In this segment, John Piper walks through the text of Romans 9:9–13, probably the best, self-contained formulation of the doctrine of unconditional election in all the Bible.
Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated. (Romans 9:13)
God chooses to love and bless and save individuals not based on anything that they do or don’t do (Romans 9:11), or anything they are or are not in themselves (Romans 9:10). Rather, God chooses based on his own sovereign freedom. It is not because of anything in or done by us that God saves us, but rather “because of him who calls” in order that “God’s purpose of election might continue.”
The final analysis of this passage, and of the logic of Romans 9 as a whole, leaves us with two necessary truths:
God chooses who will believe and undeservingly be saved in spite of their sin.
God thus decides who will rebel and deservingly be lost because of their sin.
In the next segment, Piper explains how mysteries can live in our theology and the freedom that comes when we receive the Bible for what it teaches.
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 7 in a series on Romans 9 called “The Word of God Has Not Failed.”