Has God concluded all in unbelief? Or is Paul relating something more? I'm referring to what Paul taught in Rom.11:32 where he wrote, "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." Or saying the same thing another way, believing must have become the measure for righteousness in order that the rest of the nations can be shown mercy.

This was God's plan shown when before He gave the law to Moses He called Abraham. Who by faith without works was called righteous. Saying of Abraham that he would be the father of many nations.

So it wasn't just Israel that was to be saved. It was all mankind through the same faith Abraham displayed toward God. The same faith that Jesus displayed toward the Father. And the same faith that Paul says in Gal.2:16 is our righteousness. A faith without works.

When Paul says "God has concluded them all in unbelief" we know he is not saying that there are none in Israel that believe. Because earlier in this chapter using Elijah for an example he said God always reserves a remnant that trust in Him. And Jesus taught in John8 as well that only those who believe in Him have the Father. And also have Abraham as the father of their faith.

So being consistent with all that Paul has already said we see that the "all" concluded in unbelief he is referring to are those Israelites who will not come to Him by faith without works. And that those who believe are the elect of God. Because the elect are those Israelites who come to Jesus by faith without works.

And when we read what Paul said in Gal.3 about all being concluded in sin we see that he is really saying the same thing he said here about Israel. That the sin all have been concluded under is unbelief. And God did this for the specific purpose of showing mercy to all of mankind.

By this then God has made unbelief the measure that determines whether or not an Israelite is part of the elect. Or a sinner. And that it is this unbelief, what Paul also calls "blindness in part" when speaking here of Israel, that causes Israel to miss the mark that is Jesus. Which is by definition the meaning of the word sin.

And since this sin, that is not believing in Jesus, is the only sin that keeps men from knowing God. And in John17:3 Jesus said knowing God is eternal life. Then the sin of unbelief that these Israelites are in is the sin that now keeps them and all the rest of mankind, the all that God now shows His mercy to, from heaven.

Oh, but you say, as I once heard a mega church preacher proclaim, Israel has a covenant with God through Moses. They don't need to believe in Jesus in a New Covenant. The problem with that kind of thinking is that it is antithetical to the gospel. Heb.9:15-17 tells the same Hebrews Paul is speaking to here in Rom.11 that the main purpose for Jesus' death was to give power to a New Covenant. And in Heb.10:9 he says this made it possible for Jesus to "take away the first[Old Covenant] that He might establish the second[New Covenant]".

So it is clear from the scriptures that every Israelite needs a New Covenant with God. And that without it they will surely perish. Just as any other unbeliever will. This is why Paul said in Rom.7:4 that the Israelite must be dead to the law to be joined with Jesus.

And this is also why in Gal.3:22 Paul says, "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." We see here also that it is believing that joins us to Jesus for eternal life. And unbelief that keeps us from Him and the eternal life that God has made available only to those who believe.

What is this promise of Jesus Christ to which Paul refers? It is the promise of "Christ in you the hope of glory." A promise fulfilled only in them who by faith have been joined with Christ. Something that in Rom.7:1-4 Paul says can only happen for the Jew after he has become dead to the law. And in 1Thes.1:9 Paul says has Gentiles turning from idols to serve the living and true God.

This promise of Christ in us assures us that we are His and therefore have eternal life. A promise that is by faith without works so that none should boast. Showing that it is through faith that God has provided righteousness for salvation.

But, saying that the scripture hath concluded all under sin, Paul shows that he is referring only to those who are not of faith that are the "all under sin." And that those who trust in Jesus apart from works have been delivered from sin itself and any power it had over the Israelite while under the law.

This is why Paul adds in Gal.3:23 saying, "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto[the time of] Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

This is why Paul concludes his teaching here by proclaiming the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God saying, Rom.11-

33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Wanting to make it clear that it is God's plan that all men would be saved by grace through faith without works Paul proclaims that all are concluded in the sin of unbelief to make believing in Jesus the measure by which all men are joined to God. And that there is no other way for this to be accomplished.

Which to the Jew who trusts in the law for righteousness is a stone of stumbling. And to the Greek who seeks wisdom also a stone of stumbling. Because this is too simplistic. Too unreasonable. Too unwise to even be considered as something that could come from a God.

But, as Paul says in 1Cor.1 to us who are saved. To us who have believed. The gospel "is the power of God! For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."

This is why in Rom.9 the clay complained to the potter why have you made me this way. Because God wanting them to trust in Him makes salvation possible only through faith. And having given them the law. And on their own their making it their means for righteousness. The clay now accuses God that He made them this way by giving them the law. When nothing could be further from the truth.

Paul continues here in vs.20 asking, "Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

This then is why God chose believing to be what joins a man to Jesus for eternal life. Because when we believe in Jesus we trust Him. And when we trust Him we know Him. And when we know Him we love Him because we know that He first loved us.

When Paul said in Gal.3 that all have been concluded in sin he was saying that it is belief or unbelief that determines our eternal destiny. Just as he said in Rom.11 that unbelief keeps unbelieving Israelites in blindness. And that this partial blindness will remain "until the fulness of the rest of the nations has come in". Because it is their unbelief that separates them from God. Not how well or how poorly they adhere to the law. Just as it is our unbelief that separates us from God who were never under any law.

Do you know Jesus? Have you believed in Him and His resurrection? If so then praise God. But, if not, and you want to trust in Jesus now for eternal life, confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. And believe in your heart that He has raised from the dead. And you will be saved.

Because the only thing that can keep you from heaven is unbelief. Not knowing Jesus. Good or bad behavior has nothing to do with it. So turn from unbelief to believe in Jesus and His resurrection that conquered death for all who will believe in Him and you will have eternal life.

Do this and you will be made a child of God and heir to His kingdom. Do this and a spirit will be birthed in you that no man has when he is born From his mother's womb that makes you a begotten son of God. Do this and the immortality that Jesus' resurrection has provided for all who will trust in Him will be yours at the resurrection.

Do this... and I will see you there or in the air!

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