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Welcome back! It's
a pleasure having you here for more Daily Bread. Well, we're halfway through
Paul's letter to the Romans already! In this part of Paul's letter, we've
got sort of a little lesson of Who's Who. Paul tells us that just because
someone is born an Israelite, that doesn't guarantee them anything.
He begins by
saying how sad he is for his kinsmen (the Israelites) that believe they
automatically get privileges because of their heritage.
God chose them for the adoption
(becoming the chosen people of God, or God's children),
the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, the promises.
They are the family that the fathers were from (the descendants of Abraham),
And of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came,
who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Not as though the Word of God hath taken none effect.
For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel
(they don't all have the Faith that Israel had, just because they were born of Israel).
Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children,
but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
That means, they which are the children of the flesh
are not the children of God,
but the children of the promise are counted for the
For this is the Word of promise,
At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by our father Isaac
(For the children being not yet born,
neither having done any good or evil,
that the purpose of God according to His choosing might remain,
not of works, but of Him that calls),
it was said to her, The elder shall serve the younger.
As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God?
God forbid. For he said to Moses,
I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs
(it doesn't matter if a person wishes or pursues for God's calling),
but of God that shows mercy.
For the scripture said to Pharaoh,
For this same purpose have I raised you up
(put you in a high position),
that I might show my power in you,
and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Therefore He has mercy on whom He will have mercy,
and whom He will, He makes stubborn.
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So, what's the
message we're supposed to derive from this? Like Paul said from the
beginning, it doesn't matter who you are, what matters is if God chooses
you. Shucks, you could be Isaac's son and not be chosen, as you've seen, or,
you could be someone who persecutes Christians, and be chosen, as Paul was.
It doesn't matter who you are. Paul goes on:
You'll say to me then, Why does the Lord still find fault?
For who has resisted his will?
No but, O man, who are you that talks back to God?
Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it,
Why have you made me this way?
Doesn't the potter have power over the clay,
of the same lump to make one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor?
What if God, wanting to demonstrate His wrath,
and to make His power known,
put up with much longsuffering from the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
And that He might make known the riches of His glory to the vessels of mercy,
which He had before prepared for glory,
Which is us, whom He has called,
not of the Jewish only, but also of the Gentiles?
As He also said in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people;
and her beloved, which was not beloved.
And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said to them,
You are not my people;
there shall they be called the children of the living God.
Isaiah also cried concerning Israel,
Though the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea,
a remnant shall be saved, For He will finish the work,
and cut it short in righteousness,
because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
And as Isaiah said before,
If the Lord hadn't made us a small remnant,
we would have been as Sodom,
and would have been made like Gomorrah.
What does this
mean? Perhaps that if God had left the children of Israel such a massive
people, they might have been totally destroyed if God hadn't reduced them to
just a small number, when He scattered them during the carrying away into
is similar to what happened in Babylon at the very beginning of it's
existence. The people grew to thinking that they could reach heaven and make
a name for themselves (become famous)(Genesis 11:4).
But God saw that they were up to no good, so he confused their language and
scattered them throughout the earth. Maybe the children of Israel were
getting a little too close to this manner of thinking, so God took care of
THE WORD OF PROMISE BIBLE INFORMATION WITH THE WORD OF PROMISE BIBLE DISCUSSION
What shall we say then?
That the Gentiles, who didn't follow after righteousness,
have attained to righteousness, the righteousness which is of Faith.
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness,
has not attained to the law of righteousness.
Because they sought it not by Faith,
but as if it were by the works of the law.
For they stumbled at that stumbling stone;
As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offence:
and whosoever believeth in Him shall not be ashamed.
So you see, the
Lord, just as He has throughout the ages, judges us by our decisions. He
doesn't want a bunch of angels that will choose anything but Him and fall.
He doesn't want a bunch of angels that decide they want to
be Him, and build a tower that reaches to
heaven. He just wants us to be righteous CHILDREN.
To the Jewish
people, Jesus (the stumbling stone) was totally the opposite of law, so you
can see why the term stumbling stone is used. The Jewish people who couldn't
see the Truth in Him and accept Faith over law, tripped over the stone, they
were offended by Him, even though He patiently answered their questions
about His doctrine, over and over again, they couldn't see that the things
they studied in scripture so diligently, and their long awaited Messiah, was
right before their eyes, and they stumbled over Him.
It looks like God
has His own version of Who Is Who, and it's up to us to decide if Jesus is
who the Messiah is, or if we choose law instead. Who's who? Depending on
what we choose, will determine whether He will choose us in the end.
writing from Paul ahead, so come on back soon, and don't miss it, right here
at Daily Bread.
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