In Romans 9:1–5, Paul expresses deep anguish over a single truth: most of his Jewish friends and family are living and dying, cut off from God. This in itself is enough for Paul to lament that, were it possible, he would himself be torn away from the love God if it meant that his kinsmen could be saved.
But this truth is not just lamentable — it’s problematic. The Jews were given all of the privileges of God, including the covenants and the promises. How could they be cut off from God? Doesn’t God keep his promises?
This is the objection that Paul will answer in the rest of Romans 9. And it is of the greatest importance. If it’s true that God can break his promises, then why should we care or rest in any of the promises that he gives to the church in Romans 8? In this video, John Piper works through the first verses of this heavy passage and exposes the logic, giving tools for what to look for in our Bible reading.
Look at the Book is John Piper’s latest effort to help teach people to read the Bible for themselves. It’s an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher.
As part of this initiative, Desiring God is putting on regional events focused on certain passages of Scripture. This is Part 4 in a series on Romans 9 called “The Word of God Has Not Failed.”