What Does "It" Mean in Rom. 9:16

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by tnelson, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. tnelson

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    Rom.9:16
    So then (it)is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. (KJV)

    by HIS GRACE
    mike
     
  2. Yelsew

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    Seems to me that in it's context, the "it" is referring to justice. That is,
    "'Justice' is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." Justice and mercy always go hand in hand with God.
     
  3. Hardsheller

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    "it" in verse 16 refers back to Romans 9:11 - "The purpose of God according to election."
     
  4. Yelsew

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    Read it as you will, but the Context says it this way,
    (parens and emphasis mine.) verse 16 is the precursor to, "not of works lets any man should boast"! "It depends not upon man's will or exertion!"

    Justice is what Jesus Christ did for man on the Cross, He atoned for man's transgressions, He paid the price so that the Father would not Judge all mankind, casting ALL into the lake of fire, only those who do not believe (have faith) in God.
     
  5. Me2

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    it is not the "purpose" of him that runneth
    it is not the "purpose" of him that willith

    it is for the "purpose" of him that offers mercy


    Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
    Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

    Me2
     
  6. tnelson

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    Rom.9:16
    So then "it" (salvation) is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

    by HIS GRACE
    mike [​IMG]
     
  7. Hardsheller

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    (parens and emphasis mine.) verse 16 is the precursor to, "not of works lets any man should boast"! "It depends not upon man's will or exertion!"

    Justice is what Jesus Christ did for man on the Cross, He atoned for man's transgressions, He paid the price so that the Father would not Judge all mankind, casting ALL into the lake of fire, only those who do not believe (have faith) in God.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Sorry Yelsew,

    You need to get yourself some old commentaries those new ones you're using just don't cut it.

    The Context of the verse clearly envelopes the whole discussion of election in Romans 9, not just not just the idea of justice/injustice.

    The scriptures provide the best commentary on themselves -

    (John 1:12 KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    (John 1:13 KJV) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
     
  8. Bartholomew

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    I can't really believe this - we can't even agree on what a pronoun is refering to! :eek: I know I am not amune to this, either, but how many of our ideas are actually based on the text of the passage, and how many are the answers we want in order to agree with our ideas? Let's look at the context:

    6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
    7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
    8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
    9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
    10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
    11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
    12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
    13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
    14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
    15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
    16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.


    1. In verse 11, a similar distinction is made as to that in verse 16 - God's puprose and election is not by works (of man), but of God.

    2. In verses 12 and 13, by my basic understanding of the English language, "it" simply refers to the thing that follows. e.g. in the following sentence, "It wasn't by me, but by tnelson that the first post on this thread was written," the word "it" simply refers to the thing that follows - "the first post on this thread". (Actually, my this example is very similar in construction to the one being discused). Likewise, in verses 12 and 13, "it" refers to the passage that "is written", and that is subsequently quoted.

    3. However, "it" is also often used to refer to the last noun mentioned - e.g. "I had a dog, but it died."

    So, looking at verse 16, the last noun mentioned before "it" (as in my point 3 above) is "compassion", which verse 15 also seems to equate with "mercy". Then, the end of verse 16 also defines what "it" means (as in my point 2 above), by saying "but of God that sheweth mercy." Finally, this ties in perfectly with the whole context, agreeing exactly with verse 11 - that's God's purpose according to election is not of man's will, but of God.

    Therefore I conclude that God's mercy and election is to whoever God wants to give it to, not to those who men want him to give it to.

    I think there ought to be little argument about this. Not justice nor salvation nor anything else is in view. Now, that looks like a Calvinistic interpretation, doesn't it? Well, it's not. In fact, I would stick around and show you why that just isn't compatible with the Calvinist interpretation at all (arccording to the context), but I've got to run for a train. I'll be back...
     
  9. Yelsew

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    Hardsheller, it appears the scriptures do not want to be bent to suit your definition either.
    The "It" of verse 16 IS speaking of God's Justice, that is, according to verses 17 through 24. CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING!!!
     
  10. Bartholomew

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    Hmmm... I am still absolutely convined that the "it" is God's mercy, and if I'm wrong, I'd like someone to deal with the arguments I used above...

