We are in the Church Stream today reading with the International Standard Version this week.
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Lord, the issue today is salvation. We are grateful that you are mighty to save. Amen.
10 – Paul is continuing on the same thread of salvation and his longing for the Jews to understand the greater picture; that the salvation they have been hoping and “working” for for 1400 years and more is now here … and they are fighting it tooth and nail! The middle of chapter 10 spells it out. We believe in our heart, and confess with our mouth and therein salvation is granted. This is what Abraham did and was counted righteous for. And Abraham (whom they revere) was “saved” 600 years before the Law was given to follow. This is proof positive that salvation comes by faith. It’s strange, but this is all so obvious to the “old guard” within Judaism that it is staring them in the face – thus they can’t see it. Paul’s quoting of Isaiah, and Moses, and David in Psalms, and the Prophet Joel is proof positive that what was going on now is what God has been planning for salvation to become and that be accessible to all nations. –> and It’s happening now – but the old school Jewish leadership is disturbed by it and vehemently against it.
11 – Despite the Jews’ open rejection of the salvation that is now found in Jesus, God still loves his Chosen Ones. Granted, the Jewish rejection of Jesus was not universal. The original believers and converts were mostly Jews. The growing young church was majority Jewish is culture and its overtone. It was the Jewish leadership that had rancor for the Christians, and their proselytes turned agitators were the ones who brought the most harassment to the burgeoning Church. But in this chapter , Paul talks of salvation for all the Jews. The interplay of the Jewish and Gentile relationship has a tone of sibling rivalry as Paul describes it. The symbolism and illustrations of yeast and bread and the affect each has upon the other and the tree metaphor of the trunk and the branch gives such clarity to what Paul is so impassioned about. He REALLY wants these spiritual concepts to be understood. Paul closes by exclaiming the wonders of God’s processes by working out our salvation in a myriad of ways. It’s a marvelous and endless topic, isn’t it?
12 – This is a banner chapter about our life that is dedicated to God and transformed for living unto God and honoring Him with our service. This life is filled with grace and gifts and productive activity that blesses, spreads cheer, and love, and hope, and serves others so to spread that love. The finale~ is exhortation that is vital for dealing with tension, deviance and deviant people. It is a paragraph that is unique to Christianity. Interesting that the pagans and the other religions of the world refer to Christians as “the nice ones”, the “happy ones”, the “ones who share”. My husband and I have been in over 70 countries and we’ve seen this first hand. It is a marvel how Christians are everywhere and spreading Good News, even to those who currently despise Jesus and His followers. And it is this ministry in the Holy Spirit that is resulting in millions of new Christians coming into the Kingdom of God each week!
The week walked us through much Preparation for Big Changes
~Moses relayed the plans for Passover, for leaving Egypt so to institute a new faith and how it would be lived.
~David is now king – this is a big change: he “farewells” Saul/Jonathan, though he is in Hebron, he names Jerusalem the new capitol and national worship will be instituted there. Worship will be done according to what David says – vibrant and energetic.
~In Psalms DAvid prays for deliverance  and then revels in his relationship with God. What better way to prepare for deliverance than to pray for deliverance?
~Isaiah is basically telling us to prepare for a whole new world and Jeremiah is told to prepare to follow the Call of God.
~in Hosea, we all wish he had something more pleasant to say but he, because of Israel’s behavior, he is saying, “you better prepare yourselves to be destroyed – the way you are carrying on…”
~Mark teaches, “here comes Jesus, prepare yourselves to be blessed.”
~Paul in Romans 10-12 is saying, “prepare to be saved. Jews first then Gentiles. Wait, no Gentiles are more readily receiving him, so Gentiles more for now, then Jews will follow in because of envy. Oh well, all of you are going to be saved!”