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Chosen by Grace (Romans 11:1-12)

Romans 11:1–12 - 1 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. 7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not and ears to hear not, Down to this very day.” 9 And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, And a stumbling block and a retribution to them. 10 “Let their eyes be darkened to see not, And bend their backs forever.” 11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! What does today’s passage say? In today's passage, Paul asks if God has completely rejected the people of Israel, to which he gives an emphatic no (v. 1). To prove his point, Paul says he himself is an Israelite saved by God's grace. He says that even now, there is a remnant of faithful Jewish believers preserved by the Lord (vv. 2-6). The rest rejected His grace opting to pursue self righteousness through the Law or giving themselves up to sin altogether. He used Israel's trespass to bring salvation to the Gentiles in order to make Israel envious (vv. 7-12). In this way, God orchestrated events so that both Jews and Gentiles who believe could receive mercy with the gentiles being grafted into His people. Though most Israelites failed to attain righteousness, God still fulfilled His promises by saving those who trusted in His grace. How can I apply Romans 11:1-12 to my life? In Romans 11, Paul tackles vital questions about Israel's spiritual condition that carry implications for believers today. Has God permanently rejected His chosen people? Does Israel's tragic rejection of the Messiah reflect God’s unfaithfulness? Thankfully, Paul provides perspective grounded in God’s unwavering promises. This rich passage reinforces essential truths concerning the Lord’s covenant love and mercy. Though most Israelites proved unfaithful, a small remnant remained faithful to God’s promises of grace through faith. And while Jews and Gentiles alike found new life in Jesus, no room remained for ethnic superiority since all salvation stems from divine grace through faith alone. As we explore this Scripture, may we reject pride and partiality while embracing humility, faith and urgency around the gospel message. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

  1. Stand firm in your faith, for God will never reject those who trust in Him (v. 1): Paul starts by asking - has God turned His back on His very own people Israel? No way, Paul fires back! Just look at me - a descendant of Abraham and Benjaminite who knows God's grace firsthand. Even with widespread rebellion among God's chosen people, the Lord has faithfully preserved a remnant of sincere Jewish believers. God remains unwaveringly true to all who fully rely on Him, even if one finds themselves surrounded by widespread faithlessness on all sides. When doubts flood your soul whispering things like "The Lord has surely forgotten and abandoned me!", remember - His promises endure forever to those anchored in Christ Jesus. Your faithfulness shines light on and reflects His supreme faithfulness. Cling to Jesus single-mindedly with an overwhelming confidence that rejection will never define your story as a child of God. Stand unwavering in your complete dependence on Him who never wavers in His commitment to you. Let the fearless unshakable hope you have in His future faithfulness drown out any nagging thoughts that your current trials reflect a change in His heart toward you. For He has proven time and again, from generation to generation, that His covenant love overrides human weakness and failure (2 Timothy 2:11-13; Hebrews 10:23; 1 Peter 1:3-5).

Food for Thought: When have you been tempted to question whether God has rejected you? What brought these doubts? How can remembering God's past faithfulness help you stand firm when doubts arise?

  1. Recognize that God preserves believers by His grace (vv. 2-6): Paul spotlights the fact that even now, after rejection of God and His plan of redemption by many Jews, there remains a segment of Jewish believers graciously spared and saved by God - a faithful remnant, if you will. Though the majority turned from the Messiah, the Lord in His mercy set His affection on those who remained faithful and trusted Him as Abraham had. So it goes for every adopted child of God. Not one Christian earned their rescued status before Almighty God. No, every soul safely preserved unto eternal life stands as a monument of faith to the extravagant grace of God alone. contributed nothing to our own salvation. We were dead until He breathed life in us through our faith. That's precisely why boasting and pride have no place in the kingdom. We should fall facedown in awe that the Giver of salvation gifted it to nobodies like us by no merit of our own. Our righteous standing came not by human effort but divine bounty. Does that truth fill you with astonished gratitude and humility? It should! For we obtain such undeserved blessing only because the Lover of souls loves without condition. Why else would the Almighty stoop to rescue lowly rebels like us? (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Titus 3:4-7)

Food for Thought: Do you more often see yourself as the chooser or the "chosen" when it comes to salvation? How does this passage adjust your perspective? How should recognizing that your salvation depends fully on God's grace shape your attitude and actions as a believer?

  1. Share the gospel with everyone, for salvation comes through faith to both Jew and Gentile, to all people with no partiality (vv.  7-12): In this passage, Paul explains that most of Israel failed to find righteousness through works but that a small remnant attained it by faith in God’s plan of redemption. In the same manner, Gentiles who believe also gain righteousness by faith. God shows no favoritism - His gift of salvation depends not on race, background, or personal merit but on grace received through faith in Jesus alone. Just as God opened wide the doors of salvation to all peoples, so must we. The gospel remains "good news" only when proclaimed unconditionally to every tribe and tongue. Christ-like love refuses to discriminate but offers living water to all thirsty souls. As those entrusted with the message of redemption, our mandate focuses not on judging external factors but on communicating truth. So let our POSTURE be humble, our HEARTS kind, our ACTIONS urgent. For when it comes to eternity, all ground is level, all souls precious, all moments matter (Acts 10:34-35; Galatians 3:14; Ephesians 3:1-6; 1 Peter 1:17).

Food for Thought: Do you tend to be selective about those you share the gospel with? What assumptions may need to change? How would it impact your evangelism efforts if you believed that anyone could come to saving faith through hearing the Word? In closing, this passage in Romans emphasizes that God remains faithful to preserve His people. Though most Israelites rejected the Messiah, the Lord mercifully sustained a faithful remnant not due to their works but by His grace. These verses also make clear that God shows no ethnic favoritism when it comes to salvation. All who exercise faith in Jesus Christ receive redemption and righteousness as His gift. Therefore, we must stand unwaveringly on His promises, fully rely on His grace, and urgently share the good news with all people. Our security rests in His unfailing love, not our own competence. Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would give me a steadfast spirit of faith to withstand doubts or disbelief. Help me cling to the certainty that You will never forsake those who trust in You. Instill in me a deep, humble gratitude for the undeserved salvation I have received by grace alone through Christ. Remove any vestige of pride or superiority that would distort gospel proclamation. Instead, fill my heart with compassion to see all people as equally precious in Your sight. Compel me by Your love to share Your truth faithfully with everyone I encounter. For though many reject You, still You remain a sure refuge for the humble penitent soul. Sustain me as Your messenger until my last breath. I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Romans 11:6 – “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”With His Blessings, Pastor Corby

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