On the Epistle to the Romans 11

Romans 11  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Israel is the subject of God's counsels. God does not cast away what He has foreknown and appointed to blessing. This rests upon positive grace; God does not change His counsels though Israel have no righteousness. The righteousness of God will save him. God is faithful, if all men are liars. " I say then," says the apostle, " God hath not cast away his people." The apostle gives three proofs of this truth. First, there was a remnant according to election; next, salvation is come unto the Gentiles to provoke the Jews to jealousy: thirdly, the Deliverer shall come out of Zion to turn away the ungodliness of Israel.
We have here much to consider. The first proof was that there was a remnant. The apostle gives the instance of Elijah. The faithful prophet believed that he alone remained of godly men. Faithful though he was, this was pure unbelief. God had reserved for Himself seven thousand that had not bowed down to Baal. The eye of God better knew how to discern His own, was more faithful in taking account of them, than was the faith of the prophet, dismayed by the threats of Jezebel, to seek them out and find them. And so at the time of the apostle there was a remnant according to the election of grace. But if it was according to grace, it was not according to works, otherwise grace was no more grace. Thus Israel had not obtained what he sought for. The election had obtained it. The others were blinded, and that according to the words of the prophet; Isa. 29:1010For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. (Isaiah 29:10). What David had said was confirmed by the words of the prophet. Their table would become a snare and a trap unto them. Did they then stumble that they should fall? By no means. Rather through their fall salvation had come unto the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. Now, if their fall had become the riches of the Gentiles and of the world, how much more their fullness! Consequently the apostle of the Gentiles magnified his office, because it served to provoke Israel to jealousy. He sought thereby to constrain some of them to this jealousy. For if the casting away of them were the reconciling of the world, what would the receiving of them be? For they shall certainly be brought back. But this gives occasion to the statement of the relation borne to the Jews by the Gentiles that were accepted, and of the responsibility of the latter in the position in which they were placed: a statement covering principles of the highest importance.