28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Verses 28 to 32 clarify the point in verses 25 to 27 that God will intervene to save all Israel as a nation at some point.
Concerning the gospel they [Israelites] are enemies for your [Gentiles’] sake,
Christians should keep in mind that there are two distinct dimensions to God’s attitude toward Israel. He sees them as:
enemies of the gospel, and
beloved because of God’s commitments to them.
This verse comes back to how God deals with Gentiles—“for your sake.” To bring Gentiles to faith in Jesus, God had to deal with Israel as a nation first because they were enemies of the gospel.
The word “concerning” means according to the standard of the gospel. When Paul used the measuring stick of the gospel of grace Israel became an enemy of grace (vv. 5-6). They refused to accept the grace provided by Jesus the Messiah. Israel’s failure to believe in Jesus the Messiah made them an enemy in God’s books.
God resistance to Israel is not the entire story.
concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.
Paul qualifies the previous statement by reminding Gentiles that Israel as a nation was still God’s chosen people. God will restore His beloved people once again. The restoration of Israel is on the basis of God’s election system of salvation by grace. Their salvation will be by grace alone.
The reason God views Israel as “beloved” is because of the unconditional covenants (contracts, promises) He made with them. This is God’s election of Israel as a nation. Because God has to honor these covenants Israel’s promised Kingdom is sure.
The word “for” gives a reason for verse 28.
the gifts and the calling [effectual] of God are irrevocable [repented of].
Since God chose the nation Israel by “election” He can never go back on His Word. God will never revoke what He has promised.
The “gifts” refer to concrete enactments of God’s grace (9:4-5). The “calling” is God’s summons of the nation Israel (9:6-29).
We find the word “irrevocable” only here and in 2 Corinthians 7:10 in the New Testament. It is a legal term that indicates the unbreakable nature of God’s commitment to Israel. God never goes back on His Word or His Covenants (contracts).
God will never go back on His promises.
God is utterly trustworthy. He will never rescind a unilateral contract or promise He makes with His people. His promises are punctual and certain. He will fulfill what He promised exactly.
Nu 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
He 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
2 Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.