Israel’s Role in God’s Plan for Salvation (11:1-24)
God Knew Ahead of Time the Remnant of Israel that would be Saved (11:1-10)
Romans 11:1-10-Paul says that not all of Israel has failed to respond to the Gospel...there is a remnant that will believe. God already knew this. He “foreknew” that some would believe.
"to know before" (pro, "before," ginosko, "to know"), is used
(a) of Divine knowledge, concerning
(1) Christ, 1Pe 1:20, RV, "foreknown" (AV, "foreordained");
(2) Israel as God's earthly people, Rom 11:2;
(3) believers, Rom 8:29; "the foreknowledge" of God is the basis of His foreordaining counsels;
(b) of human knowledge,
(1) of persons, Act 26:5;
(2) of facts, 2Pe 3:17.
Paul uses an incident from the life of Elijah to demonstrate God’s knowledge. Elijah was despondent because he thought that he was all alone in the world. No one else was faithful to God, except him. But God told him that He knew of 7,000 other men who were also faithful. The point is that God is completely aware of the hearts of all men and He knows who will and who will not be faithful and respond to His grace.
God’s choice concerning who He would extend His saving grace to…was not limited by His decision to save some and not save others. God’s choice concerning who He would extend His saving grace to…was limited to those who He knew (foreknowledge) would receive it.
Here is the great difference, the great divide between what the Jews were trying to do and what Paul is teaching about Jesus. The Jews were trying to obtain righteousness by their own works (keeping the Law, living a perfect life). But Paul says that righteousness is not obtained by that means. It is not something that we earn, but is something that we receive. Righteousness is a gift of God’s grace. And there is no mingling of the two…of Law and grace. It is either totally, 100% God’s grace…or, it is nothing at all. If there is any element of my own merit, my own effort involved…then it is not grace (:6).
God chose to extend His grace to those who He knew would accept it. And, He chose to harden the hearts of those that would not. How did God harden their hearts? Amazingly enough…by His grace. When a man refuses to accept God’s offer of grace…and instead, determines that he will earn righteousness on his own…his heart becomes hardened. And the harder he tries…the harder he becomes.
Gold Planned Ahead of Time that Gentiles would be Saved (11:11-24)
Romans 11:11-21-Paul warns the Gentiles to not be arrogant about the fact that Jews failed to believe, but they did believe. Instead, it should cause a holy fear of God when they recognize the fact that if it were not for His grace, no one could be saved.
Prayer: Father, thank You that You gave me the faith I needed to respond to the Gospel. Salvation is purely, 100% an act of Your grace. Please help me to always remain thankful to You for Your gift of salvation.