Good News about Predestination!

By Royce Frederick

Part 2 of 3

Good News! God Wants to SAVE You & Everyone!

Paul wrote, “...He has mercy on whom He wills…” (Rom. 9:18). This verse is not talking about how God decides each person’s eternal destiny. We will examine Romans 9-11 later in this study.

However, consider one question now about how this verse would apply to each person’s eternal destiny:

Q: On whom does God will (choose) to have mercy for eternal salvation?

A: God is willing to have mercy for eternal salvation on all people!

GOD WANTS to save you. He is “...not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9; see Ezek. 33:11). He “...desires all men to be saved...” (1 Tim. 2:4). He wants people to “ the Lord, in the hope [God “hopes”!] that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

GOD is SEEKING you. Jesus came “ seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10); “...the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (Jn. 4:23). Peter told Jews that God sent Jesus “ bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities” (Acts 3:26).

GOD INVITES you and all people. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden...” (Matt. 11:28); “ though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20); “...the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:17). “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11). “…Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk. 16:15-16). There is no false advertising in the gospel! There are no people to whom God “offers” salvation, while knowing that He has already decided to send them to eternal punishment. God truly invites all! If each person’s eternal destiny depended only on God’s will — on His choice onlyevery person would be saved, “For there is no partiality with God” (Rom. 2:11).

God REJOICES when you or anyone accepts His offer of grace! There is “ in in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Lk. 15:7, 10; see 20-24)!

Do Romans 8 and 1 Corinthians 2 Teach “Total Depravity”?

In Romans 8 and 1 Corinthians 2, does Paul teach that every person is born “totally depraved” — unable to understand and obey the gospel until God sends the Holy Spirit upon him?

Romans 8:7 — “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”

1 Corinthians 2:14-15 — “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.”

The Speakers — A portion of 1 Corinthians 1 and 2 is about the speakers through whom God revealed His message: “ speech and my preaching...we speak the wisdom of God...But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit...These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches…” (1 Cor. 2:4, 7, 10, 13; see 1:17, 23). Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the apostles and prophets, including Paul, to guide them “into all truth” (Jn. 16:13). The Holy Spirit had even given the miraculous gift of prophecy to some of the Christians at Corinth (1 Cor. 12-14). In Romans 8 and 1 Corinthians 2, Paul is saying sinners should receive God’s word, and Christians should grow by it, because it is God’s inspired word, not words of mere men speaking human wisdom.

The Hearers — Paul talks about two kinds of hearers with bad attitudes:

(1) Some who did not obey the gospel: Some thought they were “wise” and the gospel was “foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:18-31). To others, the cross was “a stumbling block” (1:23). Many leaders rejected Jesus, but “...the common people heard Him gladly” (Mk. 12:37; see Lk. 10:21).

(2) Some who did obey the gospel, but did not grow spiritually: Paul says the Corinthians should have been growing more “mature” (1 Cor. 2:6; see Heb. 5:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:17-18). “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal [fleshly, as in Rom. 8:7], as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1 Cor. 3:1-3; see 14:20-40). Later, Paul reminded them, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you…?” (1 Cor. 6:19). They had the Holy Spirit living in them, but that did not make them “spiritual.” They still needed to mature by setting their minds on spiritual things.

God does not set a person’s heart to be evil or good against his will — without his free choice. Before and after baptism, we are responsible for our own attitudes toward God and His word: “Therefore take heed how you hear…” (Lk. 8:18). “If anyone has an ear, let him hear” (Rev. 13:9).

The message about the love of Christ at the cross has a powerful effect on good and honest hearts: “But the ones [seeds] that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience” (Lk. 8:15; see 8:8). Each person chooses to be good soil, or not, by the attitude of his heart. Jesus also said, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit” (Matt. 12:33). Each person must choose whether to be a good tree or a bad tree.

We set our own hearts to receive or reject God’s word (Mk. 7:9; Acts 13:46; Rom. 1:20-21, 28; 1 Thess. 2:13; 4:7-8; Matt. 10:14; Lk. 18:17; Jn. 3:11; 12:48-50; 17:8; 2 Thess. 2:10; Acts 2:41; Phil. 2:5; Jas. 1:21). Before and after baptism, each person decides whether to “set” his mind on fleshly things or spiritual things (Rom. 12:16; Phil. 3:19; Col. 3:1-3; Gal. 6:7-8).  

