Monday: The Election of Grace

Read Romans 11:1-7. What common teaching does this passage deny clearly and irrevocably?

In the first part of his answer to the question, “Hath God cast away his people?” Paul points to a remnant, an election of grace, as proof that God has not cast away His people. Salvation is open for all who accept it, Jew and Gentile alike.

By Grace

Image © Phil McKay

It should be remembered that the early converts to Christianity were all Jews – for example, the group that was converted on the Day of Pentecost. It took a special vision and miracle to convince Peter that the Gentiles had equal access to the grace of Christ (Acts chapter 10); compare Acts 15:7-9) and that the gospel was to be carried to them, as well.

Read Romans 11:7-10. Is Paul saying that God purposely blinded to salvation the part of Israel’s population that rejected Jesus? What’s wrong with that idea?

In Romans 11:8-10, Paul quotes from the Old Testament, which the Jews accepted as authoritative. The passages that Paul cites represent God as giving to Israel a spirit of slumber, preventing their seeing and hearing. Does God blind people’s eyes to prevent them from seeing light that would lead them to salvation? Never! These passages must be understood in the light of our explanation of Romans 9. Paul is not talking of individual salvation, for God rejects no one group en masse for salvation. The issue here, as it has been all along, deals with the role that these people play in His work.

What is so wrong with the idea that God has rejected en masse any group of people in terms of salvation? Why is that counter to the whole teaching of the gospel, which at the core shows that Christ died to save all human beings? How, for example, in the case of the Jews, has this idea led to tragic results?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons