"Has God cast away His people?"
Text: Romans 11:1
ANOTHER ROUND OF QUESTIONS
Paul knew the Jews only too well! He would need to continue with this discussion about being God’s people (as Jews) for a little longer.
“I say then, has God cast away His people?
Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite,
of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.”
1. The question of God casting away His people
a) Some might have come to the conclusion that Paul had taught this.
b) Their reasoning could run along the following lines:-
i) That he had cited Scripture to say that the Jews were a disobedient people (Cf. Romans 10:21)
ii) That Paul seemed to have spoken disparagingly of Israel (Cf. Romans 9-10)
iii) That Paul seemed to have been in favor of the Gentiles (rather than the Jews)
2. The slurring of Paul’s good name
a) Paul’s name was in danger of being slurred if these ideas were to go unchecked.
b) His ministry to the Jews would be potentially harmed.
c) Great tension between Jew and Gentile Christian could emerge.
3. A firm and clear answer
a) Paul felt that he had to give a clear and definite answer concerning his view about whether God had cast away His people. His strong answer- “Certainly not!”
b) Once again, Paul had to state that he was not ashamed of his Jewish heritage.
i) He proclaimed himself “An Israelite”.
ii) He was a proud “son (seed) of Abraham”.
iii) He could trace his ethnic roots to the tribe of Benjamin.
These things were stated to clear doubts about Paul’s loyalty as a Jew!