God’s Sovereign Salvation Plan for Jews and Gentiles: Past, Present, and Future
Passage: Romans 10:13–11:15
God’s Sovereign Salvation Plan
- Step 1: Israel rejects the gospel.
- Step 2: Salvation blessings flow to the Gentiles.
- Step 3: The salvation blessings of the Gentiles serve to make Israel envious, which in turn leads to Israel’s “full inclusion” (12) and “acceptance” (15).
- Step 4: The “greater riches” bestowed upon the world through Israel’s “full inclusion” and “acceptance” is life from the dead: that is, the resurrection when Christ returns in glory, the climatic end of salvation history.
Point 1: Israel has had ample opportunity to believe the gospel that was preached to them, to know about Gentile inclusion in the covenant community, and to know about Jewish exclusion from the covenant community (10:14-21).
To believe the gospel . . .
- preachers must be sent
- preachers must preach the gospel.
- people must hear the preaching
- people must believe in Christ.
God had met the first three conditions for the Israelites, but he is now showing himself to the Gentiles because the obstinately disobedient Israelites failed to meet the fourth condition. The Israelites – not God – are to blame for their current predicament.
Point 2: The continuing validity of God’s corporate election of Israel is demonstrated in the fact that there is a remnant, chosen by grace (11:1-6).
Point 3: In God’s dealings with corporate Israel, God has saved a remnant, but hardened the majority of Israelites. Paul thus vindicates God for his actions in the past and present by demonstrating that Israel's rejection is partial, not total (11:7-10).
One question remains: what about Israel’s future? Is Israel’s rejection final? Will the beneficiaries of God’s covenant promises to Israel permanently be merely a remnant within Israel?
Point 4: God is saving Gentiles to make Israel envious (11:11-15).
- Israel’s “transgression” (v. 11) of rejecting of Christ and the righteousness of God offered through him alone has led to salvation for the Gentiles.
- The salvation of Gentiles has the purpose of making Israel envious.
- Far greater blessing than the offer of a new relationship with God for the Gentiles will come when God “accepts” Israel once again. The return of Israel to favor with God will occur at the climax of history, when the dead are raised.
More in Acts
July 4, 2021The Olive Tree: The Pattern of God’s Saving Plan for all People
June 6, 2021Israel's Unbelief in Christ
May 30, 2021Paul's Arrival at Rome and the Sovereignty of God in Salvation