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We Have Been Grafted In! - Romans 11

In Romans eleven Paul continues to tell about the position of the Jews in relationship to God and the gospel of Jesus. He starts by asking if God had rejected the Jews. Which he answers no because if God had rejected the Jews then Paul himself would not have been able to come to faith in Jesus. Throughout the history of the church there have been some Jews that confess faith in Jesus, meaning that God still is extending grace to them; if they turn to God in faith.

“In the same way, then, there is also at present a remnant chosen by grace. Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace.” Romans 11:5-6 HCSB ( )

Paul points out that in the Old Testament when God punished His people because of their sins, God did not completely wipe them out but left a remnant. Even when the Jews bowed down to false gods, God still kept a remnant that did not worship the false gods. Likewise, God has a remnant of Jews that will come to God through faith in Jesus. God is not going to allow His promises to fail.

“I ask, then, have they stumbled in order to fall? Absolutely not! On the contrary, by their stumbling, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous.”

Romans 11:11 HCSB ( )

The Jews fell over the stumbling stone, Jesus, but that does not me that they have been totally cut off. All of the stumblings are for our benefit so that we can have salvation by faith. The more that Gentiles come to know God and abstain righteousness through faith in Jesus, the more jealous the Jews will become, and eventually some with turn their hearts back to God.

This chapter is widely used to say that it supports the belief that all ethnic Jews will be saved. That the nation as a whole will get to be with Jesus for all of eternity in heaven. Perhaps I am missing something, but it seems to. Me that such a belief is not supported here. Just look at what Paul says in verse 14.

It does make logical sense for Paul to be under distress over the Jews if they will all be saved in the end.

“if I can somehow make my own people jealous and save some of them.”

Romans 11:14 HCSB ( )

Why would Paul be saddened in chapter nine that the Jews have rejected Jesus if they are going to be saved regardless of rather or not they believe in Jesus? It does make logical sense for Paul to be under distress over the Jews if they will all be saved in the end. Furthermore, why would he make the statement that he does in verse 14? Hoping that he could drive them to jealousy so that “some of them” might be saved. Instead, it seems that there is a remnant that is going to come to faith in Jesus.

In verses 17-23, Paul tells about how the disbelieving Jews were cut off from the olive branch and believing Gentiles have been grafted in. This leaves us with no place to boast about our salvation in Christ Jesus. There was nothing that we could have done in and of ourselves to be grafted in. It is only because of the grace of God. Paul also warns us that if we do not remain in the faith that we too could be cut off. As far as, the Jews that have been cut off because of disbelief could be grafted back in.

“And even they, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God has the power to graft them in again.” Romans 11:23 HCSB ( )

If they awaken from their disbelief then they could easily be grafted back into the family of God. This is why the apostles witnessed to the Jews first and then the Gentiles. Again this does not mean that all ethnic Jews will be saved.

Thank God that He has allowed for a temporary hardening of the hearts of the Jews so that salvation could come to us. In love for God, we should each be spreading the gospel to the people around us because there is still time for our loved ones to place their faith in Jesus. Praise God we have been grafted into the cultivated olive tree.


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