Week 45 – F260 Reading Plan

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I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience testifies to me through the Holy Spirit[a] that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off[b] from Christ for the benefit of my brothers and sisters, my own flesh and blood. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises. The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent,[c] came the Christ, who is God over all, praised forever.[d] Amen.

God’s Gracious Election of Israel

Now it is not as though the word of God has failed, because not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Neither are all of Abraham’s children his descendants.[e] On the contrary, your offspring will be traced[f] through Isaac.[g] That is, it is not the children by physical descent[h] who are God’s children, but the children of the promise are considered to be the offspring. For this is the statement of the promise: At this time I will come, and Sarah will have a son.[i] 10 And not only that, but Rebekah conceived children through one man, our father Isaac. 11 For though her sons had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to election might stand— 12 not from works but from the one who calls—she was told, The older will serve the younger.[j] 13 As it is written: I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.[k]

God’s Selection Is Just

14 What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! 15 For he tells Moses, I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.[l] 16 So then, it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture tells Pharaoh, I raised you up for this reason so that I may display my power in you and that my name may be proclaimed in the whole earth.[m] 18 So then, he has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19 You will say to me, therefore, “Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a mere man, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” 21 Or has the potter no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor? 22 And what if God, wanting to display his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And what if he did this to make known the riches of his glory on objects of mercy that he prepared beforehand for glory— 24 on us, the ones he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As it[n] also says in Hosea,

I will call Not My People, My People,
and she who is Unloved, Beloved.[o]
26 And it will be in the place where they were told,
you are not my people,
there they will be called sons of the living God.[p]

27 But Isaiah cries out concerning Israel,

Though the number of Israelites
is like the sand of the sea,
only the remnant will be saved;
28 since the Lord will execute his sentence
completely and decisively on the earth.[q][r]

29 And just as Isaiah predicted:

If the Lord of Hosts[s] had not left us offspring,
we would have become like Sodom,
and we would have been made like Gomorrah.[t]

Israel’s Present State

30 What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness—namely the righteousness that comes from faith. 31 But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law.[u] 32 Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works.[v] They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written,

Look, I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over
and a rock to trip over,
and the one who believes on him
will not be put to shame.[w]

Righteousness by Faith Alone

10 

Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them[x] is for their salvation. I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. Since they are ignorant of the righteousness of God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end[y] of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes, since Moses writes about the righteousness that is from the law: The one who does these things will live by them. But the righteousness that comes from faith speaks like this: Do not say in your heart, “Who will go up to heaven?” that is, to bring Christ down or, “Who will go down into the abyss?” that is, to bring Christ up from the dead. On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, 12 since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.[z]

Israel’s Rejection of the Message

14 How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful[aa] are the feet of those who bring good news.[ab] 16 But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message?[ac] 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.[ad] 18 But I ask, “Did they not hear?” Yes, they did:

Their voice has gone out to the whole earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.[ae]

19 But I ask, “Did Israel not understand?” First, Moses said,

I will make you jealous
of those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation
that lacks understanding.[af]

20 And Isaiah says boldly,

I was found
by those who were not looking for me;
I revealed myself
to those who were not asking for me.[ag]

21 But to Israel he says, All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and defiant people.[ah]