1. The basic premise of the doctrine of election is that God has chosen -- "elected" -- a remnant for Himself. The apostle Paul has gone to great lengths in the ninth and tenth chapters of Romans to show that this has always been God's intention. Any notion that He originally planned to "save" the entire nation of Israel -- every single physical descendant of A __ __ __ __ __ __, I __ __ __ __, and J __ __ __ __ -- is refuted by the Scripture record of God's dealing with mankind since the Fall. The expanded version of this teaching is called "Universalism," which declares that God will, in the end, save the entire human race through the blood of Christ. Some variations of this doctrine -- a.k.a. "the gospel of the Second Chance" -- are intriguing but must be, finally, rejected, since they stand in direct oppostition to some of what is set forth clearly in God's Word.
a. The Old Testament prophets began to understand that Israel as a nation had never been entirely faithful to God, and that she never would be. These same prophets were, however, confident that a r__ __ __ __ __ __ of Israel's descendants would remain faithful.
(1) ref: Amos 9:9-10
Micah 2:12; 5:3
(2) "A 'disobedient and contary people' Israel might be, but God had no more written them off now than in earlier days when they rejected his word through Moses and the prophets. 'Those whom he foreknew he also predestined' is a principle not set aside in their case. As in Old Testament times, so in apostolic times God's purposes in choosing his people was safeguarded by his reservation of a faithful 'remnant.'" - F.F. Bruce: Romans ( Volume 6, Tyndale New Testament Commenary )
2. In Romans 11 Paul concludes his teaching on the relationship between God and both of His "chosen" people: the Jews and the Gentiles. One question seems to nag at Paul: Since Israel rejected His Messiah, is God done with her for good?
B. Text: Romans 11:1-36
1. In v.1 Paul points to a very personal reference to prove that God has not abandoned the Jewish people: himself! He identifies himself as:
a. an I __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __,
b. of the seed of A __ __ __ __ __ __,
c. of the tribe of B __ __ __ __ __ __ __.
2. "If God had cast away his people, then above all he would have cast away the apostle Paul who fought against him with all his strength." - Martin Luther: Lectures on Romans
2. In v.3-6 he provides Scriptural support for his belief that God is not yet through with Israel.
a. The way in which he words his self-addressed question --.has God cast away His people? -- hearkens back to Psalm 94:14:
For the Lord will not cast off His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
b. Specifically, Paul recalls the desperate situation in which the prophet E __ __ __ __ __ found himself, as recorded in 1 Kings 19:1-18. Among the things the prophet learned through this experience:
(1) Deep spiritual v __ __ __ __ __ __ often follow "mountaintop" experiences.
(2) It is easy to be overwhelmed by the "tyranny of immediate circumstances."