Paul is eager to tell us Godís plan for the future of Israel and the nations (11:11-16; 11:25-32). However, first he must describe the present situation. It is very strange. Israelís people had received Godís perfect law, but they are still not perfect. However, many people from other nations, who did not know or care about Godís law, have received a right relationship with God.
Paul does not of course mean that none of Israelís people have a right relationship with God. He himself belonged to Israel (11:1). Nor does he mean that all of Israelís people cannot ever have a right relationship with God. In fact, in the future, God will save (rescue) the whole of Israel (11:25-26).
The people from different nations who have a right relationship with God, are the Christians. Before they became Christians, many of them did not know Godís law. Some of them were trying to live in a right and proper manner (2:14-15); and some were not (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). However, their right relationship with God did not come from any efforts to obey Godís law (3:27-30). They received it by faith (trust in God) because of Christís death (5:6-10).
That is the only way that anyone can receive a right relationship with God. Some of Israelís people tried to please God by their efforts to obey his law, but they were not truly trusting God. Paul himself was in that situation before he became a Christian. Then Christ himself met with Paul (Acts 9:1-6) and everything in Paulís life changed. Paul did not still depend on his own efforts to please God. Instead, he learned to depend on God by faith. Without faith (trust in God), it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
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© 2017, Keith Simons.