Romans 9 Lesson

Recognizing God's Authority


In Romans Chapter 9, we read about God’s mercy and compassion, and how He alone has the authority to determine who receives it.  

This makes sense.  

After all, if God does not have the final say, then who does?     

God said to Moses:

  • “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” – Romans 9:15-18.  

In this scripture, God makes it clear that He is in control, and we serve Him.

Not the other way around.  


It is human nature to wonder why things happen, and in most things that is a perfectly fine thing to do.   Curiosity helps us to learn and to discover new things.  

But it is not ok to question why God does what He does.  

That is not our place.  

He is God and we serve Him – not the other way around. 

If we challenge His plan or resist it, we have chaos.   Much the same way as when a child is constantly questioning their parents’ decisions and disobeying them.  

As Christians, our role is to trust in His plan and to be hopeful about the future. The Prophet Jeremiah wrote:

  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –  Jeremiah 29:11.

God knows us.

He knows what is best.

As His children, it is our job to follow Him, not question Him.


In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he warned us not to question God:

  1. "Who are you, O man, who answers back to God?” – Romans 9:20 (a)
  2. “The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” – Romans 9:20 (b).

In the Book of Job, God rebuked Job with the following words of authority:

  • “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?   Tell Me if you have understanding.   Who set its measurements? Since you know.   Or who stretched the line on it?    “On what were its bases sunk?   Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” – Job 38:4-7.


It is important that we trustin God’s plan and allow it to unfold. 

The scriptures tell us that God is our strength and our shield.   We cannot get to Heaven without trust in God and faith in Jesus.

  1. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.   In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” -  Proverbs 3:5-6,
  2. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart triumphs, and with my song I shall thank Him.” -  Psalm 28:7,
  3. "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” –  Psalm 37:4-6.

The greatest example of trusting in God’s plan comes from Jesus right before His crucifixion.  

In the moments leading up to His death, Jesus made the following request to His Father:

  • “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” - Mathew 26:39.

In this scripture, we see the human side of Jesus asking God if there is another option for Him.  

As He thinks about the torture that He is about toendure,He asks God if there is another way.

And then Jesus says:

  • “Yet not as I will, but as You will.” - Mathew 26:39.

In this statement, Jesus recognizes God’s authority and submits to it.

This should come as no surprise, as this is what Jesus always did.

And that is what we are commanded to do also!

God hears our prayers, and we are blessed to be able to reach out to Him in prayer anytime we want.

But a prayer is not a demand.

A prayer is a request for God’s consideration.

And just like Jesus, we need to accept God’s will even when the answer is not what we had hoped for.


In the Book of Isaiah, we read the following words about God:

  • "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." -  Isaiah 55:8-9.

This scripture tells us that we do not need to try and figure everything out. 

We simply need to trust Him and obey His commands. 


God is in charge, and we serve Him, not the other way around.  

There are areas of our lives where it is perfectly acceptable to question things, but our relationship with God is not one of them!

When it comes to God, we are to trust in His plan for us, submit to it, and allow it to unfold.  

If we resist His plan and try to do things our way instead of His, we will be humbled, lost, and condemned.  

But if we trust in His plan for us, He will shower us with Spiritual blessings!

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture from the book of Joshua.  

It reminds us that we all can choose to follow God 

  • “But if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served, which were beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15.


Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


Click To Join The Discussion
Nato Jenkins

Like George Michael sang, "You gotta have Faith Faith Faith. I gotta have Faaaith!"

Juliet Louis

I really enjoyed this study, my plan is to study every day

John B
Juliet Louis

That is wonderful Juliet! It is a blessing to study together!!

John Padinjarekutt

What about those people who did not have a chance to hear of Jesus Christ and his redemption work? The followers of so many religions, though sincere and devoted, do not believe in Jesus or God the Father? Would they all be condemned to hell? If so, what about the universal saving power of the life and redemptive work of Jesus that should not be below the universal havoc created by Adam's sin?
Let us remember that St. Paul says Adam's sin was more than paid for by the work of Jesus. Since Adam's sin was all-pervasive as original sin, can the redemption by Jesus exclude anyone?

John Padinjarekutt

Thank you for your thoughts John.

This passage from Mathew 7:13-14 answers your question.

Many more will perish then will be saved.


13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


Pat Dermody

This drives home the point that God’s plan is not for those who try to earn his favor by doing good, it is for those who realize they can never be good enough and so depend on Christ. We can only be saved by putting our faith in what Jesus Christ has done.


I have recently been very passionate towards Jesus and the whole idea of Christ. Before reading scripture and having dissuasions with myself and God, I struggled to put all of my faith into him. I have started to pray much more and this study today had helped me realize that Jesus will forgive who he forgives and he will have mercy on who he chooses. It has been a great thing for me to come to realization that with putting all of my faith into Jesus, brings salvation and peace throughout my days and helps me through them, because God is good and is here for all of us, no matter what.

Pat Dermody

The times , which I confess are far too few, when I can place complete faith in God have been the times of less stress and more contentment. “Let go, let God” . Easier said than done sometimes.


I am struck by how many times God emphasizes the importance of faith for our salvation. It has been great for me to remind myself that it is through faith in Jesus that we receive salvation. Focusing on my faith and not my works takes the pressure off of me, makes me happier, and puts me in a state of peace.