Today is Monday, March 12th, 2018.  I hope and trust your week is off to a great start and the you are enjoying our series in Romans!  As you have discovered Romans 9, 10 and 11 includes some challenging sections that are difficult to understand.  When you come to a passage that is difficult to understand I try to remember a few things...

1. When something is confusing try to understand it in light of the whole counsel of Scripture- it is easy to get overwhelmed by a particular verse or use a particular verse to reinforce your view of God.  Resist this temptation and let Scripture interpret Scripture.

2. Because God is perfect and I am not, His word will challenge my understanding of who He is and what I believe at times.  This is a healthy thing to wrestle through and surrender to. 

3. There are some verses or passages that will leave a question mark and you won't be able to fully resolve- mystery is something God is quite comfortable with, don't let that discourage you but rather embolden you to delve deeper into his word and love!

(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ What is your typical response when someone decides to do something that you don't understand or disagree with? 

Lord, thank you for your holiness and perfection, help us to understand this passage today, in Jesus name, amen!

DISCOVER  [ Romans 9.14-29 ]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn?
(Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea,

“Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
    and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
    there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, 28 for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” 29 And as Isaiah predicted,

“If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
    we would have been like Sodom
    and become like Gomorrah.”

_ In vs. 14-17 what do we learn about God?
_ In vs. 17-18 what do we find God's purpose in raising Pharaoh up?
_ In vs. 19-21
_ How do we make sense of vs. 22-23?
_ In vs. 24-29 what is the main point Paul is making in quoting Hosea and Isaiah? 

+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience?  (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Is there an area of your life that you are wrestling with a truth about God that is hard to understand?  What would it look like to process this with God? 

+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?