Paraphrase of the Book of Romans
by E.H. Jack Sequeira
Chapter 11A Faithful Minority of the Jews Saved
1 Does this mean that God has disowned all Jews? Of
course not! Take me for example am I not a Jew, a literal descendant of Abraham
and of the tribe of Benjamin? 2 No, God has not by any means
disowned all Jews. Certainly not those whom He knew beforehand would accept Christ. Do
you remember how Elijah complained to God? 3 Lord, the
whole Jewish nation has forsaken You, killed Your prophets, destroyed Your altars and
only I am left faithful to You; and now they are trying to kill me, too.
4 How did God reply? No, Elijah, therc are some
seven thousand men with their families of whom you are unaware, who have not yielded
to pagan Baal worship.
5 Likewise, at the present time, there are honest-in-heart
Jews who have remained faithful to the truth and have accepted Christ as their personal
Saviour. 6 These faithful ones [meaning, a remnant]
realize their salvation is not the result of their own good deeds or obedicnce to law
but Gods unmerited favor bestowed on all mankind in Christ. For if we are saved
by our own works it can no longer be salvation by grace.
7 What are we to conclude then, that the majority of the
Jews have failed to recognize that Gods promise of salvation has already been
fulfilled in Christs holy history and only a minority have realized this? This
unfortunately is the truth. 8 Just as the Old Testament
said about the ancient Jews: God has allowed them to go their own way so that
they are totally insensible to His ways [Isa. 29.10; Deut. 29:4]. So
likewise, this is exactly how it is with the present Jews. 9
This is how David put it in his Psalm: Their many material blessings have caused
their own spiritual downfall and ruin. 10 They have allowed
falsehood to blind them from seeing the truth and now they have become a guilt-ridden
people [Ps. 69.22,23].
Unbelief of Jews Brought Salvation to Gentiles
11 The big question then, is: Does the failure of the
Jews mean an utter disaster for Gods plan of redemption? Of course not! On the
contrary, God has turned it into a blessing for the Gentiles. Due to the fact that the
Jews refuse to acknowledge that Gods plan of salvation includes the Gentile world,
their rejection of Christ has made it possible for the gospel to be taken to the rest of
humanity. This, in turn, has made the Jews realize what they have missed.
12 And if their failure has resulted in such a tremendous
blessing to you Gentiles, can you imagine how much greater and more wonderful it will
be if this, in turn, would cause the Jews to turn back to God in repentance and accept
His supreme gift, Jesus Christ?
13 While it is true that God has appointed me to be a
missionary to the Gentile world, at the same time I want to make the most of my ministry
and try and win back to God my fellow Jews, 14 hoping through
jealousy, to cause some of the Jews, at least, to return back to God and be saved.
15 For if the rejection of the Jews has resulted in the
salvation of the rest of mankind, what a glorious thing it would be if the same blessing
was experienced by the Jewish people too. Would it not be like they were brought to life
from the dead? 16 After all, if the true Israel that God
established through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is still holy, surely the natural Jews
who repent through faith in Christ will also be made holy, just as the good roots of a
tree share their goodness to the branches.
A Word of Warning to the Gentile Believers
17 But now the unbelieving Jews, like branches of an
olive tree, have been broken off, while you believing Gentiles, like shoots of the
wild olive tree, have been grafted in, so that you are enjoying the life-giving sap
of the native olive roots. 18 Please dont let this
privilege go to your head so that, in conceit, you look down on the rejected Jews.
Remember it is not the branches that support the roots but vice versa, the roots support
19 You Gentiles, dont ever get the idea that God
rejected some of the Jews in order that He may replace them with you.
20 It wasnt quite like that. The reason why the Jews
were rejected was because they refused to believe in Jesus, while you have believed in
Him. And since salvation is Gods unmerited favor, this leaves no room for pride
or boasting but just heartfelt appreciation.
21 Please be warned, therefore, that you do not fall
into the same trap as the Jews did. After all, if God did not spare the natural branches,
which the Jews represent, He certainly can do the same with the wild branches, which
represent you Gentiles. 22 Never forget, that while God is
love, He is also a just God. Those who fell experienced His justice against unbelief,
and you who believe are enjoying the blessings of His love, which you will continue to
experience as long as you humbly maintain your faith in Christ and do not abuse His
kindness; otherwise you, too, will be cut off from the tree.
23 As for the rejected Jews, if they do not remain
obstinate in their unbelief, but turn back to God in heartfelt repentance, God will,
with delight, graft them back into the olive tree. 24
After all, if you Gentiles, symbolized by the wild olive branches, were grafted into
the good olive tree so that you are bearing good olives, something contrary to nature,
how much easier will it be for God to regraft the natural branches back to their own
Gods Future Plans for Literal Israel
25 So then, in order to keep you Gentiles from becoming
conceited like the Jews, let me share with you a divine secret revealed to me. It is
this: the insensibility of the Jews is only temporary; for after God has given the
Gentile world every opportunity to accept Christ and all that will believe join the
Christian church 26 once this has happened, God will
in a special way confront the Jews with the gospel again so that all the Jews who realize
that Christ is the promised Messiah and believe in Him will become Christians; and so,
according to His promise, all true lsraelites will be saved. This is exactly what the
Old Testament predicted: From the Jewish capital Christ will be proclaimed; God
will remove ungodliness from the descendants of Jacob.
27 He will, as promised to the patriarchs, keep
His covenant with thc Jews by forgiving them all their backslidings and reinstate into
the fold all who will repent, turn back to Him and accept Christ as their Saviour
[Isa. 59:20, 21].28 At the present time the Jews are
considered enemies of the gospel, which incidentally, is to your advantage, seeing you
have become recipients to Gods salvation as a result. But God still has a desire
to save the Jews and will do so to those who believe, since they do happen to be the
blood descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 29 Besides,
Gods saving activity in Christ is unconditional good news, and He desires none to
be lost [2 Pet. 3:9].
30 So just as the ancestors of you Gentiles rejected God
in the past and now you, their children, have become believers,
31 in the same way, the Jews are presently disobedient to
the truth of the gospel while you are enjoying salvation; but when many of them in the
future realize their folly, they will turn back to God and Christ, whom He sent to be
Saviour. 32 For God has already made it plain: All
humanity, Jews and Gentiles, are slaves to sin and absolutely helpless to save
themselves [Rom. 3:9-20]. Mans only hope is salvation in
Christ [Acts 4:10-12].
33 Frankly, I stand amazed at the incomprehensible
wisdom, grace, and knowledge of our God. His ways are beyond us finite beings.
34 Who is able to grasp the mind of God, or who can ever
give Him advice? 35 Who, tell me, has ever contributed
anything to God so that He is obliged to him? 36 For God
is the source of all life and the Creator of all living and non-living matter. Nothing
exists that was not made by Him. Therefore, He and He alone deserves all the glory,
honor, and praise, AMEN!