Elected, Rejected, Accepted … a Commentary on Romans 9-11

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Elected, Rejected, Accepted … a Commentary on Romans 9-11

Post by Tryphena on Wed Apr 23 2014, 07:10

Elected, Rejected, Accepted … a Commentary on Romans 9-11
Monday, June 30th, 2003

“I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy,” He said, “And I will have compassion upon whom I will have compassion.” (Exodus 33:19).

When they finished, James spoke up: “Brothers, listen to me. Simon (Peter) has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: “After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things that have been known for ages.” (Acts 15:13-18)
The occasion was a conference in Jerusalem to settle a dispute over whether Gentile converts to Christianity could go straight in to the Church or whether they had to first become Jews. Peter, Paul, Barnabus and many other 1st century Christian leaders attended the conference chaired by James, brother of Jesus, who was by then the Bishop of the Church in Jerusalem.

What’s The Point?
The real point at issue was, if Gentiles don’t have to first become Jews, what’s to become of Israel? Has the Church replaced Israel as God’s people on Earth? James quoted from Amos 9:11-12 to remind them all that after the Gospel was preached to the Gentiles, God would return to rebuild “David’s fallen tent.” This reference was to the Nation Israel as well as its form of worship complete with Temple and ordinances. The phrase “after this” showed them that Israel was being put on hold while the Lord took from among the Gentiles a people for Himself, a reference to the Church, but that later He would again turn His attention toward Israel and restore both the nation and its worship system. Based on that conclusion these Messianic Jews, the Church’s first leaders, determined that it was not necessary in the words of Peter to “put on their necks a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear. We believe that it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:10-11) From that point on any person, Jew or Gentile, could be welcomed into the Church solely upon a confession of faith and not be subject to the rituals and ordinances of Judaism.
From this conference emerged the understanding in the early church that God’s dealings with Israel and the Church are mutually exclusive. While He was focused on building the Church, Israel would fade into the background, but once His work with the church was complete Israel would again become the primary focus of His attention. So Israel was not being replaced by the Church, but would reemerge as the Church reached its predetermined number. (Rom. 11:25-27) (Note: A sign that God’s work in the church is nearly finished is the growing importance of Israel in world affairs. No other nation on Earth has commanded as much attention since its reemergence as a nation. In fact 26% of all UN Security Council meetings since 1948 have concerned Israel.)
Later Paul expanded on this theme in his letter to the Romans, clearly explaining the relationships between the Lord, Israel, and the Church in chapters 9-11. Let’s review these chapters to gain the understanding of one who attended the conference and who was known as the Apostle to the Gentiles.

Elected
Speaking of the Jews, Paul said, “Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.” (Rom. 9:4-5). Their election as God’s chosen people was an act of His sovereign choice. He looked with favor upon Abraham, a descendant of Shem from modern day Iraq, and offered to make of his descendants a great nation through whom all the peoples of the world would be blessed. 400 years later, when He brought them out of Egypt to Mt. Sinai the Nation Israel was born, and throughout the Old Testament the idea is clear that God chose Abraham and his descendants simply because it was His right to choose whomever He wanted. “I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy,” He said, “And I will have compassion upon whom I will have compassion.” (Exodus 33:19).

Your Mission, If You Choose To Accept It …
In Romans 9 Paul reminds us of an interesting condition. This election was never intended solely as a birth right, automatically inherited by the children of Jewish parents. “For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ In other words, 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.” (Rom. 9:6-8) While they couldn’t choose their nationality, the children of Abraham had to choose to participate in the promised blessings by obeying His instructions and believing in His promise of a coming Redeemer. Remember God’s words to the recently released captives from Egypt: “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:5-6)
Isaiah explained that God chose Israel to accomplish a special fourfold mission on Earth:
to be a witness for Him (Isa 43:10),
to show forth His blessings (49:3)
to transmit the Scriptures (42:9)
to be a channel for the Messiah(49:5)
Though chosen for this mission, they had to accept it, obey His covenants, and keep the faith. Obedience would bring great blessings but disobedience would bring consequences (Deut. 30:11-20). Eventually they disobeyed and suffered the consequences, but just how permanent would those consequences be? More next time.

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Part 2

Post by Tryphena on Wed Apr 23 2014, 07:12

Elected, Rejected, Accepted … a Commentary on Romans 9-11 Part 2
Monday, June 30th, 2003

Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. (Romans 10:4)

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. (Romans 10:1-4)
Our human nature makes us more task oriented than results oriented. This means that it’s easier for us to identify what we need to do today than to remember what we’re trying to accomplish with our lives. (It’s easier to get the trash out every Sunday night than it is to schedule quality time with our kids each week.) Because of this tendency we often confuse effort with results especially with repetitive tasks. It’s no surprise then that the Israelites began to rely more and more on the religious tasks they were performing as time passed and less and less on the promise of a Redeemer. Little by little the form of their religion had overtaken the substance, and they lost sight of the fact that those tasks were designed as a daily reminder of their need for a Redeemer. Eventually the tasks became their redeemer and by the time of Jesus many believed that their efforts at keeping the commandments were sufficient to earn their Salvation.
This was not unique to them or their time. Ask anyone today who believes in an afterlife, but isn’t Biblically literate, how they expect to get into Heaven and watch as they tick off their own list of commandments. Even though they made the list up, they believe by keeping it God will reward their efforts and they’ll go to heaven.

