In chapter 8, Paul made a strong case that God knows in advance and chooses those who will become followers of Jesus. Throughout time there have been individuals and religious systems built around the idea that this thought is simple and understandable. I have always found it interesting that those with such surety conveniently happen to be among the chosen. That is a lesson for another day. From my introductory comments you will quickly discern that I am not among those that take the doctrine of election to be a simple one. However, I do believe that the Scripture teaches it and the passages like Romans 9 are meant to help us begin to understand it. Here are some questions from Romans 9 to get us talking about this challenging text…
1. As a person of Jewish descent himself, describe Paul’s introductory remarks to his countrymen (vv. 1-5).
2. If God chose the Jews to be “His people” and promised them such, how do you explain v. 6?
3. What does v. 7 seem to say about religion being genetic?
4. Why do you think some religions teach that religion is genetically inheritable? Does the Bible teach this?
5. What are some of the common themes in the Old Testament stories referred to in vv. 7-29?
6. What about vv. 11-12 stinks? If God is good, why is the same answer the ultimate best way?
7. Verses 14-16 seem to say that we have no choice in the matter of salvation. What do you think?
8. Verses 17-24 ask a tough question:”If God creates things (people) the way they are, are they truly culpable or even able to choose?”
9. What is the equalizer between the Jews and all the rest of us in vv. 30-33?
For some deeper insights follow the link to this commentary… Romans 9.