Book of Romans, Part Two
We now begin the second section in the book of Romans, which is a parenthetical section on the Jew. It deals with the election, rejection and restoration of Israel in the prophetic plan of God. Contrary to popular thought, God is not through with the Jew and the Church as not replaced Israel in the grand scheme of things. Israel as a nation has lost its inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, and those in the Church who are overcomers have been given this inheritance. Israel has not lost its inheritance in the earthly aspect of the kingdom, and Israel will receive this inheritance at the time that Jesus establishes his millennial kingdom.
We will now begin our verse-by-verse exegesis of the second section of Romans, which includes chapters 9, 10 and 11. In this section, Paul addresses the unconditional election, rejection and restoration of Israel at the end of the Church Age.
(Rom 9:1 KJV) I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
Paul is attesting to the truth of what he is about to say in regard to his Jewish brethren, and his conscience (i.e., his personal knowledge of what is morally right or wrong) is his joint witness to this truth.
(Rom 9:2 KJV) That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
Paul is saying that he has great sadness and unceasing grief or pain, and he gives the reason in the following verse.
(Rom 9:3 KJV) For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
The transliterated Greek word for “accursed” is anathema and means a believer who will be subjected to the direst of woes. It refers to a person chosen by God for spirit salvation, but his life has been a waste to the point of having no hope for the redemption of his soul. Accursed means a person doomed to destruction, but it is the destruction of his soul and not his spirit. It is the loss of his inheritance in the kingdom of heaven. For Israel, it is being the branches cut out of the Olive Tree. For the Christian, it is the one whose name is blotted out of the Book of Life. The Book of Life pertains to the life that a Christian leads. If a Christian lives his life in the power of the flesh, and not the power of the Spirit, then his life is a waste and his name is blotted out of the Book of Life. It is the loss of soul salvation and not spirit salvation. The Christian still goes to heaven and is conformed to the image of Christ, but he loses his reward, which is his inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.
Paul is saying that he was at the point of wishing that he could lose his inheritance in the coming kingdom, if it meant that his brethren the Jews could realize their inheritance. The Greek word for wish also means “to pray”. Paul did not say that he is wishing or praying for this, but that he could wish or pray for this. Paul is not wishing or praying for this, since it would not be a prayer in the power and authority of Jesus Christ, and he knows that the prayer would not be answered. The cutting out of the tree means the loss of the inheritance in the kingdom, and not being purged from the family of God.
(Rom 9:4 KJV) Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
Paul’s brethren according to the flesh are the Israelites, and the adoption as sons pertained to them. As explained earlier, the adoption as sons pertains to realizing the inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, and this adoption originally pertained to the descendants of Jacob (renamed Israel by God).
(Rom 9:5 KJV) Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
The Israelites belong to the Father, and they are referred to as the adulterous or unfaithful wife of God the Father. The book of Hosea addresses the unfaithfulness of Israel to God the Father. Just as Hosea divorces Gomer and takes her back (i.e., redeems her in the end), God has separated himself from Israel, but in the end, He will redeem her and take her back as his wife. In the end, God will turn ungodliness away from Israel, as clearly stated in the following verses:
(Rom 11:26 KJV) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
(Rom 11:27 KJV) For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
(Rom 9:6 KJV) Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Even though the adoption as sons pertains to the descendants of Jacob (i.e., Israel), not all of the descendants of Jacob will realize their inheritance. Israel as a nation was cut out of its inheritance as firstborn son because of unfaithfulness, and the inheritance was given to the nation that would bear fruit. The nation is the Church, as described in the following verse:
(Matt 21:43 KJV) Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
In accordance with Chapter 11, since the natural branches were cut out of the olive tree, the grafted-in branches can also be cut out of the tree. Israel lost its inheritance in the kingdom because of unfaithfulness, and so can members of the Church lose their inheritance because of unfaithfulness. They are still in the family of God.
(Rom 9:7 KJV) Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
In the same sense that the majority of Israelites will not qualify as firstborn sons in the coming kingdom, not all of the descendants of Abraham are even children (i.e., teknon) of God. Abraham had two sons—Ishmael and Isaac. The children of God are the descendants of Isaac and not the descendants of Ishmael. In addition, the birthright of being placed as a son was given to Jacob instead of Esau, since Esau despised his birthright and sold it for a bowl of stew. Esau and his descendants are still children (i.e., teknon) of God, even though the adoption as sons (i.e., huios) did not pertain to them.
(Rom 9:8 KJV) That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
The Arabs as the descendants of Ishmael are not even children (i.e., teknon) of God, unless they become children (i.e., teknon) of God through the Church. We do know that many Arabs do become children (i.e., teknon) of God because of their election in the Church, and some of them will even qualify to be placed as a son at the time of the rapture. They are part of the remnant that will be saved.
The children of the promise are the descendants of Isaac through his son Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel.
(Rom 9:9 KJV) For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
Even though Abraham had fathered Ishmael through his maidservant Hagar, Abraham’s wife Sarah would bear a son one year later from the time that God appeared to Abraham. Israel would come through Isaac, and not Ishmael. The children or descendents of Ishmael are not even children of God, as is stated later in this exegesis.
(Rom 9:10 KJV) And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
Paul continues to explain that the children of the promise would come through Abraham’s son Isaac and his wife Rebecca.
