Covenant and The Mystery #5. From Truth for Today Archives, Aug. 1964-July 1975, by Oscar M. Baker. Seven articles entitled, “Covenant and The Mystery” (From Vol. 22, #7, p. 265)
The 11th chapter of Romans deserves a lot more space than we can give it here. But in the hope readers will carry on the study, we give a bare outline and leave it with you.
At the time of the writing of Romans, God had not cast away His People, Israel. The reason, a remnant believed. This is likened to the 7,000 men who had not bowed the knee to Baal in the time of Elijah.
The remnant had obtained what Israel had been looking for many centuries, but did not know the day of their visitation when their Messiah came and tabernacled among them. This remnant was an election by the grace of God. And we know that election is based on foreknowledge. The blindness of the major portion was foretold in the OT. It was also prophesied the fall of Israel would be a blessing to the Gentiles. Paul tells them this is now taking place at the time of his writing.
The reason for this speaking to Gentiles is explained: that it might wake up the greater part of Israel and provoke them to jealousy. Paul is still very zealous for his nation, Israel. So he hopes his preaching to Gentiles and grafting them into the hope and blessings of Israel might shake up Israel and awaken them so they might believe.
Verse 15 gives us a little hint of the future. He asks what will happen to the Gentiles when all Israel is saved, if their partial falling away is a blessing. This is a little glimpse into the future when the great commission of Matthew 28 goes into effect.
All these Gentile believers who have been grafted in are warned. They are to be careful they do not boast of their great privilege. For if God had broken out the natural branches, He also could break out the wild ones. He also could graft the natural branches back in. In fact, this very thing was in their future if prophecy had gone on according to the schedule laid down in Dan. 9. Paul expected the Lord to come in that generation, and then all Israel would have been saved (preserved). See verse 26.
Paul is preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and to the Gentiles he is telling the gospel of the grace of God. All Israel is beloved for the sake of the fathers and the promises made to them. But at the time of Paul’s writing, the enmity of the bulk of Israel to the gospel turned out to be a blessing to the Gentiles. The Gentiles obtained mercy because of the unbelief of Israel. There is a further statement in verse 32 that is not generally understood. God has concluded all Israel under sin, both the believing remnant and those who are enemies, so He might have mercy upon all of them! Now go back to verse 30. Again it is made plain that Gentiles had obtained mercy because the Gentiles believed. Quite a puzzle.
The whole chapter goes to show that the great commission has not yet begun, but is foreshadowed. Paul is preaching a gospel to Gentiles which is similar to that which the 12 will preach in the great millennium, and all this under the covenant.