Friday, 30 August 2013
…even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? Romans 9:24
Paul has been speaking of election in the preceding paragraphs. He now turns to the concept of our calling. This progression is found in Romans 8:30 –
“Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
The Jews and Gentiles are those described in the preceding verse (9:23), “the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory.” When speaking of these individuals, the Greek word ex is used for “of the.” This word means more precisely “out of” or “from” and indicates, as has already been revealed elsewhere in Romans, that this is a select portion of the Jews and Gentiles. It is not a national privilege, but an individual honor – for both Jew and Gentile.
This calling of the Gentiles, and selection of a portion of the Jews, is not unique to Paul. Rather, it was prophesied in the Old Testament as well. Passages such as Isaiah 49:6 show us this is so –
Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
God has always preserved a righteous remnant of the people of Israel (see Isaiah 1:9, for example). Preserving a remnant implies that not all are called. But along with this remnant would be something that is often overlooked by this covenant people. God promised to send His Servant not only for them, but to be “as a light to the Gentiles” as well. This promise is hinted all along, but was somehow dismissed by the Israelites.
Life application: In Christ, the boundaries of life are removed. There is neither slave nor free, Jew nor Gentile, black nor white, male nor female. When one is in Christ, they are a child of God and one of the elect. Handle your relationships with others in Christ in a manner fitting your calling.
Lord God, there are so many things to worry about and fret over, but You have asked me to not do so. Rather, You have told me to be anxious for nothing and to bring my troubles to you in prayer. And so with a grateful heart, I come to You, thanking You for that privilege which is available through my Rock and Refuge – Jesus. Thank You for Jesus. Amen.