Doubtful Disputations

Romans 14:1-3 Him that is weak in the faith receive you, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believes that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eats herbs. Let not him that eats despise him that eats not; and let not him which eats not judge him that eats: for God has received him. 

‘Weak’ [Greek: astheneo] weak or strengthless in faith. Welcome such into your fellowship, but let all controversies concerning doubtful practices be avoided.

‘One believes that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eats herbs.’ One believes … another believes: Eight great sources of controversy: What to eat and drink (14:2-6, 14-23; Col. 2:14-17; 1Tim. 4:1-6); with whom to eat (Acts 11:3; 1Cor. 5:9-12; 2Thess. 3:7-13; Jude 1:12); where to eat (1Cor. 8:4-13; 10:15-23; 11:17-22); where to buy meat (1Cor. 10:25); what day to keep as the sabbath (14:5-6; Gal. 4:9-11; Col. 2:14-17); whether to be circumcised or not (Acts 15:1-24; Rom. 4:11; 1Cor. 7:19); whether to keep the Law of Moses or not (Acts 15:1) and what to wear and what customs to observe (1Cor. 11:4-16; 1Tim. 2:9-11; 1Pet. 3:3-4).

‘Let not him that eats despise him that eats not; and let not him which eats not judge him that eats: for God hath received him.’ Duties of Christians in view of nonessential scruples among believers: Fellowship with each other in spite of personal differences of opinion (14:1). Do not despise each other (14:3) and do not judge each other (14:3-13). Recognize that each man is God’s servant and personally responsible to God for what he allows himself to do, aside from what is forbidden to all (14:4). Recognize that no man will fall who conscientiously follows God and the light he has received (14:4; 1Jn. 1:7). Judge no man as to the rest-day he keeps (14:5-6; Gal. 4:9-11; Col. 2:14-17) and judge none about allowable eats and drinks (14:2-6, 13-23; Col. 2:14-17; 1Tim. 4:1-6; 1Cor. 8:8-13; 10:23-31). Let all live in peace, for the Lord, and for each other (14:8-9, 13-23; 1Cor. 8:8-13; 10:23-31; 1Pet. 5:1-9). Do not set each other at nought (14:3-4, 10; Gal. 5:14-15; Eph. 4:31-32). Recognize that each man shall give account of himself to God (14:10-12; 2Cor. 5:10; Matt. 12:37; 16:27). Do not cause anyone to stumble (14:13). Demonstrate love by giving up those things that destroy others (14:15; 1Cor. 8:8-13; 10:23-31). Do not bring reproach upon Christ by your Christian liberty (14:16-18; 1Cor. 8:8-13; 10:23-31). Follow the things that make peace and edify others instead of making a hobby of meats, drinks, rest-days, circumcision, law-keeping, rituals, dress (non-promiscuous), styles, ornaments, customs, and outward religion-things, which in themselves do not destroy the work of God, and concerning which all people will never perfectly agree (14:19-20; 1Cor. 8:4-13; 10:13-31). Do not use any of the non-essentials to stumble, offend, or make any man weak either by argument or practice (14:21; 1Cor. 8:7-13; 10:23-31). Practice your faith before God and do not parade it before others (14:22; 1Cor. 8:9-13; 10:31). Do not condemn yourself over anything not specifically forbidden in Scripture by plain command. Do not permit your conscience to be swayed by wrong religious background or constant religious turmoil over doubtful things (14:22). Do not do anything that is doubtful. If you are not clear on a matter, proceed no further (14:23; 1Cor. 8:7). Bear the weaknesses of others. Tolerate their peculiar and sometimes ridiculous scruples until they become strong (15:1-3; 1Cor. 8:7-13; 10:23-31).

Fulfilling the Law through Love

Romans 13:8-14 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shall not commit adultery, Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not bear false witness, Thou shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself. Love works no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put you on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. 

‘Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law’ This has nothing to do with owing just debts of money and other material things. It simply expresses the idea that Christians owe to each other mutual love. You are not bound to your brethren to obey them as you are civil rulers, but you are bound to them by love.

When you really love on Godly standards, you will not: Transgress the moral law (13:8, 10); deprive any man of his wife; rob any woman of her virtue; take the life of anyone; hate anyone (13:9 with 1Jn. 3:15); take the property of anyone; rob a man of his good name; covet one thing of another; love only yourself (13:9); work ill toward anyone (13:10).

‘And if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself.’ Any other commandment necessary for a Christian to obey is covered in proper love to one’s neighbour (anyone in close proximity).

