13. ACCORDING TO HIS CALLING

We often find mistakes in theology related to the teaching of the election, when they align or analogize the election of the Israelites with the election of Individuals. In Romans, Paul wanted to oppose those who seek justification according to their acts, such as Jews who are proud of their law. The election of the Israel as God’s chosen people is based solely on God’s sovereignty, not because of actions or other factors from the Israelites or their ancestors. The election of the Israelites as the chosen people departed or started from God’s choice of Jacob, the ancestor of the Israelites. It is just because God wants it to be. Of course, what God does is based on the wisdom of God or the order that is in God, the All Wise and the All Smart. That wisdom and rules must have been very permanent and eternal in God.

Paul’s writings in Romans are regarding the election of the Israelites based on God’s sovereignty, would act as a reminder and let them not proud of their existence as God’s chosen people. So that they are not arrogant and feel as people owns Torah and diligently carry out it and assume that all that is enough to make them become elected people forever or permanently. According to Rom. 4:1-13, Abraham himself was also chosen by God not by works, but due to God’s grace. However, Abraham will obey to that call or not, it will reflect on Abraham’s attitude and response to the call. God’s call to Abraham in Gen. 12:1-3 is not about only about God blessing to Israelites as the Chosen people, but also about His blessings that shall be given to all the nations of the world.

Likewise, at the time when God appointed Jacob to be the ancestor of the Messiah. The choices are made and determined by His sovereignty. Paul explains in Rom. 9: 11-13 as follows: “Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” By his writing Paul silenced the arrogance of the Jews who sought to justify their understanding “justified by works “(under the Torah). God’s Word shows that when Esau and Jacob were still in the womb, while they did not understand and did what good or evil, God has already pointed Jacob as the man who was called as the receiver of the covenant’s blessing.

It is clear that God’s plan for His election is not based on deeds, but His calling. God’s choice of Jacob or the Israel was not due to actions, but based on vocation. In this case God has sovereignty that is not dominated and subordinated by anyone; He is free to make a choice and determination to call someone to be His people. The sentence “- For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” must be observed. Jacob, who became the ancestor of the Israelites was chosen, not based on act, but based on His call. It is very important to understand the sentence “based on His call”. We would need to understand why it is not written as “God’s sovereignty,” but based on “His call.” The choice of the Israelites as a people who received the call did occur based on God’s sovereignty, but whether they remained the chosen people or not, depends on each individual respond, not based on God’s sovereignty. So, after God chose Jacob as the ancestor of Israel, later on the attitude of Jacob or the Israelites respond to God’s choice, will determine whether they remain as the chosen people and enter into His plan, and it will depend on each individual.

Israel was chosen not because their good deeds, but God with His sovereignty decides to call that nation becoming his people without taking into account and considering the state of the nation. It started with the election of Jacob, that nation’s ancestors. To become the chosen people does not mean God’s plan for every individual is fulfilled, as it still depends on the respond of each of them. Let us see from the story of Israel’s journey from Egypt to Canaan, not all Israelites that came out of Egypt enter the land of Canaan. Therefore, not all Israel is true Israelis or eventually become God’s chosen people who remain immortalized in His Kingdom. At the end, it will depend on the individual’s response to the Christ’s work on the cross. Thus the process of Jacob being the chosen has nothing to do with God’s determination of each individual as a believer to be permitted entering heaven.

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