Choices and Consequences


Because I’m a parent, I have frequent conversations with my children about choices and consequences. Usually, it goes something like, “This choice had a not-so-good consequence, so maybe you should think about choosing differently next time.” Of course, I also remind them that their choices can affect others as well. In today’s passage, we find the apostle Paul in a similar discussion where he addressed the nation of Israel’s choice to rebel against God and his plan of salvation. Paul traced the consequences of that choice, showing how it affected both Israel and the entire world. And like any good parent would, he inserted the hope that they would make a different choice.

  • What important choices are you in the midst of making? How will the consequences of those choices affect you and others?


11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. According to verse 11, who had sinned and what had happened because of it? What was one reason why salvation had come to Gentiles (non-Jews)?
  2. Read verse 12 again, substituting the word “salvation” for “riches.” Try to get a handle on Paul’s words. If Israel’s refusal of the gospel opened the door for all to receive salvation, then what will it look like when Israel believes?
  3. Why did Paul want to provoke jealousy in his own people by taking the gospel to the Gentiles (vss. 13-14)?
  4. In verse 15, how did Paul describe Israel’s future return to God?
  5. Read verse 15 and fill in the blank: The nation of Israel’s rejection by God (because of their denial of Jesus as Savior) led to _________________________. Ponder the cause/effect in this statement. What does this mean for you? 


Don’t miss these words from that last verse: rejection, reconciliation, acceptance. Israel was a blessed nation, God’s chosen people, and yet they squarely denied Jesus as Messiah. But as Paul’s words tell us, through God’s rejection of an obstinate people came his reconciliation for an entire world. It’s a mind-boggling concept. Twice in this passage, Paul hints that Israel’s restoration and God’s acceptance of his chosen nation would come. But for now, the good news is that there is salvation for anyone who believes that Jesus is Lord.

  • Prayerfully consider the following: Do you believe or deny that God sent his son Jesus to live, die, and be resurrected? Do you trust in him alone for the redemption of your sin? Do you live as one who has been reconciled with a holy God? Talk to God about these things.