    Now, why doesn't that fit with Clavinism? Simple - because the passage isn't talking about individuals' salvation or damnation! I remember someone called Brother Bill who used to frequent this forum, who pointed out something very interesting that had sort of passed me by: the argument Paul was dealing with wasn't a Calvin/Aminius controversy, but one of "why has the gospel come to the gentiles, and the Jews been cast away?" This is the context of all of Romans 9-11. This passage (and the ones in the OT to which it alludes) tell us that God chose Isaac and not Ishmael to be the son through whom the promises were to be fulfilled. However, Abraham willed that it would be Esau. This promise or election is given in a national sense - whose descendents would fulfil the promise? It has nothing to do with either individual's predestination to salvation or damnation. The same applies to God's choice of Jacob over Esau - Isaac willed that Esau be chosen, but God chose Jacob. Esau even ran to get the venison so he could be blessed, but God still gave the promise to Jacob. So we see that:

    So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

    God chose to declare his name through the Jews. That was his choice. He could have done it through the Arabs - but he didn't. It didn't matter how much other people wanted him to do it differently, he did it his way. (To confirm that this is about God chosing groups to show forth his name, not individuals to salvation, see Gen 25:23 - "And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." The same sense of these being people groups is found in the other allusions to OT passages in this chapter).

    Now, Paul is telling us, God has chosen another group: believers, that include many gentiles (often called "the church", although I don't think the Bible actually refers to a "universal church"). And guess what? He's rejected Israel. And it doesn't matter how much the Jews complain, or tell God he shouldn't do it that way, or "will" or "run", God will "elect" or "have mercy on" believers, and will not deal with the Jewish nation (well, not at the moment). That is the message of not only the context of the few verses we've been quoting, but all of chapters 9-11. It has nothing to do with God chosing certain individuals to be saved and others to be damned. Indeed, it no more states that God choses individuals to become believers, than it states that God choses individual Gentiles to become Jews.

    God has elected, and chosen to have mercy on, one group; and he has rejected another group. But how one enters the former group is not given here. But it is given in the next chapter: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
     
  11. Bartholomew

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  12. Yelsew

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    Bartholomew, What is the difference between Mercy and Grace? I see none whatever.

    If the "it" in verse 16 is speaking of Mercy as you say, then it is also speaking of Grace, and Grace is not part of the discussion that Paul is having with the Romans.

    Furthermore,

    If you substitute the word "mercy" for "it" what happens to the statement in it's context? 16. So 'mercy' is not a matter of what any person wants or what any person does, but only of God having mercy.

    If you substitute "grace" for "it" what happens? 16. So 'grace' is not a matter of what any person wants or what any person does, but only of God having mercy.

    If you substitute "Justice" for "it" what happens?
    16. So 'justice' is not a matter of what any person wants or what any person does, but only of God having mercy.

    if you substitute "Love" for "it" what happens?
    16. So 'love' is not a matter of what any person wants or what any person does, but only of God having mercy.

    if you substitute any other word for "it" what happens?

    The context is that it is in God's justice to do unto man as God will do unto man. Man does not have a say in that, as demonstrated in the Pharoah illustration.

    That however, is how God was dealing with his elect, the jews. It is possible that God also deals with the gentiles in the same manner, however, that does not seem likely under the mantle of God's grace given to ALL mankind through His only begotten Son Jesus.

    Now instead of having "physical enemies", mankind, Jews and gentiles alike, is beseiged by "spiritual enemies", temptations, human lust, etc. There is no need for a Pharoah, just as there is no need for animal blood sacrifice. We are no longer held in captivity by a powerful human nation. We are in captivity to our own sinful spirits with its nature bent on sinning.

    We no longer need a powerful human leader to lead us out of bondage, but we do need the saving grace of God who provided his word to us so that we could believe, and come to faith in the Emissary that He sent to pay the ransome for our souls. So that, by us putting our faith in that Emissary, we are set free from the bondage of sin and death.
     
  13. Bartholomew

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    Yelsew,

    I think we probably agree in much of this discussion: my only concern is that I think God shows "justice" to all; whereas his "mercy" is given more to some than others. God could have had mercy on the whole Jewish nation, if he had so willed, but he didn't. He rejected it, and chose believers, both of Jews and gentiles. One day, though, he will recieve the Jewish nation again, and "all Israel shall be saved".
     
  14. GH

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    Dear brother,

    Paul says in Romans 11:1 that God DID NOT reject His people Israel. I believe that you are applying what has been handed down and taught to you by others. Scripture is clear: God did not reject His people. He did harden some though. I think that you are correct in stating that "all Israel will be saved" for that is what the Holy Spirit revealed to Paul who wrote it down.

    God's grace and mercy are upon all, but only some walk in the awareness of that truth, by His will. Not knowing it or believing it doesn't change the truth of it. Isn't HE WONDERFUL?!!! Unbelief doesn't nullify God's grace and mercy.

