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The Truth of God's Grace (28 of 47)
I. Salvation without distinction (11-13)
Jews felt they were a distinct people and only God had favor on them. Sure there were Gentiles that were in Israel's history, Like Ruth who was a Moabite and was the Great-Grandmother of David and in the line of the Messiah. You have others like Rahab the harlot from Jericho.
Consequently, just as they had rejected Jesus and His teaching, they also vehemently rejected the teaching of Paul, a former zealous Pharisee and persecutor of the church, who now not only claimed that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ, but that Christ had appointed him to be "a chosen instrument... to bear [His] name before the Gentiles" (Acts 9:15; cf. Gal. 1:16).
But Paul declares that God's extending His salvation to all Gentiles was nothing new. That gracious offer did not begin with the all-inclusive gospel of Jesus Christ, which Christians, most of whom were Jews, were then proclaiming to everyone who would hear. To the contrary, as Paul had already cited (9:33), The Scripture says through Isaiah, "Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed" (cf. Isa. 28:16). God had always been calling to Gentiles (whoever). In fact, Israel was to have been His witness nation, "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Ex. 19:6), to preach salvation in the true God to the rest of the world.
The Old Testament Scripture, as "witnessed by the Law and the Prophets," had long testified that "the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ [is] FOR ALL THOSE WHO BELIEVE; FOR THERE IS NO DISTINCTION" (Rom. 3:21 - 22 emphasis added). In other words, salvation through faith in Him "for anyone" (whoever believes) has always been God's plan. As Paul declared earlier, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to EVERYONE who believes, to the Jew first AND ALSO TO THE GREEK" (Rom. 1:16, emphasis added). And as he assured the believers at Corinth, ma ...
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