Notes for Romans 11:1 to 8





HAS GOD LOST THE BATTLE FOR THE HUMAN RACE? {Pritchard} has god cancelled his promise to israel or (Macarthur) Has god rejected his people (piper)





Romans 11:1 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. (NASB: )



1. That God has not cast off Israel, a Remnant being always preserved—this Remnant now, “the election of grace.”

2. That all but the election were hardened,—to let the fulness of the Gentiles come in: for the purpose of provoking Israel to “jealousy,”—that they might discover Jehovah’s mercy.

3. That although broken off from the stalk of blessing, they will be grafted back into “their own olive tree.”

4. That this will be at the coming to Zion in Jerusalem of the Lord Jesus Christ; and that then a New Covenant will be made with Israel.

5. That the Gentile will be cut off from the present privilege-place, for not continuing in God’s “goodness” (His grace to sinners); and the place of direct Divine blessing again be taken by Israel, who will return from their unbelief.

6. That this most solemn fact should warn Gentiles against individual self-confidence, and especially against the fearful delusion that Israel has been “cast away” forever, and that the Gentiles have taken their place! God has made no covenants with any nation but Israel; and that nation He will restore, the Gentiles becoming then dependent on blessing, through Israel, throughout the future.

7. That instead of being unfaithful to His promises to Israel, God has simply exercised His sovereignty (1) in cutting off Israel for the present; (2) in calling in the fulness of the Gentiles on the principle of mercy only; (3) in taking away from Israel, whom He exalted and to whom He gave His law, all claims upon Him either by national descent, personal righteousness, or any covenant commitments (for they rejected their promises and crucified their Messiah) : thus shutting them up to the one great principle of mercy. (Romans 11)

I SAY THEN GOD HAS NOT REJECTED HIS PEOPLE HAS HE:(1 Samuel 12:22; 2 Kings 23:27; Psalms 77:7; 89:31-37; 94:14)

Rejected (683)means literally to push aside, thrust way (from) or push off. Figuratively as used here it means to reject, repudiate, refuse to listen to, to cast away or to put away (from). “

Paul is not raising a question to cause one to doubt God’s faithfulness to fulfill His covenant promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is driving home the fact that God did not cast Israel away permanently. Israel is God’s elect nation. He foreknew them. He chose them, and they are His. The fact that most of the nation rejected the Messiah is not proof that God is finished with Israel although sadly this is what is taught by many, especially since about 100AD and rejuvenated in 400AD by Augustine’s teaching in the City of God that the church had replaced Israel. At stake is whether God can be trusted to keep His unconditional promises to that nation.

Romans 11:2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel ? (NASB)

Not (3756)conveys absolute negation of what follows.

Rejected (683)means literally to push aside, thrust way (from) or push off. Figuratively as used here it means to reject, repudiate, refuse to listen to, to cast away or to put away (from).

Foreknew (4267) is literally to know before. As proginosko is used of God’s eternal counsel it includes all that He has considered and purposed to do prior to human history. In the language of Scripture, something foreknown is not simply that which God was aware of prior to a certain point. Rather, it is presented as that which God gave prior consent to, that which received His favorable or special recognition. Hence, this term is reserved for those matters which God favorably, deliberately and freely chose and ordained.

Scriptures (1124)means first a writing or thing written, a document. The majority of the NT uses refer to the Old Testament writings, in a general sense of the whole collection when the plural (= Scriptures – Matt. 21:42; 22:29; 26:54; Mk. 12:24; 14:49; Lk. 24:27, 32, 45; Jn. 5:39; Acts 17:2, 11; 18:24, 28; Rom. 15:4; 2Pe 3:16) is and is used in such a way that quoting Scripture is understood to be the same as quoting God!

Know (1492)(oida) means to know in an absolute manner and thus speaks of a positive knowledge such as Paul’s Jewish readers would be expected to possess.


John MacArthur writes that…”When his life was threatened by Jezebel, even the godly and normally fearless Elijah became fearful and despondent, thinking in self pity that he was the only believer left on earth.” (Commentary on Romans)

And I alone am left and they are seeking my life.

Romans 11:4 But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal;” (NASB)

Paul takes this quotation from the Hebrew of 1 Kings 19:18, with the addition of the words “for Myself” by which stress is laid upon the electing prerogative and power of God (His personal possession!)

Romans 11:5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.

Come to be (1096)means to cause to be (“gen”-erate), to become or to come into existence. The verb “come to be” is in the perfect tense which means that this remnant has come into existence at a point in time in the past and is a permanent part of the great host of the saved. (just another small “jot or tittle” supporting the great truth that one cannot lose his or her salvation).

Remnant (3005)describes that which is left or that which remains.

Time (2540) (kairos) The time to which Paul had reference was a strategic one, one marked by the inclusion of the Gentiles together with the Jew in the one Body of Christ, a time at which, while the Gentiles gladly received the Word, Israel was apostate, a time at which in spite of Israel’s apostasy, there was a remnant in Israel saved in the sovereign grace of God.

Grace: (5485)(charis)

Grace is genitive of description. The ground or motivating factor in this choice of certain in Israel who were to be the objects of the sovereign choice of God for salvation, was grace, the spontaneous overflowing love of God bestowing the gift of salvation upon one who does not only not deserve that gift, but deserves appropriate punishment for his sins (compare a vessel of wrath otherwise prepared for destruction).

God has always had a faithful group of believers. There has never been a time in the history of the world without a group of people who loved and served and were faithful to God as believers. There as always been a spiritual Israel, born again saved believers.

There has never been nor will there ever be a time that God does not have a corps of loyal followers. From Adam to Noah to David to Jeremiah to Paul to the early Fathers to John Calvin to John Buynon to Charles Spurgeon to Charles e Whisnant, and on into the future.

Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

Note that the remnant is saved by grace and not by works (cf Romans 4:4-5) which parallels the truth Paul taught in [Romans 9:30-33]. It is impossible to mix grace and works, for the one cancels the other. Israel’s main concern had always been in trying to please God with good works (Romans 9:30-10:4). The nation refused to submit to Christ’s righteousness (Romfans 10:4-5), just as religious, self-righteous people refuse to submit today.

Romans 11:7 What then ? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;

What was Israel “so earnestly” seeking? The answer can be found in [Romans 9:30-10:3] — They were pursuing righteousness, a right standing before God. The situation was ironic. The Jews zealously sought to be accepted by God on the basis of works and the righteousness of the Law (cf. Romans 10:2-3). However, they were not accepted by God; only the elect were, because of God’s sovereign choice by grace.

“The Chosen” (1589) Meaning to choose or select for oneself, but not necessarily implying rejection of what is not chosen

Obtained (2013)= obtain, meet by chance, meet with, fall in with a person, hit the mark, to attain) means to hit, especially hit a mark with an arrow, to chance upon, and to to attain or obtain. The idea is to obtain or gain what is sought after.

Hardened (4456)(poroo from poros = small piece of stone broken off from a larger one) means to make hard like a stone, and so to make callous or insensitive to touch. Here as elsewhere in the New Testament, poroo is used only figuratively and specifically only in a spiritual sense referring to the effect on one’s heart and mind. So then we may say that at the back of them this group of words has three ideas—the idea of ‘hardness’, the idea of ‘lack of the power to feel’, and the idea of ‘blindness’, lack of the power to see.




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