“For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.” (Romans 11:30-32)

Although Paul acknowledges that Israel has fallen away, he considers this to be neither permanent nor total, but temporary and partial. He points out that a portion of the Jewish people have accepted Jesus. That portion is the remnant that represents the whole. Therefore, God has fulfilled His promises through that portion which is part of the elect. Nevertheless, he believes that at some time in the future many more Jews will come to salvation, though not all. But they will not come by means of the works of the Law nor on the basis of their ethnic origin, religious or national heritage. The Jews will not have a different means of salvation from other believers. All human beings inherit eternal life in the same way: by faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

For now, however, the rejection of Christ by the Jews is good news for the Gentiles, for now the gospel is being preached to them and they are being granted salvation. Christ came as Messiah of the Jews in fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham and Israel. Since Israel did not accept Him, the Lord chose to graft into the chosen people those who were outside of the Jewish heritage and nation. Yet the amazing thing is that the Jews forgot that the salvation of the Gentiles was part of the promise of the covenant the Lord had made with Abraham. It was through him all nations were to be blessed. This has now been fulfilled in the Church. Though Israel had disobeyed God and failed to be a light to the Gentiles, God used their disobedience to fulfill His promise and accomplish His work.