This passage answers the question:  Where does Israel stand now since the sacrifice of Christ?

The end of chapter eight merges perfectly into the beginning of this key topic. These 90 verses are considered “the meat of the sandwich” in the book of Romans, for they structure Paul’s logic for God’s inclusion of the Gentiles. As a former Pharisee, Paul was very familiar with Jewish prejudices. He himself was once violently opposed to Christianity. He anticipated the reasoning of some of the Jews: “If God now loves Gentiles, He must now hate the Jews.”  It was true God began with the Hebrew nation, but He never intended to omit any ethnic group. Had Paul failed to address this situation, many questions would have remained unanswered. He defends neither Jews nor Gentiles, but shows God’s purpose for everyone, for all have sinned. Paul writes to prove salvation is not a new idea, but one that was “attested to by both the law and the prophets” (3:21). Israel’s initial reluctance to open the door to the rest of the world will eventuate in more Jews accepting Jesus (11:11).

This key section of the epistle is important to Gentiles as well, for they also were in danger of taking God’s grace for granted. Romans who had been converted might have viewed Jews as “traitors” to the Lord…but Paul’s comments clear this up completely. The apostle verifies that the Holy Spirit is moving away from Jewish Palestine and toward Gentile Rome - the very hub of paganism and idolatry.

The question of racism was settled at Calvary. God could have designed nothing more fairly for all human beings. It is appropriate Paul breaks into praise at the end of this essay for His flawless plan of salvation: “For from Him, through Him, and for Him everything exists:  to whom be glory forever.  Amen” (11:36).


Comments

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.