Gifts and Callings are Without Repentance
In Romans 11
, Paul continued his defense of the Jews, which were under the laws of the old covenant. He said that God did not cast away his own people; Paul himself was an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
God did not cast away his people that he foreknew. God told Elijah that God had even reserved seven thousand men who had not bowed their knees to the image of Baal. He said that during the present (Paul's) time, there was also a remnant to be saved according to the election of grace.
If they were saved by grace, then they were no more saved by their works according to the laws. Otherwise, grace itself is not
grace. If it were only by the good work that they did and the good way in which they lived their lives, then there would be no more grace. Israel had not received the grace that they were seeking after, but there were an elected few that obtained it while the rest were blinded. It was written in the scriptures, "eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear," and Israel was blinded.
Paul said that by living according to the laws, they had not fallen. Through their failure to receive grace, salvation would some unto the Gentiles. When the riches of the world started to diminish in the Israelites and increase in the Gentiles, how much more the fulness of grace?
Paul spoke to the Gentiles as an apostle of the Gentiles. He was magnified before them, so that Jews who would live under grace (as Paul did) would be saved. He could not cast the Jews aside, because if he still received them, they would be given life.
Paul used the example of a tree. If the root was Israel, and it was holy, then the branches of the tree were also holy. If some of the branches were broken off, they would be grafted into the new tree God had planted that represented grace. The Gentiles should not boast against the other branches who had lived under the law and were now living under grace. Because they did not believe in the old law they were broken off. They were broken off so that Paul could be grafted into the tree of grace.
Paul said that the Gentiles should not disgrace the branches that had broken off of the old laws and now stood by faith and grace. God had spared both those that had broken away as well as the Gentiles living under grace. They should instead continue in goodness, otherwise they would also be cut off. Even if some who did not believe were later grafted in, God is able to graft them in again!
As concerning the Gospel, the Good News that Jesus Christ had come, died for us, and rose again, the children of Israel were enemies for the sake of the Gentiles. God had blinded them, and they were still beloved for the Father's sake. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance, and Israel had been called for a purpose.
In times past, the Gentiles did not believe God, but had received mercy. Now, the Jews did not believe, and through the mercy of the Gentiles the Jews may also obtain mercy. God had pushed the Jews unto unbelief so that he could have mercy upon all flesh.
God is a wonderful God that gives many blessings to his children from the wisdom and understanding of Him. His decisions are not to be understood by men, and we cannot understand the plan that he used to bring us to our salvation. No man has known the mind of God, or had counseled him in His decision.
Through God are all things, and all things are of God. To him all things should be given. To God be the glory for ever, Amen.
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: do we cast away those that live according to the laws? Do we understand that they can also be saved by grace? Have we received mercy by grace, or are we still a "broken branch?" Do we despise those who burden down their followers by the law, when it may be that through them, God may show others grace? Are we saved by grace?
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