I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.
God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Eli'jah, how he pleads with God against Israel?
"Lord, they have killed thy prophets, they have demolished thy altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life."
But what is God's reply to him? "I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Ba'al."
So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.
But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
What then? Israel failed to obtain what it sought. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened,
as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that should not see and ears that should not hear, down to this very day."
And David says, "Let their table become a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a retribution for them;
let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs for ever."
So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.
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!
Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry
in order to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.
For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?
If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the richness of the olive tree,
do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you.
You will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in."
That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.
For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off.
And even the others, if they do not persist in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.
For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree.
Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in,
and so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob";
"and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins."
As regards the gospel they are enemies of God, for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.
For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
Just as you were once disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience,
so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy.
For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
"For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"
"Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen.
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.
For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching;
he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited.
Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
No, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Christian Magazine Deals
Guideposts $20.13 for 24 issueswith coupon "MPSSAVE16"