Adopted as Sons

Photo by Foto Phanatic on Unsplash

 

Isaiah 55:1-5
Psalm 145: 8-22
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:13-21

Paul writes, Before Christ and my own conscience I assure you that I am speaking the plain truth when I say that there is something that makes me feel very depressed, like a pain that never leaves me. It is the condition of my brothers and fellow-Israelites, and I have actually reached the pitch of wishing myself cut off from Christ if it meant that they could be won for God.

Just think what the Israelites have had given to them. The privilege of being adopted as sons of God, the experience of seeing something of the glory of God, the receiving of the agreements made with God, the gift of the Law, true ways of worship, God’s own promises—all these are theirs, and so too, as far as human descent goes, is Christ himself, Christ who is God over all, blessed for everPhillips

As always, we must look for the context of this passage. The first 8 chapters deal with righteousness in one way or another. The letter was sent to the church (really several churches) in Rome, most of whom were gentiles. Paul clearly felt they needed a through grounding in what constitutes being a righteous person in the eyes of God.

Chapters 9,10, and 11 deal with the Jews. These three chapters, along with other NT passages, have given rise to a hatred of Jews among Christians for about 1,950 years. Yet, that was not at all what Paul wrote. Don’t forget that Paul wrote this: It is the condition of my brothers and fellow-Israelites. And don’t forget that Paul was breathing fire to round up all followers of Jesus and kill them as heretics. Paul never forgot it.

Paul never lost faith that God had a plan for His Chosen People. We are quick to write people off as lost when we see their actions or hear their words. We’ll say he’s on the road to ruin before we say he’ll turn around. God sees ALL of us as sinners. Not a one of us can live the life God wants us to live. That’s why His Son had to become a human and die carrying the weight of the sins of billions of people.

Jews are no more to blame for the evil in the world than any of the rest of us.

Many millions have been won for God. Paul’s prayer has been answered in part. Still, there are more gentiles yet to save than Jews.

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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