Friday, March 29, 2013

Capital Election Illustration

So I've been working through Romans 15, where Paul resumes his discussion about how the Jews and Gentiles are together members of the body of Christ, and how it was always God's plan to do this, and I realized it has a seriously blunted emotional impact on me.
As a modern Gentile I don't understand how profound this is,
particularly when I compare my response to Acts 11. But then it came to me in the car yesterday that I do understand the emotional force.

To prove God had always intended to bring the Gentiles to salvation Paul quotes 2 Samuel 22:50, Deuteronomy 32:43(or Psalm 18:49), Psalm 117:1, and Isaiah 42:2
To this list I added
1 Chronicles 16:3, Psalm 138:4-5,
Psalm 67:3-4a, 5, Isaiah 61:11b. Not a big list. Not a lot of verses.Why? Because I think there is a glory in keeping this concept hidden, there is a punch that comes when you find out the Gentiles get salvation too.
We are all familiar with how little the Jews liked the Gentiles, and how reluctant Jonah was to preach to Nineveh, we just need to go to the next step.

The Gentiles are not chosen. They were not chosen to receive the law, the patriarchs, the covenant, the promises, the sacrifices- nothing. They don't get anything. They are quite literally, the non-elect.
And then all the sudden they are loved by God.
Imagine how we would feel if we found out God was giving eternal life to the non-elect. It would be a very difficult thing to swallow, it would rip apart and ruin all of our categories and theology.We trumpet the TULIP and declare that salvation was procured for the elect only. Atonement for the elect! But take the case of the Gentiles and realize that God is in the habit of being bigger than we think He is, and He saves more than we thought He would. God saves the non-elect.

Yes I know, logically speaking non-elect can't be saved, they are non-elect, the analogy is ultimately broken, but it's still profound, and a very close. God saves the non-elect just because that's the kind of God He is, gracious and merciful, compassionate and loving, forgiving and faithful. Saving the Gentiles is about as close as we can come to that, that overwhelming, barrier shattering, expectation ruining love of God.

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