I ask then, did God reject his people? May it never be! For I also am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God didn’t reject his people, which he foreknew. Or don’t you know what the Scripture says about Elijah? How he pleads with God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have broken down your altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.” But how does God answer him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
It is important for me to make these verses clear because of some very popular teaching. Some say that the Church has replaced Israel and that God has now rejected the physical people of Israel. They say that He now only recognizes spiritual Israel. Many men with more education than I disagree on this subject, but just having education doesn’t mean that they are believing what the Bible actually teaches.
Many times Paul makes it clear in Romans that both he and God still love the physical people of Israel. We also see that only a small group of them are still being recognized as Israel. Paul calls them “a remnant according to the election of grace.” I see two very clear messages here. First, he tells us that God hasn’t rejected the physical people of Israel. We know that he is talking about the physical people and not the greater spiritual group when he says that he, himself, is “a descendent of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” It wouldn’t make sense to talk about his physical family line here if he wasn’t talking about his physical people of Israel. Paul is making it clear that God still has not rejected the small group that He both foreknew and elected.
The second clear message is that it is possible for “grace” to “elect” things. Grace is God’s favor and election is simply choosing. God simply chose a small group of people because of He decided to love them anyway. Again, we see that grace doesn’t have anything to do with how good people are. It only has to do with how good God is. Because it only has to do with God and not us, He simply chooses.
Remember, this doesn’t mean that the people didn’t also choose God, it’s just that God was the one who chose them first. We read here that God made this grace a part of His relationship with both the Church and the physical people of Israel.