1 I ask, then, has God rejected His people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel?
3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have demolished Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.”
4 But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. (ESV)
This is not just a theological section of Scripture, but has to do with practical living, and a vital relationship with Christ. It’s about the big picture.
Paul announces to the Roman Church that he was about to ask a very important question and then answered emphatically with four pieces of evidence that God has not rejected His people by means of:
- Autobiographical Statements:
Despite his despicable past (2 Cor. 11; 1 Phil 3:4-5), God still saved Paul. So there was hope for any Jew anywhere. God blessed his evangelism among the Jews in spite of them persecuting him, never using the argument that he was a Roman citizen, because that would cause a problem in reaching his fellow Jews.
- Theological Statements:
God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew (chosen). His choice still means something for God. He didn’t now turn His back on His people – not being like us, but a God of Grace who puts up with His people.
- Biblical Support:
God reminded the Prophet Elijah that He saw things that Elijah did not see, namely the remnant that He was preserving for Himself – Elijah in no way being the only believer left, who did not bow down to a false god. God always has a remnant who are not captivated by the prophesies of false prophets. God will always have a people whom He is preserving for His own glory.
- What the Grace of God was doing:
The Church saw converts from Judaism confessing Christ as Saviour – many thousands who believed – all of them chosen by the Grace of God – a great awakening in Jerusalem which speaks of the vastness of God’s Mercy to these Jerusalem sinners who had crucified and mocked His Son and nailed Him to a cross. God had chosen thousands of that exact people and He had saved them. That’s a great consolation!
Jesus said: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27-28)
For a believer the doctrine of election is a foundation to rest on, not a rock to crush them.
If God would have given everyone what they deserved, we would not make it.
When we talk about what is fair, we must remember that we all deserve eternal damnation, so Him saving anyone at all is indicative of His Mercy and Grace.