Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Romans 11:26-32 by Mal Couch

Mal Couch, Ph.D., Th.D.

Romans 11:26-32

The Jews will be Restored and all the Messianic Promises of an Earthly Kingdom will be Fulfilled

These could be the most important verses in this Romans 9-11 section. Here Paul comes to his most important point—God is not through with the Jews! He will return to bless them as a nation, as a theocracy, as a whole people, planted again in the Holy Land. He will keep His promises to them which are seen as unconditional and irrevocable in nature. The Gentiles will forfeit the blessing giving to them as an international group, and the Lord will again touch the hearts and souls of the Jewish people.

In verses 29, 31 we are told that "God is not sorry for his gifts to and calling of the Jews." (A. T. Robertson, p. 399) And, "God’s purpose is for the Jews to receive a blessing yet." (Ibid) It is impossible to read these verses and misunderstand the apostle’s meaning. The Jews will be restored and all the messianic promises of an earthly Kingdom will be fulfilled.

And thus, all Israel will be saved, as it has been written: The Rescuing One will in the future come out of Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. (11:26) (Couch, Greek Translation)
11:26 "And all Israel shall be saved". "That is, national; not all Israelites in the past but the nation as such at the time of Christ’s Second Advent, and the inauguration of the Millennial reign." (Vine, p. 410) On this phrase Kroll adds: "This does not mean every Jew will come to Christ, there will be a large evangelistic movement among the Jews in the future. Still, only elect Jews will come to faith during that evangelistic movement. … It is then, at the coming of Jesus Christ to reign in power and glory, when He delivers the earth from the Antichrist’s rule, that Messiah will restore Israel to be the apple of God’s eye. Massive numbers of elect Jews will fall at the feet of Jesus, not only as King of Kings and Lord of lords, but as their Messiah as well. … Paul seals the restoration of Israel with a prophecy from Isaiah 59:20, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion’ (v. 26). This reference is to a manifestation to Israel of her Redeemer and Messiah. When He comes, Israel will be restored to the Root of God." (Kroll, p. 184)

Nicoll concurs and writes: "Israel as a nation, is a key part of the Messianic kingdom, is the content of Paul’s thoughts. … Israel, or to the elect, is to miss the mark: it foretells a ‘conversion of the Jews’ so universal that the separation into an elect remnant and the rest who were hardened shall disappear." (p. 683)

Everyone agrees the "all Israel" means the whole of Israel, not every specific Jew. A remnant will survive the tribulation and be saved. Some will be taken before their Savior, their King, and be judged. That is what Matthew 25 is all about.

The One Rescuing is a Present Participle of the verb ruomai. It means "to rescue, deliver." Christ then in the verbal sense is known as the Rescuer of the Jewish people, and of course also the world (but that is not the point here). The Future Tense comes from the verbs "shall be saved" and "will come" (ako). Ako means "to arrive, to be present," and has the force of the Pluperfect. "He will have arrived." (Thayer) "He will remove" also is a Future Tense of apotrepo. Thus, "He will remove, turn away" ungodliness from Jacob, or Israel. Jacob was the father of the twelve tribes, not the founder of the Church of the Inner Springs in Horseshoe, Texas! The name Jacob is a representation of the Jews. Jacob and Zion means the Jewish people, not the church! Zion was the hill in Jerusalem that was the site of the residence of the kings of Israel. The word became a catch-all term for describing Jerusalem, Israel as a whole, or the Jewish people.

Only someone not thinking, or who has a pre-set agenda, would miss the fact that the verse is telling us that the Jews will be restored and receive the benefits (and fulfill) the application of the New Covenant, which has to do with personal blessings, i.e. personal salvation!

And to them, this concerning the covenant of Me, when I should Myself remove the sins from them! (11:27) (Couch, Greek Translation)
Paul here quotes the prophecy of the New Covenant first given in Jeremiah 31:31-on.

When in the future the Messiah comes to save the Jews the New Covenant will be fulfilled with the nation. The New Covenant was ratified by the death of Christ and His shed blood on the cross (Luke 22:20). The Covenant was launched at Pentecost (Acts 2), with the Gentiles presently receiving the benefits of it in salvation, but not in a prophetic sense fulfilling it. But Israel will embrace the New Covenant as they enter the blessings of the Kingdom and trust Christ as their personal Savior. When the Jews rejected Christ, they rejected the provision for salvation that comes by the New Covenant but in the future that Covenant will bring them salvation from their sins.

God is not through with the nation of Israel!

On the one hand, concerning the gospel, they are enemies because of you (Gentiles), on the other hand, according to the calling out (election), (they are) beloved because of the fathers, (11:28) (Couch, Greek Translation)
This is a profound passage of Scripture because it tells us, that though the Jews presently reject Christ, they are still beloved (loved) in God’s sight because He made promises to the patriarchs, the Jewish fathers—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Twelve Tribes! When Paul wrote the Romans letter, the Jews were at war with the Christian Gentiles. They were angry because these "pagans" were accepting Christ as the Jewish Savior and King!

God’s relationship with the Jews is based on His election. And though they are now in unbelief He is not through with them. That national election stands. It defines His future work with them. God chose Israel to be His people; they are the object of His love even presently—on account of the fact that He is a Covenant-keeping God!

for irrevocable are the gifts and the calling from God. (11:29) (Couch, Greek Translation)
Irrevocable (ametamelata) means that it can not be repented of. God cannot change His mind about the nation of Israel. He will fulfill all His promises to them. "God’s gifts of grace, and His calling, are things upon which there is no going back." (Nicoll, p. 684) His Spirit will bring a great remnant back to life and, following the terrible seven year tribulation, they will be restored to their Holy Land by faith, with Christ their King ruling over them. The "calling (kalasis) from God" here Nicoll says has to do with their place in God’s earthly plan. "It is His authoritative invitation to a part in the Messianic kingdom. From Israel these things can never be withdrawn." (Ibid)

For just as you then were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience. (11:30) (Couch, Greek Translation)
A perfect example of how God is dealing with the Jews is how He dealt with the Gentiles. He can show mercy even when there is gross unbelief.

Also likewise they now were disobedient in order to show mercy to you, they also may now be shown mercy. (11:31) (Couch, Greek Translation)
In a classic statement Nicoll writes:

The past unbelief of the Gentiles and the mercy they presently enjoy, the present unbelief of the Jews and the mercy they are destined to enjoy in the future—these things not only correspond to each other, but they are interwoven with each other; they are parts of a system which God controls, and in which every element conditions and is conditioned by all the rest; there is a Divine necessity pervading and controlling all the [so called] freedom of men—a Divine purpose mastering all the random activity of human wills." (Ibid)
For the God has closed up the all into disobedience in order that the all might be shown mercy (by Him). (11:32) (Couch, Greek Translation)
Paul has spelled out the distinction between God’s dealings with the nations and His work with the Jews. Presently, both groups are placed together in the body of

Christ, in this dispensation (PERIOD) of grace, and the church age. Presently, the majority in the church, the body of Christ, are Gentiles, but in the dispensation (PERIOD) of the Kingdom, the majority people, special people, will be the nation of Israel. The Lord has specific plans for both groups. Vine correctly concludes:

When Israel as a nation is restored to Divine favor and privilege in the earth, He will show His mercy to all nations, i.e., in the Millennium. The word "all," in reference to Israel, is to be viewed in the light of verse 26, and, as to the Gentiles, in the light of what is said in verses 12-25. In whatever way man enjoys salvation he will never be able to attribute it to anything but the pure mercy of God. (p. 412)

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