4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Cor. 4-9
In Romans 1:28-29 we read:
“28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”
Verse 28 is talking about the Israelites. Verse 29 is talking about the Israelites and us. Both these scriptures are talking about God’s stand with regard to these two groups of people.
These scriptures reveal the paramouncy that the gospel has over even the gifts and calling of God.
I was surprised to read somewhere that the nation of Isarel has one of the highest levels of gays worldwide. Yes, you heard it right: homosexuals. That kind of statistic was something I had never contemplated in my life and this knowledge kind of toned down my cheering for Israel; but I am sure it hasn’t fazed God in the least. The Bible says that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. God will never back down one inch from the promises He made to the nation of Israel.
Any nation which tries to attack Israel in the natural will find itself coming up against the armies of God (angels) – literally. The world has witnessed this countless times. The Six-Day War of 1967 has remained one of the most historic mystery (read miracles) of our modern times.
That is because Israel is the elected nation of God. God, in His wisdom, has put these few people in this world to declare how His election works.
Indeed, wherever the Jew sets foot becomes blessed. America is (or was once) a prime example.
“As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes”.
Hmmm. Yes, the Israelites have become enemies of the gospel in order that we, too, might be included in the mercies of God. And the Bible declares that they, too, have been hardened in their hearts to the end that they, too, just like us, might obtain mercy from God (v. 32).
Notice, they are elected, but ultimately they will need to receive mercy. In the end, both we Gentiles and the Israelites will be products of God’s mercy.
It is clear, therefore that, if it is of mercy, it is not of us. The gifts and calling of God come, not from us, but from God Himself. And if it is so, then, no one has anything to boast of there. Indeed, the wisest person in this regard is the person who recognizes this and daily humbles themselves under the mighty hand of God.
This – the non-repentance of God – explains why preachers and Christian believers in general can continue to witness the grace of God in certain areas of their lives even when it becomes clear they are living in sin. This was true of the Corinthian church as we read in 1 Corinthians 1:4-7:
“4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
But notice verse 8.
“Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In spite of all the gifts of the Spirit that the Corinthians had, yet it was their confirmation unto the end that was pivotal. Why? Because it was this that would present them blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This confirmation is what we ought to seek for above anything else.
But let us backtrack and ask, What is the meaning of the word “confirm” here?
It means to approve, or to validate. We will not go to heaven on the basis of the gifts and calling of God, but on the basis of our approval by Christ Jesus. Christ will first have to prove us, whether or not we passed through the narrow road that He also passed. If we do not get the stamp of approval from Jesus, we will not make it to heaven.
Jesus’s stamp of approval reads:
“IF ANY MAN WILL COME AFTER ME, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS, AND FOLLOW ME.”
We become approved when we share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. The Apostle Paul makes that very clear in Philippians 3:10:
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death”.
Are you carrying Jesus’s stamp of approval? Are you denying yourself daily, taking up your cross and following Jesus?
The most important thing for us are not the gifts and calling; rather, it is to be confirmed.
[God’s beloved nation, Israel.]