Day 4 Read: Romans 11:28-32
As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
Reflect: what is the relationship between disobedience and mercy? Can you have mercy if you do not have disobedience? How? How are Gentiles and Israelites similar based on this passage?
Consider: We must bear in mind that chapters 9–11 are part of Paul’s treatment of justification, not a historical essay or an exercise in Jewish patriotism. Paul is showing that the doctrine he has been expounding in the earlier part of the epistle is not vitiated by what had happened to Israel. God had made promises to Israel, and these promises would be kept. Israel’s refusal to accept the gospel did not mean either that the gospel was a failure or that God would not perform all he had promised to his ancient people. But we make sense neither of the Old Testament Scripture nor of the history of Israel nor of the place of the Christian church unless we see that justification by faith is central.4
Respond: What does this passage reveal about the magnitude of the need for salvation? What does this passage reveal about the depth of God’s mercy?
4 Leon Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press, 1988), 423.