Verse 1 – I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am a Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Paul points out that not all Jews have rejected God’s message of salvation. There is still a faithful remnant. Paul himself, and all of Jesus’ disciples were Jews and nearly all the early Christian missionaries.
Verse 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,
Verse 3 – “LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.”
Verse 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.”
Elijah supposed he was alone, and yet God let him know that there were seven thousand who were the true friends of God, still alive. Paul was proving to them that even when the Jews seemed to all reject God, there was a remnant of true followers. This is a fascinating story of how the prophets of Baal were destroyed. God showed up and Elijah was proven to be the true prophet of God (1 Kings, chapter 19).
Verse 5 – Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Paul refers here to that part of the Jewish nation which embraced the Messiah.
Verse 6 – And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
Too many think because of the way they have been taught by leaders and other Christians that, we are saved by grace and works. It is by grace alone! Good works are the result of being saved.
Verse 7 – What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were hardened.
Meaning: The Jews that sought to obtain salvation through the works of the Law have been rejected. They sought God’s favor by their own merit, which was impossible to obtain. However, the elect, the reserved, the chosen, have obtained grace through faith in the Savior Jesus Christ.
Verse 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.”
At the end of verse seven, it says, “and the rest were hardened.” Unbelief causes a hardening of the heart against God. They more or less had eyes that wouldn’t accept the transformation that takes place when one is saved, and they had closed their ears to the gospel. (A spirit of stupor is, “not awake,” sleeping, no understanding.)
Verse 9 – And David says: “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a recompense to them;
Verse 10 – Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see and bow down their backs always.”
The petition is: That while they were seeking refreshment and joy, and anticipating while at the table no danger , it might just be their ruin. Their temporal enjoyments would lead them away from God, and produce stupidity and indifference to their spiritual interests. This is often the result of seeking sinful pleasures.
Verse 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.
The Jews stumbling had a purpose – to bring salvation to the Gentiles. Salvation to the Gentiles will eventually provoke the Jews to envy.
Verse 12 – Now if their fall is riches of the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!
If the Jews unbelief brought riches to the Gentiles, their future faith in Jesus the Messiah will enrich the world.
Verse 13 – For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
Verse 14 – if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.
Should we not as Christians, provoke the lost to want this blessed life? Would others that don’t know Jesus want to know Him by watching our lives? Do others see the hand of God on our lives in order to draw them to Him? The lost constantly watch our behavior and they watch how we respond to hardships and to others. We all need to ask ourselves this question: Does my attitude and behavior make others jealous of my relationship with the Savior? If not, change it!
Verse 15 – For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
Paul refers to the recovery of the nations from the death of sin which shall take place when the Jews shall be converted to Christian faith.
Verse 16 – For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Verse 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 become a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,
Verse 18 – do not boast against the branches. But if you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
Paul is speaking to the Gentile Christians. Paul warns them not to boast because God rejected some of the Jews. Abraham’s faith is like the root of a productive tree, and the Jews are the tree’s natural branches. Because of faithlessness, the Jews were the broken branches. Gentiles believers have been grafted in. Jews and Gentiles share the tree’s nourishment based on faith in God.
Spiritual pride has no place in salvation by grace.
Verse 19 – You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”
Verse 20 – Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.
Paul plainly tells the Gentile Christians not to get arrogant because of their position. Fear does not mean terror or horror, but it denotes humility, to abide in faith.
Verse 21 – For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
Verse 22 – Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God; on those who fell severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you will also be cut off.
Did you catch the little word “if?” Unbelief and disobedience were the reasons for the Jews to be rejected. Will God not treat the Gentiles the same?
Verse 23 – And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
When the Jews believe in the Messiah, they will once again be grafted in and become part of the main tree.
Verse 24 – For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more will these, who are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
Both Jews and Gentiles have to be born-again. The Gentiles, non-Jew, are grafted into the olive tree, Israel, God’s chosen, when they are born-again. The Jews were part of the original olive tree, but with their unbelief of the Messiah, they were cut off. However, God is able to graft them in again when they believe.
Promise of Israel’s Restoration
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 hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
A mystery means that this was concealed or hidden until now. Being wise in their own opinion – trying to reason why God had rejected the Jews in their own speculation. “In part” – they are not completely blinded – not all the nation was blinded, some were enlighten and had become Christians, and many more would be.
The word “fullness” in relation to the Jews in Romans 11:12, means until the abundance of the great multitude of the Gentiles shall be converted. This doubtless refers to the spread of the gospel among the nations.
Verse 26 – And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:”The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
Verse 27 – for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”
The word “all” in verse 26 means what it says, “all.” Some like to argue that these verses do not mean that every individual Jew will be saved, but the Scripture says “all.” We don’t know when, but there is coming a time when all of Israel will realize that Jesus Christ is the Deliverer that the Scriptures spoke of, and will believe on God’s Son. Argue if you will, but the word all still means all of Israel.
Verse 28 – Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.
Verse 29 – For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
The enemies of God denote all who are not His friends; Colossians 1:21, Romans 5:10. The word here is applied to the Jews because they had rejected the Messiah, and had become opposed to God. By the Jews rejecting the Messiah, the gospel had come to the Gentiles. God still has purpose of mercy toward them and still intends to do good to them. This does not mean that He approved of their conduct.
For the gifts and calling – favors or benefits which God bestows on men He will not take back.
Verse 30 – For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience,
Verse 31 – even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy.
Paul is talking to the Gentiles and tells them, through the disobedience of the Jews, mercy came to them, but because they received mercy, the Jews could also obtain mercy.
Verse 32 – For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
Verse 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!
Verse 34 – “For who has know the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?”
Verse 35 – “Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to Him?”
Verse 36 – For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
God governs the universe and our lives with wisdom and judgment beyond our comprehension. God alone is the possessor of absolute power and wisdom. Who are we to question His plans?