Romans 9:23-33
 
Rom 9:23 (KJV)
And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

Not only will God bring wrath upon the unbelievers on the last day, He will also bring the riches of glory on all the Elect whom He predestined from the foundation of the world. Here we read that His vessels of mercy were prepared before hand. The word “afore” carries with it the meaning of “before prepared.” God had written the names of those He planned to save in the Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world and finalized their salvation when the Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross and cried out “It is finished.” Now the only thing the believer looks forward to is the consummation of the age when God will give us our new spiritual bodies for eternity.

Rom 9:24 (KJV)
Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Paul now states that those believers who were living at that time, will also partake in the heavenly riches. Paul assures his hearers that God will not only save a remnant of Jews unto salvation but He will also save a multitude of Gentiles, which He has been doing and will continue to do until the last day.

Rom 9:25 (KJV)
As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

(Hosea 2:23 KJV) And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God. Here we see an Old Testament prophecy coming to fulfillment. In the Old Testament we will find passages like this woven in that God was going to save another people. Of course, He was speaking about the saving of the Gentiles through Grace. (Isa 65:1 KJV) I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. Isaiah brings a similar prophecy. Here God is stating that He will be found by people who did not seek Him. This would be the Gentile Elect which would be coming into the Kingdom of God through Grace. In the Old Testament, Israel was the only nation who called upon the name of the Lord but since they went apostate, God divorced them and stated that there would be others whom He was going to save and we see in both Hosea and Isaiah that He was going to fulfill that.

Rom 9:26 (KJV)
And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

(Hosea 1:10 KJV) Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Here is another interesting passage in that in the Hosea passage God speaks of the children of Israel that cannot be measured nor numbered. This is not speaking of the physical nation of Israel but is a prophecy of the body of Christ in the entire world. Notice in the Hosea passage, it states that they are going to be as the sand of the sea. This means that they are unable to be measured and counted. Sand cannot be measured because it changes with every tide coming in plus it takes sand pebbles out to sea with every tide thereby forbidding an accurate count of sand pebbles. The true believers are placed all over this world which means they cannot be numbered because they are everywhere and no one knows who they are except God. Since all the believers are placed all over the world, they cannot be measured by being in any one specific place. Notice in this Romans verse we read another direct article, “there shall they be called the children of the living God.” This means that only those who are saved by the Lord Jesus Christ are the true children of God.
(1 Pet 2:10 KJV) Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. The same teaching is echoed in 1 Peter 2:10.

Rom 9:27 (KJV)
Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

(Isa 10:22 KJV) For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. Out of the nation of Israel, God is going to save a remnant of them. The number of them may be many and uncountable but God is going to save a remnant of them according to His promise.

Rom 9:28 (KJV)
For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

(Isa 10:22-23 KJV) For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. {23} For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.  (Isa 37:32 KJV) For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this. This verse has been a stumper but if we go back to the original language, we will see how it opens up. This verse lies in the middle of a quotation from Isaiah 10:22-23; 37:32. In Isaiah 10:22 we read that though there are many in national Israel, only a remnant of that nation will become saved. This same verse teaches there will be a destruction of national Israel. The word "consumption" in this verse means "a pining or destruction," but then God declares that out of this destruction will come righteousness. The righteousness is the gospel that will come forth from the remnant. It was out of national Israel that Christ came but only a remnant would believe on Him. The majority of national Israel disbelieved and rejected Christ, and therefore, Christ rejected the nation of Israel, and this rejection, except for a remnant, will stand until the last day.

In Isaiah 10:23 God declares that the destruction will be total in that national Israel will cease to exist as the nation which was entrusted to send forth the gospel. Only a remnant will be chosen out of national Israel, the nation will lose its favored status with God. In Isaiah 37:32, God again speaks of the remnant of believers which will be saved in national Israel. Now we may feel confident that the context of Romans 9:28 is dealing with the remnant of believers from Israel. Let us now approach Romans 9:28 with this thought in view.

The word "finish" means "to complete entirely." It is also translated "ended" in Matthew 7:28 and "fulfilled" in Mark 13:4. So this word carries the meaning of an ending. This verb is in its active voice. The phrase "cut it short" also is an active voice verb which may be translated "cutting short." It may also be translated "speedily." The words "short work" should be translated "having been cut short," which means the work of salvation will not continue on for thousands of years. God is stating the work has already been completed and it will not be drawn out. God is going to completely wrap it all up on a day which He has already predetermined, as we read in Acts 17:31. When God saves the last person He intends to, that will usher in the last day, and no golden age will follow. In this verse, these phrases declare finality.

Rom 9:29 (KJV)
And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.

(Isa 1:9 KJV) Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. God was not going to allow the entire nation of Israel and Judah to perish from the face of the earth so He determined that there was going to be a remnant who was going to become saved out of them. Sodom and Gomorrah were totally destroyed without leaving any progeny but the Lord stated that this would not happen to Israel as He would grant salvation to a remnant of Israelites. The term “Lord of Sabaoth” is the term used for the Lord of the Hosts.

Rom 9:30 (KJV)
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

In ancient times the Gentiles were mainly worshippers of false gods. They neither looked for the true God nor did they desire Him. This is because man in his natural state is spiritually dead. Here Paul is stating that even though the Gentiles did not seek the Lord and true righteousness, nevertheless, through the Grace of God, millions of Gentiles have come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior through Election. That Election brought salvation to those who were not looking for it. I know in the summer of 1980, I was not seeking the Lord, instead as the Scriptures teach, He sought me. See Romans 9:25.

Rom 9:31 (KJV)
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

National Israel had tried to follow the law of God but they never attained to the keeping of the law because of the sin nature which permeates every human being and one can never attain to the law of righteousness by works of the flesh. The flesh is corrupt and that means any works emanating from it will be tainted with corruption. The law of God must be kept perfectly or it will not be kept at all. Israel made a covenant with God at Sinai and told Him that they would do all that was commanded of them but they soon fell away and that was the end of any righteous attainment via the law.

Rom 9:32 (KJV)
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

As was previously stated, Israel had tried to keep the law according to works but that could never happen as long as we are in sinful bodies. The law had to be kept perfectly and the only one who kept it perfectly was the Lord Jesus Christ. Only those who become truly saved are given the gift of faith. Faith is in total opposition to works for attainment of righteousness. There was another reason that Israel had failed in their attainment of righteousness by the works of the law, they stumbled at the stumbling stone, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ. They did not understand that salvation and righteousness came through a person rather than the keeping of the law. This was the great mystery which baffled Israel. Righteousness is imputed to those who are in Christ and that imputation of righteousness is as if the believer had kept the law perfectly.

Rom 9:33 (KJV)
As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

The Lord Jesus Christ is found in Zion, that is, the body of believers. Those whom God grants the gift of salvation to will have the ability to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and that belief will mean that they are saved. Those who are saved will never be ashamed of their eternal salvation, both here and now. They will not be ashamed to be called Christians. The term “ashamed” carries with it the meaning of “dishonor or disgrace.” No Christian will ever be disgraced for leaning upon the Lord. The Lord Jesus is a stumbling stone and rock of offense to any false religion in this world. False religion would not look upon Christ as the only way to become saved, instead, each false religion sticks to their own set of rules and regulations. The atheist and general unbeliever will be offended at Christ, since they will think that they are doing well on their own, believing that there is no God and being confident they never have to give an accounting for their lives. These are the people who will be ashamed at the coming of the Lord.
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