…is that it’s often hard to understand or come to grips with if you demand to read it through the lens of your preconceptions and presuppositions. a couple of weeks ago i wrote about some scripture that i didn’t quite understand. well as it turns out, i’m challenged again by what paul writes in romans. romans 3:1-4a says the following:
“what advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? much in every way! first of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. what if some did not have faith? will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? not at all! let God be true, and every man a liar…”
it’s hard for me to understand God’s relationship with, and commitment to, his people Israel. some light was shed on my beliefs recently. i was, albeit unknowingly, of the ‘replacement theology’ variety. this theology has been influenced by the likes of justin martyr, origen and augustine. it basically says that God’s relationship with Christians superceeds His relationship with ethnic Jews. in other words, God’s people are now defined in spiritual terms rather than nationalistic terms. this always kind of made sense to me, until i started to read more of paul.
all of this sort of begs the question, if God made a covenant with Israel (ethnic Jews) can he break it?
in romans 3 paul mentions Jews who do not have faith (presumably in Jesus) and says that their lack of faith will not nullify God’s faithfulness.
so, because of God’s covenant with his people, he cannot show favourtism when it comes to his faithfulness (i.e. only showing faithfulness to those that are faithful). in this sense, God really is faithful even when we are faithless.
what are your thoughts here? does this kind of thinking lead towards universalism (God will save everyone)? if you’re like me, and you know what it’s like to be in church, then you were probably taught to think that you can only be saved if you have faith in Jesus. but maybe, in a sense, it’s harder to understand than that.
there is mystery in God.