This week we will see that such an emphasis on the sovereignty of God in salvation does not negate or eliminate human responsibility. In this passage before us the lost state of Israel as a whole is not depicted as the result of Godâ€™s refusal to accept them but from Israelâ€™s unwillingness to submit to the righteousness that comes from God.
Godâ€™s way of saving us actually upsets our â€˜religious apple-cartâ€™. Israel, in its hot pursuit of the law, actually collided with Christ because their zeal for God was not based on believing in what God alone could do to save them. Rather, it was ignorantly based on what they could do to establish a righteousness of their own by observing the Mosaic law thereby trusting in their own ability to secure themselves from judgement. Such an enterprise, no matter how piously pursued, was doomed to failure. All religious systems of 'law observance' in order to achieve righteousness come under the same judgement. For, "Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes."
John DUNKLEY BTh, Dip.Min. and Dip. Pastoral Studies. He is an ordained Baptist minister and has pastored a number of Baptist churches. He has also ministered at Westcare Baptist Mission - an inner city ministry and served as a voluntary Police Chaplain.