Lesson 40

The Epistle to the Romans

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

11:25 For I donít desire, brothers, to have you ignorant of this mystery, so that you wonít be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, 11:26 and so all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written,

"There will come out of Zion the Deliverer,

And he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

11:27 This is my covenant to them,

When I will take away their sins."

11:28 Concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathersí sake. 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 11:30 For as you in time past were disobedient to God, but now have obtained mercy by their disobedience, 11:31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that by the mercy shown to you they may also obtain mercy. 11:32 For God has shut up all to disobedience, that he might have mercy on all. 11:33 Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!

11:34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?"

11:35 "Or who has first given to him,
And it will be repaid to him again?"

11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen.


Today's Lesson 

This lesson concludes the three chapters that Paul has used to concentrate on the remaining problems concerning the nation of Israel. Paul concludes by saying that although Israel has experienced a hardening in part, God would redeem the nation in the future. This would take place when "the fullness of the Gentiles has come in." God would return His mercy to His people and "all Israel will be saved."


Paul states that this is so, despite the current reversal, because of a basic principle. That principle is that, "the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." When God begins a task, He will accomplish it even though it may take many lifetimes to achieve. God operates on a different timescale than our own. If God declares that something will take place, it WILL take place. It may not take place in the life of the prophet to whom God revealed it, it may not take place in our lifetime, but it will take place.


God has declared that the nation of Israel will be redeemed. For Paul then, the question is not if, but when? In the same way, we can have the same certainty about God's promises to us. "The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." Once God commits Himself, He completes whatever He decides to start. If God has called you into the kingdom of His Son, then you will be a part of the kingdom of His Son. If God has promised to see you through all things, then He will see you through all things.


And God has promised to see His children through all things. We can have complete confidence that God is with us, no matter how difficult life becomes. God has not promised to make our lives easier. He has promised to be with us during the rough times. God's calling is irrevocable. If He has called you, He will see you through to the end of your journey.


Paul concludes this section with a hymn to the Mystery of God. As much as we may learn about God, there is still more that we will never learn. God's ways are beyond our understanding. There is in man a tendency to seek to diminish God, to bring God down to our own size. We must balance the intimacy with which God draws us in with the continuing revelation in which we see the immensity of God.


God is bigger than we can possibly imagine. His power and His holiness dwarf anything that we could envision. Everything that we can experience in one lifetime is not the least part of the existence of God. When we say that we know God, we must also admit that there is much more that we do not know about Him.


The question will never be do you know everything about God. The question is always; do you know enough about God? Do you know enough to praise Him? Do you know enough about God to trust Him when times get rough? Do you know that God will be there at the end of your journey?


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