A Kosher Goy Story

I don’t think I would be guilty of unwarranted hyperbole to suggest that Romans 11:11 is the Gentile Great Commission. This verse is loaded with far-reaching soteriological (doctrine of salvation) truth with profound and practical implications. It reads: I ask then, they did not stumble into an irrevocable fall, did they? Absolutely not! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel jealous (NET).

Within the surrounding context of the entire chapter of Romans 11, the following points can be extracted and related to the broad subject categories of rejection, redemption, desire, conduct, and conclusion:

Rejection: The Jewish people have not stumbled beyond recovery in their national rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus. Jewish rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus is not permanent. Jewish rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus is not total. In every generation there is always a remnant of Jewish people who believe.

Redemption:  Jewish national rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus was the divinely ordained precursor to the salvation of non-Jewish people. Jewish rejection of Jesus made it possible for non-Jews to come directly to God. It is no longer necessary for non-Jews to identify with Israel in order to be saved. There is non-Jewish numerical dominance in this present age of the Church. There is equal spiritual status between Jews and non-Jews in the body of Messiah.

Desire: God’s purpose in using Jewish unbelief to facilitate non-Jewish belief is to make Jewish people desirous of the forgiveness of sin and eternal life freely offered through trust in the Messianic person and finished salvific work of Jesus. In the original language, the word from which the phrase “to make jealous” is derived means to make someone desire what rightfully belongs to them by giving it to someone else. The gospel rightly belongs to the Jewish people by virtue of the four unconditional biblical covenants of promise made with the nation of Israel: 1) Abrahamic Covenant – Gen. 12:1-3, 2) Land Covenant – Deut. 29:1-30:20, 3) Davidic Covenant – 2 Sam. 7:11-16, 4) New Covenant – Jer. 31:31-34.

Conduct: Vital to one’s understanding and evangelistic application of Romans 11:11 is a recognition and respect for the Jewishness of faith in Jesus. This involves a recognition and acknowledgement that God prepared the gospel for the Jewish people. This involves a recognition and acknowledgement that Gentile inclusion and appropriation of Jewish covenant blessing explicitly does not mean that the unconditional promises associated with these covenant blessings and pledged to the Jewish people have been terminated due to the present, partial, and temporary condition of Jewish spiritual blindness and corresponding unbelief (cf. Rom. 11:1-2; 25-26). Grammatically speaking, the present tense of the verbs in 11:28-29 (also cf. Rom. 9:4-5) indicate that even in unbelief, Israel fully retains its covenant status with God. This status pertains to Israel’s corporate national election, not individual election resulting in salvation.

Conclusion: In short, solely through faith, non-Jewish people have become partakers (not taker-overs) of unconditional Jewish covenant spiritual blessings. Tragically however, concerning these blessings, the majority of the contemporary church subscribes to a replacement model which basically asserts that Gentile inclusion results in Jewish exclusion; a position which I would argue is theological confusion reflective of ethno-centric eisegesis in its handling of the biblical text. Yet here’s the deal. There is soon coming a day when in the immediate aftermath of the Messianic deliverer coming from Zion turning godlessness away from Jacob for the purpose of enabling universal Jewish salvation (cf. Rom.11:26), there will also be a complete uprooting and overthrowing of the present world order resulting in the full establishment of the Kingdom of God on planet earth! And that means that the conclusion to this Kosher Goy Story is Divine Eternal Glory!

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