Tonight we return to the book of Romans. After eight of the most powerful chapters in the entire Bible detailing the riches of salvation and the love and loyalty of God, we move to the subject of natural Israel seen in Romans 9. The apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit reveals God’s prophetic purpose for Israel. Paul states that his desire for Israel is that they might be saved. If you want to know the power of this desire, look no further than chapter nine, verses 1-3. Then, the apostle Paul goes on to speak of the “two Israels” – spiritual Israel and natural Israel. Paul states in verse 6 “for they are not all Israel who are of Israel.”
The chosen people of God, the Israelites had always been taught that their salvation was a product of faith in God and love for God. You remember the great commandment. In Deuteronomy 30:6 and 30:12-14, Paul describes salvation by faith: the word of salvation is near you; in your heart and in your mouth. But, by and large, the Israelites had rejected God’s instrument of salvation, Jesus and had clung to a “law of righteousness” as their hope for salvation. Israel had stumbled at the stumbling stone or “scandalon” – Christ, leaving only a remnant saved in Paul’s time. But, all Gentiles and Jews who submitted to Jesus became a part of this “elective or spiritual Israel” – saved only by the mercy and grace of God.
So, has the plan of God for natural Israel ended? Has it been completely aborted by unbelief? Has God cast away natural Israel? Certainly not!!! Through Israel’s fall, salvation came to the Gentiles. But, there was a hidden purpose in the salvation of the Gentiles: the provoking of Israel to jealousy. Israel would observe the riches of salvation given to the world and would long to have those riches themselves. God in His infinite wisdom has a plan to save natural Israel. Therefore, He has a message for the Gentiles: Do not despise the root! For you do not support the root but the root supports you!
The “root” of the Christian faith is distinctly Jewish. This does not mean that Gentiles are supposed to submit to Jewish customs and become “Jews”. But, this means that we are to love and support the roots of our faith, knowing that their time of salvation is coming and that it will have incredible spiritual consequences. Romans 11:29 tells us that the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. This was spoken about Israel’s destiny in God. The “regrafting” of the natural branches is a great mystery but a certainty. The Bible teaches us that “all Israel” will be saved.
Check out this piece of commentary about Romans 11:26 straight from the original Greek:
“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”
It means Israel as a whole. Paul is thinking of the historical people, as the contrast with Gentiles shows, but he is not thinking of them one by one. Israel a Christian nation, Israel as a nation a part of the Messianic kingdom, is the content of his thought. To make πᾶς Ἰσραὴλ refer to a “spiritual” Israel, or to the elect, is to miss the mark: it foretells a “conversion of the Jews so universal that the separation into an ‘elect remnant’ and ‘the rest who were hardened’ shall disappear” Expositors Greek Testament
Deuteronomy 30:6, 12-14
Romans 11:15, 29
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