May 30, 2020: SOAP #3831: Proverbs 13-15; Romans 11
Scripture: Romans (NIV) 11:7 What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, 8 as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day.”
Observation: Israel lived its very life around the covenant. Everything was judged by how it related to the law and how well they performed but they could not measure up for the standard was perfection and everyone had already broken that standard.
It seems to me that it was necessary for the Jews, as a nation, to be held back from embracing “Christianity.” It was their rejection that freed Paul to go to the gentiles. It was the message of Christ to the gentiles that moved beyond the trappings of the law to faith in Christ alone.
Application: One can imagine what Christianity would be like today if the Jews had moved as a nation to accept Jesus? I think Christianity would have been very “law” encased with rules and regulations smothering the life of the Spirit IN me. Although the church broke out from “observing the law” we can still see many individuals and sects of Christians today who tend to be legalistic.
The law served as a schoolmaster to bring me to Christ. It was not meant to replace my life in the Spirit. Like a nanna who is intimately involved in raising a child but moves into the background as the child becomes an adult, so the I will always appreciate the law, but it can never fulfill the role of the Holy Spirit living IN me. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit is present IN me to teach me and to empower me!
Prayer: Jesus, You were sent to fulfill the legal requirements of the law so I can have a living, loving relationship with the holy God. Holy Spirit, then You came to dwell IN me and are now developing that relationship. What a wonderful plan! What a privilege is mine! Amen
Making friends for time and eternity!