(Rom 9:11 KJV) (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Paul continues to describe how Israel is saved by grace and not by works. We will see in chapters 10 & 11 how only a few or a remnant in Israel will actually realize sonship and receive their inheritance in the kingdom, but all Israel will be spiritually saved in the end.
(Rom 9:12 KJV) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Even though Esau was the firstborn son of Isaac, God chose Jacob to be the line through which God’s people known as Israel would be saved. God even changed Jacob’s name to Israel.
(Rom 9:13 KJV) As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
This verse disturbs a lot of Bible teachers and Bible students, but God is simply stating that He loves Jacob more than He loves Esau. God set his love upon Jacob and chose him to be the one through whom the nation of Israel will be created. God even changed Jacob’s name to Israel to confirm and establish the line of Israel through Jacob and his sons.
(Rom 9:14 KJV) What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
God knew that his divine election of Israel would be questioned by many believers, so he answers the question before it is asked. We have many in the Church still that refuse to believe that God has chosen the whole nation of Israel for salvation, since this goes against the manmade doctrine of “free will” for spirit salvation. There are numerous Scriptures that contradict the idea of “free will” for spirit salvation.
The truth is that man has just as much to do with his spiritual birth as he does with his physical birth. Man does not choose to born physically, and he does not choose to be born spiritually. Man does not have the free will to choose his sex, his parents, his birthplace, his intelligence level, his physical characteristics or even the fact of his birth. Neither does he choose to be born spiritually. He was chosen by God before the foundation of the earth, and he was given the faith to believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are adamant that “salvation is of the Lord” and not man. The following verses should suffice to abolish the notion that man is saved spiritually by his own free will.
(Rom 9:15 KJV) For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
To dispel the notion that God has mercy on those who choose God and repent of their sins, God told Moses that He will have mercy on the ones that He chooses, and He will have compassion on those He chooses.
(Rom 9:16 KJV) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.
The free will of man as the basis of spirit salvation is totally rejected in this verse by the statement “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”
(Rom 9:17 KJV) For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
This verse even provides the example of God raising up Pharaoh for a particular purpose of God. As the Creator, God can do with individuals as He sees fit. God raised up Pharaoh to reveal God’s power and to assure that God’s name (i.e., his power & authority) would be proclaimed throughout the earth. The story of God’s destruction of Pharaoh in the Red Sea has been proclaimed throughout the earth. God used Pharaoh for a special purpose, and God has the right to do with each of us as He sees fit.
(Rom 9:18 KJV) Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
God had mercy on his elect, and He hardened the rest. God hardened Pharaoh, and he clearly has mercy on the ones He chooses to have mercy upon.
(Rom 9:19 KJV) Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
God also knew that mankind in its pride and arrogance would question God’s right to do with his created beings as He saw fit. Therefore, God included this verse and the following verses in Romans to establish conclusively that divine election stands, and mankind does not have any right to question God on this matter. This is addressed in the following verses.
(Rom 9:20 KJV) Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
The Greek word for “repliest” means to contradict or dispute. God is saying that man as a created being has no right to question or dispute what God decides to do with him. God uses the example of a potter working with clay in the following verse.
(Rom 9:21 KJV) Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
God has the right to make one vessel to be honored and another vessel for the purpose of dishonor. God is sovereign and does what He chooses in the affairs of men. It is the arrogance of man that insists that God must provide salvation for everyone, as if God is somehow obligated to save everyone. God is under no obligation to save anyone, and He would be perfectly just if He allowed all of mankind to go into hell.
(Rom 9:22 KJV) What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
It was God’s will to show his wrath and his power among rebellious mankind who rejected God and were not called to salvation. God chose not to save them and the punishment they will receive is totally and completely justified. As stated above, God is under no obligation to save any of us. The miracle is that God chose any of us for salvation.
(Rom 9:23 KJV) And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
However, God desired to make known his mercy and the riches of his glory among many. Therefore, He showed mercy to many people who were otherwise destined for eternal separation from him. This verse calls these people the “vessels of mercy”. They are those who were unconditionally elected for salvation before the foundation of the earth.
(Rom 9:24 KJV) Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
This verse is a prooftext for limited atonement, as well as unconditional election. God saves the ones that He wants to save, including the Jews and numerous Gentiles. The clause “Even us, whom he hath called” confirms that not everyone is called to salvation. He is talking about those in the Church who were called to salvation out of the Jews and out of the Gentiles. We will see later in this dissertation how only a remnant of the Jews was called to be members of the Church (Romans 11:5), even though the whole nation of Israel was called for salvation in the earthly aspect of the kingdom (Romans 11:26).
(Rom 9:25 KJV) As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
God said in Hosea 1:9-10 that Israel was not his people, but the day is coming when He will say they are his people. He will also say they were not his beloved at that time, but they are his beloved in the end at the time of their restoration.
(Rom 9:26 KJV) And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
The time is coming when God will restore Israel in their own land and he will call them his children in the same place that he rejected them.
(Rom 9:27 KJV) Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
Even though Israel is God’s elect people and are numerous, the majority of Israel were unfaithful to God and will not realize soul salvation. There is a remnant of the nation of Israel who have remained faithful to God and they will realize the salvation of their souls.
(Rom 9:28 KJV) For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
This verse states that God will carry out his judgment and sentence upon the earth with speed and finality. God’s judgments upon the earth will take place in the last half of the seven year tribulation period. God’s judgments and sentence upon the earth consists of the trumpet and bowl judgments described in Revelation. Please read my exegesis on The Trumpet Judgments.