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:5-6). Christians need to continue the transforming process by setting our minds on God’s will so we can continually grow more “spiritual” and less “carnal” (Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 3:18).

Are People Saved by “Baptism in the Holy Spirit”?

Cornelius and his friends were Gentiles (non-Jews, “Greeks”). In Acts 10, they were baptized (immersed, overwhelmed) in the Holy Spirit (see Acts 10:44-46; 11:15-16; 1:4-5; 2:1- 4). Some people believe this was a “direct operation of the Holy Spirit” which suddenly saved them. Some also believe they were saved without their free choice.

However, a closer look shows they were not saved by the miracle, and not saved without free choice. When the Holy Spirit overwhelmed them, the miracle did not remove their sins — did not purify their hearts (compare Num. 22:27-30). An angel had told Cornelius that he would hear “...words by which you and all your household will be saved” (Acts 11:14). They would be saved by the words of the gospel, which is “...the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). Cornelius and his friends already knew that God had given the good news of peace to Jews through Jesus (Acts 10:36-37). On this day, God would give that same good news to them — to Gentiles!

God knew the hearts of these Gentiles. After this event, the Bible tells us, “...God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith (Acts 15:8-9). The miracle “acknowledged” their hearts, and faith “purified” their hearts.

Instead of removing sins, the miracle removed prejudice from the hearts of Jewish believers. They — including Peter — had resisted preaching to Gentiles. But when God sent Peter to Cornelius, he went and preached the gospel. “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision [Jews] who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, ‘Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord...” (Acts 10:44-48). By the miracle, God revealed His heart and their hearts. He wanted them in His family, and they believed His gospel. The miracle silenced anyone who would want to “forbid water” — prevent the baptism of Gentiles. After the miracle, seeing that they were ready to obey, Peter “...commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord….” Their hearts were purified by obedient faith, cleansed by the blood of Christ, when they obeyed that command from their hearts (15:9; see Rom. 6:17-18, 3-4; Mk. 16:16; Gal. 3:26-27; Eph. 1:7).

God “made no distinction” between Jews and Gentiles in how He purified their hearts (Acts 15:9). Peter told Jews the purpose of baptism: “...Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit...Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:38, 41). There is “one baptism” (Eph. 4:4). So, the hearts of the Jews and Gentiles were purified by faith when they were baptized in water “for the remission of sins.”

After Acts 10, some Jewish believers in Jerusalem opposed Peter for going to Gentiles (Acts 11:1-18). He answered them by telling about the miracle. Then he asked, “‘...who was I that I could withstand God?’ When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life’” (Acts 11:17-18). So, in Acts 11, we again see that the Acts 10 miracle silenced all objections from Jewish believers about preaching to Gentiles. This event cleared the way for other Gentiles to hear the gospel and enter the kingdom of Christ through obedient faith!

Baptism in the Holy Spirit was an event. It occurred only two times. The apostles gave miraculous gifts to many Christians who were selected by the Holy Spirit (see Acts 6:6-8; 8:14-24; 19:6; 2 Tim. 1:6; 1 Cor. 12:1-11). But only Jesus could baptize in the Holy Spirit (see Matt. 3:11). In Acts 2, Jesus baptized the speakers in the Holy Spirit, which helped remove the prejudice of the hearers. In Acts 10, He baptized the hearers in the Holy Spirit, which helped remove the prejudice of the speaker and others.

God never says His grace will suddenly overwhelm you, with or without your choice, and make you feel saved. In the New Testament, He never tells a sinner to wait for salvation to overwhelm him or happen to him. He never tells sinners to “pray through” until salvation comes upon them.

Do we love God because He overpowered us by His grace and Spirit without our free choice? No. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19)! Love from God’s own heart causes love from our own hearts. The gospel is the good news of His love! His message has the power to turn humble hearts to Him! When we obey the gospel, our hearts are freely responding to God’s love. Paul reminds Christians, “ obeyed from the heart…” (Rom. 6:17-18). Obeying the gospel is a decision from the heart of a person who is drawn to Jesus by His love at the cross.

Instead of telling people to wait, God’s word says exactly the opposite: “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (Js. 4:10)!

