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5. The hope of the children of Jacob
(Romans 11:1-36)

a) The holy remnant exists
(Romans 11:1-10)
1I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.2God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3"LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life"? 4But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal."5Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.6And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.7What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.8Just as it is written: "God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day."9And David says: "Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a recompense to them.10Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, and bow down their back always."

The apostle Paul prepares for the argument on the salvation and destruction of the children of Abraham. He utters a fearful question: “Did the Lord of the covenant drive away his hardening people entirely?” (Psalm 94:14)
Paul answers the question, saying, ‘No’. Such a thing is impossible, for I am proof of the saving grace of the Lord. He saved me, a sinful criminal. According to the flesh, I am of the tribe of Benjamin, and of the seed of Abraham. The Lord called me, forgave me, and gave me life. I am present as a proof of the saving grace of the Lord for the children of Jacob.
As I lived in Christ, so the Lord, time and again, called individuals of all the tribes of the children of Jacob. He saved them, blessed them and sent them. The Lord formed from them the original Christianity. Without the Christian Jews who were regenerated in Christ we could not have seen any writing about the gospel of Christ. They were the core of the kingdom of God, and they sowed the seeds of God among the nations. The harvest has automatically multiplied, and the kingdom of the Lord comes and grows continuously without noise.
God has a chosen people, and he also has his own ways for his spiritual kingdom. He has not rejected his beloved ones, although, even today, the majority of the children of Jacob reject and hate Christ and his followers because they follow other gods. But what was the situation like at the time of the prophet Elijah? This courageous prophet sighed because of the bloody persecution of the believers, which began in the northern kingdom, and the queen’s declaration of his death beforehand (1 Kings 19:10-14).
Then the Lord answered him with the comforting words: “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him" (1 Kings 19:18). Nobody knows who those firm believers were. They were the holy remnant, and were probably driven away and led into slavery during the destruction of Samaria, where they propagated their faith all around the world. God protects his believers, and nobody can snatch them out of his hand. He does not promise them a life of luxury, but gives his witnesses an everlasting spiritual assurance (John 10:29-30).
In this discussion, Paul offers his question: “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:5).
This statement is valid from the birth of Christ. The emblem of the faithful Christians is neither power, nor riches, nor honor; but following Jesus, even in sufferings. In this manner Jesus said to a small number of his followers: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32; 22:28-29).
The authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit creates at all times a blessed choice of his chosen saints. Paul and Barnabas said to those who were called of the peoples during their first missionary journey: "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God"(Acts 14:22).
The apostle Paul deepens this knowledge, and testifies that the remnant of the children of Jacob is continuous and will not perish, only because of grace (Romans 11:6). The Lord keeps it from the satanic temptations in the last days, and leads it as the Good Shepherd. This remnant is not righteous, pious, or chosen because of its own works, but all the good that it has is the product of grace only. Therefore, we must believe in the universal and extraordinary power of the grace of Christ, which keeps the holy remnant of the people of Israel. We must thank the Lord for it, because its continuance is the mystery of our Christian existence.
In Romans 11:7, Paul asks: What was the spiritual situation of the children of Jacob then, and what is it today? What did they mean by keeping the law? And what was the goal of their piety, which they did not achieve? They have lost their goal, crucified their King, became hardened against the dwelling of the Holy Spirit, moved away willfully from the union of the Holy Trinity, served kings and leaders in other countries who exploited them, and waited for the antichrist to reign with him over the other peoples. This painful truth does not include all the children of Jacob, for a small part of the children of Abraham had been born again of the Holy Spirit. They knew their sins and confessed them publicly, believed in the meek Lamb of God, received from him absolute forgiveness, and were anointed with the promised Spirit. They lived in the life of Christ, and became active members in his spiritual body.
However, the majority of their nation was hardened (Deuteronomy 29:4; Isaiah 29:10). It received a spirit which did not recognize good and evil. Therefore, they had no sense for good and evil, but did what they pleased, unconcerned about God and the last judgment, because while seeing they did not see, and while hearing they did not hear, even though King David prayed to the Lord asking him to punish their majority, and make their plans a trap for them (Psalm 69:23-24).
Yet, Jesus changed the severe words of David, and ordered his followers: “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45).
The holy remnant of the chosen people, and Christianity all over the world, prove the importance of their presence through carrying out the orders of Christ in the midst of persecutions, pressures, and false charges.

O heavenly Father, we worship you because of the increasing number of the children of Abraham who open their hearts to your Holy Spirit, purify themselves with the blood of Jesus, and receive everlasting life. Please strengthen the fresh believers, and keep them that they may experience your presence with them in the midst of the violent persecution, find help from partners of the faith, and not be a prey to divisions.
What is the meaning of the words of God to Elijah that he has reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal? What is the meaning of the words of Paul that he and all the followers of Christ of the Jews belong to the holy remnant of the chosen people of God?