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When the Church was starting out, there was such a struggle to accept the grace of God. In Ephesians, Paul made it simple—”For by grace you have been saved, through faith—and not of yourselves.  It is a gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast!” Ephesians 2:8-9NKJV.  Paul wanted the Gentiles to understand that while God opened his arms to gladly accept them, he was in no way rejecting the children of Israel. 

Still, in the depth of his love for them, the only way for them to experience his love and forgiveness was to accept the free gift.  Their heritage as his chosen people simply did not provide for them a special ability to somehow earn his love.  They were sinful and separated from God by their earthly nature—just like the rest of the world.  Still his free gift of grace came through Israel, for them and the world to embrace.

Like Israel, we must accept the idea that we will never be in a position to earn God’s favor.  Our goodness and heritage will never measure up to God’s standard for salvation.  Like Israel, we must accept the free gift of Christ’s sacrifice and redemption for our sin and allow him to be our savior, redeemer, advocate and Lord.  It is a great gift prepared by a father for those whom he truly loves.

God Bless You

I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”[a]? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[b] So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, as it is written:

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that could not see
and ears that could not hear,
to this very day.”
[c