FOR WE KNOW THAT THE WHOLE CREATION GROANS AND TRAVAILS IN PAIN TOGETHER UNTIL NOW
Here remark that the election by God of the Jews really involves the world’s salvation; for ABRAHAM IS “heir of the world,” (see on election in ch. vi.) i.e., receives as his inheritance the whole world.
“THEREFORE AS BY THE OFFENSE OF ONE, JUDGMENT CAME UPON ALL MEN TO CONDEMNATION; EVEN SO BY TILE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF ONE THE FREE GIFT CAME UPON ALL MEN UNTO JUSTIFICATION OF LIFE.” Rom. v. 16-18.
It is, I think, absolutely irreconcilable with a partial salvation. It contains a statement as explicit, as words can convey it, of this great truth – God’s remedy is COEXTENSIVE WITH, AND IS STRONGER, THAN SIN. In the very same sense as “the many” (all men) were made sinners, so “the many “shall have righteousness – not merely offered them – but be made righteous. And here I take my stand on these plain words of Scripture, and maintain that no state of final sin, for any soul, is compatible with them. Will our opponents explain how the grace of God (v. 15) can be mightier in fact, than sin, if there be a hell without end? Will they explain how grace can muck more abound than the offense – if there be a place of endless evil? Note the great underlying principle, viz., that grace is stronger than sin, always and everywhere stronger (finally).
“BECAUSE THE CREATURE ITSELF ALSO SHALL BE DELIVERED PROM THE BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION INTO THE GLORIOUS LIBERTY OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD. * * WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION, TO WIT, THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY.” Rom. viii. 21-22-23.
Wherever, upon whomsoever sin has lighted, there shall God’s grace, through Jesus Christ, come to heal
As to the details of S. PAUL’S meaning, men may fairly differ; but his central thought seems clear. All created things have been subjected to vanity – to pain and suffering, no account taken of their will – ouk hekousa. Yet these are but the travail pains of a new birth; all that suffers shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption. Note how here (alone in the New Testament) are the sufferings of the whole creation alluded to, and how emphatic is the assertion that every created thing – pasa he ktisis – is awaiting redemption; and this reaches them by the manifestation of the sons of God, “the firstfruits,” or the elect (see cli. vi. on election).
“FOR IF THE CASTING AWAY OF THEM BE THE RECONCILING OF THE WORLD, WHAT SHALL THE RECEIVING OF THEM BE, BUT LIFE FROM THE DEAD * * FOR IF THE FIRSTFRUITS BE HOLY, THE LUMP IS ALSO HOLY.” Rom,. xi. 15-16.
The calling of the Jews is linked in God’s plan with the world’s salvation (v. 12). They are His people, in the truly divine sense, that by them the world’s salvation may be worked out. They, as “firstfruits,” represent and pledge the whole world.
Here the Apostle’s whole argument and the tenor of the context – see particularly v. 7 (and cli. x. 21) – very clearly distinguish “Israel” from the ” election” (taken out of Israel), and show that by Israel the whole nation is meant. (Nor does this “election” conflict with the truth that in a wider sense, Israel itself (all Israel) forms the “firstfruits,” i.e., the elect people; in fact, as already noticed, there is a double “firstfruits,” both in the Law and the Gospel p. 213.) To sum up – (a) God’s rejection of Israel is apparent only, for His calling is indefeasible, and therefore (b) all Israel shall be saved – without exception. (c) Israel, i.e., the elect, is so closely linked with the world, that their very rejection means the world’s salvation – in God’s mysterious plan. (d) So close is this tie between the elect and the world, that a further promise follows, that Israel’s restoration shall be to the world “life from the dead “-v. 15 – a very suggestive phrase (ch. vi. on Death). (e) This final salvation of Israel is coextensive with the whole nation for this further reason, because God’s gifts are irrevocable, and were made to all.