I am speaking truth in Messiah, with no deception; my conscience testifies along with me in the Holy Spirit-
I have great sorrow and continuing pain in my heart, and could wish myself cursed and cut off from Messiah for the the sake of my bothers and sisters, my flesh and blood family. Yes, they are Israelites! Theirs is the status as God’s children, the glorious privilege, the covenants with God, the giving of the Law, the temple worship and the promises, theirs the fathers of faith; and from their flesh and blood has come the Messiah, who rules over all, God blessed forever, amen.
But don’t imagine the Word of God has taken a fall. Not all those who are descended from Abraham are his true children, but rather, “Your descendants shall be named though Isaac.” – meaning that it’s not his flesh and blood children who are children of God, but the children of the promise, who are enrolled as “descendants.” For this is the text of the promise, “At this time next year I shall return and Sarah will have a son.” There’s also the case of Rebecca when she was pregnant with twins by our forefathet Isaac. While they were still unborn and had done nothing good or bad, in order that God’s design might succeed through choice, that is, through the One who calls us, not through human achievement, she was told,”The older will slave for the younger.” Indeed the Scripture says, “I loved Jacob but hated Esau.”
What can I say to that? That God is unjust? Surely not! For God says to Moses, “I will be kind to those I am kind to; and will show pity on those I pity.” So it is not by human will or effort but by the kindness of God. Again, Scripture says to Pharaoh, “This is why I have exalted you: in order to show my power in you and make my name known in all the earth.” So the he is kind to whomever he wants and he hardens the heart of whomever he wants.
Now you’ll say to me, “So how come he still finds fault? Who can resist his will?”
Mortal man, who are you to bandy words with God? Will the thing made say to the maker, “Why have you made me like this?” Surely the potter has power over the clay to make from the one lump a vessel for prestigious use and another for common use! What if God, in order to demonstrate his anger and make known his power, has brought forth in great anguish, vessels of anger, designed for destruction; so that he might make known his rich splendour to vessels of kindness which he has prepared for splendour? – I mean us, the ones he has called, not from amongst Jews only, but also from Gentiles. As in fact God says in Hosea,”Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people’, and she who was not loved, I will call her ‘beloved,’ and in the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people’, there they shall be called ‘children of the living God'”
Translated M Mair 2016
(This is hard going, not just linguistically but also theologically! More tomorrow).