God’s Plan For Israel
(m) The God Who Does Not Repent
Throughout Romans 9, 10 and 11 Paul has been leading his readers towards the conclusion that God has a future blessing in store for Israel, his ancient people. This conclusion becomes increasingly firm through the course of Romans 11. Using the illustration of the olive tree he explains that the Jewish people, the natural branches, although broken off will be grafted in to enjoy the blessings that the Gentile Church has received. He has already alluded to the “fullness” of the Jews which will bring greater blessings to the entire world. As his argument nears its zenith, however, Paul with emphasis states “all Israel shall be saved”. In keeping with the style of Bible writers we must understand that all refers to a considerable number; not every individual within the group. Therefore a huge overwhelming number of Jews will be converted and will follow Jesus as their Messiah.
Why is this so? V29 supplies us with a powerful reason which is central to everything that Paul has been expounding,
“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”
Let us not think that this description of God is unique to Israel. We enjoy salvation and we know that what has been given to us will not be taken away because our God does nor repent.
1: The Plan of the God who does not Repent; v25-26
The plan and purpose of God will ever be a mystery to mankind. Paul, however, while not pretending to understand the mysteries of God identifies the process that will bring Israel to renewed faith:
“Blindness in part has happened to Israel”
This has taken place from the days of Christ.
“the fullness of the Gentiles”
This is period in which we presently live.
“There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer” (Isaiah 59:20)
I do not believe that this refers to the Second Coming because the Scriptures teach in a variety of places that there is no opportunity to repent for any person or people after the Lord appears. I believe Paul is here teaching that the deliverer has come out of Sion but he has not yet brought his ancient people to faith.
“shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob”
This is the day that Paul longed for.
“all Israel shall be saved”
National revival will occur in Israel and among the Jews internationally.
2: The Promise of the God who does not Repent; v26-29
God cannot repent because he must be faithful to his covenant. This covenant is not based upon the law because Israel broke the terms of that agreement. This is a covenant that goes beyond Moses and even Abraham to the eternal purposes of God in election. Paul holds out great hope that those who oppose the Gospel are beloved of God according to election. Paul stresses the importance of the Covenant of Grace expounded by Jeremiah (31:31-34) and applies it to Israel. This is an unconditional covenant dependent on the grace of God alone. God cannot repent of what he has promised for Israel or indeed for us. Salvation is dependent upon a faithful God.
Arthur Pink’s words are particular relevant for our age:
“Unfaithfulness is one of the most outstanding sins of these evil days. In the business world, a man’s word is, with rare exceptions, no longer his bond. In the social world, marital infidelity abounds on every hand; the sacred bonds of wedlock are broken with as little regard as discarding an old garment. In the ecclesiastical realm, thousands who have solemnly covenanted to preach the truth have no scruples about attacking and denying it. Nor can reader or writer claim complete immunity from this fearful sin. How many ways have we been unfaithful to Christ, and to the light and privileges which God has entrusted to us…How refreshing, then, how blessed, to lift our eyes above this scene of ruin, and behold One who is faithful, faithful in all things, at all times.”
3: The Pardon of the God who does not Repent; v30-32
In these verses Paul is clearly addressing the Gentile Romans in relation to this matter, “For as ye in times past…”. Whether we are Jews are Gentiles we are leveled by one common denominator. We are all an unbelieving people by nature. Yet God is rich in mercy towards those who do not believe. This highlights how undeserving the human race is. It also serves to magnify the grace and love of God without whose mercy we would not be Christian today.