John MacArthur

Adopted into His family.

Believers are not led through subjective, mental impressions or promptings to provide direction in making life’s decisions – something Scripture nowhere teaches. Instead, God’s Spirit objectively leads His children sometimes through the orchestration of circumstances (Acts 16:7) but primarily through: 1) illumination, divinely clarifying Scripture to make it understandable to our sinful, finite minds (Luke 24:44,45; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16; Ephesians 1:17-19); and 2) sanctification, divinely enabling us to obey Scripture (Galatians 5:16,17; 5:25). When a person experiences the Spirit’s leading in those ways, he gains assurance that God has adopted him into His family.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Romans 8:14.


Ten times Exodus refers to God’s hardening Pharaoh’s heart (e.g., 4:21; 7:3,13), and other times to Pharaoh’s hardening his own heart (e.g., 8:32; 9:34). This does not mean that God actively created unbelief or some other evil in Pharaoh’s heart (see James 1:13), but rather that He withdrew all the divine influences that ordinarily acted as a restraint to sin and allowed Pharaoh’s wicked heart to pursue its sin unabated (see also Romans 1:24,26,28).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Romans 9:18.

Raised Up

“Raised you up” refers to bringing forward or lifting up and was often used to describe the rise of leaders and countries to positions of prominence (see Habakkuk 1:6 and Zechariah 11:16). Paul is using Pharaoh as the context, however it is applicable to any, that although a leader or nation may think that their position and actions are of their own free choice to accomplish their own purposes, in reality they are serving God’s purposes.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Romans 9:17.