Whereas the 10th chapter of Romans explains how individual Jews and Gentiles are saved into The Body of Christ by grace through faith, the 11th chapter deals with the restoration of the Nation of Israel and the salvation of Gentile Nations. Unfortunately, this truth was obscured by early church fathers shortly after Paul revealed it. It was promoted as “replacement theology,” i.e., the false teaching that the Christian Church has replaced National Israel regarding the plan, purpose and promises of God, (What is Replacement Theology). This belief exists to one degree or another today by many who either don’t understand or totally overlook the 11th chapter of Romans, which Paul begins: “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.” Romans 11:11 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.
1 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.
God promised Abraham that his progeny would be a great nation; God would bless him; his name would be great; he would be a blessing; God would bless them that bless him and curse them that curse him and that in him all families of the earth would be blessed, Genesis 12:2 - 32 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
. God chose Israel to be His people, Exodus 6:77 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
, and Israel is referred to as God’s people numerous times in the Old Testament (OT). However, individual Jews are no different than anyone else born from Adam; all being totally incapable of doing God’s will by self-effort. Therefore, in spite of the many blessings Israel was promised and could have enjoyed if they had been obedient to God’s Law, they failed time and again simply because they were sinners, Romans 3:22 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
323 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
. Nevertheless, God will keep His promises to the Nation of Israel, because He cannot lie, Titus 1:22 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
. Our text continues with a quote from the OT when Elijah lamented that Israel had killed God’s prophets, destroyed His alters and he (Elijah) thought he was the only one loyal to God and was in fear of death from his fellow countrymen, Romans 11:2 - 32 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,
3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
, see I Kings 19:14. God informed Elijah He had reserved to Himself 7000 men of Israel who had not bowed down to the false god Baal, Romans 11:44 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.
, see 1 Kings 19:1818 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
One of many proofs the Bible is truly God’s Word is that Jews still exist today as a separate and distinct people despite the persecution they’ve suffered throughout more than 1900 years. Satan being the prince of the power of the air who works in the children for disobedience, Ephesians 2:22 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
, has attempted many times to eliminate Israel; a recent example being the 6 million Jews exterminated during the Holocaust. It’s estimated there are over 14 million Jews in the world today, (Jewish Population of the World) even though an estimated 80% of them don’t feel connected to their Jewish identity, (World Jewish Population Nearly 14.5 Million but 80 Unconnected). But God has preserved them even though they rejected The Lord Jesus as their Messiah. The fact is that they will never gain God’s blessings by their own work and merit; God’s promised blessings to them will be fulfilled when He breathes His Spirit into them as prophesied in Ezekiel 37:1 - 61 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,
2 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.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
6 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.
and Romans 11:2626 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:
. And this will occur at the Lord Jesus Christ’s second coming after the Tribulation, Zechariah 12:1010 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
Regardless of Israel’s disobedience, God has blessed mankind through them:
• He gave the Law to Moses that demonstrates His absolute Holiness (His perfect sinless nature) as opposed to mankind’s absolute sinfulness. Israel has been an example of how its impossible for mankind to meet God’s perfect standard and why a Savior is needed.
• God’s Word (our Bibles) was written by Jews, Romans 3:2.
• Our Lord and Savior was a Jew, Luke 1:30 - 3330 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
, John 1:1 - 21 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
, John 1:1414 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
• God chose Paul to reveal the Gospel of His Grace by which, upon believing, both Jews and Gentiles are saved, Acts 20:2424 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
, Romans 11:1, Galatians 1:11 - 1611 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
, Philippians 3:4 - 64 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Even though Israel was set aside over 1900 years ago, individual Jews (along with Gentiles) have been saved, not by works of righteousness, but by God’s Grace, Romans 11:5 - 65 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
. It is by God’s election or choosing that individual Jews are saved while the Nation of Israel is blinded (because of unbelief), Romans 11:77 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
; a “spirit of slumber” with “eyes that cannot see” and “ears that cannot hear” has befallen them as prophesied by Isaiah, and this “slumber” continues to this day, Romans 11:88 (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.
