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Romans 11 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Does this mean, then, that God is so fed up with Israel that he'll have nothing more to do with them? Hardly. Remember that I, the one writing these things, am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham out of the tribe of Benjamin. You can't get much more Semitic than that! 1 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.
2 So we're not talking about repudiation. God has been too long involved with Israel, has too much invested, to simply wash his hands of them. Do you remember that time Elijah was agonizing over this same Israel and cried out in prayer? 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah--how he appealed to God against Israel:
3 God, they murdered your prophets, They trashed your altars; I'm the only one left and now they're after me! 3 "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me" ?
4 And do you remember God's answer? I still have seven thousand who haven't quit, Seven thousand who are loyal to the finish. 4 And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal."
5 It's the same today. There's a fiercely loyal minority still - not many, perhaps, but probably more than you think. 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
6 They're holding on, not because of what they think they're going to get out of it, but because they're convinced of God's grace and purpose in choosing them. If they were only thinking of their own immediate self-interest, they would have left long ago. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
7 And then what happened? Well, when Israel tried to be right with God on her own, pursuing her own self-interest, she didn't succeed. The chosen ones of God were those who let God pursue his interest in them, and as a result received his stamp of legitimacy. The "self-interest Israel" became thick-skinned toward God. 7 What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened,
8 Moses and Isaiah both commented on this: Fed up with their quarrelsome, self-centered ways, God blurred their eyes and dulled their ears, Shut them in on themselves in a hall of mirrors, and they're there to this day. 8 as it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day."
9 David was upset about the same thing: I hope they get sick eating self-serving meals, break a leg walking their self-serving ways. 9 And David says: "May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
10 I hope they go blind staring in their mirrors, get ulcers from playing at god. 10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever."
11 The next question is, "Are they down for the count? Are they out of this for good?" And the answer is a clear-cut no. Ironically when they walked out, they left the door open and the outsiders walked in. But the next thing you know, the Jews were starting to wonder if perhaps they had walked out on a good thing. 11 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.
12 Now, if their leaving triggered this worldwide coming of non-Jewish outsiders to God's kingdom, just imagine the effect of their coming back! What a homecoming! 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!
13 But I don't want to go on about them. It's you, the outsiders, that I'm concerned with now. Because my personal assignment is focused on the so-called outsiders, I make as much of this as I can 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry
14 when I'm among my Israelite kin, the so-called insiders, hoping they'll realize what they're missing and want to get in on what God is doing. 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.
15 If their falling out initiated this worldwide coming together, their recovery is going to set off something even better: mass homecoming! If the first thing the Jews did, even though it was wrong for them, turned out for your good, just think what's going to happen when they get it right! 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
16 Behind and underneath all this there is a holy, God-planted, God-tended root. If the primary root of the tree is holy, there's bound to be some holy fruit. 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 Some of the tree's branches were pruned and you wild olive shoots were grafted in. Yet the fact that you are now fed by that rich and holy root 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,
18 gives you no cause to crow over the pruned branches. Remember, you aren't feeding the root; the root is feeding you. 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 It's certainly possible to say, "Other branches were pruned so that I could be grafted in!" 19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in."
20 Well and good. But they were pruned because they were deadwood, no longer connected by belief and commitment to the root. The only reason you're on the tree is because your graft "took" when you believed, and because you're connected to that belief-nurturing root. So don't get cocky and strut your branch. Be humbly mindful of the root that keeps you lithe and green. 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.
21 If God didn't think twice about taking pruning shears to the natural branches, why would he hesitate over you? He wouldn't give it a second thought. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22 Make sure you stay alert to these qualities of gentle kindness and ruthless severity that exist side by side in God - ruthless with the deadwood, gentle with the grafted shoot. But don't presume on this gentleness. The moment you become deadwood, you're out of there. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
23 And don't get to feeling superior to those pruned branches down on the ground. If they don't persist in remaining deadwood, they could very well get grafted back in. God can do that. He can perform miracle grafts. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
24 Why, if he could graft you - branches cut from a tree out in the wild - into an orchard tree, he certainly isn't going to have any trouble grafting branches back into the tree they grew from in the first place. Just be glad you're in the tree, and hope for the best for the others. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
25 I want to lay all this out on the table as clearly as I can, friends. This is complicated. It would be easy to misinterpret what's going on and arrogantly assume that you're royalty and they're just rabble, out on their ears for good. But that's not it at all. This hardness on the part of insider Israel toward God is temporary. Its effect is to open things up to all the outsiders so that we end up with a full house. 25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.
26 Before it's all over, there will be a complete Israel. As it is written, A champion will stride down from the mountain of Zion; he'll clean house in Jacob. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27 And this is my commitment to my people: removal of their sins. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins."
28 From your point of view as you hear and embrace the good news of the Message, it looks like the Jews are God's enemies. But looked at from the long-range perspective of God's overall purpose, they remain God's oldest friends. 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,
29 God's gifts and God's call are under full warranty - never canceled, never rescinded. 29 for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.
30 There was a time not so long ago when you were on the outs with God. But then the Jews slammed the door on him and things opened up for you. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience,
31 Now they are on the outs. But with the door held wide open for you, they have a way back in. 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you.
32 In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in. 32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
33 Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It's way over our heads. We'll never figure it out. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? 34 "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"
35 Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice? 35 "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?"
36 Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes. 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.