The Berean Expositor
Volume 28 - Page 148 of 217
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#69. "God hath not cast away His people, whom He foreknew."
(A study of Rom. 9: 30 - 11: 10, revealing that Divine sovereignty and
human responsibility are but two sides of one truth).
pp. 73 - 78
No part of the Epistle to the Romans can be considered "milk for babes"; most of it is
"strong meat" indeed for the most mature. As we realize on the one hand the magnitude
of the theme, and on the other the limitations of the writer, the small amount of space at
his disposal, and the varied stages of attainment and growth of those who read these
articles, there will be no need to stress the difficulties that must attend the exposition of
such a passage as Rom. 9:-11: It will help us, however, as we face the problems before
us, to remember that the theme of Romans is righteousness. We meet it in the earlier part
of chapter 1:, where it constitutes the very power of the gospel, and again at the close of
the chapter when we read of the failure of the Gentile world. And it is with us in one
aspect or another in every succeeding chapter.
For the moment, the failure of Israel, the blindness of so many of the chosen nation,
and the inclusion of Gentile believers, have presented such a sheaf of problems, that all
other considerations have been set aside, while the great answer, "God is sovereign", has
been given. Divine sovereignty, however, in a moral world is but one half of the truth.
There is another side of equal importance, namely, human responsibility. This principle,
therefore, now emerges, and occupies the central section of Rom. 9:-11: In this section
we have such expressions as  "seeking by faith",  "not submitting",  "confess",
"believe", "hearing", "preaching", "stretching forth the hands to a disobedient and
gainsaying people".
The two apparently opposite aspects of truth represented by sovereignty and
responsibility meet together in Rom. 11: 1, 2, summed up in the word "foreknew". But
this we must deal with in its place. Were the Bible nothing but Rom. 9: 14-29, we
might all be Calvinists. Were it nothing but Rom. 10:, we might all be Arminians. As it
is, we cannot be either to the exclusion of the other, for each system contains an element
of truth in spite of the admixture of error.
Rom. 9: 30 - 10: 21 deals with the question of Israel and righteousness, and it has been
suggested that the subject is handled in a threefold way: Israel's failure in spite of the
prophets (9: 30-33); Israel's failure in spite of the law (10: 1-11); and Israel's failure in
spite of the gospel (10: 14-21). Upon examination, however, it would seem that this
subdivision of the subject-matter is not justified. It will be observed that the Apostle uses
twice over one particular quotation from the prophet Isaiah: "Whosoever believeth on
Him shall not be ashamed" (Rom. 9: 33, 10: 11).  This fact must certainly be given a
place in any structural outline. Further, we notice that the Greek word skandalon,
"offence" (Rom. 9: 33) and "stumbling-block" (Rom. 11: 9, 10), is used in two passages
with evident and intentional parallelism. This, too, must find a place in the structure, and
extends the section beyond the limits of Rom. 10:  Again, we observe that the