The Gospel Announced 9-11
Knowing the Gospel and Experiencing the Gospel is a wonderful privilege, but with it comes a great responsibility. In fact the sign that we have experienced the gospel is seen in a deep love for others that they too are saved (9v2, 10v1, 11v14).
We should be confident that the gospel will not fail but that *’All Israel’ will be saved (9v6, 11v26). We can be confident because it is God who makes Christians and he does that through his gracious promise (9v6-9) and his gracious choice (9v10-13). In fact salvation does not depend on our desire but God’s mercy (9v16). If it were not for God’s persistence and patience we would never be saved (9v22, 25) and the only right response is faith (9v30-32).
The gospel is for ‘everyone’ ‘anyone’ ‘all’ (10v4, 11, 12, 13), it is a universal offer to Jews and Gentiles but conditional to Faith. Therefore we must pray that people are saved (10v1) and preach until they are saved (10v14b). This Gospel must be announced, by all who believe, to all who do not yet believe (10v14-15). Sadly, however, not everyone who hears, like some of Israel, will believe (10v18) but we must go on patiently praying and preaching as God has been patient with us (10v21). Unless we preach people will not hear, and unless people hear they will not believe. This is the responsibility of all who have experienced the salvation of God.
Although there will be those who do not believe and reject the gospel, God has not given up on those he will save by his grace (11v2). God’s promise remains true he never fails to save those he has called to himself. While we may think it impossible for some to be saved God can save anyone (Paul 11v1) and he can save more than we could ever think or imagine (7000 in Elijah’s time 11v4). However while God’s grace extends to many people we should not miss the seriousness of turning our backs on God’s grace – God will harden their hearts (11v7) so that they can’t see or hear the truth of the gospel.
But we must never seek to limit or control God’s grace. His grace flows to those who have never heard and it continues to flow to those who have heard many times but have still not trusted in Jesus. Just because people stumble (11v11) at God’s offer of grace does not mean He gives up on them. God will pursue them through those who have accepted his grace even if they were irreligious outsiders (11v11-12). God’s design is to make unbelievers envious of those who have come to experience the blessings of the gospel (11v12) so that they in turn will believe and share the same gospel with others (11v15).
If we have experienced the gospel we must never become boastful (11v18) or arrogant (11v20) of our position. Instead we must be humble and continue trusting in God’s kindness towards us (11v22). Rather than use our position to gloat, we now use our position to share the good news of Jesus Christ, with those who have not yet heard, and with those who have heard but have not yet believed. If God can accept those who never went to church or read their bible (irreligious gentiles) can he not also accept those who do go to church and read the bible (religious Jew) but are not yet saved (11v24)? Our great comfort and encouragement is that ‘all Israel will be saved’ (11v25). We may know those who have a hard heart but God is merciful and gracious and he will save all those who he has chosen (11v29), God’s grace is always greater than our disobedience (11v30-31).
We do not make Christians – God does. He does it by his own gracious choice and our response is to pray that those who are not saved will be saved and that those who have not heard will hear as the gospel is preached. This is God’s plan (11v33) we might find it hard (11v34) we may even think God should listen to us (11v35) – but we let God be God ‘for from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen. (11v36)
*The true Israel are not defined by nationality and race but by those who have faith in the promises of God (9v8, 9v30-32)