When Paul began writing his letter to the Romans, he stated emphatically, “the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (1:16). Paul does not hide both his and God’s preferential love for the Jews who were His chosen ones. But we know that the majority of the Jews rejected the Gospel much to the dismay of Paul. Are the Jews to be rejected by God for their behaviour?
Paul’s explanation of the Gospel through the first half of his letter culminates in chapter eight with the assurance of God’s irrevocable promises to his people: “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (verse 28) That assurance is repeated once again in 11:29, “God has not rejected his people because God’s promises are irrevocable”.
A reading of the Old Testament reiterates the merciful action of God who time and time again bent his heart to spare his elect. But time and time again it is His elect who reject the Gospel. Paul acknowledges the Jews as the enemies of the Gospel yet he affirms their special election by God and calls them God’s beloved. For in the end, God is merciful and He does not break his promises. We might not understand how everything will work out, but Faith rests on hopes like this.
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