Is Faith a “Gift” Which God “Grants” to Some, but Not to Others?

Is faith a “gift”? Paul reminded Christians at Philippi, “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Phil. 1:29). The Christians in Achaia “had believed through grace (Acts 18:27). Yes. Faith is a gift.

However, the Bible never says God suddenly puts faith inside some lost people, but not others, without their free choice.

Every part of salvation is a “gift” — a “grant” which we do not deserve. God does not owe us anything. He never has, and He never will. God does not owe us evidence of His power and love. But He grants us overwhelming evidence in the heavens, on earth, and in our lives (Ps. 19:1-6; Job 38-41; Acts 14:17; Rom. 1:20; Matt. 5:45). God did not owe us evidence that Jesus is His Son. But He granted us abundant evidence through prophecies, miracles, and eye-witnesses (Lk. 24:44-45; Jn. 3:1-2; 10:37-38; 20:27-31; Acts 4:33; Rom. 1:4; Heb. 2:3-4). God did not owe us the life of His Son. But He granted the life of Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins — “while we were still sinners” (Rom. 5:8; see Jn. 3:16; Heb. 2:9; 2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:5-8). God did not owe us a way to repent, a way to turn to Christ and eternal life. But He “...has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life” (Acts 11:18; compare Heb. 12:16-17).

God did not owe us the Bible — nor the faith it produces. Faith would not be possible if God had not given us the marvelous gift of His word. Jude shows us that “the faith” is a gift. He writes about “...the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Here, “the faith” refers to the message, because that is what produces faith: “ comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). All of God’s faith-producing message is given to us in the Bible. “...His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:3; see Jn. 16:12-13).

The Bible — and the faith it produces — are gifts of God’s grace. God grants faith to anyone who will gladly receive His message.

Does Psalm 51:5 say Babies are Born Guilty?

In Psalm 51:5, David writes, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” Is he teaching that all babies are born guilty of sin? First, notice that he is not talking about all babies. He says, “I” and “me.”

David is using a tool of language called “hyperbole” (pronounced “high-per-buh-lee”). It is from “hyper” (over or beyond) and “ballein” (to throw). Hyperbole is exaggeration for emphasis. It is a statement which goes far beyond the facts to draw attention to the real message.

Hyperbole is often used today. For example, a mother tells her son, “I’ve told you a million times not to hit your sister!” Or a man sees an old friend and says, “I haven’t seen you in a hundred years!” Both of these people are greatly over-stating the facts. But they are not deceiving anyone. Their true messages are clear and emphatic.

Luke uses hyperbole: “For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). Does that mean no one in Athens cooked, ate, slept, bought vegetables, or did any other work? Certainly not. Luke uses hyperbole to emphasize the fact that people in Athens devoted an extreme amount of time to telling and hearing new things.

David uses hyperbole in another psalm: “The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies” (Ps. 58:3). Have you ever heard a baby talk on the day it was born? A newborn baby cannot tell lies — or even say one word. David uses hyperbole to emphasize the true message that these people have been wicked for a very long time. But notice that he does not say they are born guilty. Instead, he says “They go astray”after they are born.

David committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband, Uriah (2 Sam. 11). In Psalm 51, he is confessing his evil deeds and telling God how deeply sorrowful he is. He is pouring out the feelings of a broken, contrite heart (a “bruised” heart): “...I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight” (51:3-4). “Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God…” (51:14). David is not saying he inherited sin from Adam or from anyone else. He is not blaming other people. He is doing the exact opposite. He is accepting all of the blame and guilt. He is confessing his own evil deeds. He is using hyperbole in verse 5 to emphasize that he is a very, very bad, sinful person.

We need the same kind of sorrow for our sins. That is what leads us to repentance and the joy of salvation (2 Cor. 7:10; Acts 17:30; 2:38; 8:39).

Good News! ALL BABIES are Born Innocent!

Sin is not in the flesh of babies. God made us with many natural desires which can be fulfilled in godly ways. For example, see Heb. 13:4 and 1 Cor. 7:1-5. However, “the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41; see Rom. 6:19; 7:7-25). We often yield to our fleshly desires and fulfill them in sinful ways (Jas. 1:14-15; Rom. 13:14; Gal. 5:16-24; Eph. 2:3; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 2 Pet. 2:18). Our flesh is certainly an avenue of many temptations. But “sin” and “guilt” are not in our flesh when we are born.

