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Romans 11:1-6


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

I did this particular study the other day and was 80% complete, when my computer shut down and I lost everything...again. I guess it's not a bad thing however, because I get to do this a 2nd time, and spending time in Your Word (as I am discovering), is becoming more and more important every day.

 

I've been struggling with my attitude in several areas Father. I don't like how that makes me feel...I feel like my heart is in a blender on high speed and I can't find the shut off button. I am doing 3 bible studies all at the same time...perhaps that's part of what's going on. My heart is being plowed up by Your Word. Add to that, external issues and circumstances that are pressing, and I've just been struggling.

 

So, this morning, I raise my hands heavenward, asking for Your help, Your intervention. I place all that is going on in my life, big and small, at the foot of Your throne and let go.

 

May Your peace that passes all understanding flow abundantly into my heart. I've learned that I may not get the answers I want, when I want, but I know that Your peace strengthens me...it reminds me that I am not all alone, and that You, my God, my Heavenly Father, are with me even when I'm in a space like this.

 

May Your Spirit pour over the words in this study today...it is Him and Him alone that gives the illumination that feeds my soul.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

 

1. I say then, Did God cast off His people? Far be the thought! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

 

2. God did not cast off His people which he foreknew. Or understand ye not what the Scripture saith in [the portion concerning] Elijah? How he pleadeth with God against Israel:

 

3. Lord, they have killed thy prophets, they have digged down thine altars; and I am left alone and they seek my life.

 

4. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have left for Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

 

5. Even so then at this present time there is a Remnant according to the election of grace.

 

6. But if it is by grace, it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.

 

Watchman Nee comments on the word "cast" in the first verse and writes: "Chapters 9 and 10 may seem to indicate that God, having originally chosen Israel, has now given them up. Here, however, the apostle, using himself and Elijah as examples, proves that this is not the case."

 

The rvbv writes in regard to verse 1: "Here Paul rejects with horror - Far be the thought! that God had finally abandoned, "cast off" His people Israel. (The Eleventh of Romans should at once and forever turn us away from the presumptuous assertions of those who teach that God is "through with national Israel," - that it has "no future as an elect nation" in Palestine...

 

...That there is a future for the nation of Israel in their land upon this earth, all faithful believers know very well. Let the saints steadily go forward into the increasing light, of these last days, no matter who turns about and takes the back track into the darkness of ignorance of medievalism or even the relatively faint dispensational light of the Reformation...)

 

Let every Christian reject the suggestion with equal horror.

 

First, Paul says, I myself am proof: an Israelite; not a proselyte either, but of the seed of Abraham, and a Benjamite, - not one of the ten tribes which separated from Judah!

 

Verse 2: Then Paul defines the Israel that is not rejected: God's people whom He foreknew. In "You only have I known," He is not speaking of knowing about them or their affairs, but of the fact that to them only had He made Himself known; because they were foreknown of Him; that is, acquainted with beforehand, - before their earthly history began!

 

In Amos 3:1,2 we read:

 

"Hear this word that Jehovah hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth:..."

 

Now in the preceding chapter of Amos, there is a remarkable series of messages of judgment concerning the various nations surrounding Israel. In each case the exact reasons for the judgment are detailed by God, beginning with Damascus (1:3), then Gaza (1:6), Tyre (1:9), Edom 1:11), Ammon (1:13), Moab (2:1), then Judah (2:4); and finally, the northern kingdom, (to which Amos spoke), Israel (2:6): showing that God knew the exact conduct of each nation. Therefore, when God says concerning Israel, "You only have I known," He is not speaking of knowing about them or their affairs, but of the fact that to them only had He made Himself known; (as Paul says to the Galatians: "Now ye have come to know God, - or rather, to be known by God"). (God calls the Church His "saints," not a "people"; see Rom 1:6,7; I Cor. 1:2, Eph 1:1. He never refers to the Church as a "people," or nation. I Peter 2:9 is not an exception, but rather a proof of this fact, for Peter is writing to the elect of the Diaspora, (the individual Jewish believers of the Jewish Dispersion), in Asia Minor, just as James also wrote, "To the twelve tribes which are of the Diaspora." In both James and Peter, there is still the sufferance by God of Jewish things; as in Acts they are allowed to keep the feasts, and are in the temple: although these were all past, in God's sight, and the temple left "desolate." God was acting in great patience with Jewish believers. But Paul brought a new message, that the Church was not earthly, nor national, nor Jewish, in any sense; but a "new body," and altogether heavenly. So the Jewish saints now are called "partakers of a heavenly calling" (Heb. 3:1). But here we have a fore-acquaintanceship with Israel. This foreknowledge is described in Romans 8:29 (which see), where the term is used in a wider sense, and therefore must include the foreknowledge of the Remnant "according to the election of grace" - of the nation of Israel, spoken of here.

