presently enemies but dearly loved

January 2015 (9)

Romans 11:25-36

25 Because I do not want you to be badly informed about this obscure truth, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” 28 In regard to the gospel they are presently enemies on your account, but in regard to election they are dearly loved on account of the fathers. 29 Because the gifts and the call of God are irreversible. 30 Just as you were formerly disobedient to God, but have now received mercy due to their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all people to disobedience so that he may show mercy to them all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways! 34 Because who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? 35 Or who has first given to God, that God needs to repay him? 36 Because from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever! Amen.

presently enemies but dearly loved

The status of unbelieving Israelites in Paul’s day was this: they were presently enemies because they had rejected both Christ and his church. But they remained dearly loved by the Father because of his compassionate commitment to their ancestors, the patriarchs. Consequently, they were not to be regarded as a hopeless cause. Believers should continue to preach the gospel to the Jews because the Father had not abandoned them. And it was the Father’s love for them (Paul was convinced) which would eventually turn the tide.

There are unbelievers all around us. They share the same status as the unbelieving Jews. They are presently enemies because they not only reject the gospel, they often seek to prevent its preaching. But God loves them. He wants them to live forever. He sends us out like sheep among these wolves, because he loves the wolves, and his grace can turn them into sheep. So, we need to be wise careful because we are sent out to enemies, but trust the one who sends us that he can turn them into friends.

LORD, send us to those you love, even if they do not presently love us.


About Jefferson Vann

Jeff is a Christian missionary.
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