God’s Sovereign Choice Of Israel: The Holy Root Of Romans 11:16–17 -- By: David Olander

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 19:58 (Winter 2015)
Article: God’s Sovereign Choice Of Israel: The Holy Root Of Romans 11:16–17
Author: David Olander

God’s Sovereign Choice Of Israel: The Holy Root Of Romans 11:16–17

David Olander

* David Olander, Ph.D., Th.D., professor of biblical languages, Tyndale Theological Seminary & Biblical Institute

God has sovereignly chosen Israel as his covenant1 people for his covenanted program with his creation. “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deut 7:6). In fact, God made it very apparent He was and is their Creator. “I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King” (Isa. 43:15). Romans 9—11 address God’s sovereign choice of Israel as his chosen people, or covenant nation.

In Romans 9—11 there is a very evident flow in the text of chapter 9 concentrating upon the history of Israel with their God ordained privileges, chapter 10 with present Israel, and chapter 11 with both present and future Israel. Paul primarily addressed the issue of Gentile growth in the church as opposed to the decreasing Jewish numbers or participation. “But now in God’s program of salvation in the church, Jewish involvement was decreasing while Gentile participation was becoming dominant. Had God, then, abandoned the Jewish people? This is ultimately explained by God’s sovereign choice, a principle which has always been in operation even within the Chosen People of Israel and between Israel and other nations. Now this principle operates in God’s purposes for Israel and the church and in His dealings with Jews and Gentiles within the church.”2 Paul is developing a defense of the continued existence of Israel primarily to Gentiles in the church.

The covenanted kingdom program of God has always been with Israel and never with the church. The Gentiles in the church were being warned not to believe they or the church has replaced the natural branch (esp., i.e., the Jew that is Israel in God’s covenanted program).

But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their<...

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