July 8th Romans, 11
1: I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2: God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3: Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4: But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5: Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. 7: What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 8: (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 9: And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompence unto them: 10: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always. 11: I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12: Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? 13: For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 14: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 15: 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? 16: For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17: And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18: Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19: Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20: Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22: Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23: And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24: For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? 25: For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. 26: And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28: As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. 29: For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30: For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32: For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. 33: O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34: For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller? 35: Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36: For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
In the previous passage l said, Yet to Israel the Lord said, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people. So has God thrown away his people? Again Paul says God forbid the thought. Paul says I am an Israelite, Of the seed of Abraham and of the tribe of Benjamin. Then clearly he says God has not cast away his people – Israel. When Elijah thought that only he was left of the Children of Israel faithful to the Lord the Lord answered him that he had reserved a faithful remnant of 7,000 who had not gone into Idolatry. And even while Paul spoke there was also a remnant of faithful Jews that were living righteously under the Law. Paul then contrasts what it is like to live under Grace with living under law. He says that their position in Grace is not based on works because if it were then it would be no more Grace. Grace and works are mutually incompatible. So Israel has not obtained what she was seeking for that is salvation but those who God chose for his purpose they have received it by grace and the rest of Israel just cannot see it. God has sent the rest of Israel to sleep so that they will not see or hear right up to this day – Paul’s day (The same is true up to today) David prophesied that Israel would be blind. But Israel has not stumbled to be destroyed – God forbid. But through their fall salvation has come to the Gentiles so that they might be provoked to jealousy. If through the fall of Israel the Gentiles have become rich then how rich Israel is. Paul says l speak to you Gentiles because my Apostolic ministry is primarily among the Gentile world. If the whole world is blessed through the fall of Israel then how great is Israel. Israel is like an olive tree of which some of the branches have been broken off but the gentiles have been grafted in to the tree. However don’t have a superior attitude to Israel but have fear of the Lord. God has been severe to Israel but you Gentiles need to be humble in case God might cut you off. Even unbelieving Jews can be re-grafted into the Olive. This is something that has only just been revealed and this truth is a wonderful thing. This partial blindness has happened to Israel only until the full number of Gentiles is brought into the Church. And then after that All Israel will be saved. The scripture says that - There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer (Christ) and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Israel). And this is my covenant that l will make with them, when I shall take away their sins. God is going to enter into a New Covenant with Israel, a totally different covenant to that under the Mosaic Law, in which he will forgive them of their sins, bring them into the new birth. The Lord will give them the Holy Spirit and the Law of the Lord will be written in their hearts. So Israel will still live under law but not the Mosaic Law but the Law of the New Covenant written on their hearts. The Jews may be enemies now in relation to the Gospel but they are loved by God because of the Patriarchs. The Gifts of God and the calling of God to Israel will never be lost. Just as in the past Gentiles who did not believe in God yet now they have obtained mercy through the unbelief of Israel. So in the future unbelieving Israel will obtain mercy through the mercy of the believing Gentiles to Israel. God has placed all Israel in unbelief so that he might have mercy on them all. How amazingly deep are the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God and how completely unfathomable are his decisions and his ways with men are beyond us to discover. Who has fully known Gods mind in matters? And who can advise God? All things are for him and through him and to him and all things are to him and to him is all the glory forever. Praise the Lord.