Archive for September 9th, 2019

Romans 11:22-25

In Romans 11:22-25 Paul makes clear the black and white of God’s design for the world we live in. There isn’t any middle ground – no sort of, kind of walking with God and His plan. The idea that “God is love and surely wouldn’t keep me from eternity with Him” just isn’t true. God has a standard. As humans, we fall short. “Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.” God is love, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t holy and requires us to be righteous.

So the only option is the plan B He provided through grace where we can overcome our shortcomings and missing His mark through the sacrifice Christ made on the cross. Plan A would be complete obedience to His will and living up to His requirements. But we can’t do it, so Jesus is our answer. The great news is that we always have access to God’s tree of life through Christ. No matter our age, situation, or any other factor – if we come to faith in Christ God will make us His child and give us the promise of eternal life. “And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.”

Paul reminds us that if Israel was “cut off” because of their unbelief, they can be grafted in again if they do not continue in unbelief. God never shuts the door to restoring us to righteousness and holiness. We can’t get there on our own, but through Christ we can go from whatever state we may be in and be grafted into God’s family.  “For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.” It’s never over until we have stood before God without excuse or solution.

Paul issues a warning to take this soberly. Christians must not be ignorant of this mystery. We won’t get this on our own. “Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers:a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” God’s purpose in allowing blindness in part to come upon Israel is so that the fullness of the Gentiles can come in. And one day, God will once again turn the attention of His plan specifically on Israel again, so that all Israel will be saved. God wants all mankind to be saved. He opened the door to the Gentiles but hasn’t given up on His people. He’s not done with them yet.

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