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. Chapter 11.

The Remnant of Israel

1 I ASK THEN, has God rejected his people? I cannot believe it! I am an Israelite myself, of the stock of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 [ Ps.94.14. ] No! God has not rejected the people which he acknowledged of old as his own. You know (do you not?) what Scripture says in the story of Elijah—how Elijah pleads with God against Israel: 3 [ 1Kgs.19.10-14. ] 'Lord, they have killed thy prophets, they have torn down thine altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.' 4 [ 1Kgs.19.18. ] But what does the divine voice say to him? 'I have left myself seven thousand men who have not knelt to Baal.' 5 In just the same way at the present time a 'remnant' has come into being, selected by the grace of God. 6 But if it is by grace, then it does not rest on deeds done, or grace would cease to be grace.

7 What follows? What Israel sought, Israel has not achieved, but the selected few have achieved it. The rest were made blind to the truth, 8 [ Dt.29.4, Is.29.10. ] exactly as it stands written: 'God brought upon them a numbness of spirit; he gave them blind eyes and deaf ears, and so it is still.' 9 [ Ps.69.22-23, Ps.35.8. ] Similarly David says:

The Salvation of the Gentiles

11 I now ask, did their failure mean complete downfall? Far from it! Because they offended, salvation has come to the Gentiles, to stir Israel to emulation. 12 But if their offence means the enrichment of the world, and if their falling-off means the enrichment of the Gentiles, how much more their coming to full strength!

13 But I have something to say to you Gentiles. I am a missionary to the Gentiles, and as such I give all honour to that ministry 14 when I try to stir emulation in the men of my own race, and so to save some of them. 15 For if their rejection has meant the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean? 16 Nothing less than life from the dead! If the first portion of dough is consecrated, so is the whole lump. 17 If the root is consecrated, so are the branches. But if some of the branches have been lopped off, and you, a wild olive, have been grafted in among them, and have come to share the same root and sap as the olive, do not make yourself superior to the branches. 18 If you do so, remember that it is not you who sustain the root: the root sustains you.

19 You will say, 'Branches were lopped off so that I might be grafted in.' 20 Very well: they were lopped off for lack of faith, and by faith you hold your place. Put away your pride, and be on your guard; 21 for if God did not spare the native branches, no more will he spare you. 22 Observe the kindness and the severity of God—severity to those who fell away, divine kindness to you, if only you remain within its scope; otherwise you too will be cut off, 23 whereas they, if they do not continue faithless, will be grafted in; for it is in God's power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from your native wild olive and against all nature grafted into the cultivated olive, how much more readily will they, the natural olive-branches, be grafted into their native stock!

The Restoration of Israel

25 For there is a deep truth here, my brothers, of which I want you to take account, so that you may not be complacent about your own discernment: this partial blindness has come upon Israel only until the Gentiles have been admitted in full strength; 26 [ Is.59.20-21, Ps.14.7. ] when that has happened, the whole of Israel will be saved, in agreement with the text of Scripture:

28 In the spreading of the Gospel they are treated as God's enemies for your sake; but God's choice stands, and they are his friends for the sake of the patriarchs. 29 For the gracious gifts of God and his calling are irrevocable. 30 Just as formerly you were disobedient to God, but now have received mercy in the time of their disobedience, so now, 31 when you receive mercy, they have proved disobedient, but only in order that they too may receive mercy. 32 For in making all mankind prisoners to disobedience. God's purpose was to show mercy to all mankind.

33 O depth of wealth, wisdom, and knowledge in God! How unsearchable his judgements, how untraceable his ways! 34 [ Is.40.13, Jb.15.8, Is.23.18. ] Who knows the mind of the Lord? Who has been his counsellor? 35 [ Jb.41.11. ] Who has ever made a gift to him, to receive a gift in return? 36 Source, Guide, and Goal of all that is-to him be glory for ever! Amen.

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