Romans 9:27-29: The Jewish Remnant
The trophy case of God’s grace holds some unexpected prizes. If we looked into God’s trophy case we would see vessels of dishonour repurposed as vessels for honourable use. We would see the low, the despised, the broken and the rejected. We would not find any perfect trophies but all would be works-in-progress. Paul has been surprising us with who will be in it, God saves Gentiles, outsiders, aliens, those who were once far away, without God and subject to satan. But the biggest surprise of Romans 9 is the fact of who will not be there. We would have expected that the nation of the Jews would have been included being the elect people of God. But Paul has been revealing, as he has been defending the power of God to save everyone whom He elects, that God never intended to save every Jew. Romans 9:6 was the surprise that God has selected some from among the Jews from salvation and we cannot argue with His sovereign purpose to not save all Jews and to include some Gentiles as well. Paul has been hiding behind the OT scriptures quoting them liberally in defence of his arguments. He has shown us that the Gentiles are seen as the fulfilment of the restoration of Israel and equal citizens in God’s kingdom. Paul moves on and hides behind the scriptures again as he repeats the point that God does not elect to save all Jews but has determined to save some.
Paul seeks to make two points in these verses. Firstly, we will note the bible’s teaching on the remnant, and secondly, the impossibility of salvation apart from God’s gracious intervention.