(Rom 9:29 KJV) And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
Paul quotes Isaiah in saying that if God had not preserved a remnant of Israel, then they would have been utterly destroyed, just as Sodom and Gomorrah were completely and totally destroyed.
(Rom 9:30 KJV) What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
In this verse and the next few verses, Paul explains where Israel went wrong in their service to God and did not attain to the practical righteousness that God requires. Paul states that the Gentiles (i.e., the Church) who had not sought after practical righteousness actually attained it by walking by faith. The Christian received the imputed righteousness of God when he believed in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but he attains to the practical righteousness of God by walking or living by faith.
The Christian does not attain to the practical righteousness of God by keeping the Mosaic Law, but this is how Israel tried to attain to practical righteousness. The book of Galatians describes the futility of seeking after righteousness by keeping the Mosaic Law. Please read my exegesis of Galatians as follows: Book of Galatians.
(Rom 9:31 KJV) But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Israel attempted to attain to the practical righteousness of God by following the Mosaic Law instead of walking by faith. Israel was given the Mosaic Law, which pointed to the Kinsman-Redeemer Jesus Christ. However, Israel got so caught up in the rituals of keeping the Mosaic Law that they missed the spiritual lessons that the Law pointed toward.
(Rom 9:32 KJV) Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Israel sought after the practical righteousness of God by keeping the rituals of the Mosaic Law, instead of walking by faith and seeing the spiritual truths of the Mosaic Law. Israel was so concerned about keeping the letter of the law, that they missed the spirit of the law. Israel stumbled at the “stumblingstone”, which is Jesus Christ. The whole Mosaic Law, including the Tabernacle in the wilderness and the numerous rituals of sacrifice and worship, pointed to Jesus Christ, His blood atonement and the walk of faith in living the resurrected life of Christ. However, Israel stumbled over these spiritual truths, and trusted instead in the rituals instead of the spiritual truths that these rituals pointed toward.
(Rom 9:33 KJV) As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Paul continues to explain Jesus Christ as the stumblingstone for Israel. As the Word of God states, God placed Jesus Christ in Zion (i.e., Israel) for the redemption of Israel, but instead Israel was offended by him. Therefore, Jesus is called the “rock of offence” for Israel, and He became the Stone that caused Israel to stumble and lose their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven. Israel is still the elect of God, and they will receive their inheritance in the earthly aspect of the kingdom.
The clause “whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” refers to a person entrusting his spiritual well-being to Christ, and if he does, he will not be ashamed at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(Rom 10:1 KJV) Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Paul is not talking about spirit salvation in this desire, but soul salvation. Paul greatly desired that his brethren the Jews would come around to the truths of Scripture and realize their soul salvation and receive their inheritance. However, as we have already seen, only a remnant of Israel would attain to this salvation and save their soul. These would be the remnant of Jews who are members of the Church and who believe unto the saving of the soul. This believing unto the saving of the soul is the entrusting one’s spiritual well-being unto Christ, and living a faithful Christian life. Only a remnant of Jews has done this in the last two thousand years. The Scripture verse is as follows for the belief to the saving of the soul:
(Heb 10:39 KJV) But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
(Rom 10:2 KJV) For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Paul explains that Israel has a zeal for God, but this zeal is not according to the truths of Scripture. The transliterated Greek word for knowledge in this verse is epignosis. The word literally means knowledge upon knowledge, and it refers to the deeper knowledge of God that comes through a life of studying and obeying the Bible. It is more than a belief and knowledge about the atoning death of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary. It is the knowledge that comes through the faithful Christian life lived in obedience to the Word of God. The majority of Christians alive today do not have this deeper knowledge of God.
(Rom 10:3 KJV) For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
This verse is addressing the practical righteousness of God and not the imputed righteousness that comes through the simple belief in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Paul’s brethren the Jews did not understand how to attain unto this practical righteousness. They tried to do it by keeping the Mosaic Law in performing rites and rituals. The Oral Law had been given in detail on how to keep the Mosaic Law, and this was the righteousness that the Jews attempted to perform. They did not understand the necessity of crucifying the old flesh nature and allowing Christ to live in them by faith. They attempted to attain unto the righteousness of God in the power of the flesh instead of the power of the spirit. For example, they trusted in the physical act of circumcision instead of the circumcision of the heart that was required for living righteously. Many in the Church today make this same mistake in trusting in the physical act of baptism instead of the spiritual truth represented by the baptism, which is to die to self and allow Christ to live his life in them. Many in the Church also emphasize the physical act of tithing, which was required by the Mosaic Law instead of giving out of a generous heart that has been transformed by the renewing of the mind. Many pastors and teachers in the Church will denigrate the efficacy of physical circumcision and make the same mistake in requiring a tithe being given unto the coffers of the local church. This error is called Galatianism and Christians make this same mistake, except they substitute their own legalisms for the Oral Law provided by the Jewish teachers.
(Rom 10:4 KJV) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
This verse states that Christ is the end (i.e., goal) of the law (i.e., principle) for living righteously, and this living righteously occurs in everyone who entrusts his spiritual well-being unto Christ. In simple language, the goal of our faith is to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ in this present life, and the only way to do this is by living a life of faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. Another way of stating this is that we are able to live righteous lives when we live faithfully in accordance with the Word of God. Living in accordance to the Written Word allows us to live righteous lives in the power and authority of the Living Word.
