Read: Romans 11:22-27
During a presidential election, there is a tendency for every candidate to criticize the other, making sure that they come out the better option. Other than making promises, or putting their experiences on the table, they call their competitor out. They cross boundaries, dig up the past, there’s nothing they won’t hesitate to release/call out.
Now, at the end of every presidential election, when all the votes are in, the new President of the United States takes office. And the losing party, almost always, announces concession by a phone call, a letter, or a public speech. Simply put, a concession or to concede means that one is acknowledging defeat.
After everything that has been said and done, there is a need to apologize – especially if you haven’t won. This happened with former President Jimmy Carter when he ran against President Ronald Reagan. After President Carter’s brutal defeat, he decided to not only send him a telegram but to also give him a call, congratulating him on his win. He chose to forget everything that had been said during their rivalry. He accepted that he didn’t win and praised President Reagan for his victory.
Just as quickly as President Carter turned around to congratulate President Reagan, Paul was reminding the Gentiles of God’s mercy to them. In Romans 11:22-27, Paul tries to explain to the Gentiles that they were gaining access into God’s presence, despite their pagan reputations for idol worship and sexual immorality. This is why Paul exhorts his Gentile family to consider the kindness and mercy that’s been poured out on them.
Paul tells the Gentiles to take note of their undeserved salvation in Christ Jesus (Romans 11:22). There wasn’t anything special about the Gentile believers in the Roman church. They weren’t smarter, or more virtuous, or more obedient than Israel. Rather, the basis of their salvation (and ours) was due to one important word: grace. For only by God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice have they been saved.
Paul goes on to tell us that God’s plan makes room for Israel to be reinstated, the Lord forgiving and restoring His chosen people. In the end, the Deliverer (Jesus) will return to establish His covenant and remove Israel from the presence of sin and faithlessness. Second chances aren’t off limits in the kingdom of God.
As representatives of Christ, we should be willing to forgive one another just as Christ forgave us. This week, ask the Lord to help you be more forgiving toward those who have wronged you. Give them a second chance, so healing and reconciliation can occur in Jesus’ name.