Romans 9-10: Living According to the Law of Christ

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 115–116


Only those members of the Church who live worthy will receive the full blessings of the gospel when this life is over. Paul used the story of Jacob and Esau to illustrate that covenant sons and daughters who do not live by faith in Christ and keep the commandments lose their gospel blessings. Is simply being a member of the Church enough? How can your faith in Jesus Christ help you to live more righteously?

Understanding the Scriptures

Romans 9

Children of the flesh (v. 8)Worldly or carnal people 
Election (v. 11)Selection made in the premortal existence 
Vessels of wrath (v. 22)Disobedient people 
Fitted (v. 22)Prepared 

Romans 9:3—Why Would Paul Wish to Be “Accursed from Christ”?

Did Paul wish to be “accursed from Christ” (Romans 9:3)? The Joseph Smith Translation indicates that Paul actually wrote, “For once I could have wished that myself were accursed from Christ” (JST,  Romans 9:3). He was probably referring to the time when he persecuted the Church of Jesus Christ.

Romans 9:4–5—“To Whom Pertaineth the Adoption

Paul used the image of adoption to represent conversion to the gospel. “To whom pertaineth the adoption” (Romans 9:4) referred to those not of the house of Israel who accepted the gospel and lived its teachings. They were adopted into the family of Abraham and literally became Israelites. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,  150).

Romans 9:30–33—What Was the Stumblingstone?

Jesus Christ is the rock or stone upon which the Jews stumbled (see Romans 9:32). He fulfilled the law of Moses and restored the gospel in its fulness, but the Jews rejected Him and continued to believe that they could be saved “by the works of the law” without His help (Romans 9:32).

Romans 10

Zeal (v. 2)Enthusiasm 
End of the law (v. 4)Purpose of the law 
Provoke (v. 19)Stir 
Stretched forth my hands (v. 21)Reached out to help 

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study Romans 9–10.

Activity A iconWho Is Truly a Member of the Church?

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “To Him whose Church this is, membership involves far more than simply being a member of record” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 165).

  1. 1.

    Read Romans 9:6–8 and Doctrine and Covenants 10:67. What must a person do to be more than a “member of record” of the Church of Jesus Christ?

  2. 2.

    What can you do to strengthen your membership in the Church?

Activity B iconWho Are God’s Chosen People?

Read Romans 9:18–24 and notice how Paul described people as “vessels” (containers). Those who reject the gospel are “vessels of wrath” and those who follow Jesus Christ are “vessels of mercy.” Gentiles who accept the gospel and become these “vessels of mercy” through righteousness will receive the same blessings as the house of Israel.

  1. 1.

    Read Romans 9:25–26 and list the words and phrases that indicate the Gentiles were not of God’s chosen lineage but could become part of it.

  2. 2.

    Read Romans 9:30–33 and explain why many of the Jews lost their place in God’s chosen lineage and the Gentiles were given a place in it.

people from many nations

Gathering of Israel from throughout the world.

Activity C iconFind the Scripture Lists

  1. 1.

    What did Paul ask for in his “prayer to God for Israel” (Romans 10:1)?

  2. 2.

    Read Romans 10:9–13 and list three things we must do to fulfill Paul’s prayer.

  3. 3.

    In Romans 10:14–15 Paul listed four “how” questions that tell us how a person gains the faith to be saved. Rewrite each question in your own words and then explain what Paul was telling the people.