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Romans 9:1-18 Common English Bible (CEB)

The tragedy of Israel’s unbelief

I’m speaking the truth in Christ—I’m not lying, as my conscience assures me with the Holy Spirit: I have great sadness and constant pain in my heart. I wish I could be cursed, cut off from Christ if it helped my brothers and sisters, who are my flesh-and-blood relatives. They are Israelites. The adoption as God’s children, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the worship, and the promises belong to them. The Jewish ancestors are theirs, and the Christ descended from those ancestors. He is the one who rules over all things, who is God, and who is blessed forever. Amen.

Israel and God’s choice

But it’s not as though God’s word has failed. Not all who are descended from Israel are part of Israel. Not all of Abraham’s children are called Abraham’s descendants, but instead your descendants will be named through Isaac.[a] That means it isn’t the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children from the promise who are counted as descendants. The words in the promise were: A year from now I will return, and Sarah will have a son.[b]

10 Not only that, but also Rebecca conceived children with one man, our ancestor Isaac. 11 When they hadn’t been born yet and when they hadn’t yet done anything good or bad, it was shown that God’s purpose would continue because it was based on his choice. 12 It wasn’t because of what was done but because of God’s call. This was said to her: The older child will be a slave to the younger one.[c] 13 As it is written, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau.[d]

14 So what are we going to say? Isn’t this unfair on God’s part? Absolutely not! 15 He says to Moses, I’ll have mercy on whomever I choose to have mercy, and I’ll show compassion to whomever I choose to show compassion.[e] 16 So then, it doesn’t depend on a person’s desire or effort. It depends entirely on God, who shows mercy. 17 Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have put you in this position for this very thing: so I can show my power in you and so that my name can be spread through the entire earth.[f] 18 So then, God has mercy on whomever he wants to, but he makes resistant whomever he wants to.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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