Mark R Lindsey

Stumbling to Reconciliation, & Acceptance for Resurrection

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2019 at 9:10 am

11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. — Romans 11:11-16 (ESV)

Paul is talking about the way the vast majority of the Jewish people stumbled and trespassed, and that meant riches for the world.

We would expect Paul to say: that failure is permanent, so you should beware that you, the non-Jws to whom the gospel has been offered, do not fail and lose out as well. We want to imagine that stumbling means falling, and entering a state of non-grace.

Yet God’s word is clear: “did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means!” The offer to the Jewish people has not meant they have lost any chance for acceptance.

By God’s power, the rejection means the reconciliation of the world, but it isn’t any final failure. This is the God who reigns over death. So the stumbling, the trespass, the failure leave the door open to a dramatic acceptance and life from the dead.

The first-century failure has brought reconciliation of the world; the acceptance by many Jewish people will mean life from the dead.

How Great is our God, who describes the widespread rejection among the first-century Jewish people of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a mere stumble, and promises victory that is more vibrant and beautiful than what we have seen before.

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