Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Walking Through Romans: pt 12 Romans 11

Walking Through Romans pt 12 Romans 11

Romans 11
1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3 “LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”?[a] 4 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[b] 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.[c] But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written: “ God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.”[d]9 And David says:

“ Let their table become a snare and a trap,

A stumbling block and a recompense to them.

10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see,

And bow down their back always.”[e]

11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! 13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness,[f] if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved,[g] as it is written:

“ The Deliverer will come out of Zion,

And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;

27 For this is My covenant with them,

When I take away their sins.”[h]

28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. 33 Oh, 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 has known the mind of the LORD?

Or who has become His counselor?”[i]

35 “ Or who has first given to Him

And it shall be repaid to him?”[j]36

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

In chapter 10 we talked about the purpose of the Law. Here we see that since we are not saved by the Law… nor are we saved by being a Jew, the natural question would be, “I say then, has God cast away His people? “

Paul is quick to state that, “Certainly not!” In fact this is so emphatic of exclamation that it may be taken as swearing in the original language… simply stated being, “Hell no!”. The point is that Paul is stating that God has not forsaken the Jews.

Now we must proceed carefully here as if one does not read this passage with great care there are many errors that one can come away with.

Foreknowledge being more that the bible refers to.
Election is more than the biblical definition.
That works are part of keeping salvation.
That “right belief” saves us.

These are some of the errors I have encountered that people use this passage to promote their errant teachings.

Yet, the truth is that we see that Paul refers to “His people whom He foreknew” meaning the Jew. And out of this there is a remnant that come from the faith of Abraham. We must be careful not to add to the scripture concerning “Foreknowledge” as if we do, we can enter into the misunderstanding that some are chosen on a personal basis meaning, that as an individual, God chose you to be saved. Now, there is some truth to that, yet, we see that Election is not about the individual, but about the Jew and Gentile becoming one man.

If one takes a look at Ephesians 2 you will see Paul teaching just this.

“14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

We see here in Romans that Paul is taking that same thought throughout this passage.

God foreknew the Election of the remnant… the Elect is the New Man made of the two being Jew and Gentile.

The issue then arises that though God “Chose” the Jew, and now also “engrafts” the Gentile and rejects the Jews for the sake of causing them to become jealous, that the Gentile not become prideful. For if the Jew was cut off (note not all as some are preserved as a remnant.) The Gentile then might become prideful and state, “, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Which Paul states, “Well said.” Yet, if one then assumes as a Gentile, just as the Jew did before him, that because God now chooses the Gentile that all is well, pride can raise it’s ugly head and God can just as well cut of the Gentile. In fact there will be a time that this will happen. When the age of the Gentile is complete God will cut off those who did not come to Him in faith. Paul states in verse 25 “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”

Again if we read this as an “individual” it may sound like if we do not “continue in His goodness” which sounds like one might be able to lose salvation. In fact this is quite the opposite as Paul is reassuring that we the “Elect” are saved by grace and not by works. Even more we see that Paul’s assurance of God’s ability to save even those who have fallen. We see that though the Jew has fallen away, that he also may be grafted on again if he does not persist in unbelief.

No comments: