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Romans 9-11


A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
                    This section deals with the place of Israel in God’s plan of salvation.  Paul’s point is clear, yet often ignored: 
“Just because they are Abraham’s descendants, not all [Jews] are Abrahams’ children.  On the contrary . . . . it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring .”
                        The people of God, formerly known as the Israelites now include all who turn to God in faith – both Jews and non-Jews.  In support of this idea Paul quotes from Hosea (9:25-26) and Isaiah (90:27-29).  He continues by using the image of the stone that makes men stumble – namely Jesus Christ – as an illustration of why some Jews have fallen away from God’s will and some have not.
                        As a Jew, Paul’s desire is that all Jews may be saved.   He is at pains to make clear, however, that salvation is not a matter of racial origin or religious heritage.  Many Jews will be saved, but they are “a remnant chosen by grace.” (11:6).  Because of the so-called corporate solidarity of Jewish thought, the preservation of a remnant is the preservation of the entire nation; however, there is nothing in this passage which claims Jews have no accountability for their response to God and to Christ.  How it all finally is resolved is a part of God’s eternal plan and only God is able to grasp all its mysterious aspects.
                        The Good News Paul again emphasizes in these chapters is that anyone can be saved.  One is not required to start as a Jew in order to be part of the family of God.   At the same time, God does take very seriously His promise to Abraham that his descendants will be blessed forever.  While the rejection of Christ by the Jews has led to His proclamation to the Gentiles, there is still a need to evangelize the Jews, and if this were in doubt, Paul’s own life and ministry would provide ample proof that this is his position.  Christians should honor the Jews because God’s covenant came originally to them; however part of our regard for them must be found in our eagerness to share with them the opportunity to know the fullness of God’s plan and the fulfillment of His original covenant in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
                        In a pluralistic world, it is important to remember that there still is truth.  Independent of our taste or preference, God exists with the power and determination to carry out His own plan regardless of human resistance or dissatisfaction with it.  The truth is that God’s plan of salvation makes sense and provides relief, security and hope for all who will embrace it in faith.
                        Today, remind yourself that you serve the One True God.  This gives us no reason for disdain towards others who do not know Him, but rather an obligation and responsibility to share what we know and invite them to experience His grace and love as we have.  Who can you share with?  Who do you know who needs to know?  Pray for them.  Then ask God to give you openings and opportunities to share with them. 
A. Eugene Pearson 2013