    GH
     
  15. Yelsew

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    Thank you, but I still see no distinction between grace and mercy, they are the same. Man has some difficulty with that and many perceive a difference, but I do not. Grace-mercy is an attribute of the one having it, and it is not a transferrable commodity, something that one can give to another, though one can inspire the other to likewise behave.

    God does not transfer grace-mercy to man, but instead, God behaves toward man in accordance with his attribute of grace. God made man with the innate ability to have grace-mercy as an attribute too. Some develop their grace while others do not. Grace is a behavioral trait that one shows toward another.

    God does not apply his grace as one would control a fire hose. That is, directing a stream or even a spray from himself to another or a group of "anothers". Instead, God applies his grace in the same manner that the sun gives its shine. It is constant and applied equally to all, to the righteous and unrighteous alike. God is no respecter of man.

    I also noticed that you say that God rejected the Jews. I believe that scriptures tell it differently. "He came unto his own and His own received him not!" Further explained as, "a hardening of the heart of the Jews, for the benefit of all mankind even those "lowly dog" gentiles whom the Jews despised.

    Would the gentiles have received the Gospel if the Jews had accepted the messenger? I suppose we will never know, because what is...is!
     
  16. Bartholomew

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    Perhaps I was not being clear. I do not believe that God has rejected all the Jews in the world. Many are saved. However, I do believe that he has rejected the Jewish state as a whole, and those Jews who believe are a remnant. No longer is he using the nation of Israel to show forth his greatness to the gentiles by the law, but

    "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace." (Rom 11:5)

    God is now using the churches (both Jew and gentile) to be his ambassadors. But why?

    I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. (Rom 11:11)

    Yelsew, you're right: the Jews rejected Christ. But when they did, God rejected them as a whole, and only a remnant remained. But will this always be the case? No,

    For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (Rom 11:24-26)

    And at that time, God will deal with all Israel as a nation once more. They will be his people, he will be their God, they shall dwell in the land that he promised, he will reign over them in Jerusalem, and the earth will be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea. But the unbleiving Jews are now vessels fitted to destruction (and as Yeslew pointed out, they fitted themselves to that destruction), and no amount of "willing" or "running" on their part will change the fact that God has chosen to have mercy on believers. They will only get out of that situation when they turn in faith to their Saviour.

    P.S. Yeslew, I don't have a problem with God's mercy and grace meaning the same thing; I was just saying I don't think his justice is the same as his mercy, and that it was his mercy that was in view.
     
  17. Frogman

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    The mercy of God is that which brings rain upon the earth and sustains it and it brings forth either thorns or fruit. (Heb. 6).

    The Grace of God is an unmerited favor that turns the heart of a lost sinner from his sins in Godly sorrow and causes him/her to serve a living God.

    See the difference? Mercy is not sending his destruction upon those who physically condemned His Son in this world, Grace is that which works that circumcision of the heart whereby the atonement of Christ is applied to the hearts of believers.

    These are not the same. Mercy is found in the 'longsuffering' of God. Grace is efficacious to working Godly sorrow in the heart of sinners thereby leading them to repentance.

    All is worked by God and fulfill His purposes until this age is ended.

    Take a look at Heb. 6. Is not the earth enjoying the rains (blessings) of God, but that which is left untended is said to bring forth thorns. Who is the Husbandman? See John 15.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  18. GH

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    Amen Bro.Dallas,

    The Great Husbandman tenderly cares for His creation.

    Some encouraging words for us from scripture:

    Isaiah 27:2-5 NIV
    In that day—"Sing about a fruitful vineyard: I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it. I am not angry. If only there were briers and thorns confronting Me! I would march against them in battle;I would set them all on fire.
    Or else let them come to Me for refuge;
    let them make their peace with Me,
    yes, let them make peace with Me."

    Reminding myself that the battle is the Lord's.
     
  19. Yelsew

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    I see no difference! If one calls "mercy" grace, then one would say, "the grace of God is that which brings the rain upon the earth and sustains it and it brings forth either thorns of fruit." Likewise, one could say, "The mercy of God is unmerited favor that turns the heart of a lost sinner from his sins in Godly sorry and causes him/her to serve a living God." it is the same thing.

    Just as God is not compelled to show Grace toward man, God is likewise not compelled to show mercy to man....BUT HE DOES.


    The difference is in your ability to perceive, you insist there must be a difference. I see no difference. Mercy is grace, grace is mercy. It is merely a matter of how man perceives it. Both perceptions effect man the same way, both leave man with the sense of having received benevolence from a benevolent deity.

    OK! But the gift of rain is a gift given while God's grace prevails.
     

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