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7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.


The discussion now turned to what the remnant of Israel meant for the nation as a whole. Israel as a nation sought acceptance with God by works, but God did not accept her. During Paul’s time there was pervasive unbelief among national Jews.

7 What then?

Paul now drew an inference from verses one to six for the Jews of his day. There is a striking contrast between grace and works (Ro 11:5-6). The nation Israel was divided by the principle of grace in verse 6.

Israel has not obtained [hit the mark] what it seeks;

Israelites of Paul’s era did not find salvation by grace because they sought salvation by works. Israel pursued the law for justification instead of trusting by faith in the work of the Messiah. A rejecting religious Jew rather than a Jew who accepts grace is the worst Jew of all.

Ro 9:31-32, 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.

but the elect [believers] have obtained it,

The “elect” here are Jews who accepted the grace principle for salvation (v. 6), the remnant who accepted what God did over against what they did for salvation. The electing work of God accomplished what seeking could not. Grace always comes to the believer by the cross. Faith in God’s grace is an expression of positive volition.

Emphasis lies on the means of election—by faith through grace. Grace is God’s action and provision. Election looks at salvation from God’s viewpoint and sees that salvation is not due to merit but to grace. Those who receive grace are the remnant.


God’s plan of salvation is completely sufficient to save us.


God’s plan of salvation has absolute efficiency because of the grace principle of salvation. Jesus did all of the doing, so there is no need of us doing any doing. To suggest that Jesus did not do all the doing then suggests incompleteness in God’s plan of salvation.