Vol.XIV No.V Pg.4
July 1977

Paul, To The Romans (Ch. 11-16)

Robert F. Turner

With this center-cut we conclude our digest of the Roman Letter. The introduction and chapters 1-5, are in Vol. 14, No. 3; chapters 6-10, are in Vol. 14, No. 4. If you did not receive these issues they are available upon request. The lengthy parenthetic explanation, this column, was deemed necessary to make Rom. 11: clear to readers who do not know Old Testament history. We urge you to use complete text side by side with this digest.


Has God utterly rejected physical Israel? No indeed! Do not be pessimistic as was Elijah. The preserved remnant, promised by Isaiah and others, will be saved through God's grace. But it must be by grace, and not by meriting works. God's grace is expressed in Christ, the Deliverer; and those who trust in Him are the "elect" according to (by) grace.

(God 's promises to Abraham were both physical and spiritual. "I will make of thee a great nation"-- and, "in thy seed shall all nations be blessed." Physical descendents of Abraham became a great nation, a chosen" people through whom Christ would come. But when lie came (the "seed" by whom all nations were to be blessed), then the physical phase of the promise had served its purpose. Now the "cultivated olive tree" takes on a spiritual significance. Jews and Gentiles who are faithful to Christ are spiritual Israel, "chosen" ones, according to the election of grace. Gen. 11: 1-3, Isa. 1:9, 10:20-23, 11:1011, 42:1, 49:5-6, Joel 2:32, Matt. 12: 17-21, Acts 13:23, 32-39, Gal .3:16-29 6:16, 1 Pet. 2:5, 9-10). God has used the rebellion of Israel, and their crucifixion of His Son, to offer redemption to all nations. Perhaps the Jews may be provoked to jealousy (in a good sense), and some of them saved; for if God can use their rejection of Christ to a good end, how much more their acceptance of Him.

Branches of the cultivated (Jewish) olive tree were cut off, because of their unbelief. Branches of the wild (Gentile) olive tree were grafted into the tree of promise, partaking of the spiritual phase of the Abrahamic "root," because they trusted in Jesus Christ. But Gentiles should not be high-minded. If they do not continue faithful to Christ they too will be cut out. And if those cutout Jews will accept Christ, they will be grafted into t h e tree of promise again. This tree is not nationalistic It consists of all who will accept, and continue faithfully to follow Jesus Christ. "Fullness" is realized in Christ on the basis of faith.

Israel's salvation is no longer a physical or nationalistic matter. In the manner described (individuals trusting in Christ) the salvation offered to Jews is the same as that offered to Gentiles, viz., salvation from sin. Jews and Gentiles should not look upon one another as enemies, but as lost souls, equally in need of the mercies of God. Oh, how wonderful are the ways of the Lord!


Brethren, we should present ourselves as living sacrifices to God. We should not be puffed up, but we should use whatever talent or gift (continued, next page)