Review and introduction
Thoughts for Today:
Through the first eight chapters of Romans, Paul has established the principals of salvation. In the twelfth through sixteenth chapters Paul will deal with the practical application of these principles in the life of the believer. However, before he brings us forward into application, he will take us back through some of the problems with salvation which he addresses in chapters nine through eleven.
At this point, some of us may be wondering: "All this is great for the Gentiles, but what about the Jews? Are they now separated from God? Are they no longer His chosen people? And if God changed His mind about the Jews, will He change His mind about us as well?" The next three chapters is a critical component of the Bible because it not only answers these questions, but also demonstrates God's nature and faithfulness by means of the Jews as an illustration:
Chapter nine -- God's past dealing with Israel shows his sovereignty;
Chapter ten -- God's present dealing with Israel shows his fairness;
Chapter eleven -- God's future dealing with Israel shows his integrity.
God's past dealing with Israel (the Jews), has not been because they possessed some superior trait or exceptional national characteristic. In fact, they were quite the opposite. If anything, Israel has demonstrated throughout history that they are just as stubborn, stiff-necked, and weak morally as the rest of humanity. So why did God choose Israel? Because He could. It was His divine and sovereign right to choose -- and He chose Israel. By doing so, God has revealed a lot about Himself -- just as He acted regularly with mercy toward Israel, He will do the same for us. It's His nature.
Questions to Ponder:
I don't know about you, but I need mercy. Every time I think I get this Christian life right, my sinful nature kicks in and I do something I wish I hadn't. I am so grateful for God's mercy. Can you relate? Do you have an unconfessed sin that is in the way of your relationship with God? Our God is a merciful God, will you approach Him now?