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God of All

Romans 3:29 – 30 — “Is He the God of the Jews only? is He not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.”

If righteousness were to come by the law, it really only could come through the Jew, or through the nation of Israel, because it was to that nation that God gave the law.  But “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men¹” (Titus 2:11), so now we can truly recognize that the LORD God of Israel², is also the God of the Gentiles.

It is absolute fact, recorded in the Scriptures, that from the call of Abraham to the rejection of Christ by the people of Israel that they held a special place in God’s dealing with man.  But even in the call of Abraham, we do not read that the favored nation would be the only people that would have the Creator God as their God, but that “in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).  Now from the time that the LORD brought them out of Egypt, He called them “My People”, but we must remember that as His People, they were not to be hoarders to bury the treasure, or to “hide it under a bushel” (Matthew 5:15), but they were to let their “light shine before men” (Matthew 5:16)³.  They were to be a “kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:6), and as such they were committed the oracles of God (Romans 3:2).

In all of these things, Israel was not to be the reservoir of blessing, to keep it from the nations, but to be a channel, a pipeline, that “in thee shall all nations be blessed” (Galatians 3:8).  In Acts 13, when the Jews of Antioch in Pisidia spoke against the things spoken of by Paul, he said this:

Acts 13:47 — “For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.”

grimawormtongue
I cannot help but to picture this episode of the “Lord of the Rings” when I read about Elymas the sorcerer attempting to keep Sergius Paulus from the faith

I find it fascinating that this passage, a quote from Isaiah 49:6, where it is applied in an interwoven fashion to Israel the nation, and specifically to God’s Christ, Who is to redeem Israel, is now applied to Paul and his ministry, taking the place of the nation of Israel to bring light to the Gentiles.  He is acting as Israel to do Israel’s job, because Israel would not do it.  This is illustrated earlier in the chapter by a Jewish false prophet who stood in the way of the Gentile deputy of Pathos to turn him away from the faith.

Graciously, God would not allow the unbelief of His People Israel to stand in the way of His salvation reaching the ends of the earth.  In fact, it was an unbeliever in Israel who was saved and sent as apostle of the Gentiles with “the gospel of the uncircumcision4” (Galatians 2:7), where Gentiles do not have to become part of the nation of Israel to become numbered with the people of God, nor did they have to become circumcised, but only are required to believe the Gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation “to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16).

The One who is indeed the LORD God of Israel, the God of the Jews, is not the God of the Jews only.  He offers His saving grace to all men, for all have sinned.  There is no difference in natural state, for we know too that all the sons of Israel are also sons of Adam, and just like the Gentiles, they need Christ, the “Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe” (1 Timothy 4:10).

Romans 10:12 – 13 — “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”

The Circumcision, i.e., the Jews, the people of Israel, will be justified by faith.  “By faith” is the key phrase in Hebrews chapter 11, the “faith chapter”, and notice to whom the entire epistle is written:  It is written to the Hebrews, the Circumcision.

Uncircumcision will be justified “through faith”, and because this is so, the epistle to the Galatians was written to hammer in the fact that it is not through becoming one with the people of Israel, by circumcision, that one becomes numbered among the people of God, but by being united to Christ.  In Romans 6, we learn that we are united to Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, and in this way we become the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26).

Are you one with Christ?  Have you believed the good news that God is still preaching, that Christ died for your sins, and that He rose again in victory over them, and that He offers you full justification and forgiveness?  The grace of God has appeared to you, just like it has appeared to all men, the question now is, will you receive it, which is really receiving Jesus Christ Himself.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and THOU shalt be saved!


End Notes:
  1. I cannot help but to mention here how perplexing it is that Reformed Theology, a.k.a. “Calvinism”, creates such a chasm between “saving grace” and “common grace”, so that the definition of saving grace cannot be applied to all.  Does not Titus 2:11 give us the very definition of saving grace:  “The grace of God that bringeth salvation”!  If I were in a grammar class, and were required to write the definition of “saving grace”, and I were to say “the grace of God that bringeth salvation”, I would probably be told that you cannot define a term with the term itself!  And to whom does this inspired phrase from the pen of the Apostle of Jesus Christ say that “the grace of God that bringeth salvation” has appeared?  The answer is “all men”, and as such, the Reformed school of theology should really reconsider its terms and definitions against the Word of God.  This does not make me a “universalist”, or, as generally the Calvinist likes to call everyone who is not a Calvinist, “Arminian”, for I am neither!  The Holy Scriptures of God say that “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men”, and I believe just that.  God’s grace is sufficient to save, justify, sanctify, and seal all, and He offers it to all.  He puts His righteousness, and all that is offered with it, “upon all them that believe” (Romans 3:22).
  2. That exact phrase is found 108 times in a search at blueletterbible.org, 107 of which are in the “Old Testament”, and once in Luke 1:68, when Zacharias, filled with the Holy Ghost prophesied.
  3. We generally tend to think of this as applied to Christians in the present, but we must remember that it was to the people of Israel that the Lord Jesus was sent in His ministry on earth (Matthew 15:24; John 1:11; etc.), and that He was speaking to them specifically.  A people being cast out and trampled under foot of men does not and cannot apply to anyone who is “sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30), but does apply perfectly to the called nation, whose “salt” truly did lose its savor, and they really have been trampled under the feet of the Gentiles, now for nearly 2000 years, while they are in unbelief.
  4. This is a body of good news belonging to or about the uncircumcision, or people who are “strangers to the covenants of promise” (Ephesians 2:11 – 12).

 

 

Categories

Romans Study

Charles Miller View All

Husband, father, engineer...Enjoys fishing, archery, guitar, running, and lifting, but most of all reading and studying God's Word.

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