Friday, 4 October 2013
Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. Romans 11:5
“Even so then…” is Paul’s note of comparison between what he has just said and what he will aver concerning his countrymen. As God had reserved for Himself “seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal” at Elijah’s time, so He “at this present time” has likewise reserved a remnant.
“This present time” is speaking of the time of Paul, but it is certainly inclusive of the entire church age, because his writings are so intended for that purpose – Paul being the “apostle to the gentiles.” During this age, God has not failed to retain a portion of Jewish people within the governance of His redemptive workings. This is according to His promises of the Old Testament to them as a nation. The People’s New Testament states it this way –
“The idea is that Israel was the elected (chosen people), and out of it God had always preserved a remnant by his grace. The election of individuals is not referred to, but the election of a remnant to represent the race.”
As a sort of proof of this, the Jewish convert to Christianity, Zola Levitt, while still alive would travel around the nation speaking to churches about his ministry. At each church, he’d ask “How many of Jewish descent are in the congregation?” The answer normally came back with a small number of hands coming up. Regardless of the denomination, this would be the case. They, representing the Jewish nation, are a testament to God’s continued grace upon them as well as the gentiles.
It should be noted that the main reason for the continuance of a remnant is yet future to us now. It is a prophetic acknowledgment that they are still a people and will continue on after the rapture of the church, through the tribulation period, and come out as the people to whom Christ will return when they call Him as a nation. This is evident throughout Scripture, but a good specific reference would be Zechariah 12:6-14.
Until that time, there is this continued “remnant according to the election of grace.” This small number in relation to the whole are saved in the same manner as the vast number of gentiles who have been saved – by grace through faith. The offer has been made and accepted by them and they are included in the number of the redeemed of the Lord.
Life application: The nation of Israel was returned to the land of Israel in 1948. In 1967, Jerusalem again became a possession of the Jewish people. As these changes have taken place, another sort of change has taken place. In 1973, “Jews for Jesus” was founded and the modern Messianic movement among Jewish believers has skyrocketed. As you look at the state of the spiritual rebirth of Israel, note that there is a long way to go. Pray for eyes to be opened and hearts to be changed. Time is marching on and Israel plays a significant role in the present and into the future.
Lord God, the splendor of what You have created is but a mere reflection of the glory You possess. The intricacy of life is astonishing, but how much more marvelous then is the Giver of life? The wisdom in the placement of the heavenly bodies causes us to marvel, and yet they are only there because of your surpassing wisdom. Great are You, O God, and ever-so worthy of praise. Amen.