Israel’s Rejection of Christ

William Carey said, “The future is as bright as the promises of God.” (Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author).

Promises

Today we begin looking at one of the most difficult parts of the Bible, the ninth chapter of Romans. No matter how much we might struggle to understand specific details of this chapter, the key theme is that God is faithful to keep His promises. Paul gives us three facts to remember as we struggle to resolve why the Jewish people reject Jesus as their Messiah:

  1. The First Fact - We know God has given His promises to Israel (vv. 1-5a). Whenever Christians forget this, it’s caused problems. God has given His promises to Israel, and He’s still bound to keep these promises. God’s assurance that the promise would come through Isaac was given to Abraham, and at the time appointed was fulfilled. God in His wisdom chose Isaac and rejected Ishmael, and He chose Jacob and rejected Esau.
  2. The Second Fact - We know that Jesus fulfills these promises (v. 5b). A close study of the Old Testament and Jesus’ life reveals that Jesus amazingly fulfills the predictions and prophecies about the Messiah. Jesus is the seed of the woman promised in Genesis 3:15. He is the “prophet like Moses” promised in Deuteronomy 18:15. He is the Passover Lamb foreshadowed in the Jewish Passover festival. He is the heir to David’s throne promised in 2 Samuel 7. Jesus was born of a virgin as promised in Isaiah 7:14. He was born in Bethlehem as promised in Micah 5:2. He was crucified as predicted in Psalm 22. He was despised and considered a criminal as predicted in Isaiah 53, and He was raised from the grave as promised in Psalm 16.
  3. The Third Fact - We know God keeps His promises in unexpected ways (vv. 6-13). Paul’s concern here is that a person might conclude that because Israel has rejected Jesus as the Messiah, somehow God’s promises to Israel in the Jewish Scriptures have failed. Yet within ethnic Israel there is a remnant, a small group of Jewish people, who do embrace Jesus as their Messiah.

Application

I am so glad that “whosoever will” may come to a personal relationship with God and that includes me. Romans 10:12 and 13 tell us that whosoever shall call on the Lord shall be saved, and that there is no difference between the Jew or the Greek coming to God.

Romans 9:1-13 (English Standard Version)

I am speaking the truth in Christ--I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit-- that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: "About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son." And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls-- she was told, "The older will serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

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