The Elect Remnant (Romans 11:1-6)

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 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.” (Romans 11:5–6, KJV 1900)

In a study of the Nation of Israel, we trace her roots to Abraham and the covenant that God made with him. The covenant was made not just to an individual but through him for a nation also. A covenant is a solemn agreement, one that cannot be broken.

As we have seen, a major part of this covenant included blessing all the nations of the earth through the seed of Abraham, who is Jesus Christ. This brought about the salvation of both believing Jews and Gentiles. Yet, also included in the covenant was the promise of a Nation and a Land.

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:7–8, KJV 1900)

The covenant was an everlasting one that included the Nation of Israel and the possession of the Land of Canaan. So, when we consider the Nation of Israel and their national rejection of the Messiah Jesus, we must wonder if God has rejected His chosen people, Israel. Paul answers that question emphatically, “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid.” (Romans 11:1, KJV 1900) He then goes on to give two examples to show that God choses a remnant to fulfill all He has promised.

The first example Paul gives is of himself, being a Jew who has received Messiah Jesus (v1). Then he goes on to speak of the prophet Elijah (v2-4). After Elijah’s great contest with the 400 prophets of Baal, he being physically and emotionally exhausted flees from the threat of Jezebel and ultimately finds himself hiding in a cave. There he is dejected and feels totally alone in his work stating, “Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.” (Romans 11:3, KJV 1900) To this the Lord responds, “I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” (Romans 11:4, KJV 1900)

The Lord told Elijah, that he was not alone. The Lord had chosen a remnant of 7000 men to continue. Paul used this to illustrate that God was not done with Israel, that He would fulfill His covenant, and in Paul’s day, there was still a believing remnant of Israel, who had received Jesus as their Messiah. It was this chosen remnant who would preserve the line of Israel toward the complete fulfilment of the covenant. So there has always been a remnant of believing Jews and there always will be, leading up to the complete fulfillment of all God had promised to Abraham.

Therefore, continue to pray for Israel, that they would see Jesus as their promised Messiah. Support, where possible the work of evangelizing the Jewish people.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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