You’re Missing The Point
The Israelites missed the point that Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes, and that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10: 4,9). Speaking of the Messiah, Isaiah had told them that anyone who puts their trust in Him will never be put to shame (Isaiah 28:16) but having drifted away from a literal interpretation of Scripture, they lacked the knowledge to recognize Him when He walked among them. When the Lord rode into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday He lamented, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”(Luke 19:42) Later that week He indicated that their blinding would be temporary, ending when the time of the Gentiles had run its course. (Luke 21:24)

Who Rejected Whom?
“How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard?” Paul asked in Romans 10:14. And so the Messiah had to leave until they learned to recognize Him. “You will not see Me again,” He said, “Until you say Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.” (Matt. 23:39). In the courtyard of the Antonia Fortress a few days later as Pilate condemned Him to death, they shouted, “Let His blood be on us and on our children.” (Matt. 27:25) And so it was. The people having rejected Him, the Lord had no choice but to reject them.
The prophets had foreseen even these details of the Lord’s ministry: “Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me.” (Hosea 5:15)
But as the Apostles concluded at the Council of Jerusalem, this rejection would last only until the Lord had finished building His church (read ). The day will soon come when they will earnestly seek Him, saying, “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.” (Hosea 6:1-2) Many interpret this prophecy to mean that after 2000 years the Lord would revive them as a nation (with the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day, 2 Peter 3:8) and then restore them in fulfillment of their 1000 year Kingdom promises.
On that day the Lord will “pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zech 12:10) From that day on “Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. Their blood guilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon.” The Lord dwells in Zion! (Joel 3:20-21)
Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring! (Romans 11:11-12) In our conclusion next week we’ll see how the elected and rejected will once again be accepted and the whole world will be blessed beyond our wildest imagination.


http://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/tough-questions-answered/elected-rejected-accepted-a-commentary-on-romans-9-11-part-2/
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Part 3

Post by Tryphena on Wed Apr 23 2014, 07:15

Elected, Rejected, Accepted … a Commentary on Romans 9-11 Part 3
Monday, June 30th, 2003



As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. (Romans 11:28-29).
In the final portion of his 3 chapter explanation of the relationship between God, Israel and the Church, Paul explains that though the Jews appear to be enemies of the Gospel, God’s promises to their Patriarchs are inviolable, not conditioned on their behavior. He has preserved a remnant for these times just as He did during the time of Elijah (Romans 11:1-6). And in fact, their opposition to the Gospel has brought great blessing to the Gentile world, opening the door to Salvation to all who would enter. (See Isaiah 49:1-6 for God’s promise that this would happen.)

How Many times Do I Have To Tell You?
God had made this same point through the prophet Ezekiel 600 years earlier. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.”
“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:22-27)
This is one of several Old Testament passages explaining that the remnant of Israel would be born again in the latter days. This rebirth would take place both in the political sense (the nation would come into existence again after a 2000-year absence) and in the spiritual sense (they will be saved by grace just as you and I are). And then God will open the storehouse of blessings He has kept for just this time. Let’s let His Word speak for itself.
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12:10-11). As all the nations of the world gather against Jerusalem for the great and final battle of the age of man, the remnant of Israel will turn to their Messiah and petition His return. Having caused Him to reject them and leave them (Hosea 5:15) they will finally see the error of their way, admit their guilt, and petition His return (Hosea 6:1-2). “Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle.” (Zechariah 14:3)

Accepted … Finally And Forever
“In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God. (Amos 9:11, 14-15)
“For I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands. They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 65:18-25)

A Time For Blessing
At that time the curse that’s afflicted Planet Earth since Genesis 3 will be lifted. The mountains and the hills will break into song and the trees of the fields will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12) There will finally be peace on Earth and good will toward men. Nation will not take up sword against nation nor will they train for war anymore. (Micah 4:3) Even the animals will live in peace. Long lifetimes will return as sickness and disease are dramatically curtailed and Earth is restored to its condition before the fall. In New Jerusalem there will be no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain for the old order of things has passed away. (Rev. 21:4) And all the people of the Earth will be blessed. (Gen 12:3) For if Israel’s transgression means riches for the world, how much more will their fullness bring! (Romans 11:12)
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable 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)


http://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/tough-questions-answered/elected-rejected-accepted-a-commentary-on-romans-9-11-part-3/
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Re: Elected, Rejected, Accepted … a Commentary on Romans 9-11

Post by Tryphosa on Wed Apr 23 2014, 17:47

Thanks Tryph, that says it all!  I may post this on another site, thanks again.
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Re: Elected, Rejected, Accepted … a Commentary on Romans 9-11

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