The Children of the promise?

Thread starter #41
See if you can rethink this post making it consistent with Rm. 2:11, and other like passages. If you succeed, you may even find that it has a profound effect on the stumbling block between the OT and the NT.
Romans 2:10
but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

I wonder why it mentions "first for the Jew, then the Gentile?"

Then it concerns people doing works. People who do good. It addresses people who do evil. It's a good vs evil theme instead of an elect vs non-elect theme.
Then it goes in to doers of the Law vs not doers of the Law.

I'm not really sure how to see this concerning election to salvation. We read that God can have mercy on whom he can have mercy. God chose Israel. God chose a remnant from Israel and hardened the rest. He did this based on grace and not works.
So the way I see God operating is that he can choose to save all Israel if he wants to. Especially if he made a promise to Israel to do this. He is the Potter. He gets to choose.

It's kinda like the way God chooses more kids of believers than he does kids of the Muslims or the Hindu. Even though he isn't a respecter of men he chose Isaac over Ishmael. He chose Jacob over Esau.

In a way God is showing partiality by whom he elects. He doesn't show partiality as to which humans were born capable of sin.
 
Thread starter #42
If God doesn't show partiality, why did he choose physical Israel to start with? Whether he set them up to fail or succeed matters not if he chose them. He chose Israel and made promises to Israel. Perhaps as a way to bring salvation to the world but still he chose them.
He elected a remnant from this chosen nation and hardened the rest. He did this within that physical nation.

Now he may choose a remnant from other nations and he may harden the rest within those nations as well. It's still choosing. Some make it and some don't. It isn't based on works but it's still God choosing.

God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy. This is a big part of what Paul is teaching in Romans 9-11.

I don't believe Romans 2:11 is teaching God's promises to physical Israel. Neither is Galatians 4. It is that salvation was opened up to the whole world. The children of the promise increased.

Concerning Israel as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs. For God's gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.

It's all about the promises. It's not God showing partiality because God is the one that chose Israel in the first place. I don't know why he chose Israel out of the thousands of other nations. He can make children for Abraham out of rocks.
Yet history tells us he chose Isaac as the child of promise. "It is through Isaac that your children will be counted."

I think that God choosing Israel set up a precedent. God made the promises with Israel. Actually even with men before Israel.
It's not like he chose them as the only ones to receive blessings and salvation.

Israel is just too much a part of the Bible for it to not mean more than what some people make of it.
 
Thread starter #44
1) Is salvation the paramount issue?

2)"It is that salvation was opened up to the whole world."
Was it closed?
It's not the paramount issue I'm looking at answerd for. Sometimes I see a parallel issue of physical salvation and spiritual salvation within scripture. Perhaps a physical salvation according to God's promises to physical Israel and then a spiritual salvation for spiritual Israel.

I'm not sure these to parallels exist, just that sometimes it appears to be. I see salvation as being both physical and spiritual. Like warning Christians to flee the city. That sounds like physical salvation.

I see a physical restoration, cities being rebuilt. Gathering, recovering, and restoring. Houses, fields, and vineyards.

Then I see another salvation. A spiritual one that Paul is in anguish over his fellow countrymen. A New Jerusalem from above.
Maybe the two Jerusalems, or Israels, or whatever are the same thing. Maybe there is only one.
 
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Thread starter #45
1) Is salvation the paramount issue?

2)"It is that salvation was opened up to the whole world."
Was it closed?
#2, salvation opened or closed to the world? I don't think it was ever completely closed. Maybe the Gentiles needed a way in. There was a dividing wall that needed to be removed. Maybe Paul revealed this mystery.
Was the mystery that the wall was never impassable? Perhaps they just didn't know how to enter.
What if God hardened all the Gentiles until he chose a remnant of Jews and hardened the rest of the Jews? Then he elected whatever Gentiles he wanted to make Israel jealous.
Similar to the way God elects more individuals from Christian nations than he does other nations or electing children of Christian parents over the children of Hindu parents.

It's not that God is showing favoritism. He is just having mercy on whom he'll have mercy.

Paul says in Ephesians;

Ephesians 2:12
remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

The revelation of the mystery kept hidden since the world began.

I don't no how this mystery revelation let the wall come down between the Jews and Gentiles. I think it goes all the way back to God choosing Israel. Back to God having mercy on whom he will have mercy.
 
Thread starter #46
The mystery of "Israel's blindness" in Romans 11.

