God’s Plan For Israel
(a) Paul’s Burden
As the gospel was first preached to the Jew they are obviously an important people in the economy of God. It is to the importance of the Jews as a nation that Paul now turns. He considers them in their past, their present and their future.
Chapters 9-11 of Romans appear at first glance to be a digression away from the main theme, Justifcation by Faith. When we reach Chapter 12 Paul will once again return obviously to that subject as he gives practical guidance for a justified people. These 3 chapters, however, concentrate mainly upon the Jewish people, their past, present and future. Where does this fit into the flow of Romans, however? When Paul laid down his opening argument he declared that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation “…to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” As the gospel was first preached to the Jew they are obviously an important people in the economy of God. It is to the importance of the Jews as a nation that Paul now turns. He considers them in their past, their present and their future. Some have argued that these chapters are much more than merely a look at the Jews. They demonstrate that God is in control of world history and that the future of the universe is in the palm of his hand. These are comforting truths in uncertain times. Many people have questions concerning the Jewish people and their place in God’s plan. These chapters deal plainly with these questions and as such they are the most important Bible exposition of an important subject. Paul opens his account in this place with an expression of his great burden for the Jew.
1: The Passion with which Paul was Burdened v1-3
His Affirmation v1
One cannot doubt his sincerity as he introduces his burden in such a solemn fashion. “God is my witness.”
“In Christ” – I am making this testimony as a Christian man.Indeed while he loves his countrymen he has a greater love for Christ. It was this passion for the Saviour which led him into this burden. The emphasis upon the Spirit would show us that Paul had been given this incredible burden by the Holy Ghost.
His Agony v2
Paul sorrow was great, intense and continual.
His Acceptance v3
Voluntarily Paul accepted a spirit of willingness where he would offer his own soul for the sake of the Jewish people. Such an offering would not of course be sufficient and as such would be refused but it displays the extent of Paul’s burden. In this respect he is very much like Moses, Exodus 32:9-14 & 30-35. Preeminently, however, he is acting as Christ in offering himself as a vicarious sacrifice for our sins.
2: The People for whom Paul was Burdened v4-5
Israelites – children of Jacob.
Adoption – only place in the New Testament concerning the Jew
Glory – the cloud of glory resided with them, Ex 40:34-38.
Covenants – To the Patriarchs, Moses, David, Gen 12:2-3.
The Law – The Ten Commandments, Rom 3:1-2.
The Service of God – The sacrifices, feasts, etc.
Promises – of redemption through Christ, Galatians 3:14,22.
Fathers – Abraham, Moses and David.
Christ – Christ was a Jew, the fulfillment of the Old Testament. This was the pinnacle of the Old Testament in that the glory of God is seen in and through him, John 2:11 & 2nd Corinthians 3:18.
Application – There are many good religious people with many spiritual privileges which will never save their soul. We should pray for the burden that Paul experienced for them.