(Rom 10:5 KJV) For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
Paul is speaking of the practical righteousness that comes from keeping the Law of Moses. The Jews at that time had to abide by the rules and rituals outlined in the Mosaic Law. The sacrifices had to be made and the rules kept in order to be justified by works. The Jews were cleansed from their sins when they made the appropriate sacrifices, and they had to live their lives in obedience to the Law of Moses, as outlined in the Pentateuch. There is no hint in this passage that it was impossible to keep the Mosaic Law, but it was a tedious, burdensome system for Jews to attain unto the practical righteousness that Christians can now attain to by living a life of faithfulness to Jesus Christ in the current Age of Grace. The righteousness attained to by living in accordance with the Mosaic Law was a relative righteousness, just as the righteousness of living faithful to Jesus Christ is a relative righteousness. Some were able to abide by the Mosaic Law better than others, just as some Christians today live more faithful lives than other Christians.
It must be understood that Paul is speaking of the practical or relative righteousness that occurred when the Jews lived by the Mosaic Law. Paul is not addressing the imputed righteousness that came to Abraham when he simply believed God, or any Jew who entered the tabernacle or the temple and came to the brazen altar in faith. The Jew coming to faith in the sacrifice of the bull on the brazen altar was an equivalent to a Christian coming to the Cross of Christ in faith. The Jew was saved by faith in the Old Testament just as the Christian is saved by faith in the New Testament. The Jew was looking forward to the Kinsman-Redeemer, while the Christian is looking back to the Kinsman-Redeemer, Who is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
(Rom 10:6 KJV) But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
Paul addresses the practical righteousness for the Christian that is attained to by living a life of faith. He states that this righteousness can be explained in this manner: Do not say in your heart who is able to mount up to heaven in his own power, for this is to denigrate or disparage the work of Christ, and this is equivalent to bringing Christ down from his exalted position. This is not the way to attain to the righteousness that comes from living by faith. The following verse describes the way a Christian is to attain unto this righteousness that comes from living by faith.
(Rom 10:7 KJV) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
The transliterated Greek word for “Or” is e and it is a disjunctive in grammar, which means it establishes a contrast to the clause that precedes it. Thus, this verse can be paraphrased as follows: “Rather, ask yourself who is able to die to self, for this is to attain to the resurrected life of Christ.” The clause “Who shall descend into the deep?” is a figurative parallel with taking up one’s cross and dying to the old flesh nature. When a Christian does this, it is as if Christ is being brought back from the dead and living his life in the Christian. Theologians call this living the resurrected life of Christ or living the exchanged life. Water baptism is a portrayal of this dying to self and living the resurrected life of Christ.
In summary, these two verses provide a contrast between how a Christian should not live righteously by faith with how he should live righteously by faith. He does not live righteously by faith (i.e., vs 6) when he seeks to mount up to heaven in the power of his own flesh nature. Satan desired to mount up to heaven, which means he desired to usurp God’s authority in reigning and ruling. The Christian who tries to do the same thing is usurping Jesus’ authority in reigning and ruling, and this is a denigration of the work of Christ. The contrast in verse 7 states that the Christian lives righteously by faith when he is able to crucify self and live the resurrected life of Christ.
(Rom 10:8 KJV) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
Paul asks the rhetorical question about “the word of faith” by asking what the word of faith teaches us. He then answers his rhetorical question by stating that the teaching (i.e., the word) about living by faith is near to the Christian, and it is actually in the words that we speak and in the attitudes of our hearts. This is because the words that we speak reflect the condition of our hearts. The transliterated Greek word for heart is kardia, and it can refer to the seat of our physical life because it circulates the blood, or it can refer to the center and seat of our spiritual life. In regard to the physical life, it pertains to the body, but in regard to our spiritual life, it refers to that aspect of the soul that represents what kind of person we are in our innermost being. The Christian who lives a life of faith by living the exchanged life has a righteous heart and the words that come out of his mouth reflect the life that he leads. Paul in the last clause of this verse emphasizes that this is the teaching about faith that he and the other disciples preach, and he continues his explanation of this teaching in the following verses.
(Rom 10:9 KJV) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Paul continues to explain that if the words that come out of a Christian’s mouth are in agreement with (i.e., confess) the Lord Jesus, and that Christian entrusts his spiritual well-being to the resurrected life of Christ, then that Christian will realize soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ. A Christian cannot entrust his spiritual well-being to the resurrected life of Christ, if he does not believe in the resurrection of Christ. Thus, soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ requires belief in the resurrection of Christ. In contrast, spirit salvation requires belief in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ.
Note: It needs to be reiterated that a Christian’s spirit is saved by the death of Christ, but his soul is saved by the life of Christ. A Christian must believe in the resurrection of Christ before he is able to entrust his spiritual well-being to the life of Christ. The Christian who simply believes in the atonement of Jesus Christ by his death on the Cross, but does not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot live a faithful Christian life.
