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Volume 28 - Page 152 of 217 Index | Zoom | |
offence to them. Only a remnant believed, and that elect company was not exclusively
Jewish, but included those who walked in the steps of Abraham's faith. There was no
difference between the Jew and the Greek, for "the same Lord over all is rich unto all that
call upon Him".
Towards the close of Rom. 10: the Apostle quotes the statement of Moses, that the
Lord would provoke Israel to jealousy "by them that are no people". This he now
unfolds in connection with the great subject of the reconciling of the world, which is dealt
with in Rom. 11: 11-36. This, however, we must leave for the moment.
The subject-matter of Rom. 9:-11:, the peculiar style of the Apostle's argument, the
many quotations and analogies from O.T. Scriptures, make the study of these chapters
hard, and perhaps a weariness to the flesh. The extreme importance, however, of great
theme of justification by faith demands that it shall be considered in all its bearings,
whether in connection with the Law of Moses, the Call of Abraham, the Headship of
Adam, or, as in the passage before us, the Failure of Israel, and the Election of the
Gentiles. Principles are brought to the light in these passages that are of vital importance
to every believer who desires to understand the ways of God with men.
The Olive Tree and Israel's National Position (11: 11-32).
pp. 108 - 117
In the earlier verses of Rom. 11: the Apostle has shown that the failure of the bulk of
the nation of Israel in no way invalidates God's purpose or His faithfulness. We have
seen that the prophets foretold "a remnant according to the election of grace", and we
also learn that the defection of Israel had been overruled to bring about the reconciliation
of the Gentile world. Looking on to the close of the chapter, we find that "all Israel"
shall be saved, because "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance". The words
"all Israel", "Jacob", and "Zion", together with the prophecy alluded to, preclude our
making any deduction from these verses but one--namely, the national restoration and
blessing of Israel according to the terms of the New Covenant. Quite a number of
questions suggest themselves as we read this section, but it is evident that the Apostle,
when he wrote about the olive tree, had no intention of introducing a theological
argument at this point. He had one and only one purpose before him--to seek to show by
the figure of the olive tree how the Lord had used Gentile believers in order, if it were
possible, to "provoke" the nation of Israel "to emulation". This, and this only, is the
reason for introducing the figure, and the recognition of this will save us from almost
endless argument as to the ultimate destiny of the branches that remained.
Before attempting any exposition of these verses, it will be wise to see what particular
parts of the passage are emphasized by the structure, which we set out as follows: