07 July 2013
While chapter 9 of Romans speaks of God’s sovereign electing grace, chapter 10 tells us of man’s responsibility in responding to that saving grace. Of course, Israel stumbled and failed to respond positively to God’s grace; they rejected the Messiah. Instead of placing their faith in the promised Messiah, they put their trust in their Abrahamic heritage and their own works of righteousness in keeping the law. So does that mean that today’s passage is only meant for the archives of Israel’s history with no relevance for our times?
Not at all. Because the same gospel that was offered to Israel back then is the same gospel that is being offered to us now. And the questions that faced the Jews then, are the same questions that confront us now - How are we responding on an ongoing basis to God’s call to salvation? Like Israel, are we falling back on a cultural or family identity? Are we taking refuge in something we did years ago (raised our hands, prayed a prayer, signed a letter)? Like them, are we being blind and rejecting God's clear call to salvation?
Paul presents a pretty straightforward argument that we would do well to consider.
1. The Gospel is offered to all people
2. The Gospel is preached to a privileged people
3. The Gospel is ignored by an obstinate people