Jesus became flesh (Jn. 1:14). We are flesh, and “...He Himself likewise shared in the same…” (Heb. 2:14; see 5:7). Actually, He was even “born of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:3). Yet, He was sinless (Heb. 4:15). He had no sin at birth, and we have none at birth.

Sin is an action. “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness...” (1 Jn. 3:4). We can inherit a color of hair, but not an action. Sin can “defile the flesh” (Jude 8; see 7); “...he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). We need to “put to death the deeds [actions] of the body” and “the works [actions] of the flesh” (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:19).

Sin is not inherited. In the Garden of Eden, sin was committed by all people on the earth at that time — by your parents and mine, Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:1-6). Eve was deceived, but Adam knowingly chose to sin (1 Tim. 2:14). That day, you and I also suffered some terrible losses.

The sins and mistakes of parents can make their children’s lives very difficult. For example, a rich man gambles and loses all of his money, houses, and land. That same day, his children also lose those things. They will never inherit the things which could have helped their lives.

Adam’s sin caused all of us to lose the beautiful Garden of Eden — and access to the tree of life. His action brought sin and death into the world (Rom. 5:12; 3:23; 6:23; Heb. 9:27). So, we inherit some of the results of Adam’s sin. But we do not inherit his act of sin, nor the guilt of it. The sin and guilt of a man cannot be inherited by his children: “...The son shall not bear the guilt of the father…” (Ezek. 18:20). 

Infants cannot sin — and they cannot obey the gospel. They are not able to believe, repent (“decide to turn” from sin), confess Christ, or obey the command of baptism “from the heart” (see Rom. 6:17-18, 3-4).

Jesus showed that infants are sinless when He said, “...of such is the kingdom of God” (Mk. 10:14; see Matt. 18:3-4). 

Good News! God will NOT Punish YOU for HIS Choices!

If Calvin’s Predestination were true, all lost people on the judgment day could blame God. They could say that the reason for their eternal punishment is because God did not choose to save them. But Calvin’s Predestination is not true. So, no one will be able to blame God that day. God will not send you to eternal punishment based on a choice which He alone made, without your free choice. “...Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25).

The Bible emphatically teaches that God holds us responsible for our own choices: “...whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Gal. 6:7-8). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). Jesus “...will reward each according to his works (Matt. 16:27); “...if anyone hears My words and does not believe...the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (Jn. 12:47-48). “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12); “...he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality (Col. 3:25). God “...without partiality judges according to each one’s work…” (1 Pet. 1:17). Jesus could come at any time, and He says, “...My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work (Rev. 22:12; see 2:23; 20:12-13). Sometimes, the word “work” or “works” refers to “earning” something, like earning wages by labor (Rom. 4:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9). But in the verses about how God will judge us, “works” does not mean “earning wages by labor.” Instead, the Lord is using “works” to mean “actions.” Obeying the gospel is not a way to earn salvation. Instead, it is an action of obedient faith. God invites you to accept His saving grace by humbly obeying the gospel from your heart and serving Him faithfully.

ROMANS 9 - 11

Does Romans 9-11 teach Calvin’s Predestination? That section contains several verses which are somewhat difficult, and many sincere people have thought those verses support Calvin’s Predestination. However, many other verses clearly show that Romans 9-11 does not support it.

In Romans 9-11, there are two kinds of choosing (election):

(1) In regard to each person’s eternal destiny, God’s choice (election) of each person is based on that person’s decisions.

(2) In regard to unfolding His eternal plan for man, God’s choice (election) of each person and nation is not based on their decisions.

God chose Isaac, not his half-brother Ishmael (Rom. 9:7-9). He chose Jacob (Israel), not his brother Esau (9:10-13). He chose the nation of Israel, and no other nation. God chose which people He would use to bring Jesus and salvation into the world. These were entirely His choices, not the choices of the people whom He used.