(Rom 10:10 KJV) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
The condition of a Christian’s heart (i.e., his innermost being) depends upon what he has allowed into it. The Christian who lives his life in compliance with the old flesh nature has a heart that is evil. The Christian who has died to his old flesh nature and allowed the life of Christ to permeate his being will have a heart that is righteous. This is the meaning of “believeth unto righteousness”. The Christian who entrusts his spiritual well-being to the life of Christ will progress in his practical righteousness, and he will manifest or confess the life of Christ. The Christian who confesses Christ lives his life in agreement with Christ. The Christian who denies Christ lives his life in agreement with his old flesh nature. The Christian who lives a righteous life in agreement with the life of Christ will realize soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Soul salvation is the goal of a Christian walking in faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Rom 10:11 KJV) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
The Scripture states that the Christian who entrusts his spiritual well-being to Christ will not be ashamed when he is judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(Rom 10:12 KJV) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Paul states in reference to the Church that there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (i.e., the Gentile). The word Greek here is used in the wider sense and embraces all nations who are not Jews who have embraced the language, learning and customs of the Greeks. The primary reference is to a different religion and worship.
The same Lord, Jesus Christ, is the Lord over all people—Jew and Gentile—and he is “rich” toward all that call upon him for help. The word rich here is used in the metaphorical sense and refers to the affluence of his spiritual resources to provide spiritual blessings to everyone who calls upon his power and authority. This is seen in the following verse:
(Rom 10:13 KJV) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
This verse is speaking of believers who call upon the power and authority of Jesus Christ. To call upon the name of the Lord means to ask for spiritual power and authority from Jesus Christ in living the Christian life. This is something that believers do in order to save their souls. The Christian’s soul is saved by living the resurrected life of Christ, and this is done by crucifying the old flesh nature and living the life of Christ.
The Greek verb for “shall call” is in the 3rd person, singular, first aorist tense, middle voice and subjunctive mood. The tense and voice indicate action by the believer that is not a completed action in the past or in the present. Thus, the action is something that must be repeated over and over into the future in order to achieve the end result, which is salvation of the soul. The believer must continue to call upon the power and authority of Jesus Christ in order to live the Christian life. The Christian must continue to abide in the vine (i.e., Jesus Christ) in order to live the Christian life, continue in the faith and realize soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(Rom 10:14 KJV) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
This verse confirms that it is only those who have believed in Jesus Christ who are able to call upon his power and authority for living a faithful Christian life. Thus, only spiritually saved, born again believers are able to call upon Jesus for the necessary power to live a faithful Christian life. In addition, a Christian cannot believe in him unless they have heard about him, and they cannot hear if there is not someone to tell them about Jesus. This verse also confirms the necessity of evangelism in order to bring God’s elect people into belief in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. After they have become believers, then they are to continually call upon the Lord’s help in order to live the Christian life and realize soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(Rom 10:15 KJV) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Paul continues with the thought that a person cannot preach unless he is sent by God. The Greek word for “preach” means to herald the truth and it carries the suggestion of formality and authority that must be listened to and obeyed. This preaching means more than a proclamation of the gospel of grace. The statement about the feet of them who preach the gospel of peace being beautiful has reference to students sitting at the feet of their teacher as disciples. This is quoted from Isaiah 52:7 and has reference to the peace that passes all understanding for those who follow Christ. The glad tidings of good things is used in the New Testament to refer especially to the coming kingdom of God and the blessings that will flow from the obedience of Christians who are faithful to God. It matters not whether these Christians are Jew or Gentile. This is confirmed in verse 12 above where it does not matter if one is Jew or Gentile.
(Rom 10:16 KJV) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Paul immediately refers to the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and alludes to the fact that Israel had rejected the gospel of the kingdom. He does this by quoting Isaiah’s prophecy about Israel not believing the report of Isaiah and rejecting the kingdom of heaven by their unbelief. The gospel of the kingdom was specifically and directly preached to the nation of Israel, but it was rejected during the ministry of Jesus Christ and during the ministry of Paul right up to the Diaspora that took place in 70 A.D. This rejection took place in spite of the proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom throughout the known earth and to the very ends of the earth. Israel had ample opportunity to respond to the gospel of the kingdom, but they refused. This is confirmed in the following verses.
(Rom 10:17 KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Paul explains that faith or faithfulness comes by hearing and this hearing comes by the teaching of the Word of God. The word of God has reference to both the Living Word of God, which is Jesus Christ, and the Written Word of God, which is the Bible.
(Rom 10:18 KJV) But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
Paul refers to Israel failing to receive the gospel of the kingdom, even though it was preached throughout the known earth at the time and even to the ends of the earth.
(Rom 10:19 KJV) But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
Paul asks if Israel knew about this gospel of the kingdom, and he confirms that Israel heard it, but they were obstinate and disobedient to this teaching. Paul refers to a prophecy of Moses about Israel being provoked to jealousy by a “foolish nation”. That “foolish nation” has reference to the Church, which is not a specific nation, but a group of called out ones from all nations, tribes and tongues. When the kingdom was taken away from Israel, it was given to the Church. The criteria for entering the kingdom is still living and walking by faith to the Word of God.
(Rom 10:20 KJV) But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
Paul refers to the prophecy from Isaiah that prefigured the Church and the fact that the majority that make up the Church were not seeking after God. Even though the Church was not seeking after God, they became his people and He manifested himself to the Church. This verse confirms the unconditional election of all members of the Church. Please read the following article for an in-depth study of unconditional election: The Doctrine of Election.
