Mercy And Hardening

Romans 9:14-18 Picking up where we left off last week, what approach is Paul using in order to convince his readers that there is a true spiritual Israel which is distinct from ethnic Israel? How far has Paul progressed in his argument? God has chosen to show mercy to the nation of Israel, while at the same time he has excluded Edom (the descendants of Esau). This raises the question of whether or not God is just in making such choices. What two events in the history of Israel does Paul use to buttress his argument that God is just? Do these verses completely resolve the question? What is the background in the history of the Jews to God's words to Moses about to whom He shows mercy? How does this demonstrate that mercy is up to God and not man? Why does Paul next use the illustration of Pharaoh? What does Paul mean when he refers to Pharaoh being "raised up?" What happened before God hardened Pharaoh's heart?What would not have happened had Pharaoh not been hardened by God? What has Paul not discussed in this chapter so far? (60 min)