‘Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ Eight commands for Christians: Cast off the works of darkness; put on the armour of light (13:12); walk decently and well behaved; stop revelling and drinking; quit all immoral living; refrain from quarrelling, contention, and jealousies (13:13); clothe selves with the character of Jesus Christ; make no provision for lust (13:14).

‘Honestly’ [Greek: euschemonos] decently (13:13; 1Cor. 14:40; 1Thess. 4:12). ‘Rioting’ [Greek: komos] revelling (13:13; Gal. 5:21; 1Pet. 4:3). ‘Drunkenness’ [Greek: methe] drunken festivals, generally accompanied with all kinds of unclean singing and abominable sexual acts. ‘Chambering’ [Greek: koite] whoredoms, prostitution, and all kinds of uncleanness. ‘Wantonness’ [Greek: aselgeia] licentiousness, all manner of uncleanness and sexual perversion. Lasciviousness (Mark 7:22; 2Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 4:19; 1Pet. 4:3; Jude 1:4); wantonness (13:13; 2Pet. 2:18); and filthy (2Pet. 2:7).

‘But put you on the Lord Jesus Christ.’ To be clothed with a person is a Greek phrase signifying to take upon one the interests of another; to enter into his views; and be wholly on his side, imitating him in all things.

‘Flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof’ – the flesh works of Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 1:21-32; 1Corinthians 6:9-11 and Colossians 3:5-10.

Submission to the Authorities

Romans 13:2-7 Whosoever therefore resist the power, resist the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Will thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shall have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil. Wherefore you must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay you tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 

‘Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.’ Whoever sets himself against the plan of God in human government resists God. They who resist will be punished. This comes down to breaking the laws that are there to protect and govern us out of rebellious nature.

‘For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil.’ Here Paul shows the duty of civil rulers. It is not to terrorize people of good deeds, but to punish evil people for sins against society.

‘Will thou then not be afraid of the power?’ Obey the laws of civil government and you will have nothing to fear, providing you have rulers that properly enforce the law.

‘He bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil.’ God has delegated authority to defend the good and punish evil, even with capital punishment if required.

‘Not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.’ Obey civil laws, not only to escape punishment but to preserve a clear conscience.

‘For this cause pay you tribute also’ – because civil government and law enforcement officers who execute the laws and defend the community are of God and must be supported, pay your share of taxes (13:6-7).

‘Ministers’ [Greek: leitourgos] public servant (13:6; 15:16; Php. 2:25; Heb. 1:7; 8:2). They are God’s servants to carry on civil government for Him. Even if they are ungodly people and yet faithfully carry out civil responsibility they are to be respected, supported and obeyed on duty.

‘Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.’ Withhold nothing from civil government or its lawful officers that is required of you to pay. Pay taxes, customs, fear, and honour to all people over you in public life.

The Higher Powers

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 

‘Every soul be subject unto the higher powers’ ten duties of citizens: To be subject to civil government (13:1; Tit. 3:1; 1Pet. 2:13-17); to obey civil rules (13:3; Pro. 24:21); to do good (13:4; Tit. 3:1); to pay taxes (13:1-7; Mat. 22:17-21); to render dues to all people (13:7); to honour civil rulers (13:1-7; Ex. 22:28; Acts 23:5; 1Pet. 2:13-17); to pray for civil rulers (1Tim. 2:1-2); to obey civil laws (13:1-7; Ezra 7:26); not cursing rulers (Eccl. 10:20); to work for peace, not rioting and unrest (12:18). Please remember that current governments are also the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph. 6:12) and must only be obeyed in civil matters and morals according to the greater good of all on Godly standards. Make sure to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good and abstain from all appearances of evil (1Thess. 5:21-22).

‘Power’ human governments [Greek: exousia] delegated authority. All authorities are ordained [Greek: tasso] appointed or determined of God. That is, in God’s plan He has determined that human governments shall exist to help Him carry on moral government and enforce moral laws. They are appointed by God, but He is not responsible for their acts. If they get out of line of this eternal plan, which they do, He will judge them.