 

Verses 3,4: Again Paul lets the Scripture "speak," and here we find Israel's greatest prophet pleading against Israel! Because they had killed Johovah's prophets and destroyed Jehovah's altars, Elijah believed himself left alone, and believed they were seeking his life. (There is always the tendency, in a faithful man of God in dark days, (a tendency diligently cultivated by the devil!) to imagine himself alone. So lie hunts the solitude befitting his imagined solitariness. But the voice of God came to Elijah, "What doest thou here?" Embarassing question, that! It should bring out every Christian monk from his monastery!) But how utterly outside and beyond Elijah's conception of things was God's reply that He had left for Himself a "Remnant" (even 7000!) who had utterly refused Baal-worship. Here is Divine sovereignty marvelously illustrated! The nation is apostate, under Ahab and Jezebel; Baal's prophets number hundreds; and Elijah had fled the land, - back to Horeb, where the Law was given! Now comes the revelation that Divine sovereign intervention has been timely, ample, definite and perfect. God has preserved seven thousand. This reminds us immediately of the sealing of 144,000 of Israel in Revelation Seven. Unbelief or shallow interpretation would say this merely indicates some indefinite number. Well, then, go on to say, the 7000 of Elijah's day were an "indefinite number," - and see where your false wisdom (which is really unbelief) will bring you!"

 

Watchman Nee comments in the 4th verse on the word "Baal" and writes, "Baal, which in Hebrew means master, possessor, was the name of a chief idol of the Phoenicians and Canaanites."

 

The rvbv continues on in verse 5: "Even so, says Paul, at this present time also there is a Remnant (of Israelites) being preserved by God, although the nation has crucified their Messiah, and rejected the testimony concerning Him by the Spirit through the apostles - an infinitely worse condition of things than Ahab's Baal worship! Only sovereign grace will do here; so it is a Remnant according to the election of grace. This "Remnant" are put now into the Body of Christ: they become "partakers of a heavenly calling" (Heb. 3:1). Every saved Israelite has abandoned his Israelitish hopes and believed on Christ as a common sinner! Of course only a few Israelites - a "remnant," do this.

 

Verse 6: Paul insists, (as he does continuously throughout his Epistles): If it is by grace, it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace - Here is perhaps the most direct and absolute contrast in Scripture of two principles: for grace is God acting sovereignly according to Himself; works is man seeking to present to God a human ground for blessing. The two principles are utterly opposed. As Paul, in his conflict with Peter in Galatians 2:15,16 and 21, says: "Even we, Jews by nature, and not 'sinners of the Gentiles' believed on Christ Jesus. I do not make void the grace of God, for if righteousness is through law, Christ died for nothing!" And as Peter said at the first Church council, "We [Jews] believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in like manner as they" (Gentiles) (Acts 15:11)."

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

Thank You for protecting the study this morning and letting me get it finished without disappearing lol...

 

I love You Father and I need You more each day. One wouldn't think that a need would increase like that (a need is a need is a need), but it's true, I do.

 

Bless all who read this study. Help them to know on a deeper level Who You really are. In knowing You there's no way one cannot fall madly, passionately in love with You.

 

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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