Romans 11:25-36

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 28, 2015 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“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, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’
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, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?’
‘Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?’
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:25-36)

Paul is continuing, and wrapping up, his discussion on salvation for the Jews and for the Gentiles here. Earlier in chapter 11, we saw that part of Israel believed in salvation through Jesus, but the rest of Israel’s hearts were hardened. But we saw last week that this is only a temporary condition. Israel rejected the gospel message, so it was taken to the Gentiles. At some point in the future, more of Israel will be saved. For more on this, stay tuned for Logan’s post on Wednesday as he explores this.

In verse 28, Paul starts wrapping up this big section. Israel is God’s enemy because they failed to respond to His calling and His gift of grace. But, some of Israel had already responded, and more will be saved before Christ returns again.

We see in verses 30-31 that both the Jews and the Gentiles were disobedient to God at one time, but that they have both received God’s grace and mercy in spite of their disobedience. Verse 32 further emphasizes that all people will be treated as equals in God’s eyes, whether in their disobedience or by being shown God’s mercy. We, too, are often disobedient to God, but when we put our faith in Him, He will show us mercy.

In verses 33-36, Paul transitions to what’s called a doxology, which is basically just praising God. First, Paul mentions the riches, wisdom, and knowledge of God. The questions of the next two verses echo those characteristics: “Who has known the mind of the Lord?” (knowledge); “Or who has been his counselor?” (wisdom); Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” (riches).

Paul affirms that God is God and we are not, and that He should be praised for who He is. He treats all people equally, whether they disobey or they are shown mercy, and we should all be thankful for God’s character in that.

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