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 Question on Romans 11

I would like those who hold or lean towards Calvinism to answer this questions because I don't understand how these verses fit's with Romans 11 seems go go from Gods Election and grace to warning the Elect of falling away.

[b]Romans 11:4-5:
4But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

5Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. [/b]

So there is a remnant according the God's Election and grace.

but in Romans 11:21-22 it says:

[b]21For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

22Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. [/b]


Here God is warning the Elect that they can be cut off. So my question, for those who hold to Calvinism, is how can God's Elect be cut off?

 2007/5/11 16:30
JaySaved
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Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re: Question on Romans 11

Quote:
Here God is warning the Elect that they can be cut off. So my question, for those who hold to Calvinism, is how can God's Elect be cut off?



They can't. The very fact that they are cut off proves that they were not elect. If the elect were cut off then Romans 8:30 would be in error "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

Think of it this way: The entire Jewish nation enjoyed the perceived status of God's elect in the Old Testament. Remember the Pharisee's said they were "Abraham's children" However, not every Jew was truly elect. Jesus told the Pharisees that their father was the devil. In Romans 11:4, Paul says that out of all the Jews only a remnant was truly elect. This has been true throughout the ages even to this day.

In Romans 11:21 Paul is speaking of the Jewish nation being God's representatives on Earth (Temple, oracles of God, patriarchs, etc.) This was taken away from them because they rejected their Messiah. Now, God's representatives are from every nation on Earth through Jesus--Christians.

Jesus is the tree being referenced. The natural branches represent the Jews, the new branches represent Gentiles. Not all natural branches are cut off but a majority are. It is true that Christianity is mostly comprised of Gentiles...isn't it?



 2007/5/11 16:51Profile









 Re: Question on Romans 11


I've been musing on the word 'elect', myself. Suddenly, last week, I realised it is JESUS who used it here, and Paul and the others were (only) following His lead. This is not a theological mistake, though we may have trouble tuning in to the best way to understand the term.

Matthew 24:24
"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.


For the moment, I'm settling on the thought that it generally means 'called out', rather than chosen for one's own merits.

Just for the record, I'm not claiming to be either Calvinist (though I believe in God's sovereignty) or Armenian (though I hear Jesus saying 'whosoever will, may come'). And I think I believe more and more that God is after a relationship with man. Intrinsically, to get into this relationship, we must receive and obey His 'Maker's instructions' - or nothing works.

 2007/5/11 16:56









 Re:

Jay, Paul is talking to BELIEVERS who have been grafted in.

17And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, [b]wert grafted in among them,[/b] and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

The Gentile believers were grafted in with the Jewish believers and wanred they they could again be cut off. One cannot be GRAFTED into Christ and not be part of Christ. Those who are grafted in have to be elect right?

 2007/5/11 17:29









 Re:

also the whole chapter/letter is written to believers.

 2007/5/11 17:33
JaySaved
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Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
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 Re:

sscott,

The Geneva bible notes explains the 'natural branches' well:

Rom 11:21 - For if God spared not the (u) natural branches, [take heed] lest he also spare not thee.

(u) He calls them natural, not because they had any holiness by nature, but because they were born of those whom the Lord set apart for himself from other nations, by his league and covenant which he freely made with them.

It appears that your issue is not with Calvinism, but is with the issue of the Security of the believer. Many non-Calvinists believe in the security of the believer.

Also, if the elect can fall away why did God say He reserved for Himself 7,000? Did He reserve them or did they have the ability to worship Baal?

 2007/5/11 19:23Profile









 Re: Question on Romans 11

Jay said

Quote:
Not all natural branches are cut off but a majority are.

Before we get to to Romans 11, can we all please take note of Romans 9:4, where the condition for all Israelites participating in the blessings Paul craves for them, begins first with 'the adoption'.

I noticed (Jay) your correct comment about 'Fulfilment Theology' in the "replacement theology" thread, and want to remind you that the whole point of the New Covenant is a completely fresh start for everyone who engages with it meaningfully. Jews as well as Gentiles have to receive the death of Jesus Christ to their flesh (natural inheritance) as well as their sinful nature. To all intents and purposes, when the Messiah was [u]cut off[/u] but not for His own sins, the entire human race was formally cut off from God also, so that the only way back into fellowship with Him (grafting into the olive tree and the Vine), is by faith in the death and resurrection of Christ.

It is extremely beguiling for Israelites / Jews to imagine they bring something to their own salvation through their natural inheritance, when in fact they have been concluded under sin with the rest of us. If that is accepted, then they qualify for that peculiar kingdom of priests, as He always desired for them.

 2007/5/12 5:44
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re: Question on Romans 11

Romans 11:

16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

This particular passage speaks of those in each generation are holy because the root that nourishes them are holy. Each branch is representative of a holy generation of people. This interpretation is seated in the following verses that precede it...

Romans 11
2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3 "Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life"? [fn1] 4 But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." [fn2] 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

In the above section of Scripture we find that in the generation of Elijah, there were 7000 men who did not bow their knee to Baal, which means they were not the seed of the devil.

In terms of the the natural verses the wild branches, this has nothing to do with the spiritual condition of each person but of the nature of God's plan. The natural branch of the olive tree pretains to those who represent the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God has established a particular people, seperate from the Gentile people, for a particular purpose which still has not been completed. The wild olive branch refers to the gentile population in each generation that is being grafted into the root of which is holy.

All branches that remain in the root which are holy are saved by grace and not of works. All recieve the same promise that was given to Abraham...I will be your God, and you will be my people.

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2007/5/12 7:29Profile
JaySaved
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Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Quote:
It is extremely beguiling for Israelites / Jews to imagine they bring something to their own salvation through their natural inheritance, when in fact they have been concluded under sin with the rest of us. If that is accepted, then they qualify for that peculiar kingdom of priests, as He always desired for them.



Please clarify your statement, "then they qualify for that peculiar kingdom of priests, as He always desired for them."

You are giving me the impression that you believe the 'peculiar kingdom of priests is only for them.

When scripture tells us that Christians are chosen to be the peculiar people:
Titus 2:13-14
Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

1 Peter 2:4-5
"As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

Am I understanding your position?

 2007/5/12 11:35Profile









 Re: Question on Romans 11


Jay,

I believe there is no difference between saved Jew and saved gentile, as they are one in Christ; we are all part of the royal priesthood and holy nation (etc).

What I was trying to say in my previous post is that I have come across carnal thinking which is forgetful that Israelite / Jew is [i]excluded[/i] from this ministry until born again / adopted. (Sorry about the double negative...)

Are we agreed (do you think)?

 2007/5/12 16:55





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