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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 11 - Verse 28

Verse 28. As concerning the Gospel. So far as the gospel is concerned; or, in order to promote its extension and spread through the earth.

They are enemies. The word enemies here stands opposed to "beloved;" and as in one respect, to wit, on account of" election," they were still beloved, i.e. beloved by God; so in another respect they were his enemies, i.e. opposed to him, or cast off from him. The enemies of God denote all who are not his true friends, Col 1:21; Ro 5:10, comp. Ro 11:8. The word here is applied to the Jews because they had rejected the Messiah; had become opposed to God; and were therefore rejected by him.

For your sakes. For your advantage. Their rejection has become the occasion by which the gospel has been preached to you. Comp. Ro 11:11,19,20.

 

As touching the election. So far as the purpose of election is concerned. That is, the election of their fathers and of the nation to be the peculiar people of God.

They are beloved. God still regards them with interest; has purposes of mercy towards them; intends still to do them good. This does not mean that he approved of their conduct or character, or that he had for them the same kind of affection which he would have had if they had been obedient. God does not love a sinful character; but he may have still purposes of mercy, and regard men with deep interest on whom he intends yet to bestow mercy.

For the fathers' sakes. Comp. De 10:15. He had chosen their fathers to be his peculiar people. He had made many promises to Abraham respecting his seed, and extended these promises to his remotest posterity. Though salvation is by grace, and not from human merit, yet God has respect to his covenant made with the fathers, and will not forget his promises. It is not on account of any merit of the fathers or of ancient saints, but solely because God had made a covenant with them; and this purpose of election would be manifest to their children in the latest times. As those contemplated in the covenant made with Abraham, God retained for them feelings of peculiar interest; and designed their recovery to himself. It is clear here that the word election does not refer to external privileges; for Paul is not teaching the doctrine that they shall be restored to the external privileges of Jews, but that they shall be truly converted to God. Yet this should not be abused by others to lead them to security in sin. No man has any security of happiness, and of the favour of God, but he who complies with the terms of his mercy. His commands are explicit to repent and believe, nor can there be safety except in entire compliance with the terms on which he is willing to bestow eternal life.

{b} "for the father's sakes" De 10:15

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