Today’s reading is Romans 9: 1-18
When I read Romans 9 through 11, I think of the words of one of my first mentors in ministry, Dr. Harold Bryson. Dr. Bryson taught for years at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and then later at Mississippi College. Dr. Bryson used to say that we’d rather preach on Paul than on Jesus because Paul is hard to understand. He would say that Jesus isn’t that hard to understand; he’s just hard to follow. This section of Romans reminds me of that. There is much I do not fully understand about the Bible, but especially within these chapters.
We see Paul struggling in these passages with a mystery. We know, scripture is true, that salvation comes through grace through faith in Jesus Christ. That is the plan for salvation, not works, not religion, not any of these things. Romans has laid that out pretty extensively. We know this. God keeps His promises.
We also see that God has made a promise to His people. He will form that eternal covenant with the Jewish people.
How does it work? Paul is not sure. He knows that all of Israel is “Israel.” But God loves all of Israel.
Ultimately salvation is not of human efforts, but it is of God’s effort. It is God’s work. I think that’s what these chapters will teach us, that salvation rests not upon us, but ultimately upon God. And in that, there are many things that we don’t and can’t understand. We just have to have trust, in and through grace. In all things.
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