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From Trials to Triumph

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    Chapter 35—God's Special Plan for the Jews

    This chapter is based on Paul's Letter to the Romans.

    After many delays, Paul reached Corinth, the scene of much labor in the past. Many of the early believers still regarded with affection the one who had first borne to them the gospel. As he saw the evidences of their fidelity, he rejoiced that his work in Corinth had not been in vain. The Corinthian believers had developed strength of Christian character and were now a strong force for good in that center of heathenism and superstition. In the society of these faithful converts, the apostle's worn and troubled spirit found rest.TT 195.1

    At Corinth Paul's contemplated journey to Rome especially occupied his thoughts. To see the Christian faith firmly established at the great center of the known world was one of his dearest hopes. The apostle desired the cooperation of the church already established in Rome in the work to be accomplished in Italy and other countries. To prepare the way he sent these brethren a letter announcing his purpose of visiting Rome and his hope of planting the standard of the cross in Spain.TT 195.2

    In his letter, with clearness and power Paul presented the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ. He hoped that other churches also might be helped by the instruction, but how dimly could he foresee the far-reaching influence of his words! Through all the ages, the great truth of justification by faith has stood as a mighty beacon to guide sinners into the way of life. This light scattered the darkness which enveloped Luther's mind and revealed to him the power of the blood of Christ to cleanse from sin. The same light has guided thousands to the true Source of pardon and peace.TT 195.3

    Ever since his conversion, Paul had longed to help his Jewish brethren gain a clear understanding of the gospel. “My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is,” he declared, “that they might be saved.” The Israelites had failed to recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah. Paul assured the believers at Rome, “I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Through the Jews God had purposed to bless the entire human race. Among them many prophets had foretold the advent of a Redeemer who was to be rejected and slain by those who should have recognized Him as the Promised One.TT 196.1

    But even though Israel rejected His Son, God did not reject them. Paul continues: “I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew... . At this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”TT 196.2

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