aI am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit,
that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.
For aI could wish that I myself were baccursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen caccording to the flesh,
who are aIsraelites, to whom belongs bthe adoption as sons, and cthe glory and dthe covenants and ethe giving of the Law and fthe temple service and the promises,
whose are athe fathers, and bfrom whom is the Christ according to the flesh, cwho is over all, dGod eblessed forever. Amen.
But it is not as though athe word of God has failed. bFor they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;
nor are they all children abecause they are Abraham's descendants, but: "bTHROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED."
That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are achildren of God, but the bchildren of the promise are regarded as descendants.
For this is the word of promise: "aAT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON."
aAnd not only this, but there was bRebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;
for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that aGod's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,
it was said to her, "aTHE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER."
Just as it is written, "aJACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."
aWhat shall we say then? bThere is no injustice with God, is there? cMay it never be!
For He says to Moses, "aI WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who aruns, but on bGod who has mercy.
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "aFOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."
So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He ahardens whom He desires.
aYou will say to me then, "bWhy does He still find fault? For cwho resists His will?"
On the contrary, who are you, aO man, who banswers back to God? cThe thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?
Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much apatience vessels of wrath bprepared for destruction?
And He did so to make known athe riches of His glory upon bvessels of mercy, which He cprepared beforehand for glory,
even us, whom He also acalled, bnot from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
As He says also in Hosea, "aI WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, 'MY PEOPLE,' AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, 'BELOVED.'"
"aAND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, 'YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,' THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF bTHE LIVING GOD."
Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "aTHOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE bLIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS cTHE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED;
aFOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD ON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY."
And just as Isaiah foretold, "aUNLESS bTHE LORD OF SABAOTH HAD LEFT TO US A POSTERITY, cWE WOULD HAVE BECOME LIKE SODOM, AND WOULD HAVE RESEMBLED GOMORRAH."
aWhat shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even bthe righteousness which is by faith;
but Israel, apursuing a law of righteousness, did not barrive at that law.
Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over athe stumbling stone,
just as it is written, "aBEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION bA STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, cAND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM dWILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."