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The Rich Privilege of Salvation

Romans 11:11-12
Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fulness bring! (NIV)

The gospel gave equal rights to both Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus. The Jews should not try to displace the Gentile believers, and the Gentiles should not look down on the Jews. However the inclusion of non-Jews into the family of God was intended to make the Jews wake up. They could no longer presume that their heritage gave them greater rights of access to God than the Gentiles: both needed to embrace the grace of Christ. So they should not be legalistic, demanding that the Gentiles should keep Jewish religious rules.

The free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus was just so wonderful: now even Gentiles could be forgiven and made children of God. And the same rich privilege was true for Jews too, but only if they would also believe the Gospel. However, as the Apostle Paul found, when he obeyed the call to believe in Jesus, he was greatly enriched as he realised that the purpose of the Old Testament law was to point to Jesus.

Galatians 3:28 sums it up, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." However there is still a great advantage when believers understand the Old Testament. It is still the best 'picture gallery' to help us understand the character and work of Christ. God wants everybody to learn from the Old Testament narrative so that we can fully grasp the gospel of salvation in Jesus. So do not despise the ancient Scriptures; they contain great riches of knowledge and wisdom which help us to understand how to follow Jesus better.

Ever wise God. Thank You for the Old Testament with all its pictures of how You relate to people, and how Jesus would fulfil the law. I am sorry when I have not bothered to invest time in understanding the Old Testament. Please help me to appreciate the great privilege You gave to the Jews by entrusting Your Word to them. May I also learn from them so that I can grow stronger in my faith and be better able to teach others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams