TEXT: Romans 11:25-32
In today's reading from Romans 11, Paul begins to draw his argument on the matter of Israel's salvation to a conclusion. In our last message, we took a closer look at how the Christian faith rests on the foundation of the faith of the Jewish patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whom God made special covenants with. Paul seems to take great pains to make ensure that his Gentile readers do not become boastful over their status as Christians and the benefits they have from being in the body of Christ.
Paul calls the plan of God for the salvation of the Israelites a "mystery." Dr. Walvoord and Dr. Zuck state in their commentary that "in Scripture a mystery is not a truth difficult to understand, but a truth previously unrevealed (and therefore unknown) which is now revealed and publicly proclaimed." So, Paul is making the eventual salvation of the Jews a matter of public knowledge. God's plan for them is being put out in the open. Paul's desire for us to be knowledgeable about this mystery is so that we will not become wise in ourselves -- that is conceited or proud. God has simply turned his attention to the Gentiles for a time, and one day, He will turn his attention back to the Jews.
Dr. Walvoord and Dr. Zuck state, "God purposed that some from all nations should by faith receive the righteousness provided by grace. In order to achieve this goal, Israel's relationship as God's Chosen People was rescinded for a time and Israel is now experiencing a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. There is a fullness for Israel and a fullness for the Gentiles. God is now 'taking from the Gentiles a people for Himself.'"
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