Romans 11

* The rejection of the Jews is not universal. (1-10) God

overruled their unbelief for making the Gentiles partakers of

gospel privileges. (11-21) The Gentiles cautioned against pride

and unbelief, The Jews shall be called as a nation, and brought

into God's visible covenant again. (22-32) A solemn adoring of

the wisdom, goodness, and justice of God. (33-36)

1-10 There was a chosen remnant of believing Jews, who had

righteousness and life by faith in Jesus Christ. These were kept

according to the election of grace. If then this election was of

grace, it could not be of works, either performed or foreseen.

Every truly good disposition in a fallen creature must be the

effect, therefore it cannot be the cause, of the grace of God

bestowed on him. Salvation from the first to the last must be

either of grace or of debt. These things are so directly

contrary to each other that they cannot be blended together. God

glorifies his grace by changing the hearts and tempers of the

rebellious. How then should they wonder and praise him! The

Jewish nation were as in a deep sleep, without knowledge of

their danger, or concern about it; having no sense of their need

of the Saviour, or of their being upon the borders of eternal

ruin. David, having by the Spirit foretold the sufferings of

Christ from his own people, the Jews, foretells the dreadful

judgments of God upon them for it, #Ps 69|. This teaches us how

to understand other prayers of David against his enemies; they

are prophecies of the judgments of God, not expressions of his

own anger. Divine curses will work long; and we have our eyes

darkened, if we are bowed down in worldly-mindedness.
11-21 The gospel is the greatest riches of every place where it

is. As therefore the righteous rejection of the unbelieving

Jews, was the occasion of so large a multitude of the Gentiles

being reconciled to God, and at peace with him; the future

receiving of the Jews into the church would be such a change, as

would resemble a general resurrection of the dead in sin to a

life of righteousness. Abraham was as the root of the church.

The Jews continued branches of this tree till, as a nation, they

rejected the Messiah; after that, their relation to Abraham and

to God was, as it were, cut off. The Gentiles were grafted into

this tree in their room; being admitted into the church of God.

Multitudes were made heirs of Abraham's faith, holiness and

blessedness. It is the natural state of every one of us, to be

wild by nature. Conversion is as the grafting in of wild

branches into the good olive. The wild olive was often ingrafted

into the fruitful one when it began to decay, and this not only

brought forth fruit, but caused the decaying olive to revive and

flourish. The Gentiles, of free grace, had been grafted in to

share advantages. They ought therefore to beware of

self-confidence, and every kind of pride or ambition; lest,

having only a dead faith, and an empty profession, they should

turn from God, and forfeit their privileges. If we stand at all,

it is by faith; we are guilty and helpless in ourselves, and are

to be humble, watchful, afraid of self-deception, or of being

overcome by temptation. Not only are we at first justified by

faith, but kept to the end in that justified state by faith

only; yet, by a faith which is not alone, but which worketh by

love to God and man.
22-32 Of all judgments, spiritual judgments are the sorest; of

these the apostle is here speaking. The restoration of the Jews

is, in the course of things, far less improbable than the call

of the Gentiles to be the children of Abraham; and though others

now possess these privileges, it will not hinder their being

admitted again. By rejecting the gospel, and by their

indignation at its being preached to the Gentiles, the Jews were

become enemies to God; yet they are still to be favoured for the

sake of their pious fathers. Though at present they are enemies

to the gospel, for their hatred to the Gentiles; yet, when God's

time is come, that will no longer exist, and God's love to their

fathers will be remembered. True grace seeks not to confine

God's favour. Those who find mercy themselves, should endeavour

that through their mercy others also may obtain mercy. Not that

the Jews will be restored to have their priesthood, and temple,

and ceremonies again; an end is put to all these; but they are

to be brought to believe in Christ, the true become one

sheep-fold with the Gentiles, under Christ the Great Shepherd.

The captivities of Israel, their dispersion, and their being

shut out from the church, are emblems of the believer's

corrections for doing wrong; and the continued care of the Lord

towards that people, and the final mercy and blessed restoration

intended for them, show the patience and love of God.
33-36 The apostle Paul knew the mysteries of the kingdom of God

as well as ever any man; yet he confesses himself at a loss; and

despairing to find the bottom, he humbly sits down at the brink,

and adores the depth. Those who know most in this imperfect

state, feel their own weakness most. There is not only depth in

the Divine counsels, but riches; abundance of that which is

precious and valuable. The Divine counsels are complete; they

have not only depth and height, but breadth and length, #Eph

3:18|, and that passing knowledge. There is that vast distance

and disproportion between God and man, between the Creator and

the creature, which for ever shuts us from knowledge of his

ways. What man shall teach God how to govern the world? The

apostle adores the sovereignty of the Divine counsels. All

things in heaven and earth, especially those which relate to our

salvation, that belong to our peace, are all of him by way of

creation, through him by way of providence, that they may be to

him in their end. Of God, as the Spring and Fountain of all;

through Christ, to God, as the end. These include all God's

relations to his creatures; if all are of Him, and through Him,

all should be to Him, and for Him. Whatever begins, let God's

glory be the end: especially let us adore him when we talk of

the Divine counsels and actings. The saints in heaven never

dispute, but always praise.
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