This week we find in Romans 10-14 that the nation of Israel [Jews] are not excluded from the “plan of Salvation” – just as the Gentiles were recipients of God’s mercy and Grace because of the disobedience of the Jews, likewise the Jews will be recipients so that all will be partakers of God mercy. Much has been made about the “Peace of Israel” but according to the scriptures, there really isn’t any peace possible except that which will be reflective of the New Kingdom in the New Jerusalem. A lot of prophetic books have been written about the restoration of Israel, especially after they became a nation again in 1948. I know that may seem like a long time ago, but really it is recent history. Many were prophesying that Jesus would be coming back in 40 years , that didn’t happen. Theologians and Preachers have been trying to put a specific time-table and timeline in place when Jesus is “for certain to return.” So far all have been wrong. I bring all this up to say this – Israel will be included in the Salvation Plan. They are still God’s chosen people. The wild branch will be cut-off [fulness of the times of the Gentiles – Romans 11:25] and the “True Branch” will be grafted back in – so the Father will have fruit from all people.
After Paul address his countrymen about how they will be included, we shift gears to the second step in salvation – first is Justification through the Blood of Christ; the second step is Sanctification through the “Holy Spirit” living through our members. [Body Parts] The Sanctification process is one where the redeemed become conformed to the image of Jesus [Romans 8:29]. We will not become fully like Jesus until we are transformed at our “Glorification” before the throne of God. The “transformation” occurs when that which is inside us gets outside of us. An illustration that I often use to show this is the difference between being born in the flesh and in the Spirit. When conception happens, we begin to form inside the womb, in a short amount of time, the child can be seen with hands, feet, head, arms and the rest of the outward form. However, while there may be a fully distinguishable baby after a few months, that child cannot live outside of the womb until the lungs are formed. We are formed physically from the Outside In. But when we are born spiritually we are formed from Inside Out. Phil 2:12-13 explain that it is God who is at work IN us to will and to do His good pleasure. So with Jesus inside of us, we are now His Temple of residence; He then begins to “work” His way out of us. Just as Jesus said, “if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father, I and the Father are One. John the Baptist also gives us understanding about our sanctification – John 3:30 “I must decrease and He must Increase. As we “give over the right to who we are” Christ then becomes known. The Holy Spirit is at work within us; the limiting factor of the Holy Spirit’s work is our unwillingness to submit, or allow the “presence of God” to be worked into all of our Humanity. This a most difficult thing to “give over ourselves to death, so that Christ might Live through us.
Chapter 12 & 14, are about the living out of that which is living in. Just Matthew talks about knowing a tree by its fruit, even so is the Life of Jesus visible as we allow Him to live out His life through us, as He lived out His life being fully submitted to the Father. It was not Jesus who did the works during His earthly ministry, but the Father living [having complete access to all that the Son was] through Jesus. Jesus spoke, the works that I do, are the works of my Father. He works, therefore I work. Phil 1:6 tells us that “He who began a work in you is able to complete it unto the day of Christ Jesus.” Another passage to reiterate the point – 1 Thess 5:24, “Faithful is He who called you, who will also do it.” Jesus allowed the Father to work in and through Him. This is the success that can be ours if we will “let the Life of Christ to reign in us, as He let the Father reign in Him.”
A tree is known by its fruit; I hear a lot of people saying that they know Jesus and that Heaven is their destiny. If there isn’t any fruit, then the tree is dead. A bad tree cannot bring forth good fruit, likewise a Good tree cannot bring for bad fruit. Here is the point; if someone professes that they know Jesus, and there isn’t any visible change; it is then reasonable to say “nothing has change, and salvation has not occurred. 2 Cor 5:17 – explicitly says that something New has been done and is visible to all. We struggle with this because we want people to go to Heaven. You don’t go to Heaven because you want too; you go to Heaven because something has happened to you to “conform/transform you for you Heavenly destination.”
Col 1:27 – the secret is this; Christ IN you the Hope of Glory!