In this episode we look at the significance of Israel being called God's firstborn son, and how that frames not ony the conflict God has with Pharoah, but also Israel's relationship to God, and the nations. (See Episode #49 Jacob and the Firstborn Status for a more detailed exploration of the firstborn). As the firstborn, Israel was to be a pioneer among the nations, partnering with God along his developmental path in becoming everything God created them to be. However, as the Scriptures reveal, Israel struggled to fulfill their firstborn status among the nations.
Jesus came, as an Israelite according to the flesh, to fullfil the status of the firstborn son in his own humanity as an individual (but not as the nation). He is the faithful Son of God who followed the Father's developmental path all the way to the very end, the Father himself raising Jesus from the dead to become the firstborn among his Israelite bretheren according to the flesh. Now, in his new humanity that was forged through his covenant faithfulness, he has pioneered a way out of enslavement to the powers of sin, flesh, law, and death, opening up the possibility for his Israelite bretheren according to the flesh (and all the nations) to become everything God created them to be, both individually and nationally.
Romans 8:29-30 - the word "foreknew" is applied to Israel according to the flesh in Romans 11:2, which implies those whom God foreknew in this passage are Gentiles who become Christians, but Israel according ot the flesh. This reading make sense of Paul's seemingly strange use of the past tense for "those" who have been predestined, called, justified, and glorified, pointing to things that God had apparently already accomplished before Paul wrote Romans. The fact that "glorified is included in the list, which is a term that points to resurrection, these terms are most likely pointing to things that God had already started doing in Israelite history before Christ arrived, but had yet to be fully realized and perfected in a particular Israelite until Christ's was raised from the dead. In that sense, Christ would be representatively included in the "those" who had already been foreknew, predestined, called, justified, and glorified because he is a "brother" of "those" in Israel.
For specific verses related to God's activity of calling and glorifying Israel, see:
Called: Isaiah 48:12,15
Glorified: Isaiah 43:5-7; 49:3,5; 55:5; 60:9
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* Intro Music: "Admirable" Carlos Herrera Music
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