Warning against self-deception
“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race.” Romans 9:2, 3, NIV. Why is Paul so concerned for the people of his race? The Jews drifted into self-deception, thinking they have made it, so they adopted a self-confident attitude. The Jewish nation received from God all information needed for them to accept Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah; the Savior of the world, and not only of the Jews. Paul reminds his blood-brothers that they had the “adaption” as sons; “the divine glory”; “the covenants; “the law”; the “temple worship”; the promises, and the “patriarchs.” Obviously, “from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ.” Romans 9:4, 5, NIV.
The Jews, because of self-deception, put their hope in the things God gave them, rather than in what it signified. They failed to realize that human hope should be in God, and in Him only. The Jews did preserve the true knowledge of God, and the knowledge of true God. Nevertheless, the fact that Jews observed everything God gave them did not obligate God to favor them over the other people He loves. The same problem persists among the Christians today. Belonging to a particular Christian denomination; possession of well-defined doctrines and teachings; the evidence of proper and exemplary behavior; is not the criteria upon which God bases the adoption of us as His children. Only those who have taken their cross and followed Jesus to the Golgotha, and there crucified their own-self so that Christ can live in them; qualify as the children of God.
“It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Abraham are Israel.” Romans 9:6, NIV. Israel is those who, like Jacob, are wrestling with God, but remain loyal to Him, no matter what. In the same manner, not all who belong to a Christian church are the children of God. The children of God are the yielded believers who have died to their own-self and now live for God. Galatians 2:19, 20, NIV.
Did God fail to keep His promises to Israel? Read the next blog.