Pauls Footsteps #363

 Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved.  I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal.  For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law.  For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.” (Romans 10:1-4 NLT)

Footsteps # 363. Over the next few days, we will cover Romans 10 and 11, It would be good if you could now read both chapters.  

To have zeal without knowledge is a vice, not a virtue. Every congregation seems to have a few of this type. Like the proverbial bull in the china shop, they imitate the early Paul with their self-righteousness. What knowledge are they missing? The same as that absent during Paul’s early experience: the knowledge that we are not self-sufficient but totally dependent upon the saving merits of Jesus Christ. Such understanding brings with it humble zeal that recognises both our weaknesses and the power of sin, but even more the awesome power of God. 

Those who think they know cause endless problems, but the one who knows that he does not know is gentle and willing to be directed. 

God wants us to have zeal. But it is a passion filled with knowledge – a knowledge of our frailty, of our tendency to seek to be God to others, and most of all, our need for His softening and informing grace. 

One point is clear in these two chapters, and that is God’s love for humanity and His great desire to see all humanity saved. There is no corporate rejection of anyone for salvation. Romans 10:12 makes it very clear that “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek”  – all are sinners and all need God’s grace as given to the world through Jesus Christ. This grace comes to all – not by nationality, by church affiliation, not by birth, and not by works of the law but by faith in Jesus, who died as the Substitute for sinners everywhere. Roles may change, but the basic plan of salvation never does. 

Paul continues with this theme in chapter 11. As stated earlier, it’s important to understand here that when Paul talks about election and calling, the issue isn’t one of salvation; the issue is the role in God’s plan for reaching the world. No one group has been rejected for salvation. That was never the issue. Instead, after the Cross and after the introduction of the gospel to the Gentiles, particularly through Paul, the early movement of believers – both Jew and Gentile – took on the mantle of evangelizing the world

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