Human governments, therefore, are not founded upon the arbitrary will of God, but upon the needs of humanity in securing their highest good. If in a small family, law and penalties are needed, how much more are they needed in communities, states, and nations? Their purpose was to execute criminals and enforce law and order among people (13:1-6; 1Pet. 2:13-17; Gen. 9:6; Isa. 11:4-9; 65:20; Dan. 2:21; 4:17-25; 5:21). Governments were instituted to govern by force and to punish, not only local and individual criminals but also universal and national criminals. This includes the execution of war to put down criminal nations as well as criminal individuals (13:1-5; 1Pet. 2:13-17; Dan. 2:21; 4:17-25; 5:21). There is no doubt that war is an evil one. It is the greatest catastrophe that can befall human beings. It brings death and destruction, merciless slaughter and butchery, disease and starvation, poverty and ruin in its wake. One has only to think of the havoc that was wrought in various countries, in order to estimate the destructive effects of war. There are, doubtless, people who consider war as something grand and heroic and regard it as something that brings out the best man. But this does not in any way alter the fact that war is a terrible dreadful calamity. The loss of human life is not the only evil consequence of war: many families are left destitute of the support and guidance of their natural heads and are thrown upon an unpitying world in a state of helplessness. The moral effects of war are also most deplorable. Men employed as soldiers commonly become exceedingly profane, and reckless of their conduct. All ongoing wars today are being fought in the name of justice, but it is all about making money and controlling resources. Going to war, or even just by maintaining a superior military force, the companies supplying troops, handling logistics, manufacturing weapons, and developing technology are making hundreds of billions of dollars per year. All paid for by taxes and through taking on the additional national debt.

Condescend to Men of Low Estate

Romans 12:16-21 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, said the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shall heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. 

‘Be of the same mind one toward another’ – live in harmony and of one accord. ‘Mind not high things’ – do not be unlawfully ambitious to be rich and powerful. Do not shun the poor, courting great men.

‘Condescend to men of low estate’ – associate with humble and godly people going through life with as little show and parade as possible.

‘Be not wise in your own conceits’ – do not be conceited and vain. Proverbs 3:7-8 warn us to be not wise in our own eyes, we must fear the LORD, and depart from evil so that we can be in perfect health.

‘Recompense to no man evil for evil’ – never pay back evil for evil to any man. ‘Provide things honest in the sight of all men’ – do not live beyond your means.

‘If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men’ As far as it depends on you, live at peace with all people. That does not mean we compromise to accept and allow others’ sins and evil communications in our lives (1Cor. 15:33; Jas. 3:13; 1Pet. 15, 18; 2:12).

‘Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves’ – let others inflict vengeance. ‘But rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, said the Lord.’ By the law of sowing and reaping all will be judge according to what they do unto others (Gal. 6:7-8).

‘Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shall heap coals of fire on his head.’ Quoted from Proverbs 25:21-22. In view of the fact that God was good to you when you were His enemy (5:7-8), you should likewise treat your enemies with goodness. You will thus make them feel a burning sense of shame and by this action, they can be convicted of their sins (John 16:7-11).

‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good’ – never let evil get the better of you; get the better of evil by doing good. Seven duties are noted to enemies: To love them (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:27); to bless them (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:28); to do good to them (Matt. 5:44); to pray for them (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:28); to lend in doing good to them (Luke 6:34-36); to be kind to them (Luke 6:35-36); to be merciful to them (Luke 6:36).

Bless and Curse Not

Romans 12:9-15 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 

‘Dissimulation’ [Greek: anupokritos] undisguised, a real thing (2Cor. 6:6; 2Tim. 1:5; 1Pet. 1:22). Three blessings of true love: A pure heart (Matt. 5:8); a good conscience; a faith unfeigned or sincere (1Tim. 1:5).

‘Abhor that which is evil’ – hate, detest and loathe all evil.

‘Cleave to that which is good’ – be cemented or glued to the good.

‘Affectioned one to another with brotherly love’ love with brotherly affection. ‘Honour preferring one another’ – be forward to honour others.

‘Slothful in business’ – never be lazy, slothful, and careless with your work or anything or anyone concerning your work. Whatever you do, do all things for God’s glory (1Cor. 10:31).

‘Fervent in spirit’ – maintain zeal to the boiling point.

‘Serving the Lord’ – put your life into service for God whether or not you receive personal gain and applause.

‘Rejoicing in hope’ – let your hope be a joy to you. ‘Patient in tribulation’ – show patience in all your troubles. ‘Continuing instant in prayer’ – live in fervent prayer to God.

‘Distributing to the necessity of saints’ contribution to needy saints. ‘Given to hospitality’ – practice hospitality without socializing (1Cor. 5:9-13; 1Jn. 2:15-17; 2Jn. 1:10-11).

‘Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not’ – bless your habitual persecutors and don’t allow anger, bitterness or revenge to cloud your mind and your actions to sin as well (Eph. 4:26-27, 29-32).

‘Rejoice with them that do rejoice’ – take a lively interest in blessings and prosperity of others without grudging.

‘Weep with them that weep’ – show genuine compassion for others.

