Romans 9:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

King James Bible
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Darby Bible Translation
So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shews mercy.

World English Bible
So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy.

Young's Literal Translation
so, then -- not of him who is willing, nor of him who is running, but of God who is doing kindness:

Romans 9:16 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

So then - It follows as a consequence from this statement of God to Moses. Or it is a doctrine established by that statement.

Not of him that willeth - This does not mean that he that becomes a Christian, and is saved, does not choose eternal life; or is not made willing; or that he is compelled to enter heaven against his own choice. It is true that people by nature have no desire of holiness, and do not choose eternal life. But the effect of the influences of God's Spirit on the heart is to make it "willing in the day of his power;" Psalm 110:3. The meaning here is evidently, that eternal life is not bestowed because man had any original willingness or disposition to be saved; it is not because he commences the work, and is himself disposed to it; but it is because God inclines him to it, and disposes him to seek for mercy, and then confers it in his own way. The word "willeth" here denotes wish or desire.

Nor of him that runneth - This denotes "strenuous, intense effort," as when a man is anxious to obtain an object, or hastens from danger. The meaning is not that the sinner does not make an effort to be saved; nor that all who become Christians do not "in fact" strive to enter into the kingdom, or earnestly desire salvation, for the Scriptures teach the contrary; Luke 16:16; Luke 13:24. There is no effort more intense and persevering, no struggle more arduous or agonizing, than when a sinner seeks eternal life. Nor does it mean that they who strive in a proper way, and with proper effort, shall not obtain eternal life; Matthew 7:7. But the sense is,

(1) That the sinner would not put forth any effort himself. If left to his own course, he would never seek to be saved.

(2) that he is pardoned, not "on account" of his effort; not because he makes an exertion; but because God chooses to pardon him.

There is no merit in his anxiety, and prayers, and agony, on account of which God would forgive him; but he is still dependent on the mere mercy of God to save or destroy him at his will. The sinner, however anxious he may be, and however much or long he may strive, does not bring God under an obligation to pardon him any more than the condemned criminal, trembling with the fear of execution, and the consciousness of crime, lays the judge or the jury under an obligation to acquit him. This fact, it is of great importance for an awakened sinner to know. Deeply anxious he should be, but there is no merit in his distress. Pray he should, but there is no merit in his prayers. Weep and strive he may, but in this there is no ground of claim on God for pardon; and, after all, he is dependent on his mere sovereign mercy, as a lost, ruined, and helpless sinner, to be saved or lost at his will.

But of God that showeth mercy - Salvation in its beginning, its progress, and its close, is of him. He has a right, therefore, to bestow it when and where he pleases. All our mercies flow from his mere love and compassion, and not from our deserts. The essential idea here is, that God is the original fountain of all the blessings of salvation.

Romans 9:16 Parallel Commentaries

Library
God's Will and Man's Will
The great controversy which for many ages has divided the Christian Church has hinged upon the difficult question of "the will." I need not say of that conflict that it has done much mischief to the Christian Church, undoubtedly it has; but I will rather say, that it has been fraught with incalculable usefulness; for it has thrust forward before the minds of Christians, precious truths, which but for it, might have been kept in the shade. I believe that the two great doctrines of human responsibility
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 8: 1863

The Coming of the Called.
"That the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth."--Rom. ix. 11. The question is, whether the elect cooperate in the call. We say, Yes; for the call is no call, in the fullest sense of the word, unless the called one can hear and hears so distinctly that it impresses him, causes him to rise and to obey God. For this reason our fathers, for the sake of clearness, used to distinguish between the ordinary call and the effectual call. God's call does not
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Whence Also the Just of Old, Before the Incarnation of the Word...
18. Whence also the just of old, before the Incarnation of the Word, in this faith of Christ, and in this true righteousness, (which thing Christ is unto us,) were justified; believing this to come which we believe come: and they themselves by grace were saved through faith, not of themselves, but by the gift of God, not of works, lest haply they should be lifted up. [2679] For their good works did not come before God's mercy, but followed it. For to them was it said, and by them written, long ere
St. Augustine—On Patience

The Sum and Substance of all Theology
Note: On Tuesday, June 25th, 1861, the beloved C. H. Spurgeon visited Swansea. The day was wet, so the services could not be held in the open-air; and, as no building in the town was large enough to hold the vast concourses of people who had come from all parts to hear the renowned preacher, he consented to deliver two discourses in the morning; first at Bethesda, and then at Trinity Chapel. At each place he preached for an hour and a quarter. The weather cleared up during the day; so, in the evening,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916

Cross References
Matthew 4:8
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;

Matthew 11:27
"All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

Galatians 2:2
It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

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