Random Blog Clay Feet: December 22, 2007
Feel free to leave your own comments or questions. If you would like to be in contact with me without having it published let me know in your comment and leave your email address and I will not publish that comment.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Kindness and Severity

Behold then the kindness and severity of God. (Romans 11:22)

A zeal for God not in accordance with knowledge. (10:2)

Christ is the focus point of the law for everyone who believes. (10:4)

Not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own. (10:3)

Submits and trusts in God's righteousness, His goodness and work of redemption.

Did not subject themselves to God's righteousness. (10:3)

Righteousness based on faith – not far away in heaven or in death but “the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”, the word of faith.


The man who practices righteousness based on law shall live by (get his life from) that righteousness. (10:5)

If you confess with your mouth – Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart – God filled His death with life, you will be saved. (10:9)

His mouth betrays that he has another master who compels him to try harder. His heart is full of pain and death while trusting conformity to the law.

With the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness and with the mouth he confesses (agrees with God), resulting in salvation. (10:10)

This man attempts to establish (produce) his own righteousness based on law. He believes in himself and confesses his own achievements.

Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed. (10:11)

He who believes in trying harder and impressing God enough to be saved will be disappointed.

No distinction or discrimination. All who call on Him will be saved and enjoy the abounding riches of their Lord. (10:12, 13)

Believes in segregation and discrimination. God only favors those who keep the law. One must believe and work harder to obey. Faith and self-generated works with help from God.

They hear good news from one who is sent, believe in Jesus and call on Him. (10:14, 15)

They did not heed the good news about God. (10:16)

Faith comes by hearing by the word of Christ. (10:17)

They have heard and know about the good news but did not believe it. (10:18, 19)

A people without special identity as God' chosen ones, who were not openly seeking God found God manifesting Himself to them even though they had not asked for Him. (10:19, 20)

They became jealous of those who were not religious like them, were not even openly looking for God but believed anyway. (10:19, 20)

Accepted God's gracious invitation by responding in faith and trust in His provision for them.

Ignoring God's stretched out hands in their disobedience and obstinance. (10:21)

God has a remnant, a small number of people who individually respond to His call (choice). (11:5)

God has not rejected His chosen people – it is they who have rejected Him. (11:1, 2)

The chosen are so by grace. (11:6)

The chosen are believed to be so on the basis of their works. Works precludes grace. (11:6)

Those who responded to God's choosing through faith in His grace obtained salvation and had their hearts softened. (11:7)

God's chosen people (historically) is seeking salvation but has not obtained it but instead were hardened in their hearts. (11:7)

God gave them a spirit of stupor, blind eyes and deaf ears. Their table (their group identity) became their prison and trap. Their identity as God's chosen ones became the very problem that caused them to stumble and their liability. (11:8-10)

The failure of the Jews to fulfill their role as God's representatives on earth to attract the world to God, He used that failure to create a new opportunity for the world to come to Him in a different way.

God did not trip them to make them fall. But He utilized their fall to create the opportunity for the rest of the world to become rich in His salvation. (11:11, 12)

They become jealous and realize that God is better and more gracious than they realized. They respond by individually joining others in accepting His grace and believing in salvation. Option one. (11:11-14)

They become jealous and harden their heart even more against God's grace – option two.

The transgression of the Jews against God's Son sent to them becomes riches for the world. Their failure to fulfill their invitation to be God's chosen representatives to the world result in riches for the rest of the people of the world (Gentiles). (11:11, 12)

The transgression and failure of the Jews as a nation caused them to lose the opportunity to represent God as a nation.

As individuals, Jews still have the same options as anyone has to see the truth about God and respond in faith, believing in His provision for salvation. When this happens, it results in even greater riches for everyone else. Their depth of understanding of God's ways empowers them to perceive spiritual things more easily than anyone else when linked with faith in God's salvation. (11:12, 15)

If Jews continue to cling to their identity based on law-keeping and depend on their lineage to the forefathers whom God brought into covenant relationship with Himself, looking to that as their source of salvation, they will be lost.

They found God in His manifestation of Himself to their heart. They obeyed by believing in His provision for them in the life and death of Jesus. They were grafted into the supporting “tree” of God's chosen body and became a partaker of rich root of the olive tree. (10:20 and 11:16, 17)

They stumbled, they transgressed, they failed and they rejected God's plan for them and were broken off as branches from the root of God. (11:12-16)

Holiness comes from connection with the original. The root supports the branch. (11:16-18)

Holiness is believed to come from keeping the law and being descendants of God's chosen people.

Stand by faith. Be afraid of conceit and unbelief. (11:20)

Becoming arrogant toward those who used to be God's chosen but failed to remain as such. Falling into the same conceit and unbelief that because they are now the chosen that they can do God's work. (11:18-21)

God's kindness will continue to you if you continue in His kindness. (11:22)

God's severity to those who rejected Him and fell in unbelief (in His kindness). If you too fail to believe in His kindness you too will be cut off. (11:22)

If Jews do not continue in their unbelief, they will be grafted back into the Olive tree of God. It is very easy and even more natural for them to do that. (11:23, 24)

Becoming wise in your own estimation (conceited and unbelieving in the kindness of God). (11:25)

Individually, Jews can be God's chosen ones just like anyone else can if they allow God's kindness to soften their hearts.

A partial hardening has happened to Israel. (11:25)

A Mystery – All Israel will be saved. (11:25-29, see 9:6-8)

All Jews will be saved because they are biological descendants of Abraham. (Remember, all the descendants of Ishmael and all the other later children of Abraham are his descendants also.)

From the standpoint of God's covenant relationship with the founder's of the Israelites, He still views them as beloved. He never changes His mind about His gifts and calling. (He never rejected them anyway, they rejected Him and His plan for them as a nation.) (11:28, 29)

From the standpoint of the gospel, the Jews are the enemies of everyone else who is being saved. (11:28)

You who were once disobedient to God have been shown mercy because of their disobedience (changing the makeup of what now constitutes Israel). Because of the mercy shown to you (creating a new way to become a chosen person by God) they also may now be shown mercy.(11:30, 31)

If Jews or non-Jews are disobedient to God by not believing in His kindness and allowing Him to soften their hearts, they cannot be included as God's chosen ones.

God has created a new definition for being an Israelite – it is all those who believe in His kindness and accept His mercy. They respond by confessing Him as Lord of their lives, believe with their heart in the life-giving power of God to heal and restore them, and live in a life-receiving relationship with Jesus. (11:32-36)

God is somehow in the end going to force all Jews to be saved, whether they willingly believe in His kindness and mercy or not, thus overriding their freedom of will. He will do this because He is trapped in His covenant promises to their forefathers. This is the view of much of the evangelical Christian world today.

(next in series)