Apr 10, 2010

Romans 10:1 - William Odling

...Paul likewise, was well acquainted, by the prophecies, and by inspiration, with the destruction of this generation, when he said, "My heart's desire and prayer to God, for Israel, is, that they Might Be Saved." Rom. x. 1. Paul's " might be saved " here, and Christ's "might be saved," and "might have life" (John v. 34, 40,) are the same things intended; which does not mean eternal life and soul salvation, as is evident from the contexts; but temporal safety from the judgments of God, as that which belonged to their old covenant ; for he is speaking of them as a nation, and of their stumbling at Christ, and their illegal disbelief of him; (see Rom. ix. 32, 33) though numbers make this Paul's might be, a pattern for general prayer for spiritual things to all, without distinction, while they do not like to be so inconsistent, as to be general in their preaching invitations to all men. But Christ has decided for us, and given a pattern for prayer in other places, especially in John xvii. 9. But Paul has in view especially, the temporal and national destruction of the Jews, which was coming upon them, and came to pass about ten years after Paul wrote this epistle to the Romans. In chap. viii. Paul had been setting forth the discriminating doctrines of grace in the most sublime and profound manner: he had set forth predestination, effectual calling, and final perseverance, in the clearest terms; and declared there was no condemnation, nor any separating God's elect from their final safety in Christ Jesus. And Paul did not preach absolute grace in the morning, and might-be grace on conditions, in the afternoon or evening; no! But in chapter ix. gives vent to his natural feelings, and laments over his brethren according to the flesh. (Mark! not his brethren according to the Spirit!) And throughout the 9th, 10th, and 11th chapters precisely the same as Christ speaking in the chapter where our text is found; shewing that their unbelief, rejection of Christ, despising his righteousness, (which was " the end of the law,") stumbling and offence at the stone laid in Zion, and their gainsaying, &c, should not prevent the elect remnant from believing and obtaining mercy; " for (says he) the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded; (or " hardened," as the margin reads.) Hence Paul's "heart's desire, and prayer to God;" and what we have yet to notice, namely, "his great heaviness and continual sorrow of heart." And Christ's "weeping over Jerusalem and the Jews, as a nation; and oft would have gathered them;" are synonimous portions, referring to the same things, even temporal, and not spiritual, and were conditional—and where there are conditions, there are might be's—but where all are positive and absolute, there are no conditions nor might be's.

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