February 10 - Romans 11:25-27

Monday, February 10, 2014

Romans 11:25-32 – The Mystery of Israel's Salvation

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”  

As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

If you skimmed through this passage, read it again, because there is a rather large truth in here that many Christians ignore.

Paul writes to Christians – Gentiles and Jews alike, so that they will not be ignorant of the mystery – and so that they (we) will not be conceited. God's plan is to bring the entirety of Israel to salvation. It may not happen in our lifetime, just as the full coming of God's kingdom on earth may not come in our lifetime, but be assured, it will come.

The term 'mystery' was one early Christians often used in describing something that a person could not know by themselves, but which was revealed to them by God. This isn't something that we are unable to comprehend … it is something that we cannot discover on our own. When God reveals it to us, we can then understand it. Paul uses this term often in describing different parts of the Christian message.

He describes the gospel as a mystery, but it is one that has been revealed to us through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:19). This mystery is one that has also been revealed through scripture – that Israel will be saved.

It appears that there were Christians who believed that there was no future for Israel. This is a common belief among Christians today – that because Israel had rejected Jesus Christ, the covenant had been passed to the Gentiles and Jews had been set aside. Paul ensures that we can't live in that prideful belief.

From Isaiah 59:20-21, Paul states categorically that the deliverer will come from Zion and will turn godlessness away from Jacob. He will take away their sins.  Their hardening was partial, but only until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. This hardening is temporary and when God's work is complete throughout the world, they will then be saved.

These are beautiful, beautiful words in this passage. God's call is irrevocable on our lives. His call on the children of Israel is irrevocable. He does not break a covenant, no matter what people do on their side.