God’s Mercy Through The Deliverer To “All Israel:” Romans 11:23-32
23 And even they, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be ingrafted; for God is powerful to ingraft them again. 24 For if you were cut off from a wild olive tree, which you were naturally from, and contrary to nature were ingrafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more than this shall those naturally belonging to it be ingrafted in their own olive tree? 25 For I do not desire you to ignore, brethren, this mystery– lest you be sensible in yourselves– that Israel has become partially hardened until the fullness of the ethnicities came in. 26 And thus all Israel will be saved, just as it has been written, “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn away impiety from Jacob. 27 And this [will be] the covenant from me to them, when I shall take away their sins.”
28 According to the gospel they are enemies for your sakes, but according to the election, they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God [are] without repentance. 30 For just as you formerly were disobedient to God, yet now you have been mercied in their disobedience. 31 Thus also these now disobeyed for the sake of your mercy, in order that they might also now be mercied. 32 For God confined all into disobedience, in order that he may mercy all. [Emphases added.]
In Romans 11:23-32 God is presented as powerful, sovereign, and merciful.
(These truths about God’s character have been especially emphasized in Romans 9-11.)
God is powerful, and He is able to overcome unbelief in order to accomplish His plans.
God is sovereign; even human disobedience to His will ultimately serves His purposes.
God is merciful– He arranges history for the salvation of the unbelieving and disobedient.
God’s mercy offers a second chance to those who have turned away from Him.
God’s mercy is supernatural and above human reason.
God’s mercy is always active, and extends to all kinds of people.
As in other parts of Rom 9-11, Paul closes his argument in Rom 11:11-27 with Scripture.
In Romans 11:26b-27, Paul quotes from Isa 59:20, Psa 14:7, Isa 27:9, and Jer 31:33.
The verses that Paul cites all indicate salvation from sin (and its effects) for Israel.
Salvation comes through the Deliverer and the establishment of the New Covenant.
The Deliverer was from Zion– the city of David, where God especially met with Israel.
The Deliverer turns away impiety (lack of true religion) and takes away sin (rebellion).
The Deliverer is Jesus Christ.
John Calvin notes:
Many understand this of the Jewish people, as though Paul had said, that religion would again be restored among them as before: but I extend the word Israel to all the people of God, according to this meaning, — “When the Gentiles shall come in, the Jews also shall return from their defection to the obedience of faith; and thus shall be completed the salvation of the whole Israel of God, which must be gathered from both; and yet in such a way that the Jews shall obtain the first place, being as it were the first-born in God’s family.” This interpretation seems to me the most suitable, because Paul intended here to set forth the completion of the kingdom of Christ, which is by no means to be confined to the Jews, but is to include the whole world. The same manner of speaking we find in Galatians 6:16.
In Romans 11:23-32, Israel is called unbelieving, disobedient, impious, and sinful.
In Romans 1-3, it has already been made clear that all people are in this same condition.
Our only hope is God’s mercy through the Deliverer– Jesus Christ.
Do you know this Deliverer?
Have you believed in Him?
Have you obeyed His gospel, turning away from sins, and trusting only in Him?