My reading today was finishing up Romans, reading chapters 8 – 16, and then beginning the Corinthian letters; reading chapters 1 and 2.
The apostle goes to great lengths in chapter 8 of Romans to show what the Christian has in Christ Jesus. There is no condemnation. It is such a wonderful thing to know that because of Christ death, burial and resurrection God does not condemn us. Jesus said, “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). The human race is already condemned due to sin, but God sent His Son.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1 (KJV)
The Christian is “joint-heirs” with Christ, and though it does not sound too pleasant, and it is not to be; that includes suffering with Him-
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” 8:16-18
In chapters 9-11 the apostle speaks of the nation of Israel and where they fit into God’s plan of salvation. He even asks some questions which were probably being asked concerning Israel, and Jesus. These chapters basically tell us that God is not finished with the nation of Israel; but that their initial rejection of Jesus and His crucifixion was in part to bring the Gentiles into the faith of Christ. There is a promise that “Israel will be saved”,
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, ‘There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.’ As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Romans 11:25-29 (KJV)
In the First Corinthian Letter we find that the wisdom of the world is not sufficient to know God, nor to understand spiritual things. In fact those who are hung up on knowledge, understanding, and in unbelief will not believe, because they cannot understand;
“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (KJV)
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 2:14-16
The only hope for Paul, a Jew; the Jew, and the Corinthian (Gentiles) is to know Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. Christian you need to grow more into the image and likeness of Him.
-Tim A. Blankenship