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The letter to the
Has God ever cast away His people?
Did God reject them?
01 I say then, Has God cast away His people?
God forbid! [By no means] for I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 02 God has not cast away His people which He knew beforehand. Dont you know what the Scripture says of Elijah? How he made intercession to God against Israel, saying,
03 Lord, they have killed Your prophets, and digged [or knocked] down Your altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. Note 2
04 But what says the answer of God to him?
I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal [the god of force].
05 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 06 And if by grace, then is it no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace, otherwise work is no more work.
07 What then? Israel has not obtained that which he seeks for; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were [self] blinded 08 (According as it is written,
God has given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear);
to this day.
09 And David says,
Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense to them: 10 Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow down their back always.
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall [completely]? God forbid! But rather through their fall salvation is come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the [rest of the] world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness [or return]? 13 [So] I speak to you Gentiles.
Because I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify my office [or ministry, before them], 14 if by any means I may provoke to emulation [or jealousy] them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 15 For if the casting away of them [or their choice] be [used for] the reconciling of the [rest of the] world, what shall the receiving of them be, but [like] life from the dead? Note 3
Special Note 4
16 For if the Firstfruit be holy, the lump [or the rest] is also holy.
And if the [or this] Root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them partake of the Root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 boast not against the branches.
But if you boast, [remember] you bear not the Root, but the Root [bears] you.
19 You will say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Be not highminded [or proud], but fear, 21 for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not you.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God:
on them which fell, severity;
but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness:
otherwise you also shall be cut off. Note 5
Grafting can be repeated
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more shall these, which are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? [See an Old Testament statement for more on this] Note 6
25 For I would not, brothers [and sisters], that you should be ignorant of this mystery [an unexplored truth], lest you should be wise in your own conceits. That blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all [true] Israel shall be saved [eventually]. As it is written,
There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is My covenant to them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies [or rivals] for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance [or change].
30 For as you in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief, 31 even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all. Note 7
Only God sees all
33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counsellor? 35 Or who has first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed [or paid back] to him again?
36 For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things:
to Whom be glory for ever. Amen. Note 8
On to Chapter Twelve of the Letter .................
Return to Chapter Ten
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