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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 11 - Verse 14

Verse 14. If by any means. If even by stating unpleasant truths, if by bringing out all the counsel of God, even that which threatens their destruction, I may arrest theft attention, and save them.

I may provoke to emulation. I may awaken up to zeal, or to an earnest desire to obtain the like blessings. This was in accordance with the prediction of Moses, that the calling in of the Gentiles would excite their attention, and provoke them to deep feeling. See Barnes "Ro 10:19".

The apostle expected to do this by calling their attention to the ancient prophecies; by alarming their fears about their own danger; and by showing them the great privileges which Gentiles might enjoy under the gospel; thus appealing to them by every principle of benevolence, by all their regard for God and man, to excite them to seek the same blessings.

My flesh. My countrymen. My kinsmen. Those belonging to the same family or nation, Ro 9:3; Ge 29:14; Jud 9:2; 2 Sa 5:1; Isa 58:7.

 

And save some of them. This desire the apostle often expressed. (See Ro 9:2,3; 10:1,2.

) We may see here,

(1.) that it is the earnest wish of the ministry to save the souls of men.

(2.) That they should urge every argument and appeal with reference to this.

(3.) That even the most awful and humbling truths may have this tendency. No truth could be more likely to irritate and offend than that the Jews would be cast off; and yet the apostle used this so faithfully, and yet so tenderly, that he expected and desired it might be the means of saving the souls of his countrymen. Truth often irritates, enrages, and thus excites the attention. Thought or inquiry, however it may be excited, may result in conversion. And thus, even restlessness, and vexation, and anger, may be the means of leading a sinner to Jesus Christ. It should be no part of a minister's object, however, to produce anger. It is a bad emotion; in itself it is evil; and if men can be won to embrace the Saviour without anger, it is better. No wise man would excite a storm and tempest that might require infinite power to subdue, when the same object could be gained with comparative peace, and under the mild influence of love.

(4.) It is right to use all the means in our power, not absolutely wicked, to save men. Paul was full of devices; and much of the success of the ministry will depend on a wise use of plans that may, by the Divine blessing, arrest and save the souls of men.

{o} "save some of them" 1 Co 7:16

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