As we continue our study of the book of Romans in the New Testament we now come to what might be called a parenthetical interlude. In this section of Romans, chapters 9-11, Paul gives an historical perspective to the presentation he has made to this point about the good news of God’s salvation. “Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ” (Romans 9:5).
He opened the book with a discussion on the universal sinfulness of humankind. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Having made that point persuasively, he then pointed out that God so loved the world and all that is in it, that He provided salvation for all who would believe in His free gift: “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
This salvation opens the door to a life in which you are enabled to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law. How? By trusting in the indwelling guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. Through Him you are able to become more than a conqueror in life (Romans 8:4 and 37). God had all of this in mind before any of us were born.
To put all of this in historical perspective Paul elaborates on the theme in Romans chapters 9, 10 and 11. As we begin looking at the Apostle’s history lesson in these chapters I would like for us first to look at the Apostle’s heart. In each of these chapters he shares something of his heart, especially his heart for the Israelites. Let me encourage you to read the opening verses of chapter 9 and try to appreciate the compassion he had for his “brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel.”