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n In die Skriflig - The kingdom, Israel and the church Paul's thoughts on the relevance of God's promises to Israel (Romans 9-11) : research article

Volume 35, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1018-6441
  • E-ISSN: 2305-0853

Abstract

In Paul's eschatology the kingdom of God is concentrated in Jesus Christ. In and through Him the kingdom has come and will come. Does this, however, imply that the old covenantal tradition has come to an end? If being in Christ is decisive for belonging to the eschatological kingdom of God, what then is the enduring relevance of the promises of God to his covenantal people, Israel? Romans 9-11 deals with these questions. Many scholars explain Romans 9-11 as an attempt to combine these two conflicting religious concepts, namely, on the one hand, the old covenantal tradition and on the other, the new eschatological soteriology, in which belonging to Christ is decisive. According to this viewpoint, different soteriologies clash in these chapters. Romans 11 represents the old covenantal tradition. Romans 9 cannot be compromised with this as a predestinational soteriology. In Romans 10 faith in Christ is decisive - faith which implies personal responsibility. Is it true that Romans 9-11 clearly demonstrates, as many scholars assert, that in Paul's conception there cannot be a unanimous answer to these questions about belonging to the kingdom of God? In this article it is attempted to indicate that there is in fact more unity in Romans 9-11 than is frequently assumed. This unity can be demonstrated by especially paying attention to the background of the citations that Paul quotes from the Old Testament. The context of these citations shows, that when God acts, man can never be an outsider. Finally, the main issue is not about different soteriologies as static entities. Humankind is (getting) involved in God's ongoing plan, just as believers and unbelievers formed part of His plan in the past. In his Word God has revealed the purpose of that plan: His way of including the full number of Israel and gentiles into his kingdom.

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/content/skrif/35/2/EJC107876
2001-06-01
2019-12-06

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