Advance Studies in the book Of Romans Part 12


A Remnant Reserved

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.

The Doctrine of the Jews: (1) The theme of chapter 9 was Israel and the Gentiles; their individual election. Is God through with Israel? Have all the promises for Israel been given to the Gentiles…to the churches? Did Israel forfeit their special standing with God? Praise the Lord, No! Everything in the Bible ultimately revolves around the nation of Israel; God has not cast them away…but He has set them aside. Paul was saying that he himself wasn’t cast away; God still will use His people…that is, if they are a true child of God… Gentile or Jew.

The Doctrine of Election: (2-4) Foreknowledge, predestination, election, all fit in here in dealing with how God deals with Israel in differing dispensations. God wasn’t going to allow all the Jews to be ‘cast away’; there was a remnant saved…i.e. truly saved, born again, real children of the Living God. In some countries it may seem as though there are basically no true Christians, but God may have remnants, 7000 here, and 7000 there, reserved to Himself; those who have not bowed the knee to Allah, or the Pope, or Buddha. Did God ‘force’ these not to bow the knee to Baal? Or, did they have full liberty on their own? God manipulated the situation, but they still had full liberty in their decision. Are there any true bible-believing committed Baptists anymore? Are there any good churches anymore?… There aren’t many, but there are some. Don’t be like Elijah and saying ‘We are the only ones that are right!’ There are others…the remnant.

(5) Here is ‘election’ of God working again. However, here the context is ‘salvation’; but, the object is a group of people, and not the individual. God chose, elected, ordained, that there would be a remnant of Jews that would get saved. They would receive ‘grace’. He didn’t force them to be saved; He reached out to them and they by their own free will responded. It is God’s grace to keep reaching out to Israel. He has elected Jewish people to come back to Him at the end. If God did not ‘reach out’ to anyone, then no one would or could be saved. God’s predestined plan was for all this to happen (the going from the Jews to the Gentiles and then back to the Jews at the end).

“The election of grace simply signifies God’s gracious design in sending the Christian system into the world, and saving under it all those who believe in Christ Jesus, and none else. Thus, the believers in Christ are chosen to inherit the blessings of the Gospel, while those who seek justification by the works of the law are rejected.”

(Adam Clarke’s Commentary)

The Doctrine of Grace: (6) The big picture of Romans is still that one is saved without the deeds of the Law; they are saved by grace. God still shows grace to the Jews despite their persistent attempt to make their righteousness by keeping the Law. Grace cannot include ‘good works’, else it would not be grace. Grace is totally independent of whether one does good or not; it is handed out to the ‘undeserving’…which we all are!

An induced coma

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 alway.

The Doctrine of Election: (7) As we read the rest of the chapter it seems that this ‘election’ is the ‘Gentiles’. Though, some would say it is the remnant of Israel that turned to Jesus. Who were blinded? It could be that it is the rest of Israel. Thus, the other part remaining, the remnant, those elected for grace, those that responded to this grace, were saved. Though, those that were blinded could have been Israel, in general, and the ‘election’ here are the Gentiles, in general.

(8-10) As it is written in Isaiah 29:10 and Deut. 29:4. The Jews are in an induced deep spiritual sleep by God; He did this because they refused to receive His grace (as a whole, in general).

“As they had wilfully closed their eyes against the light, so God has, in judgment, given them up to the spirit of slumber. The very word and revelation of God which should have awakened their consciences, and opened their eyes and ears, have had a very different effect;” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)

I believe that God, in general, goes towards those that are sincerely searching for the truth, and hides Himself from those that care little about the truth. He makes things polarized; those that turn away from God, He allows them to go far further than they ever would have naturally gone on their own; and those that turn toward God, He helps them all the more get nearer and nearer, and, hopefully, eventually saved! And that’s what we find today in this world: a small group that are really concerned about the things of God, and the rest that, in general, could really care less about God.

“This [(v.10)] was fulfilled in the insensibility and blindness of the Jews. And the apostle shows them that it was long ago predicted, or invoked, as a punishment on them for giving the Messiah vinegar to drink;”(Barnes’ Notes)

Ps 69:21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. 23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.

Fall and Fulness

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 fulness? 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?