(Rom 10:21 KJV) But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
Paul continues with the prophecies of Isaiah about Israel rejecting their Messiah and being a disobedient people who denied the truths about Jesus Christ. “Gainsaying” means the people of Israel declared falsehoods about Jesus and opposed him directly by denying his authority over them. Even though Israel was grossly disobedient to the Lord, He has not cast them away and rejected them finally and completely. There are numerous Scriptures that confirm the redemption of Israel at the end of the seven-year tribulation period at the end of the Church Age. The following verses in chapter 11 also confirm this truth.
(Rom 11:1 KJV) I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Paul clearly declares that God has not cast away his people, the Jews, and he identifies himself as being an Israellte from the seed of Abraham and the tribe of Benjamin. Please read the following Chapter 37 from the book of Ezekiel for a clear statement of the eternal security of the salvation of Israel based on lineage alone:
(Ezek 37:1 KJV) The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
(Ezek 37:2 KJV) And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
(Ezek 37:3 KJV) And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
(Ezek 37:4 KJV) Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
(Ezek 37:5 KJV) Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
(Ezek 37:6 KJV) And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
(Ezek 37:7 KJV) So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
(Ezek 37:8 KJV) And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
(Ezek 37:9 KJV) Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
(Ezek 37:10 KJV) So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
(Ezek 37:11 KJV) Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
(Ezek 37:12 KJV) Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
(Ezek 37:13 KJV) And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
(Ezek 37:14 KJV) And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
(Ezek 37:15 KJV) The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
(Ezek 37:16 KJV) Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
(Ezek 37:17 KJV) And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
(Ezek 37:18 KJV) And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these?
(Ezek 37:19 KJV) Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
(Ezek 37:20 KJV) And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
(Ezek 37:21 KJV) And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
(Ezek 37:22 KJV) And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
(Ezek 37:23 KJV) Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
(Ezek 37:24 KJV) And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
(Ezek 37:25 KJV) And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
(Ezek 37:26 KJV) Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
(Ezek 37:27 KJV) My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
(Ezek 37:28 KJV) And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.
(Rom 11:2 KJV) God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
Clearly, God is not through with Israel. He has not cast them away. He will save them at the end of the seven-year tribulation period, and they will dwell in the land of Israel. Ezekiel 48 even describes the portion of the land of Israel that will be given to each tribe.
(Rom 11:3 KJV) Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
Paul describes the disobedience of Israel at the time of Elijah how they had killed the prophets of God and destroyed the altars of worship. They had rejected God as king and rejected Jesus as Messiah, but in the end, God will still save them and put them into their own land. They lost their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, but they will still be saved and receive the earthly aspect of the kingdom. In the end they will receive Jesus as their Messiah and they will receive their atonement. This will take place when they are resurrected from the grave and God will put his Spirit into them.
(Rom 11:4 KJV) But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
In 1 Kings 19:18 God tells Elijah that He has reserved 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal. Only 7,000 had been faithful to God out of all of Israel, but in the end God will save every one of them. Just as works is not a condition for spirit salvation for the members of the Church, it is also not a condition for the salvation of Israel.
(Rom 11:5 KJV) Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
This verse is referring to the Jews during the Church Age that are saved by Grace and become part of the Church. This is why Paul states specifically “at this present time”. The nation of Israel did not receive Jesus Christ, but there was a remnant according to the “election of grace” who did realize spirit salvation. There is still a remnant of Israel being saved according to the “election of grace”, but Israel as a whole is still blinded by God until the “fullness of the Gentiles” is complete.
(Rom 11:6 KJV) And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Paul reiterates that their salvation is by grace and not according to works. This is spirit salvation of Jews during the Church Age. Although not mentioned in this text, there is also a remnant of Arabs, Ishmaelites, who are also saved by grace.
(Rom 11:7 KJV) What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
The nation of Israel has not obtained salvation at the present time, but those who have been elected in the Church have obtained it. The rest of Israel has been blinded by God, so that they would not have spiritual understanding and be saved. The following verses refer to this blindness by Israel, but it also addresses their ultimate salvation after the end of the Church age and after the salvation of millions of Gentiles during the tribulation period. The salvation of all of Israel does not occur until the very end of the tribulation period. This is confirmed in Ezekiel 37 above and numerous Scriptures in the Old Testament. The book of Isaiah describes numerous times the ultimate salvation of the whole nation of Israel at the end of the Church age. The book of Hosea depicts the ultimate salvation of Israel even after gross disobedience and spiritual adultery. Hosea is a picture of God the Father, and Gomer is a picture of disobedient Israel who has played the harlot, but is redeemed and cleansed at the very end. Israel will definitely receive their atonement after the harvest of the Church is complete, and at the time that Jesus returns in power and glory at the Second Coming.
(Rom 11:8 KJV) (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
This verse explicitly states that God has “given them the spirit of slumber” that they should not see and understand spiritual truths. It is God’s ordained purpose that Israel is not saved as a whole during the Church Age. There is only a remnant according the election by grace that will be saved in the Church Age.