Isaiah 14:1
For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and choose Israel once again. He will settle them on their own land. The foreigner will join them and be united with the house of Jacob.

Ephesians 2:19
Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of God's household,

Something happened to allow these foreigners and strangers in.

In chapter 11 Paul again starts out concerned with "his people." Did God reject his people? Paul said, he didn't reject me and I'm a Jew.
Paul goes on to explain that God has chosen a remnant of Jews by grace and not works. Then the rest of Israel was hardened.

"God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day." This needed according to God's plan to allow salvation to the Gentiles.
But they didn't stumble so for as to not recover.
Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.

Romans 11:12
But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

Then he talks about Israel being the olive tree, natural branches broken off, and the Gentile branches being grafted in.
If the hardened Jews do not persist in unbelief, they can be grafted back in.

Then Paul tells of a mystery;
Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,
And so all Israel will be saved.
As it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob." And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Why do you suppose Paul is telling the Gentiles this? That they shouldn't be conceited with their election?

Paul tells us;
"as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.

Romans 11:33
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

What that means is "God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy."
 
If when asked was salvation closed, means was eternal life closed? The answer is absolutely yes. The old covenant could not and did not offer salvation. Salvation was their hope.
 
It's not the paramount issue I'm looking at answerd for. Sometimes I see a parallel issue of physical salvation and spiritual salvation within scripture. Perhaps a physical salvation according to God's promises to physical Israel and then a spiritual salvation for spiritual Israel.

I'm not sure these to parallels exist, just that sometimes it appears to be. I see salvation as being both physical and spiritual. Like warning Christians to flee the city. That sounds like physical salvation.

I see a physical restoration, cities being rebuilt. Gathering, recovering, and restoring. Houses, fields, and vineyards.

Then I see another salvation. A spiritual one that Paul is in anguish over his fellow countrymen. A New Jerusalem from above.
Maybe the two Jerusalems, or Israels, or whatever are the same thing. Maybe there is only one.
So, salvation is the paramount issue?
The mystery of "Israel's blindness" in Romans 11.

Isaiah 14:1
For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and choose Israel once again. He will settle them on their own land. The foreigner will join them and be united with the house of Jacob.

Ephesians 2:19
Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of God's household,

Something happened to allow these foreigners and strangers in.

In chapter 11 Paul again starts out concerned with "his people." Did God reject his people? Paul said, he didn't reject me and I'm a Jew.
Paul goes on to explain that God has chosen a remnant of Jews by grace and not works. Then the rest of Israel was hardened.

"God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day." This needed according to God's plan to allow salvation to the Gentiles.
But they didn't stumble so for as to not recover.
Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.

Romans 11:12
But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

Then he talks about Israel being the olive tree, natural branches broken off, and the Gentile branches being grafted in.
If the hardened Jews do not persist in unbelief, they can be grafted back in.

Then Paul tells of a mystery;
Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,
And so all Israel will be saved.
As it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob." And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Why do you suppose Paul is telling the Gentiles this? That they shouldn't be conceited with their election?

Paul tells us;
"as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.

Romans 11:33
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

What that means is "God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy."
#2, salvation opened or closed to the world? I don't think it was ever completely closed. Maybe the Gentiles needed a way in. There was a dividing wall that needed to be removed. Maybe Paul revealed this mystery.
Was the mystery that the wall was never impassable? Perhaps they just didn't know how to enter.
What if God hardened all the Gentiles until he chose a remnant of Jews and hardened the rest of the Jews? Then he elected whatever Gentiles he wanted to make Israel jealous.
Similar to the way God elects more individuals from Christian nations than he does other nations or electing children of Christian parents over the children of Hindu parents.

It's not that God is showing favoritism. He is just having mercy on whom he'll have mercy.

Paul says in Ephesians;

Ephesians 2:12
remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

The revelation of the mystery kept hidden since the world began.

I don't no how this mystery revelation let the wall come down between the Jews and Gentiles. I think it goes all the way back to God choosing Israel. Back to God having mercy on whom he will have mercy.
The mystery of "Israel's blindness" in Romans 11.

Isaiah 14:1
For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and choose Israel once again. He will settle them on their own land. The foreigner will join them and be united with the house of Jacob.

Ephesians 2:19
Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of God's household,

Something happened to allow these foreigners and strangers in.