According to the Grace

Romans 12:3-8 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching; Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do it with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness. 

‘Unto me’ – this refers to Paul’s apostleship by the grace of God (1:5; Eph. 3:8).

‘Not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith] Not to be conceited and self-important, but to take a sane view of himself.

‘So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another’ Paul here compares the body of Christ to a human body (1Cor. 12:12-28).

‘Gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us’ – this refers to the spiritual gifts of 1Cor. 12:4-11, 27-31. They are given and to be exercised according to grace and the measures of faith (12:3, 6).

‘Whether prophecy’ – this gift is that of speaking to people to edify and exhort them (1Cor. 14:3-6).

‘Ministry’ [Greek: diakonia] service rendered by a diakonos, a deacon, one who executes the command of another. It is used of: Servants of kings (Matt. 22:13); servants at feasts (John 2:5, 9); ministers or officers of civil governments (13:4); men and women servants of congregations (Matt. 23:11; Mark 9:35; Rom. 16:1); deacons or business elders and distinct from bishops or teaching elders (Php. 1:1; 1Tim. 3:10-13; Acts 6:1-7); Jesus Christ as a minister to the Jews in the work of preaching, teaching and healing (15:8; Gal. 2:17; Matt. 4:23-24; 9:35; Acts 10:38); ministers of congregations (Matt. 20:26; Mark 10:43); teachers of the gospel (1Cor. 3:5; 2Cor. 3:6; Eph. 3:7; Col. 1:23, 25; 1Thess. 3:2); ministers of Christ and of God (John 12:26; 2Cor. 6:4-10; 11:23; Eph. 6:21; Col. 1:7; 4:7; 1Tim. 4:6); also used of ministers of satan to counterfeit the work of true ministers and to deceive (2Cor. 11:15)

‘Teaches’ – the teacher [Greek: didaskalos] was an instructor of others (Acts 13:1).

‘Exhorts’ [Greek: parakaleo] to call aside; make an appeal to by way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, or instruction (Acts 4:36; Heb. 10:25). ‘Gives’ refers to the rich that give help to others (2Cor. 8:2; 9:11-13). ‘Simplicity’ [Greek: haplotes] Do not give with outward show or pride. (2Cor. 1:12; 8:2; 9:11, 13; 11:3; Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22).

‘Rules’ [Greek: proistemi] to stand before, that is, (in rank) to preside, or (by implication) to practise: – maintain, be over, rule. ‘He that shows mercy, with cheerfulness’ – those who work with the sick and work for charity must be cheerful and sympathetic.

A Living Sacrifice

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

‘Beseech’ [Greek: parakaleo] to call aside; make an appeal in view of certain facts. Here it is an appeal in view of the wonderful doctrines of Romans 1-8 and of God’s dispensational dealings with Jews and Gentiles in Romans 9-11. Paul comes now to the practical application of the gospel to people (Romans 12:1-15:7).

‘Mercies’ [Greek: oiktirmos] tender compassions. ‘Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God’ – people are now to bring themselves to God instead of sacrifices to the altar as of old. They are now to be wholly the Lord’s as were the former sacrifices.

‘Living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God’ – fifteen commands about the body: yield it to God (Rom. 11:1; 6:13-20); make it living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1); make it holy (Rom. 12:1; 1Cor. 3:17); make it accepted of God (Rom. 12:1); make it full of light (Matt. 6:22); reckon it dead to sin (Rom. 6:11); reckon it alive to God (Rom. 6:11); refuse its slavery to sin (Rom. 6:12); mortify its deeds (Rom. 8:13); refuse to defile it (1Cor. 3:17); make it fit temple of Holy Spirit (1Cor. 3:16-17; 6:13-20); make it free from fornication and only for the Lord (1Cor. 6:13-20); glorify God in it (1Cor. 6:20); keep it in control (1Cor. 9:27); put off its sins (Col. 2:11).

‘Reasonable service’ – rational worship, because performed with the heart, mind, and soul of intelligent beings, and is in contrast to the worship of idols of Romans 1:25.

‘Be not conformed to this world; but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ Note the two commands of this verse.

‘Conformed’ [Greek: suschematizo] to conform to another’s example. We have a choice to follow in Jesus’ footsteps as given to us according to 1Peter 2:21-23, or the things that make up the world system of evil and rebellion against God. Men must not love the world system or the things in it, love of God and love of these things are not compatible. ‘World’ [Greek: aion] age. Do not pattern after this age or to the times.

