Romans 11 and Israel
I was explaining to my wife this passage the other day in light of John MacArthur's recent attack on Reformed Theology. This is usually one of the first NT passages brought up by Dispey's concerning God's chosen people, Israel.
In verse 25, I appearently have an unusaul interpretation of Israel.
I believe Paul changes the meaning of Israel in mid verse. I believe the first usuage is referring to the OT Israel, and the second is referring to the Church, the NT Israel. I believe this because in Chapter 9 Paul says that not all Israel is Israel, and so I think this distinction is applied to verse 25 of Chapter 11.
My problem arises in verse 28 with the reference to they.
In the verse Paul says some strange things about the they. They are enemies of God for our sake, but because of the forefathers they are loved. This makes no sense to me. Is Paul thinking in terms of Federal Headship? That is to say, because of the forefathers faith they are beloved? Does anyone have insight that might help me out?
Normally, I interpret this entire chapter as a future restoration of the Jewish people to God, but only through Christ. Not by rebuilding the temple and sacrifices and all that Dispey nonsense. I believe that there will be an overall theme of Jewish conversion, in the future, to Chrisitanity.
13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in. 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. 25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers:a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion,he will banish ungodliness from Jacob; 27 and this will be my covenant with themwhen I take away their sins. 28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
Member of Independent Presbyterian Church (PCA)
"Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave"- Stonewall Jackson