In chapter 11 Paul again starts out concerned with "his people." Did God reject his people? Paul said, he didn't reject me and I'm a Jew.
Paul goes on to explain that God has chosen a remnant of Jews by grace and not works. Then the rest of Israel was hardened.

"God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day." This needed according to God's plan to allow salvation to the Gentiles.
But they didn't stumble so for as to not recover.
Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.

Romans 11:12
But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

Then he talks about Israel being the olive tree, natural branches broken off, and the Gentile branches being grafted in.
If the hardened Jews do not persist in unbelief, they can be grafted back in.

Then Paul tells of a mystery;
Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,
And so all Israel will be saved.
As it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob." And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Why do you suppose Paul is telling the Gentiles this? That they shouldn't be conceited with their election?

Paul tells us;
"as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.

Romans 11:33
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

What that means is "God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy."
So, it was not closed?
 
Galatians 2:21 New King James Version (NKJV)
21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
 
I have learned (if I have indeed learned anything at all)...that in relationship to, and with God, (and as I seek to speak before Him)...there is not nor cannot be any maneuvering into any position of meriting mercy.

In one sense it puts a man in the impossible position. It's an easily thing said in word, isn't it?

"Of course mercy can never be merited...for by its nature (and even definition in word) it is given by one to another in position of meriting something of judgment or condemnation."

In simpler terms it is a gift to one who has full expectation of the receipt of all he does not want, and then, by grace...something else appears. And not only expectation, but the present conviction in his estate of deserving of that something he does not want.

A wronged party in authority to another, rather than exercising such authority to prove himself right or righteous over another, and the rightness of His power over that other, forgoes that exercise...to the granting of something else.

I say something else specifically for in that else is all of the something/Someone with whom we have to do. (We can leave aside, for now, matters of simply the material creation, over which, and in which we may also know a great suffering by resistance)

See that rusty bolt...for simplicity.

Schooled is the man who is learning he is always dealing with something else. He is trapped in circumstance of else, he is dealing with wives, children, friends, brothers/sisters, enemies...fellows in the world (all of whose relative position to himself is subject to change...showing their "else"...wives can become enemy, children/family can betray no less than once friend, and even enemy can show a change).

You and I...whether we can see it, want to see it...may even be given to admit to seeing it are a "you" (just as I am to me...a "me") and are being in an ocean of the "not you"...(as I am in being in the not me). To you, I am the "not me", to me...you are.

Schooled is the man is who is seeing this. Further schooled is the man who has been given to see the machinations employed to seek to turn the "not me" to itself...to make wives, children, husbands, friends, enemies...indeed, the whole of the world amenable to the "me". A man would, and does, seek every point of leverage he can muster from himself, in himself, of himself...to make the whole of creation..."like himself". From people it will be wrung (and seen as agreement to affection), a surrender of hostility of threat to himself...and from what remains in and of the creation, he will bend to will (as much as he is able) a place of home to himself. A safer...if not safe...place...for himself. This is all of the world's occupation....continually, laboriously, relentlessly...driven. (See the "Princess and the Pea" for the sake of simplicity)

He will order all things...to himself. In both senses...seeking of alignment...and use of whatever authority of command to issue...orders. Schooled is the man who sees the end of this thing. He is making he11 itself. Of course he may not see it! How could he? The self knows only one thing above all "I must be! and must be me" And from that must comes all a man may be allowed to know...until.

The "I am" appears.

Till then, no man knows whom he is opposing, and always has been opposing in his use of strength from himself to seek to conform all...to himself. His exercise of self to the making of all "of self" is perfectly and only prescribed to frustration. And well earned...frustration. The will of man finally demonstrated perfectly to no avail is what a man may be saved from...by mercy.
 
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Thread starter #51
If we look closely at Romans 9-11, we see that it is Paul who keeps on distinguishing between the Gentiles and Israel. That's one of the main topics of these three chapters. This is why Paul explains that God can have mercy on whom he will have mercy. That it will be a mystery we can't explain using human logic and reasoning concerning God's election and hardening.

He is asking about Israel. Did Israel stumble so as they can't recover?
Paul explains their blindness is not irreversible, and their darkness was never to be permanent. They tripped over the Stumbling Stone. That was all planned by God. He wanted Israel to fail thus the purpose of the Stumbling Stone.

Through their stumble salvation has come to the Gentiles. The stumble is temporary. God wanted to make Israel jealous of the Gentiles.

