“HIS CHOICE & FOR HIS PURPOSE”
Thursday, 19 March 2020
Romans 11 : 22-36
Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. -Romans 11:28
Paul begins the chapter with this question: "Has God rejected his people?" And he answers: "By no means!" Then he gives his argument, his reason: "For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin." Here Paul argues that God's faithfulness to his people is found precisely in the fact he, a Jew was saved by God’s grace and mercy! God has not rejected his people- for there is a remnant amongst the Jews (including himself) that receives salvation by faith in Christ Jesus!
The entire chapter is all about the way God has acted and will act toward Israel and toward the nations in history. And therefore, it is all about who God is and what he is like. History exists to reveal God. God doesn't exist to unfold history. It's all about him, from beginning to end. Ultimately the history becomes ‘His Story’ as He is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end. The universe exists to display the fullness of the glory of God's perfections. The Bible says "the heavens declare the glory of God" in Psalm 19:1. It says that the people of Israel exist for the glory of God. "I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory" (Jeremiah 13:11).
In our key Rom 11:28 RSVCE: “As regards the gospel they are enemies of God, for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers ” The essence of this verse is to show that even though Israel now is a covenant-breaking, unbelieving nation- that is going to change, the nations that are enemies right now will be converted later because of election and love. Paul also shows how the Jews and the Gentiles benefit each other. Whenever God shows mercy to one group, the other shares the blessing. In God’s original plan, the Jews would be the ideal source of God’s blessing to the Gentiles (Gen. 12:3). When the Jews neglected this mission, God blessed the Gentiles through the Jewish Messiah. He still maintained his love for the Jews because of his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Paul tries to establish that, in connection with the second coming of Christ there will be a great turning of Israel to Christ.
For the LORD has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His own possession (Psalm 135:4)). Isaiah 66:8 says, “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children.” The privileges and invitation of God given to Israel can never be withdrawn as the Scripture says in Rom 11:29 “for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
So for now, let us give ourselves to prayer and to the great work of gathering the fullness of the Gentiles, so that the hardening be lifted from Israel. We who have been saved from the Gentiles (non-Jews)- have a great responsibility to get the gospel across to all peoples! Then the end shall come.
““Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.”
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