Romans 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
Earlier in this passage [v. 8] Paul ruled out physical lineage as the cause of salvation. Now in this verse he rules out human will and human works as reasons. The New Testament in many places reports that unless God sovereignly intervenes and changes a person’s heart he won’t and in fact can’t come to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Human exertion or works has also been shown to be an impossible way to achieve salvation [Rom. 3:20]. Paul is clear that it depends on God to show mercy and give a new heart to all that He brings into the new covenant community of believers. Sovereign election through predestination is the cause of salvation and it does not depend on being a Jew, a child of a believer, human will, or works! Praise God that he gives mercy instead of justice to all that come to Jesus in faith and no one who comes is turned away [John 6:37].
Focus on Christ #141