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Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Gospel of God's Grace # 70

A Study of the Epistle to the Romans

There Will Be a Future Reception

The Jew might say, "I can admit that there is an election, but what bout the rest of the nation? Are they cast off?" Paul now answers in verses 11-24, "I say then, Have they stumbled that they might fall?" He has just been talking about their table being made a stumbling block to them. When the Lord Jesus Christ came as their Messiah, He really was bringing all the benefits of a banquet. He was their table, and their table became a stumbling block to them. But Paul says, "Did they stumble that they might fall and never be brought back? God forbid!" This is the same answer as before.

But why did they stumble and fall? There was an immediate reason: "By their fall, salvation comes to the Gentiles." Isn't that true? "He came unto his own, and his own received him not? (John 1:11). They crucified Him, and that opened the door of salvation to the whole world. "Now if their fall is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness!" They lost everything back there - their Messiah, their kingdom, their land, all the millennial blessings that God had promised them - lost them all, and their loss was the benefit of the Gentile world. Notice Paul's argument in verse 12: "How much more shall their fullness be!" If the Gentile world gained through their fall, think what it will gain when God receives the Jews back again! Paul is reasoning from the lesser to the greater.

In Psalm 67:7 Israel says, "God will bless us." Some criticize the selfishness of Israel and their bigotry, "God shall bless us," but these critics need to read on - "and all the ends of the earth shall fear him." That is what will happen. When God blesses Israel, then all the ends of the earth will hear of the Lord Jesus Christ in a way that they have never heard before. That is the "fullness" here to which Paul makes reference.

But now a question arises. The church at Rome was a Gentile church. There might have been a few Jews in it. Since Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles, Gentile believers will want to address a question to Paul. "Paul, why are you bothering yourself about the Jews?" He responds to the question. "I magnify my office," that is, make it great. "How do you do it, Paul?" "If by any means I may provoke to jealousy them that are my flesh, and may save some of them" Can you see how he is magnifying his office trying to save the Jews? The more Jews that are saved, the more Gentiles there will be saved, and the greater will be the ministry to the Gentiles. That is true to this day. Whenever a Jew comes to the Lord, he makes a flaming evangel. So we should not be lifted up with pride. We should not be anti-Semitic. Though Paul knew the future blessing was to come, he was trying to save Jews, which in turn would bring more Gentiles.

Now we come to the great fifteenth verse. Where did the reconciliation of the world take? At the Cross. "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?"  They rejected their Messiah; they took Him to the Cross and there He reconciled the world. If reconciliation occurred at the Cross, then "What shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?"

~Alva J. McClain~

(continued with # 71)

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