‘Transformed’ [Greek: metamorphoo] transformed or transfigured by a supernatural change, as in Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2; Romans 12:2 and 2Corinthians 3:18. This change is by a renewing of the mind or spirit (Tit. 3:5; cp. 2Cor. 4:16; Col. 3:10; Heb. 6:6; Eph. 4:23). The whole course of life must now flow in a different direction (2Cor. 5:17-18). Be renewed in the attitude of your mind by renouncing its vanity (Eph. 4:17), its darkness and blindness (Eph. 4:18) and learning of Christ (Eph. 4:20-21).

‘That you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ Six things that constitute the acceptable and perfect will of God: Present your bodies a living sacrifice to God (12:1; 1Cor. 3:16-17; 6:20); make the body holy (12:1; 2Cor. 7:1); make self acceptable to God; render reasonable service (12:1); be not conformed to the world; be transformed from the world (12:2).

‘Perfect’ [Greek: teleios] that which has reached its end; nothing more to complete it.

Concerning the Gospel

Romans 11:28-36 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. For as you in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God has concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has been his counsellor? Or who has first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. 

‘As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes’ – they are enemies of the gospel, but beloved for the fathers’ sakes. They have been chosen of God to fulfil His plan and they will yet do so. The gifts and callings of God to Israelites still hold good, but they must first come to repentance and fulfil righteousness before being blessed.

‘For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance’ – this not only applies to the gifts and callings of Israel, but to any individual whom God calls or gives a gift. God does not change His mind as if He made a mistake. People may fail Him so that He cannot fulfil such callings with them, but when, if ever, they come back to repentance God holds them to the original obligation to obey Him.

‘For as you in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief …’ Romans 11:30-31 say that as surely as the Jews were once in the kingdom and the Gentiles were not; as surely as the Gentiles are now in the kingdom and the Jews are not; so surely the Jews will be brought back to God and into the kingdom again (Zech. 12:10-13:1).

‘For God has concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all’ this verse concludes the same as Romans 3:19-20, 3:23 and Galatians 3:22-23. The conclusion is that all have sinned (1:18-3:18, 23). All are guilty before God (3:19-20). The law cannot justify anyone (3:20). The law only condemns (3:20). God has provided redemption by faith in Jesus Christ (3:21-26). All boasting is excluded and man is helpless to save himself (3:27). People are justified only by accepting God’s plan of redemption (3:28).

‘Recompensed’ [Greek: antapodidomi] repay. God pays His debts to His creatures.

Israel Shall Be Saved

Romans 11:26-27 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. 

‘All Israel shall be saved’ – this refers to the whole nation that will be alive in Palestine when Christ comes (Zech. 12:10-13:1; 14:1-15; Matt. 24:39; Isa. 66:7-8). It is at that time that all the rest of Israel will be gathered (Isa. 11:1-12; 66:19-21; Matt. 24:31).

‘There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob’ – quoted from Isaiah 27:9; 59:20-21. By this judgment upon His people the iniquity of Jacob will be purged; the proof of such cleansing from sin will be when Israel is caused by God to throw down the stones of the altar and the groves, and throw away the images.

Those that will turn from transgression in Israel in that day (at Christ’s second coming), will be the one-third of the nation who will come through the tribulation alive, the two-thirds being killed (Zech. 13:9). They will be the ones to say, ‘blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord’ (Matt. 23:39) – the ones that will be born again in a day and make the nucleus around which the others from all the tribes will be gathered in the Millennium (Isa. 11:10-12). They are the “all Israel” of Romans 11:25-29, and the Judah of Zechariah 14:14.

‘Turn away ungodliness from Jacob’ – no one in Israel or among the Gentiles will be saved and blessed by God in the eternal program until he turns from sin. This is the reason Israel is now scattered among the nations, and why God has not been able to fulfil His everlasting covenants with them. He can never do so until they turn from sin to Him and holy living (cp. Matt. 18:3; John 3:3-5).

Five things Christ will do at the Second Coming: He will come to Zion – Jerusalem (no other place on earth, Isaiah 59:20 and Zechariah 14:4). He will come to them that turn from sin in Jacob or Israel (Isa. 59:20; Zech. 12:10-13:1; 14:1-5, 14; Rom. 11:25-29). He will make a new covenant with them in that day (Isa. 42:6; 49:8; 55:3; 57:8; 59:21; 61:8; Jer. 31:31; Heb. 10:16). He will pour out the Holy Spirit upon them (Isa. 32:15; 34:16; 44:3; 59:21; Joel 2:28-32; Zech. 12:10-13:1). He will put the words of God in their mouths and in the mouths of eternal generations to come (Isa. 59:21).