see Isaiah 29:1010 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
. “And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.” Romans 11:9 - 109 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
, see Psalms 69:22 - 2322 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
The “table” referenced in verse 9 is most likely the alter on which Israel offered sacrifices required by the Law. In Psalms 69:22 - 23 David prophesied what Christ would observe, that Israel was self-righteously proud in their obedience of the Law. The ritual of observance had snared and trapped them, they had stumbled, because they offered the sacrifices self-righteously, oblivious to the fact the Law was given to demonstrate they were sinners in need of a Savior, Hebrews 10:1 - 41 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
, Galatians 3:2424 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
. But Israel’s rejection of their Messiah and their self-righteousness served a purpose; that being God has offered salvation to the Gentiles, which in turn provokes them to jealousy, Romans 11:1111 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.
. It was not until God saved the Pharisee Saul and appointed him as the Apostle Paul to offer the Gospel of God’s Grace to the Gentiles (for all mankind) that God’s promises to the Nation of Israel were put on hold. The Gospel of Grace is the best news mankind has ever had and could ever hope for; it being salvation from death to eternal life by God’s Grace, through faith alone, Ephesians 2:8 - 98 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
, and it came about after the diminishing and fall of the Nation of Israel, Romans 11:12 - 1312 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?
13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
Paul magnified (honored or glorified) his office as Apostle to the Gentiles, Romans 11:1313 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
b, if by any means he might provoke Jews to save some, Romans 11:1414 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
. As we recall from the book of Acts, it was Paul’s practice during his journeys to go first to the Jewish Synagogues when he came to a town. There, among other doctrine, he no doubt taught what is written here in Romans 11, i.e., that their prominence as God’s Nation had been set aside for a time as God was now offering salvation to Gentiles! Most of the Jews hearing Paul’s message reacted violently, rejected his message, and persecuted him terribly, 2 Corinthians 11:22 - 2622 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
Paul next asks if the casting away of Israel (as was done more than 1900 years ago) has been the reconciling of the world, what the receiving, but life from the dead? Romans 11:1515 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?
. He begins his answer (words in italics were added by the King James translators): “For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy (or, “also is holy”): and if the root be holy, so are the branches.” Romans 11:1616 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
. The Greek word translated “firstfruit” is “aparche” (G536) found 8 times in the New Testament (NT) where it is usually used to refer to the first one/s receiving the Spirit and being saved in a town or area, Romans 8:2323 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
, Romans 16:2525 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
, 1 Corinthians 16:1515 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
. (It’s also used describing Christ as being the first to rise from the dead, 1 Corinthians 15:2020 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
, 1 Corinthians 15:2323 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
.) The Greek word translated “lump” is “phurama” (G5345) used 5 times in the NT. It is used of the clay from which a potter can make pots, either of honor or dishonor, Romans 9:2121 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
; that a little leaven can spoil the whole lump, referring to a man in the Corinthian church who was living in sin, 1 Corinthians 5:6 - 76 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
; and where the Galatians were warned that a little leaven, i.e., justification by following the law, undercuts the righteousness available by faith, Galatians 5:4 - 94 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
. So, the thought put forth in Romans 11:16 is that if those first to believe were holy, therefore the lump from which those who follow are holy also. The root referenced is our Lord Jesus Christ, is Holy and it is from Him that the olive tree gets its nourishment, so then the branches are also holy.
And if some of the branches (Israel) were broken off that olive tree and wild branches (Gentile nations) have been grafted in among the good branches and so partake of the Holiness of the Root, Romans 11:1717 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
, then the Gentiles branches (that have been grafted in from the wild olive tree) have no business exalting or boasting against the Jewish branches because the Gentile branches don’t bear or carry the root, it is the root that bears or carries the entire tree, Romans 11:1818 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
. And the Gentile Nations (wild branches) have no reason to be high-minded but should fear (be amazed or reverence) because they stand by faith and it was because Israel did not believe that they were broken off over 1900 years ago, Romans 11:19 - 2019 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
. “For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” Romans 11:2121 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
. Some have taken this statement to challenge the doctrine of eternal security in the believer, but it has nothing to do with the individual believer, it has to do with the Gentile Nations vis-à-vis the Nation of Israel. We live in the “times of the Gentiles,” but that time will run out at the Tribulation, culminating when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth to rule over Israel and the Nations, Luke 21:24 - 2824 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.