The Doctrine of Israel (Part Eight): Romans 10
The Righteousness of Faith
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Sermon; #1542; 72 minutes
From the days of Sinai on, the ancient Israelites fixated on the notion that they were God's chosen people. This perspective was counterproductive: Over time, they failed to internalize the God-ordained cause-effect relationship between obedience-blessing on one hand, and disobedience-curse on the other. Perceiving the covenant as merely a road to blessing, regardless of their behavior, they failed to grasp that curses were the God-sent consequences of disobedience (sin). Ultimately, the presence of the Temple became a shield against any curses from breaking the law. Because of this flawed, cavalier conceptualization of the covenant, God founded the Israel of God, at the same time grafting in gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy, bringing about repentance. Ancient Israel, misunderstanding the revelation of God in the Old Testament, failed to understand that humans without God have no power to keep the law. Christ offended the Jews because He pointed to Himself as the way to salvation rather than to the obedience to regulations. Redemption comes only through the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:11-12). Paul explains that the Old Testament clues to Christ's Messiahship were always available to ancient Israel. Blind to the teachings of the Scriptures, however, they considered themselves above the foolish God-forsaken gentiles. Actually, Israel proved to be the foolish ones (Deuteronomy 32:21), temporarily forsaken by God.
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