The Doctrine of Election: When Israel refused to respond to the gospel, God ‘elected’ to pour out His grace upon the non-Jews, the Gentiles. The Jews fell from grace, which then had God’s grace pour forth towards the Gentiles. But, in this big picture, this ‘fall’ was not for the Gentiles in the long run, but rather for the Jews! It was to eventually provoke them to jealousy. God’s election usually deals with large people groups (Jews, Gentiles).

The fall is minor compared to them being received again… their fulness! It will be marvelous when the Jews turn again to their Saviour. This will occur during the Tribulation, especially at its end.

It is important to understand that Paul loves the Jews, but also, he has come to love the Gentiles; for He has been called to the Gentiles… a sent one… he is ‘the’ apostle to the Gentiles. Apparently, no other apostle was sent specifically to this people group. We Gentiles need to praise the Lord for what Paul did!

“Paul was certain that there was a future for Israel as a nation. The teaching that the church today is God’s Israel, and that the OT kingdom promises are now fulfilled in the church in a “spiritual way” is not scriptural.”

(Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament)

Boasting Branches

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?

The Doctrine of Election: The Jews started off as the holy people of God (beginning with the Patriarchs). The Jews were the first ones saved in the New Testament dispensation. The Jewish believers are the ‘root’ of the ‘olive tree’; some were broken off (this is what the previous verses are talking about; they were broken off because of unbelief) which allowed the Gentiles to be grafted in. Gentiles are not ‘purebred’; they are wild; unnatural; adopted. Overconfident Gentile Christianity needs to understand that the Jews (as a whole) are the special people of God, and to stop their boasting! God may turn His grace away from the Gentiles… away from “Christian” America! He may not spare us anymore.

God didn’t cause the Jews to fall in order to reach the Gentiles. The Jews did not believe so then God chose (elected) to go to the Gentiles. Thus, the Jews were not forced by God to be broken off. If God reacted this way to His special people just think how He will react to Amerika! Could Amerika (or Gentiles even) be “cut off”?!

The Jews will indeed be ‘grafted’ in again; natural branches vice the wild Gentile grafting. I am not sure of the spiritual significance of this though. Maybe it deals with the ‘ease’ in which Jews will come back to the Messiah, Jesus Christ… much more easily than it was for the Gentiles to turn to Him.

“If God had mercy on the Gentiles, who were outcasts from his favor, shall he not much rather on those who were so long his people, to whom had been given the promises, and the covenants, and the Law, whose ancestors had been so many of them his friends, and among whom the Messiah was born?” In some respects, there are facilities among the Jews for their conversion, which had not existed among the Gentiles. They worship one God; they admit the authority of revelation; they have the Scriptures of the Old Testament; they expect a Messiah; and they have a habit of professed reverence for the will of God.” (Barnes’ Notes)

The Fulness of the Gentiles

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 fulness 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’ sake. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

The Doctrine of Prophecy: The Jews will turn in mass to Jesus once the ‘fulness of the Gentiles’ occurs. I believe this is referring to when there is a certain number of Gentile converts; or, when the gospel is preached throughout the whole world (Mt 24); or, it could be referring to the fulfilling of all the prophecies concerning the Gentiles.

At the end of the Tribulation, all of Israel that is alive on the earth at that time, will get saved; and then Jesus’ 2nd coming occurs (their turning to Him may occur right when they see Him coming in the clouds). Israel is still ‘elected’; they will be elected to turn back to their Saviour. God will not change the election for Israel; it will happen just the way He states it here; He will not repent of it. The context here is not dealing with spiritual gifts.

Mercy upon all

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 counsellor? 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.

The Doctrine of Mercy: The ‘ye’ here are the Gentiles; in general, the Gentiles did not believe in God (O.T. time period); Gentiles received mercy when the Jews chose not to believe in Messiah. Thru this mercy, the Jews will one day receive mercy. The Gentiles were in unbelief, then the Jews were in unbelief, and God chose to have mercy upon them all! Each group in their own time period. All get saved the same way, by God showing mercy upon their sorry souls. The biggest picture of all is that God doesn’t have favorites; all need mercy to get saved…including the beloved Jews!

This wisdom is somewhat hard to grasp! But, what I do grasp of it, is truly marvelous! Amazing! We need to not try and figure out God; or try to figure out His wisdom; we need to just believe what we can grasp of it and glory in it all!

God’s great plan for the world: centered around Israel; but mercy goes to the Gentiles. This is the “election” that is being spoken of in these chapters! Oh how marvelous it is!!