Imagine the slap in the face to the Jews. God takes their blessings and glory and extends them to the Gentiles. The Gentiles were becoming conceited by this. They were touting it in the face of the Jews.
This is why Paul wrote this. To tell them about the mystery. What was happening and why they should not be conceited.

This is why Paul explained it using the olive tree and branches being broken off and new ones being grafted.

It's the beginning of the reconciliation. Perhaps Isaac and Ismael can be used as a shadow of this world reconciliation.
Each became a great nation. We can't just toss Ishmael to the side as if God didn't have him in part of His plan.

Romans 11 is a warning to the Gentiles of a mystery revealed by Paul. That if the Gentiles are conceited about the natural branches, they themselves can be removed and the natural branches added back in. That this would please God even more than it pleased him to graft in the un-natural branches. Do not boast over those branches.

The Gentiles were grafted to the Israel olive tree contrary to nature.
How much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

The mystery is that the hardening was temporary to make Israel jealous.
Paul tells us that we won't understand that God can have mercy on whom he will have mercy. How unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways!
 
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You make some wonderful points Art.

Mercy on whom He will have mercy.

There's absolutely no place in that for the thing requiring mercy (whether it acknowledges it or not) to have any control over its dispensing/revelation/manifestation. It is made clear, as in so many other things and ways of God that He alone is sovereign. The Sovereign One.

(For an exercise, if one is inclined, go to Leviticus in the giving of the law to Moses...see how many commands are followed by the phrase "I am the Lord". No explanation of the why of things, no appeal to man's reason to understand the commandment...just the succinct "I am the Lord".)

Fathers know children will weary them with "whys". An aware father, discerning father, also will recognize when such is coming from a place of desiring to know what the father knows...to an understanding of the father, and those whys which come only in response to a bristling at command/instruction...where the why serves only as means of questioning authority. Even to its undercutting. Do we not know this?

It is not as though God (who indeed knows all...especially in our forming) is ignorant of our compelling to "why", to seek understanding, to know. Neither is He un-discerning.

Teachers, in whatever capacity, also sense this. There are students...even quite magnificent students, who excel in the gaining of knowledge of a subject. Their motives are their own, to an end which is their own. Some diligently apply themselves to a mastery of subject, again, to their own end. Teachers may be impressed.

But the teacher will well remember those best who caught "his passion", (if indeed he has any) developed an affinity to the teacher equal to, or greater than, the seeking of mastery in what he taught. They come to love the "subject"...not as means to end necessarily, but in a fellowship of passion shared. Yes, teachers know this. And those may not be among those who receive the National Science Award (or they may)...or those who garner the State Essay Writing championship.

Can there be...passion for God? This is not as seeming a ridiculous question posed to "believers" (myself surely included) as it might, on its face appear. Men study diligently for many reasons...some to only pass the Bar, some to only gain admission to Med School. To seek to excel in competition to a gaining of place, instead of another. (None of whom are denied their passion, but they are being revealed) The passion for knowledge and mastery of subject run deep.

God is not ignorant.

Can a man find passion...for what he cannot, specifically, Whom he cannot "master"? Can a man...love God?

There is only One in which such passion may be found...and caught. And soon learn this only as gift, given. By a Sovereign.

There is no other way of reception. All of a man's passion to know cannot get him to that place. It, at best, can only reveal the all of its perfect in-utility when exhausted by chasm revealed. This revelation...is itself...great mercy.

Many followed Jesus right up to that place where their understanding was offended. And left.

One might think Jesus would have looked around, and seeing the disciples, could have thought, or said "whew, at least you guys are still here!".

But, of course, He didn't. He opens a door with His question to them, a door all other men furiously seek to keep shut in fear of abandonment, in fear of rejection.

But Jesus! How very relentless you are! How inviting are you to what men may call "awkward moments!"
How very unmoved you are...by them. "Will you leave also?"

O, Jesus, why couldn't you just leave it alone? Just see they were still attending, still present...and leave it at that?


Did Jesus think they understood His words better? Grasped his meaning better? Understood better...what it means to eat His body and drink His blood?

Can a man love God? And, if so...how?

Jesus gives man opportunity to answer. Rather, He is what places man in place of compulsion of answer.

Man dancing around truth is approached by Truth, and not asked...

"Will you dance with me?"

But, "Are you my partner?"

By presenting Himself, he compels answer.

For in His very self is the compelling of answer...and He gives not less than all of Himself.

Can a man love God?

Can a man see Jesus the Christ?
 
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