Romans 11:1-10 – I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them; let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.”
God chose Abraham to bring forth the nation of Israel who would then bring forth Jesus Christ as the fulfillment that all the nations would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3). While Jesus, His disciples, and most of the first believers were all Jewish, very quickly the majority of Christians were Gentiles and not Jewish.
Despite having the Word of God as recipients of the covenants and the promises (Romans 9:4-5), the Jewish people in large part chose works over grace (Romans 9:32) and refused God’s gift righteousness (Romans 10:3).
This leads to the question which Paul seeks to answer – namely what happens to the Jewish people who have rejected Jesus Christ as God and Messiah? Is God done with them? Is there any hope for them? We’ll continue to study this over the next few days and weeks.
Are there times that you have chosen works over grace, thereby refusing God’s gift righteousness to you?
To find the free Romans 6-11 digital study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the Real Faith app.