Did God fail to keep His promises to Israel?
Some among the first-century Jewish Christians promoted the idea that God, unjustly, abandoned the Jews in favor of the idol-worshiping Gentiles. Many of the Jewish Christians, in the first-century Christianity, remained loyal to their old Temple leaders and traditions rather than fully accept Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. The Jews were convinced that they ought to be favored by God because of His promise to Abraham. They failed to realize that Jesus Christ is the central goal of God’s promise to Abraham. Increasingly, many Gentiles were joining the first-century Christianity. Accordingly, the question concerning the status of the Jews became an important issue for the Gentile believers as well.
To address this issue, Paul invokes God’s Sovereignty. He reminds the Jewish believers that God, as a Sovereign, has the right to choose whomever He wants. Paul also reminds the Jews of what they failed to consider mainly, that they are not God’s children because they are the blood-descendants of Abraham. “Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’” Romans 9:7, NIV. The Jews were considered the children of God, not because they were the biological descendants of Abraham, but because they were the children of the son of the promise, the Isaac. Romans 9:8, NIV.
In like manner, being born of Christian parents does not qualify one to be a child of God. There is no advantage in being a life-long Christian; there is no advantage in belonging to a particular denomination or a fellowship. No one is entitled to be called the child of God because he/she has devoted their entire life to service in a Church, or in a mission field. God saved us and called us to be His children on the bases of who we are in Jesus Christ, the Son of the promise. If we are not born from above, born of the Spirit, the natural birth, the human status, and devotion to service in God’s vineyard are of no value. “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” Romans 9:16. NIV.
Where did the Jews fail? Read the next blog.