The fleshly ancestry of a Jew, and any works of trying to earn righteousness by law-keeping, did not mean he would live with God eternally (see 9:6-8; 9:30-10:3; Matt. 3:8-9). Some in Israel served God faithfully. Others did not, and deserved death. But God had mercy on many, sparing their lives to fulfill His plan (see 9:18-23; Ex. 32:7-14; Num. 14:11-24; Isa. 1:9; Ezek. 6:1-8; Ezra 9:8, 15). His mercy in sparing a person’s physical life did not mean that He also spared that person’s spiritual life eternally.

One aim of Romans 9-11 is to remove pride. Paul says many of his fellow Jews “...have not submitted to the righteousness of God” (10:3). He also tells Gentile Christians, “...Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either” (11:20-21).

In Romans 9-11, there are also two kinds of “Israel.” God used physical Israel to unfold His eternal plan and bring Christ into the world (9:1-5; 3:1-2). He wanted physical Israel to be His true, spiritual Israel (see 9:6; 2:28-29; Jn. 1:47): “...All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people” (Rom. 10:21). Some Jews were faithful to God. But the nation turned away and broke the covenant many times (see Heb. 8:7-9; Isa. 24:5). The Gentiles were sinful, too (Rom. 3:9, 23).

Jesus told some Jews, “...the Son gives life to whom He will (Jn. 5:21). So, to whom does Jesus “will” to give life? The answer is “everyone” (2 Pet. 3:9)! However, He told them, But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” (Jn. 5:40; see 5:44; 7:17; 12:42-43). They chose to resist God’s invitation and His grace (see Matt. 11:28-30; 23:37; 2 Tim. 3:8).

Jesus told His fellow Jews, “...the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it” (Matt. 21:43). God’s kingdom was often called Israel, the name God gave to Jacob, from whom the nation came. Before Jesus was born, Gabriel had told Mary, “...the Lord God will give Him [Jesus] the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Lk. 1:32-33). The kingdom of Christ is His church, which began in Acts 2 (Heb. 8:6-12; Matt. 16:18-19; Jn. 18:36; Mk. 9:1; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; Col. 1:13, 18; Phil. 3:20). We should respect all physical nations and their right to exist today, including the nation of Israel. But spiritually, the kingdom of Christ is “the Israel of God” today (see Gal. 6:16). Peter told Christians, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people...who once were not a people but are now the people of God...” (1 Pet. 2:9-10).

Good news! God wants to save Jews and Gentiles (9:23-24)! Regarding eternal destiny, Romans 10 says, “...there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.’ ...‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!’ But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:12-13, 15-17). Any person of Jewish or Gentile ancestry can choose to obey the gospel.

At first, spiritual Israel was composed entirely of Jewish converts. Three thousand Jews obeyed the gospel on the very first day of the church (Acts 2:41)! Later, thousands of other Jews entered the kingdom (Acts 4:4; 5:14; 6:7). After Acts 10, many Jews and Gentiles obeyed and became part of God’s spiritual Israel (Acts 11:19-26; 14:1; 17:1-4, 10-12; 18:4-8). When Gentiles came to God, that fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies (see Gen. 12:3; Ps. 22:27-28; Isa. 2:2; Rom. 15:8-12).

In Romans 11, Paul tells Gentile Christians, “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell [some Jews], severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also [Jews], if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again” (Rom. 11:22-23). Regarding salvation, God will “graft in” people or “cut off” people based on their choice to believe or disbelieve.

Did God break His promises to Israel about inheritance? In Romans 9-11, Paul assures Jews and Gentiles that God keeps His promises. “God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew…” (Rom. 11:2; see 11:1-5). Today, the inheritance is available to any Jew by becoming part of spiritual Israel through faith in Christ. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Gal. 3:26-29). Christ is “heir of all things” (Heb. 1:2; see Matt. 21:38). Every Jew or Gentile who enters into Christ becomes an heir with Him (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 4:7; Eph. 1:11; 3:6)!

“And so [in this way] all Israel will be saved...” (Rom. 11:26). Making Gentiles “fellow heirs” in Christ with Jews is the way which God foreordained for saving spiritual Israel (see Eph. 3:5-6). On the judgment day, all who are in Christ, all of spiritual Israel, will inherit eternal blessings!

Romans 9-11 shows that everything in God’s eternal plan was aimed at saving Jews and Gentiles, “...that He might have mercy on all (Rom. 11:32)!

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