THE END OF THE MATTER
Mighty God, if my spirit flags, quicken it; if my trust wanes, restore it; if my focus get blurry, sharpen it.
Read Romans 11:25–36
All Israel Will Be Saved
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way[a] all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now[d] receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[e] knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”[f]
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”[g]
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectRead the doxology (vs 33–36) – and be amazed!
At last, no more questions. Instead Paul talks about a mystery (v 25), and having worked through these chapters we might well agree that is the right word. But the mystery has been revealed; the jigsaw is now complete. Mercy, sovereignty, faith, proclamation, grace, severity and kindness. The emerging picture is breathtaking. The argument may have felt a bit tortuous, but now comes a moment of stunning clarity. Everyone, both Jew and Gentile, has disobeyed God’s law (Romans 3:23), but now everyone, both Jew and Gentile (that is what Paul means by all Israel v 26; Galatians 6:16), will receive mercy. Ponder verse 32.
This principle crosses the years and meets us today. Lifelong sceptic, busy church leader, harassed mother, innocent child, pressurized businessman, trained scholar… the list could go on. Whoever I am, if I would know God, I can only know him as the God who accepts me, not through what I can bring, but through his mercy (vs 30–32).
Thank you for following these challenging readings. Congratulations are in order! But it will all have been worthwhile, if together we can echo Charles Wesley’s words: ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, For O my God it found out me’ (And can it be’, 1738).
‘For from him and through him and for him are all things’ (v 36). To God be glory for ever! Amen.
Lord Jesus, you are the way to God, the truth about God, and the life in God. How great is my God!
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