Chapter # 11 Paragraph # 3 Study # 2
August 18, 2009
Lincolnton, N.C.

<520> Thesis: God's provision of salvation to the Gentiles addressed Israel's problem of misguided zeal. Introduction: In our study last week we focused our attention upon whether God's promises regarding Israel were going to be revealed to be a false fantasy or a final reality. These alternatives have huge implications and consequences. If the prophetic words regarding Israel are ultimately some kind of fantasy, God is a liar and men have no basis for trusting Him. On another hand, if the current picture of God's dealings with Israel do not indicate a present fulfillment, men will often use their lack of His big picture as an excuse to call Him a liar and refuse to trust Him (this is the quasi-rationale of 2 Peter 3:4). But, if the Plan of God is understood to simply be "bigger" than what men thought it to be, or to include elements that He did not reveal to men, men can continue to believe in a God of integrity while they await the culmination of the multiple threads of the process to finally come together. Paul's argument is that this third option is the reality. God had not revealed the aspects of His Plan that had to do with calling together a vast host of people from every kindred, nation, tongue and tribe that would constitute what we now know as the "Church", but His activities in regard to those aspects of His Plan did nothing to unseat His words to Israel through the prophets. This evening we are going to look into this aspect of His Plan. Paul has a "twist" on how we are to understand it that presses us to buy into God's fixation upon Israel. That "twist" is this: God's extension of salvation to us was not only for our sake. He actually extended salvation to us in order to address the reason that Israel was as unfaithful as it was. In other words, He saved us so that He could save Israel.