Romans

Fallenness

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.

How God Reveals Himself

His Word. While conscience and creation point to the Lord, it usually takes more to bring us to a saving knowledge of Him. That is why God has given us His written Word – and ultimately His Son (Hebrews 1:2-3). With ample evidence of God’s power, character, and salvation, there is no excuse for doubting His existence and love for us.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, April 1, 2021.

How God Reveals Himself

Our conscience. Because we’re created in His image, He’s designed the human being with an inner alarm system to provide a general sense of good and evil. That’s an excellent start, but God expects us to continually “upgrade” the conscience as we learn more about His ways. Otherwise, worldly thinking can override its original guidelines.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, April 1, 2021.

How God Reveals Himself

Because the Lord loves mankind, He has revealed Himself in several ways.

His creation. By observing the celestial bodies, the earth with its plants and creatures, and the laws of the universe, we must conclude that there is a Creator – such intricate design doesn’t happen accidentally. The order, balance, and beauty speak loudly of a wise God who is powerful and generous.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, April 1, 2021.

What Modern Culture Encourages

Modern culture encourages doing whatever comes naturally, but that approach leads only to self-centered, sinful living. In contrast, we as believers are told to make no provision for our natural or fleshly desires. This means we don’t place ourselves in the path of temptation or consider going back to the old sinful longings, attitudes, and habits that were ours before we knew the Lord.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, March 11, 2021.