(1-10) The Remnant of Israel
Even though many Israelites have refused to believe in Christ, has God rejected them? “By no means!” Paul says. Even when Elijah pleaded to God against Israel for the way they treated His prophets, God told him that there still remained seven thousand men who were faithful to Him. This is still true. There is a remnant of Israel who will be saved, not by works which they have done, but by the grace of God.
(11-18) Gentiles Grafted In
Despite a remnant being saved, the majority of Israel turned away from God. This failure on their part made a way for God’s riches to be made available to the Gentiles. This is an example of how God can bring good out of any bad situation. The rejection of Christ by Israel made it possible for all to embrace Him. God’s sovereign plan for all people to receive salvation is being worked out. The Gentiles are receiving salvation (through the rejection of Israel) and salvation will one day be received by Israel (through their repentance and reconciliation).
Paul uses a plant as an example to show how this whole Jew-Gentile salvation process works. Because Israel is rooted in God, its branches are holy and its branches produce good fruit. Some of the branches, however, have sinned and because of their sin, have been broken off. This breaking off has allowed Gentiles to be grafted into the plant and through the Gospel, the Gentiles are also able to produce good fruit like the Jews.
Favorite verse: (6) But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.