(Rom 11:9 KJV) And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them:
This was a prophecy by David that proclaimed that Israel’s spiritual food or fare would be like a trap for them that would cause them to err from the truth, and they would receive a recompense for their spiritual failures. The word “table” is used metaphorically to refer to the spiritual fare that Israel partook, and this spiritual sustenance would cause them great calamity, and they would be recompensed for their actions. This prophecy by David has been fulfilled for the last two thousand years because Israel rejected their messiah. They have been severely persecuted and downtrodden for two thousand years throughout the Diaspora that began in 70AD with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Titus. This prophecy will continue to be fulfilled throughout the tribulation period until Jesus Christ returns in power and glory, restores the nation of Israel to their land and rebuilds the temple. Israel’s greatest tribulation and hardship is yet to come to pass during the last half of the seven-year tribulation period. This period of hardship and persecution if referred to as the time of Jacob’s trouble.
(Rom 11:10 KJV) Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
The prophecy of David continues in saying that Israel will remain spiritually blind until the very end, and they would “bow down their back always”. The metaphorical meaning of “bow down” means to be subjected to error and hardness of heart. The metaphorical meaning comes from the picture of one who is bent over under the weight of a yoke used for plow animals. It is a picture of severe bondage resulting from spiritual blindness.
(Rom 11:11 KJV) I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
Paul asks the rhetorical question if Israel had stumbled that they should fall. The word “stumble” means to err, make a mistake, sin, fall into misery or to become wretched. This has indeed happened to Israel, but the meaning of “that they should fall” is that they would completely perish, come to an end, disappear or cease to exist. This has not happened to Israel. There are numerous Scriptures that Israel’s spiritual failures and spiritual poverty are not permanent. The nation of Israel will be finally and completely redeemed after God has finished dealing with the Church. The Greek word for the second use of “fall” in this verse refers to a lapse or deviation from truth, but this lapse is not a permanent condition.
(Rom 11:12 KJV) Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
The Greek word for “fall” in this verse is the same as the second use of fall in the previous verse, and it means a lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness. Israel will definitely suffer loss in this deviation from spiritual truth, but their loss of reward will result in great reward for numerous Gentiles who make up the Church. The Greek word for “world” is the word and refers to the Church is this context. The spiritual fall of Israel has and will result in great spiritual riches for many in the Church, and for many Gentiles who will be saved outside of the Church Age and enter into the earthly aspect of the kingdom.
(Rom 11:13 KJV) For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
The “gospel of Paul” was that salvation was not only for the Jews, but all kinds of men, including Gentiles from every nation, tribe and tongue in the whole world. Paul was called to minister to the Gentiles, but he would always preach the kingdom of God to the Jew first in every city that he visited. The phrase “I magnify my office” means that Paul greatly honored, extolled and held his ministry in high esteem. The Greek word for “office” refers to his special calling to execute the commands of God in bringing the Gentiles to faith in Jesus Christ and faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
(Rom 11:14 KJV) If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
Even though Paul’s primary ministry was to the Gentiles, he desired greatly to provoke some of the Jews to jealousy or rivalry, and cause them to receive their messiah and become part of the Church. There is a remnant of Jews who are saved during the Church Age as members of the Church. There is a remnant of Jews who are saved during the Church Age as members of the Church. It is not until the end of the seven-year tribulation that the whole nation of Israel will be saved. Salvation as members of the Church is the salvation that Paul is talking about.
(Rom 11:15 KJV) For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
If the stumbling of the Jews resulted in the reconciling of the Church (i.e., kosmos) to God, then their receiving of the Messiah will be as ones who have returned from the dead. Both Jews and Gentiles are spiritually dead until they are made alive spiritually, so the salvation of a Jew as a member of the Church is compared to a person who returns from the dead.
(Rom 11:16 KJV) For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
In context here Paul is referring to the first fruits as those members of the Church being holy or sanctified first, but Jews that become part of the Church, which is the lump or main body of the Church, can also be sanctified by the same method. The root is speaking of Christ, and the branches represent both Jews and Gentiles as members of the Church. The Gentiles are represented by the wild branches grafted into the tree and Jews are represented by the natural branches that were cut out of the tree.
(Rom 11:17 KJV) And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
The Jews are the branches broken off, and the members of the Church are the branches that were grafted in to the tree. The tree represents the kingdom of heaven and the Jews were cut out of the kingdom because of their unfaithfulness.
(Rom 11:18 KJV) Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
Paul tells the Roman Christians to not boast or be prideful of the fact that they have been grafted into the kingdom, for it is Christ (i.e., the root) who made it possible for them to be grafted into the kingdom.
(Rom 11:19 KJV) Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
Christians should not boast about being grafted into the kingdom because of Israel’s unfaithfulness, for just as Israel was broken off from the kingdom of heaven, unfaithful members of the Church can also be broken off.
(Rom 11:20 KJV) Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
Israel was broken off from the kingdom of heaven because of “unbelief” or unfaithfulness. The transliterated Greek word for “unbelief” here is apistia and it means unfaithfulness or weakness of faith. The Christian stands or is established by faith. The transliterated Greek word is pistis and refers to fidelity or faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians should not be proud or haughty (i.e., high-minded) but they should be filled with reverential obedience to the Lord, understanding that Christians can also lose their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven just as the nation of Israel lost it. These verses are not addressing the loss of spiritual salvation, but the loss of the inheritance.
(Rom 11:21 KJV) For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
Since God did not spare the natural branches, the Jews, Christians need to take note of this fact and realize that they may also not be spared.
(Rom 11:22 KJV) Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
Christians need to pay close attention to the goodness (i.e., kindness) of God, for God is also severe in regard to his punishment for disobedience. These are strong warnings to Christians about the severity of God’s judgment and this judgment for Christians will take place at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(Rom 11:23 KJV) And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.
