Romans 11:16-36 The Human Problem and the Greatness of God
ローマ書11:16-36 人間の問題と神様の偉大さ


The climax to the first 11 chapters.
Romans 11:16-24
First fruits was a sacrificial term whereby Israel would present the first tenth of their harvest to God to represent the fact that the whole harvest would then be dedicated or "holy" to God.
The olive tree is a common tree found in that area.  Gardeners would graft cultivated branches into a wild tree to make use of their strength and energy.  Vice versa would be unnatural.  Natural branches have also been cut off to make room for the wild branches.
Paul says:
1. Not all Jews are automatically a part of God's family.
2. True Israel is marked by faith in Jesus.
3. God has done the harder thing by grafting wild branches into a cultivated tree.  How much easier would it be for the natural branches to be grafted back in.
Romans 25-32
Question: How to save a people infected with sin, while using the same people to do it?
Chapter 1 clearly states that we are all infected with sin - with a tendency to ignore God and suppress the truth.  It is the core problem with humanity.
But God creates a perfect world and creates humans in the midst of this to enjoy this perfect relationship with.
But we had other plans.
So God chooses Israel to be a part of the solution but they too find themselves a part of the problem.  They too rebel.
But the only way grace could be grace is if Israel too finds themselves in the same situation as the Gentiles and comes back to God, the same way.  Why does God always seem to favor the younger brother when this was clearly not the culturally accepted way to do things?  So that no one could argue that they are saved through grace.  IF it was the older brother, if all of Israel were saved then people, they included, could argue that it was based on merit or that they deserved it.  But only in this way they can't.  It is now only strictly by grace that they come to God.
They are finding themselves jealous as the Gentiles are now flooding in.
The question is now in their court.  What will you do Israel?  Will you stand outside and continue to be angry like the older brother in the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15?  Or will you come and join the party?
Romans 11:33-36
And all we can do is like Job stand in awe of the greatness of God.

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