Jews and Romans 9 – 11
Jews and Romans: 9 thru 11.
In regards to Biblical Jews and the Jews of today, a common response from Christian pastors and teachers (and one that actually came from a pastor of a large, California, USA, church, who refused to discuss the errors / lies he was preaching) often comes in the form of a statement and / or question. It usually goes something like this:
"I'm not interested" .... and "How could you read Romans 9 thru 11 and then say that the Jewish people are not important in God’s eyes?"
The answer to that question is multi faceted.
To begin, all people are important to God, therefore those who calls themselves Jews today are just as important to God as anyone else. However, even though they are important, they are not more important, nor are they more special to God than anyone else. Moreover, Jews of today are not direct descendents of Biblical Jews nor do they have a traceable connection to ancient Israel. Pages 7 & 8 of this site explain the descendent issue in more detail.
However, when Romans 9 thru 11 is read carefully the better question is:
How could anyone read Romans 9 thru 11 and then still regard the Jews of ancient Israel, who had not accepted the Messiah Jesus, as being anything other than a people God had already separated from, and would then, as God said in Deuteronomy 6:15, "Wipe Off The Face Of The Earth"? ..... And of course He did exactly that. (see Page 8 & Page 7)
Since this section is addressing only the question regarding Romans 9 thru 11, we will try, as much as possible, to keep from going outside these three chapters for the answer. However to truly understanding something in God's word one must usually look at the Bible in its entirety rather than just a few chapters as we will do here.
Now with that understanding, let's look at some key points in Romans 9 - 11.
The Biblical Jewish genetic & spiritual lineage.
1) In Rom 9:7 God says, "nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants ......."
It is clear here that being a descendent of Abraham does not automatically make one a child of God.
2) In Rom 9:6 God says .......... "they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel ..."
This passage states that the name Israel applies to more than just those who carried the title of Israel (or sons of Israel) at that time.
3) In Rom 9:8 it says:"....... it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants."
This passage clearly states that the children of God are not those of the flesh. To put it another way; someone's fleshly genetic lineage has no bearing on the title of "Children of God."
4) In Rom 10:12 God says that "there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all.."
Since the title of Greek meant anyone who was not a Jew, then God is saying that those who were/are called Jews are no different in God's salvation plan than anyone else.
Therefore, when we condense the theme of those verses into one short paragraph it says:
They are not all children because they are Abraham's descendents nor are they all Israel who are descended from Israel, because it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God. Therefore there is no distinction between Jew and Greek.
Those are a few key points, in Romans 9 - 11, that shows that after the Cross it is clear that God's true children did not come from any fleshly lineage. Moreover, the next two verses are further confirmation that salvation, and the title "Sons of the Living God," was open to everyone.
5) Rom 9:25 As He says also in Hosea, "I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, 'MY PEOPLE,' AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, 'BELOVED.'"
Rom 9:26 "AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, 'YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,' THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD."
It should now be clear to anyone, referencing Romans 9 thru 11, that after the Cross, a Jew in the flesh was no different to God than anyone else.
What was the old covenant, commonly and usually erroneously called Judaism, about?
The common consensus is, that Paul's letter to the Romans, what we call the Book of Romans, was written approximately 20-25 years after salvation was brought into the world by Jesus. Therefore, although the spiritual principals in Romans applies to everyone, it was originally written to the people (Jews and others) at that time. Therefore some points are directed to specifically answer the questions of the people of that time; and of course anyone who might ask them at a future.
A Jew at that time, and especially a devoutly religious Jew, would question why God was rejecting His people who followed the Law, and then, if so, what the Law was all about. Therefore, Paul answers that question.
1) Rom 10:2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
This passage indicates that a zeal for God is not enough if it is not according to what is correct and true. Many of the world's religions today, and even some Christian denominations, would fit that definition.
2) Rom 11:1 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Here God's word is telling us that He has not, and is not, rejecting those who are the descendents of Abraham through whom God gave the Law.
3) Rom 11:5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice.
Prior to this verse, in Romans 11:3 &4, Paul gives a brief historical overview of how in times past God had chosen a remnant for Himself. Therefore, God is again choosing a remnant for Himself, and as we will find out later, it comes through faith in Jesus not through any fleshly lineage.
4) Rom 9:4 ....who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
This verse shows that even the Israelites of that time needed to be adopted into Christ, the giver of the New Covenant. Later we will see how that is only possible through faith.
5) Rom 11:14 ....if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.
Rom 9:27 ......THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED
Therefore, in those six verses, we are told that those who were following the law, the way they understood it to be, were not doing so according to what was correct (Much of man's foolishness was also added to the Law. Jesus even told them, in Mark 7:7, that they were teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men). Therefore, at that "present time," God would save the remnant who were willing, through faith, to be adopted as sons.
Now when we condense the theme of all those verses into one short paragraph it says of the Jews of that time:
The Jews have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge but God has not rejected His people because at the present time He will save some of them, a remnant but they will only be saved by faith if they are adopted as sons. Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved.
