In Romans (11:25, 26) Paul appears to be saying that since the Jews are God's chosen people with whom He has made an eternal covenant through the Patriarchs, that "all Israel will be saved". This does not fit with the rest of Scripture, or even the rest of Paul's teaching, that salvation is not being based on Jewish heritage but on an individual's decision to accept Jesus as the only way to salvation. I am wondering what I am missing here, and I thought you might be able to give me some insight into this passage.
Post by Mike Miller on Feb 26, 2014 11:15:44 GMT -5
This is a really great question about a matter that is frequently misunderstood. When Paul says in Romans 11:26 that "in this way all Israel will be saved," we have to ask, "In what way?" To know what he is talking about requires us to consider what he has been saying all along.
In Romans 9:6-8, Paul says, "But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring." He goes on in verse 8 to say, "This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring." Therefore, not every person who is an ethnic Israelite is a spiritual Israelite. The spiritual Israel is the true Israel. As we read in Galatians 3, "It is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham."
When we get to chapter 11, we see this explained further. In Romans 11:11-24, Paul speaks of Israel as an olive tree. Some of those who are natural branches are cut off because of unbelief, while others are grafted in. Those who are cut off are ethnic Israelites who reject Jesus, and those who are grafted in are Gentile believers. This tree with all the natural branches intact along with the ingrafted branches is the true spiritual Israel.
So, when Paul says, "And in this way all Israel will be saved," he is talking about true Israel. Some who are born Jews--ethnic Israelites--will believe in Jesus (the remnant), and some will not. Those who do believe, along with all Gentiles who believe, are the true Israel, and they all will be saved.