Tag: the depth of the wisdom of God
Scripture reading for November 22nd: Romans 9-11
Paul, the author of Romans, was a devout Jew before his encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. His Jewish roots were never forgotten and Paul had a heart for his own brothers’ salvation. His understanding of God’s plans for Israel is an amazing revelation from the Holy Spirit. As Gentile Christians, it is helpful for us to carefully study Paul’s teaching in Romans 9-11.
“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.” (Romans 10:1) Paul passionately wanted to see his brothers saved. He knew how they sought to keep the law and establish their own righteousness, because he himself had done just that. Paul knew that the Jews were a stubborn and disobedient people who were hardened because they had rejected Christ. They should have been the first to understand that righteousness would come by faith.
Paul preached the message of faith in Christ to his own people. He told them that they must confess with their mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead and they would be saved. (Romans 10:9-10) The way of faith was the same for Jews as for Gentiles. Faith would come by choosing to hear and believe the message of Christ. God desired all to be saved, but those who rejected the message would be lost.
Paul also warned the Gentiles not to become proud but to consider the kindness of God towards them and the possibility of God’s sternness coming upon them if they fell away from faith. (Romans 11:17-23) “I do not want you ignorant of this mystery, brothers, 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 so all Israel will be saved, . .” (Romans 11:25-26a)
Paul closes this discussion with worship! “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out. Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:33-36) God works everything out for His Glory in ways man cannot fully understand!