This verse is addressing the inheritance in the kingdom of God via soul salvation and not spirit salvation through grace. The Greek word for “unbelief” means unfaithfulness. If the remnant of Jews according to the election of grace becomes faithful, they will be grafted back in to the olive tree and realize their inheritance in the kingdom of God. A tree in Scripture represents a kingdom or nation. The olive tree represents Israel and the kingdom of God that was granted to Israel. Since the nation of Israel was unfaithful, it was cut out of the olive tree. This means that Israel lost its inheritance in the kingdom of God. Israel is still part of the family of God, as they are still children (i.e., teknon) of God. They will not be “placed as sons”, which pertains to their inheritance in the kingdom. However, a remnant of Jews who are saved according to the election of grace can still become faithful and be grafted back into the olive tree. These Jews are the ones who are not abiding in unbelief, and they will still realize their inheritance in the kingdom of God
(Rom 11:24 KJV) For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
Paul now addresses the Gentiles in the Church who were cut out of the olive tree that is wild by nature. This means that the inheritance in the kingdom that belonged to Israel was now given to them. Paul makes the analogy that if the Gentiles could be grafted into the kingdom of God, how much more can the Jews be grafted back into the kingdom of God, since the inheritance was naturally theirs.
(Rom 11:25 KJV) For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Paul continues to explain about Israel and how blindness in part has happened to the nation of Israel. This blindness is not complete, since the remnant of Jews in the Church is saved by grace, and they do have spiritual eyes to see and believe the Lord Jesus Christ. This blindness that has happened to Israel in not permanent, and will be reversed when the “fullness of the Gentiles be come in”.
(Rom 11:26 KJV) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
This verse is addressing the nation of Israel since it was established. It states very clearly that all of Israel will be finally saved, and this salvation will take place when the Deliverer, (i.e., Jesus Christ) comes out of “Sion” and turns ungodliness from Jacob. Sion is the heavenly Zion, so it refers to the time that Jesus returns to the earth in power and glory at the end of the seven-year tribulation period. This is the time that Israel as a nation will receive their atonement. They will be given a new heart, which refers to what they will be like in their innermost being. This means more than spiritual regeneration, as it refers to a change in their whole person.
(Rom 11:27 KJV) For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
This verse refers to the spiritual atonement that Israel will receive. It is a covenant unto Israel, and Jesus Christ will take away their sins.
(Rom 11:28 KJV) As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.
As concerning the gospel of the kingdom the Jews are in opposition to God for the sake of the Gentiles, but according to their election as Jews, they are beloved of the Father. They are the elect of God, and they will be saved in the end, but this salvation will not be effected until the “fulness of the gentiles” is complete.
(Rom 11:29 KJV) For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
This verse confirms that the salvation of Israel is certain, because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
(Rom 11:30 KJV) For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Paul is addressing the Gentiles that were mentioned in verse 28 above, and states that it is because of the unbelief of Israel that the Gentiles have now obtained mercy.
(Rom 11:31 KJV) Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Paul exhorts the Gentile Christians to have mercy on the Jews even in their unbelief in order that they may also obtain mercy. Even today Christians should pray for the Jews that they may come into salvation in the present Church Age. However, it is ordained that the majority of Israel will not be saved in the present age, but they will be saved at the time of the end, after the fullness of the Gentiles has been completed.
The Scriptures are clear that the nation of Israel will receive their atonement at the time of the end when Jesus returns in power and glory to establish his kingdom upon the earth.
(Rom 11:32 KJV) For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
The Greek word for “concluded” means that God has embraced all of Israel, and subjected them to unbelief. God has done this so that He can have mercy upon all of them at the same time.
(Rom 11:33 KJV) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Paul summarizes his discourse on the salvation of Israel by saying that the mysteries of the valuable bestowments of God upon Israel and the decrees of God are past the understanding of mankind. In simple language, man cannot understand the mercies of God toward his chosen people, and cannot be comprehended by the natural mind.
(Rom 11:34 KJV) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
No one knows the mind of God, and there is none that can counsel God on what he can or cannot do. God does exactly what He desires to do in the affairs of man. He saves the ones that He wants to save, and He has chosen to save a whole nation of people, even though they have rejected the Son of God. In the end they will receive the Son of God and be saved through him. This major truth of Scripture is seen in the story of Joseph and his brethren. Joseph was rejected and figuratively killed by his brethren, but in the end Joseph chastises his brethren and receives them and saves them. Jesus Christ will do the very same with his brethren when He comes into his kingdom.
(Rom 11:35 KJV) Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
The salvation of God is not the result of a recompense for good works. It is totally and completely undeserved, but it is God who shows mercy and saves us. No Christian deserves salvation any more than any Jew deserves it, so the mercies of God in salvation are totally the choice of God. God has chosen to save Israel, and Israel shall be saved.
(Rom 11:36 KJV) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Salvation is of the Lord and through the Lord. It is because of his victory on the Cross of Calvary, that all things upon earth belong to him, and his glory will be forever.
This ends the parenthetical character of chapters 9-11 about the Jews, and Paul picks up in Chapter 12 with his exhortations for the church at Rome on how to live the Christian life. Of course, the letter was written to Roman Christians, but it is also for our edification on living the Christian life.