Sodom. We would have been destroyed like Gomorrah.'

29 So what shall we say? The people who are not Jews have been put right with God. They did nothing to make themselves right with God. But they were put right because they believed God.

30 But the Jews tried to obey the law that could make them good people. But they did not obey it all.

31 Why was that? They did not trust in God. They only trusted in doing the things of the law. They therefore hit their feet on the stone on which men hit their feet.

32 That is what the holy writings say, `I put in Zion a stone on which people will hit their feet. It is a rock that will make them fall down. Anyone who believes in him will not be ashamed.'