Apostle Paul had this kind of heart for Israel and explained God's operation of grace in salvation and evangelism.
God Chooses His Children Based on Grace, Not Works
Paul had great sorrow in his heart for Israel who were cut off from Christ even though they received divine glory, covenants, law, temple worship, the promises and patriarchs that traced Christ's lineage. Natural children were not descended from Israel or regarded as Abraham's children, but children of the promise became God's children. The word of promise states a specific time for Sarah to have a son and Rebekah conceiving twins through Isaac. Before the twins had done anything good or bad so God's purpose and choice might stand, not because of works but because of His calling, Scripture said, "The older will serve the younger." It was written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated" (Rom. 9:1-13). God chooses who becomes His children based on grace according to His purpose, not based upon works.
God Shows Mercy to Display His Power and Proclaim His Name in the World
God is not unjust and said to Moses that He would have mercy and compassion on whom He desired, not dependent on man's desire or effort. Moses as revealed in Scripture said to Pharaoh that God raised him up to display His power so His name would be proclaimed in all the earth. God shows mercy and hardens whom He desires (Rom. 9:14-18). God shows mercy and hardens whom He desires to display His power and proclaim His name in the world.
God Prepares Objects of Mercy As Sons to Experience His Rich Glory
Why does God still cast blame since no one can resist His will? The reason is that no one can talk back to God. He made us like a potter with one vessel for noble purposes and others for common use. God demonstrated His wrath and made His power known by enduring patiently with objects of wrath prepared for destruction. Then the riches of His glory could be made known to objects of His mercy prepared in advance for glory like us whom He called from among the Jews and Gentiles. In Hosea He called those "who were not My people, My people, and her who was not beloved, 'beloved."' Those not His people would be called the sons of the living God. Isaiah said only the remnant would be saved among the vast number of Israelites. The Lord would execute His word thoroughly and quickly upon the earth so we would not be like Sodom and Gomorrah (Rom. 9:19-29). God prepares objects of mercy as sons to experience rich glory and objects of wrath to experience destruction.
People Attain Righteousness without Shame by Believing in Christ
Gentiles attained righteousness through faith even though they did not pursue it. Israel pursued a law of righteousness by works but did not attain it. They stumbled over Christ, the stumbling stone, which causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. He who believes in Him will be unashamed (Rom. 9:30-33). People attain righteousness without shame by believing in Christ.
People Experience Lordship of Christ and Freedom from Law by Calling upon the Lord
Paul prayed earnestly for Israel's salvation realizing their zeal for God without knowledge. They tried to establish their own righteousness without submitting to God's righteousness. Christ ends the law so everyone who believes may have righteousness. He who practices righteousness by the law lives by that righteousness. Obtaining righteousness by faith means the word is in your mouth and heart, namely the word of faith we proclaimed. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. You are justified by believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth so you can be saved. Anyone who believes in Him will be unashamed. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. To call upon the Lord, you must first believe. To believe, you must hear. To hear, you must have someone preaching the word to you. Someone must send the preacher as Isaiah says, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (Rom. 10:1-15). People experience the Lordship of Christ and freedom from the law by believing and calling upon the name of the Lord.
God Sends His Word to the Whole World so People Hear and Believe Christ
Not all the Israelites believed the good news. Faith comes from hearing the message of God's word. The word went out to the whole world so no one could say they had not heard. Moses said Israel would be made jealous by a nation without understanding. Isaiah said those who did not seek Christ found Him and God revealed Himself to those who did not ask for Him. He told Israel that He was available to a disobedient and obstinate people (Rom. 10:16-21). God sends His word to the whole world so people can hear and believe in Christ.
Review the following truths on God's operation of grace in salvation and evangelism from Rom. 9-10:
1. God chooses you to be His child, not based upon works
2. God shows mercy to display His power and proclamation
3. God prepares objects of mercy as sons to experience the riches of His glory
4. People attain righteousness without shame by believing in Christ
5. People experience the Lordship of Christ and freedom from the law by believing and calling upon the name of the Lord
6. God sends His word to the whole world so people can hear and believe in Christ
How do these truths encourage you? What difference do they make in understanding grace versus works? How do they affect your attitude about evangelism?