Wednesday, July 25, 2012

God's Chosen People

"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage
Romans 9:1-24

who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.  But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel.  Romans 9:4-6 (NKJV)

Romans 9 deals with the topic of ELECTION.  This has always been a hard and confusing teaching to many folks.  I had an individual ask me one time, "Do you believe in election?"  I answered, "Of course I do.  It's a biblical word."  Actually, I know that I was sidestepping his question.  He was not asking me if I believed that election was in the Bible.  He was asking if I believed that God foreordains EVERYTHING so that man no longer has any free will.  By this extreme view, man is but a puppet.  The true biblical teaching about election does not require fatalism.

Romans 9 speaks of God's ELECTION of Israel.  They are called GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE. But, when we speak of God's actions to choose or elect us, we need to ask another question.  Chosen for what?  If Isael was chosen, what were they chosen for?

The answer is in Romans 9:4-5.  There are eight "things" that came through Israel.  Each of them is a study in itself. 

But the main "thing" is JESUS.  Israel was not chosen so that they could say to the rest of the world that they were special and superior to all other peoples.  Israel was chosen ultimately for one main reason:  TO DELIVER JESUS TO THE WORLD.

One final thought, and Paul echoes this: if the election of Israel was based on delivering Jesus to the world, what happens then when Israel rejects Jesus?  Answer: "they are not all Israel who are of Israel."  In other words, the true Israel are those who love and worship Jesus.  Election is no longer based on national identity.  It is "the election of faith."

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