We’re continuing through Paul’s letter to the Roman church. He’s talking about Israel’s rejection of the Messiah and the calling of the Gentiles.
As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” and, “It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.'”
Here Paul quotes a prophecy from Hosea (Hosea 2:23, 1:10). In context it’s about Israel being called to repentance. At that time, Israel joined with the Gentiles in their unbelief and caused judgment upon themselves.
Now, this same spirit of unbelief opened the call of salvation to us as Gentiles. Because, as Paul said, not all “Israel” is true Israel. The call to “not my people” can apply to everyone, Jew and Gentile alike. We can all go from “not His people” to sons of the living God.
That’s the journey that Romans, chapters 1-8, was all about. It’s the path to mature sonship in Christ.
At this point the path is the same for Jew and Gentile. It must be through faith in Christ. There are no special exemptions for the Jew. Actually, that’s why the book of Hebrews was written.
At that point many Jews were being saved. They came under intense persecution for following Christ. As a result, many wanted to go back to the old way under the law of Moses. Hebrews was written to let them know that there was no going back.
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
The call to sonship in Christ is for all, both Jew and Gentile alike. Now we turn to the prophet, Isaiah.
Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”
Here the prophet is clearly speaking to Israel. In this quote there are some interesting things. First of all, the Old Testament verse (Isaiah 10:22-23) says they will turn around. Paul quotes the verse by saying they will be saved. (Actually, I’ve found many times where Paul quotes an Old Testament verse with a New Testament twist.)
But the real question before us is; what is true Israel. He said that Israel would be like the sand of the sea, but only a remnant saved. Right now you can find Jews in every part of the world. Yet how many are saved?
Some teach that they go to heaven simply because they’re Jews. That’s not what Paul, or the writer of Hebrews preached.
Verse 28 is the key. It’s not really a part of the Isaiah verse. I believe that it’s Paul’s comment on the subject. It literally says that the Lord will fulfill this word with a short cut.
How did He do that? The short cut is through Jesus Christ. Salvation through the Messiah, Jesus is much easier than the Old Testament law of Moses.
Through Jesus Christ, both Jews and Gentiles have been given a great gift. We have the ability to be saved simply by believing that Jesus is the Christ and accepting Him as Lord and Savior.
Question: How did you hear about the grace of God in Christ Jesus?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi