Romans 9 New Life Version (NLV)
9 I am telling the truth because I belong to Christ. The Holy Spirit tells my heart that I am not lying. 2 I have much sorrow. The pain in my heart never leaves. 3 I could even wish that I might be kept from being with Christ if that would help my people to be saved from the punishment of sin. They are of my own flesh and blood. 4 They are Jews and are the people God chose for Himself. He shared His shining-greatness with them and gave them His Law and a way to worship. They have His promises. 5 The early preachers came from this family. Christ Himself was born of flesh from this family and He is over all things. May God be honored and thanked forever. Let it be so.
6 I am not saying that God did not keep His promises. Not all the Jews are people God chose for Himself. 7 Not all of Abraham’s family are children of God. God told Abraham, “Only the family of Isaac will be called your family.” 8 This means that children born to Abraham are not all children of God. Only those that are born because of God’s promise to Abraham are His children. 9 This was the promise God made: “About this time next year I will come, and Sarah will have a son.” 10 Not only this, but there was Rebecca also. Rebecca gave birth to two sons at the same time. Both of them were sons of Isaac. 11 Even before the two sons were born, we see God’s plan of choosing. God could choose whom He wanted. It could not be changed because of anything the older son tried to do about it. It was before either one had done anything good or bad. 12 Rebecca was told, “The older son will work for the younger son.” 13 The Holy Writings say, “I loved Jacob, but hated Esau.”
14 What about it then? Can we say that God is not fair? No, not at all! 15 God said to Moses, “I will have loving-kindness and loving-pity for anyone I want to.” 16 These good things from God are not given to someone because he wants them or works to get them. They are given because of His loving-kindness. 17 The Holy Writings say to Pharaoh, “I made you leader for this reason: I used you to show My power. I used you to make My name known over all the world.” 18 So God has loving-kindness for those He wants to. He makes some have hard hearts if He wants to.
19 But you will ask me, “Why does God blame men for what they do? Who can go against what God wants?” 20 Who are you to talk back to God? A pot being made from clay does not talk to the man making it and say, “Why did you make me like this?” 21 The man making the pots has the right to use the clay as he wants to. He can make two pots from the same piece of clay. One can have an important use. The other one can be of little use. 22 It may be that God wants to show His power and His anger against sin. He waits a long time on some men who are ready to be destroyed. 23 God also wanted to show His shining-greatness to those He has given His loving-kindness. He made them ready for His shining-greatness from the beginning. 24 We are the ones He chose. He did not only choose Jews. He also chose some from among the people who are not Jews. 25 In the Book of Hosea He says, “Those who are not My people, I will call, ‘My people.’ Those who are not loved, I will call, ‘My loved ones.’” 26 “And where it said, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called sons of the living God.” 27 Isaiah says this about the Jews, “Even if there are as many Jews as the sand by the sea, only a few of them will be saved from the punishment of sin. 28 For the Lord will do on earth what He says in His Word. He will work fast when He says what will happen here.” 29 Isaiah said also, “If God had not left some of the Jews, we would have all been destroyed like the people who lived in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.”
30 What are we to say about these things? The people who are not Jews were not made right with God by the Law. They were made right with God because they put their trust in Him. 31 The Jews tried to be right with God by obeying the Law, but they did not become right with God. 32 Why? Because they did not put their trust in God. They tried to be right with God by working for it. They tripped over the most important Stone (Christ). 33 The Holy Writings say, “See! I put in Jerusalem a Stone that people will trip over. It is a Rock that will make them fall. But the person who puts his trust in the Rock (Christ) will not be put to shame.”