9I am speaking the truth in ChristI am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit 2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people,* my kindred according to the flesh. 4They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; 5to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah,* who is over all, God blessed for ever.* Amen.
6 It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all Israelites truly belong to Israel,
7and not all of Abrahams children are his true descendants; but It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named after you.
8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants.
9For this is what the promise said, About this time I will return and Sarah shall have a son.
10Nor is that all; something similar happened to Rebecca when she had conceived children by one husband, our ancestor Isaac.
11Even before they had been born or had done anything good or bad (so that Gods purpose of election might continue,
12not by works but by his call) she was told, The elder shall serve the younger.
13As it is written,
I have loved Jacob,
but I have hated Esau.
14 What then are we to say? Is there injustice on Gods part? By no means!
15For he says to Moses,
I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.
16So it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy. 17For the scripture says to Pharaoh, I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. 18So then he has mercy on whomsoever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomsoever he chooses.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011