There are other eternal spiritual principals that apply here but since this section is only addressing the Romans 9 - 11 question, we will stop here so as not to confuse the issue.
Here we will address the spiritual condition of Israel at the time of Christ.
Israel at the time of Christ represented the human nature of all mankind and how we all too often resist God's Truth. As such Israel was about to be wiped off the face of the earth and only the remnant who came to Jesus by faith would be saved. In Deuteronomy 6:15, God said He would wipe them off the face of the earth if they did not follow His commandments. Only a few years after Romans was written, He did exactly that, in A.D. 70, when the Roman general Titus laid siege to and destroyed the last Temple in Jerusalem. That event, for all practical purposes, ended the old Jewish religion and any future traceable Jewish lineage in the flesh.
The following verses show the spiritual condition of Israel at that time and what brought about their demise.
Rom 10:21 But as for Israel He says, "ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE."
Rom 11:7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;
Rom 11:8 just as it is written, "GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY."
Rom 11:10 "LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER."
Although three of those four verses are Old Testament quotes, Paul is applying them to the Jews of that time.
The next three verses (Romans 11:19-21) indicate that natural Israel, the Israel of the flesh not spiritual Israel, were separated (broken off) from God.
Rom 11:19 .......... "Branches were broken off ..........."
Rom 11:20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief,
Rom 11:21 for if God did not spare the natural branches.....
Therefore the Romans 9 - 11 tells us that why God eliminated Israel and the Jews who did not accept the Messiah Jesus.
These next two verses (Romans 9:28-29) are prophetic of what was to come to Israel in A.D. 70, and where only a posterity (a remnant) would be saved.
Rom 9:28 "FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD ON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY."
Rom 9:29 And just as Isaiah foretold, "UNLESS THE LORD OF SABAOTH HAD LEFT TO US A POSTERITY, WE WOULD HAVE BECOME LIKE SODOM, AND WOULD HAVE RESEMBLED GOMORRAH."
The following verse is a reminder to everyone that even though natural Israel has been rejected because of their unbelief, it is the root, Jesus, that supports us, we do not support anything.
Rom 11:18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.
Salvation only through Faith in Jesus.
Natural Israel was never promised salvation through the Law (Page 12) and Romans 9 - 11 is further confirmation of that.
Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
Rom 10:3 For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
In the first verse, Rom 10:1, Paul is stating that the Jews, who were his brethren, needed salvation because even though they had a zeal for God they did not know him in Truth. The second verse confirms what Jesus said, in Matthew 15:9, about the Jewish religion at that time. Jesus said that the Rabbis were " teaching as doctrines the precepts of men."
Rom 9:31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.
Rom 9:32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,
Religious works will not bring righteousness. Righteousness can only come thru faith in God's Messiah Jesus. In this case Paul was writing about the Jews but it applies to everyone and any religion.
Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Rom 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
Again, righteousness can only come thru faith in God's Messiah Jesus.
Rom 10:13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
And again righteousness can only come thru faith in God's Messiah Jesus.
Rom 9:30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;
Rom 10:19 But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says, "I WILL MAKE YOU JEALOUS BY THAT WHICH IS NOT A NATION, BY A NATION WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING WILL I ANGER YOU."
Rom 10:20 And Isaiah is very bold and says, "I WAS FOUND BY THOSE WHO DID NOT SEEK ME, I BECAME MANIFEST TO THOSE WHO DID NOT ASK FOR ME."
These verses show where God had salvation planned for all people, and God's prophets wrote it in the scriptures hundreds of years before Paul wrote it in Romans.
Rom 11:23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
This is another indication that the Jews of that time were no more special than anyone else because they also needed to be "grafted in" to the Root; and as we know the Root was Jesus.
Rom 11:25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery--so that you will not be wise in your own estimation--that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;
Rom 11:26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB."
Rom 11:27 "THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS."
Some people interpret Romans 11:26 as saying that all of Israel, in the flesh, will eventually be saved. However for that interpretation to be correct not only would God's word be inconsistent with itself, but history would prove it to be wrong. As we saw in other verses of Romans only a remnant would be saved, and then only by faith. Moreover, in only a few years after this was written, A.D. 70, physical Israel would forever be destroyed by the Roman General Titus.
However, when these verses are read carefully, and then looked at in the spiritual dimension, there is no inconsistency. All Israel was saved by THE DELIVERER FROM ZION, who REMOVED UNGODLINESS and TOOK AWAY THEIR SINS. The house of Israel was saved, but the children of Israel, the remnant, were only saved by faith in the Messiah Jesus.
As we stated at the beginning of this page, we would attempt, as much as possible, to stay within Romans 9-11, to answer the question regarding Jews in these three chapters. Having done so we will end with these verses, outside of Romans, which tell us to consider Greeks, Jews, and any other group of believers, as one in Christ.
Colossians 3:9-11 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him 11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
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