Zohar Gonen

Romans 9:19-33 God's faithfulness to Israel - Zohar Gonen

Zohar speaks to us today as a Jewish Christian with a ministry to share Jesus Christ with Jewish people through the work of Celebrate Messiah.

Some say that we do not have to share the gospel with Jewish people because they can be saved by obedience to the Law, even within evangelical circles. At the other extreme people think that there is no need to evangelise the Jewish people because God is through with Jewish people. They had their chances. They did not recognise the Messiah when he came so there is no need to share the gospel. But Paul did not do this. His first priority was to reach the Jewish people first.

The Church lost the vision to reaching out to the Jewish people. They became an unreached people group. There has been a lack of outreach that was loving and longing for the Jewish people to recognise the Messiah.

Many people do not connect chapter 8 with chapters 9 and 11. The don't see that Paul's description of believers’ glorification also applying to Israel. Chapters 9-11 can only be understood in the context of chapter 8. By appealing to how God was faithful to the Jewish people only then we can be confident that he will be faithful to us. Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe, to the Jew first and then to the Gentiles.

Zohar reflects on the promises of God being still reliable because this is God's character. God keeps his promises. He reviews the instruction of honourable vessels and dishonourable vessels, and the remnant that will be saved. A small group within a large group of people, a small people group who remain faithful to God. In Rom 11, Elijah thought he was the only faithful person alive. God was the one who kept 7000 men who did not bend the knee to Baal. God is the one who is faithful to keep a remnant, chosen by grace. God's faithfulness is not at stake even though the whole nation of Israel turned their back on God. Paul appeals to this faithfulness to demonstrate God's character.

Rom 1:16,17 is not a geographic, time bound order that the describes gospel going to the Jews first and then to the world so that this is no longer the case to reach the Jewish people because the gospel continues to be the power of God. It is not a past finished outpouring.

God is just. He is a righteous and just God and we don’t even have the tools to even measure whether God is just or not. He sees everything and knows everything where as we cannot. God is just. You cannot argue with God. One pot of clay cannot argue with the potter as to why it is not for honourable use. God's election of the Jewish people is absolutely right and fair. There is room for every type of pot. In God's plan there is a need for all people types and skills. No matter how we serve God we can all bring glory to God. Whether he made us a Jew or Gentile God will use us.

Why is God long suffering with vessels of destruction? We were all vessels of destruction at some point in our life. God was patient with us to turn to Him. We became vessels of mercy. He will demonstrate is glory out vessels of mercy.

If our relationship was based upon our faithfulness, then we would fail every time. We would be in trouble. It is only God's faithfulness that maintains the relationship with Him.

In every generation God left a remnant of a faithful Jewish people for himself and for this reason God did not pour out his wrath just as he would have withheld destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. For this reason, we can know that God has a future for his people. This people group is who he will show himself faithful to. Today's Jewish remnant are those who believe in Jesus Messiah. God has a future for the Jewish people. God will reveal himself and revive the Jewish people. God is not through with them and God will pour out his spirit on them.

How is it that the Jewish people who pursued righteousness did not attain it and yet the Gentiles attained righteousness while not seeking it. The answer is that the Jewish people put their faith in their own efforts whereas the Gentiles placed their faith in God. They put their faith in the right source.

True faith must be in God's perfect work, the atonement on the cross.

God's atonement must be the object of our faith. We must put of faith and trust in the Rock, the Messiah. The best thing we can ever do. Stop trying to impress God with your ability to perform. Trying to obtain righteousness in our own merit then we will stumble and trip every time.

Trust in God

Remember that God is fair, we do not have the tools to measure God's fairness

If God choses us to be a Jew or Gentile, he has the right as creator to do so.

God is a faithful God in his wisdom and his timing to save us and the Jewish people.