As He says also in Hosea, “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’ and her who was not My beloved, ‘beloved.’”
In verses 25-29 there is a series of passages from the Old Testament. The first reference is in verse 25 and it begins with a quotation from Hosea 2:23. The recorded message of Hosea deals with Israel as an unfaithful wife running away from God.
This verse which refers to Hosea 2:23 is partially quoted by Paul. It is a prophetical passage dealing with the fact that the time will come in history when the Jews will no longer be a client nation to God, when they will no longer have the privilege and the opportunity of presenting the Gospel, of enjoying national freedom, of teaching doctrine to believers and of fulfilling missionary function (unfaithful wife analogy). The time was coming when all of these ministries would be turned over to the Gentiles. However, there will be a Jewish client nation to God in the future since out of the Tribulation there will come believing Jews who will form a client nation. Hosea 2:23 is one of those rare prophecies that includes both Jew and Gentile together, and therefore it is Paul’s first documentation of salvation for both Gentiles and Jews.
“Her who was not My beloved” refers to racial but not to regenerate Jews. Those who have not been loved are the physical seed of Abraham; those who are beloved are the spiritual seed. The difference between them is attitude toward the first advent of Christ; whether they believed that Jesus was the Messiah and placed their faith in Him for salvation.
“And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, you are not My people, there they shall be called sons of the living God.”
This verse is a quotation from Hosea 1:10. God may say to unbelieving Jews, “You are not My people.” But there are always those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and recognize Him as the Savior and the God of Israel. Jews, in general, will exist in every generation and when the Second Coming occurs, God will say to them, “You are my people.”
So, just as the quotation in Hosea 2:23 documents the salvation of Gentiles in the Old Testament, this quotation from Hosea 1:10 documents the salvation of Jews in the Old Testament. It is a specific reference to the land of Israel.
And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; for the Lord will execute His Word upon the earth, thoroughly and quickly.”
This is a quotation from Isaiah 10:22-23 regarding the restoration of Israel at the Second Coming of Christ. Some will believe in Him and they will be the remnant of Israel who will be there to welcome the Lord Jesus Christ as the Mighty God of Israel. The quotation distinguishes between the innumerable physical seed of Abraham and the remnant of true Jews who did not make the fatal error of ignoring the first advent of Christ (Messiah).
There will always be a remnant of Jews who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and they will be there to welcome the Lord Jesus Christ back to the earth, and they are the ones to whom the Lord Jesus Christ will fulfil the Abrahamic, Palestinian, Davidic and New covenants to Israel. At the Second Coming, Christ will execute His Word to the Jews through deliverance of the Armageddon campaign, restoration of the believing Jews to form the new client nation and fulfilment of the unconditional covenants to Israel. In this way God will have completed what He decreed regarding the future of the true Jews, the regenerate remnant of Israel, both in time [Millennium] and eternity – forever.
And just as Isaiah foretold, “Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us a posterity, we would have become as Sodom and would have resembled Gomorrah.”
This is a quotation from Isaiah 1:9. We have a comforting verse about the remnant of mature believers in history. Under the principle that Jesus Christ controls history, it is mature believers who deliver a nation in time of historical disaster by their very presence in that client nation. This is why the Jews continued as a client nation in the time of Isaiah. Jewish believers responded with positive volition to the teaching of the Word.
Just as a pivot of mature believers delivers a client nation to God from the administration of the fifth cycle of discipline, so a regenerate remnant of Jews perpetuates the Jewish race in every generation in the times of the Gentiles. This emphasizes the fact that there will never be a time when there are no Jews on the earth. This is a testimony to the faithfulness of God.
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.
Instead of making a dogmatic statement, which would irritate the opposition, Paul asked a question. The conclusion is forced by the content of Romans 9:24-26 in which Gentiles are included in the remnant. The salvation of Gentiles means that Gentiles are classified in the category of “vessels of mercy.”
Paul uses the debater’s idiom to avoid any false conclusion and to deduce the historical results of these prophecies, especially Hosea 2:23 & 1:10. The result for those Gentiles who believed in Jesus Christ was salvation. The result for those Jews who rejected Jesus Christ as Savior was condemnation.
God’s rejection of the racial Jew, who was only the physical seed of Abraham, was not unfair. The racial Jew was a free agent, a creature of his own self-determination. The racial Jew was the beneficiary of doctrine taught by the prophets and recorded in the Old Testament canon. And, it was always the first advent that was emphasized. The racial Jew rejected Christ and divine righteousness, and instead accepted self-righteousness by keeping the Law.
Faith is non-meritorious volition; therefore faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the function of free will. Keeping the Law is meritorious volition, therefore tantamount to rejection of God’s plan and God’s grace. Man is a free agent, he must choose between his own self-righteousness and God’s righteousness. This becomes a major issue in the human race. The issue is human works versus grace. The person who chooses his own self-righteousness does so out of the motivation of arrogance. The person who chooses God’s righteousness does so from the motivation of humility.
The very heritage of Israel is the perfect righteousness of God offered as a potential. But when that offer is rejected, arrogance always takes the one who rejected (in this case the unbelieving Jew) on an ego trip and he/she goes for another righteousness with which he/she expects to get to Heaven – his/her own self-righteousness. Therefore, since he/she has gone in that direction he/she has moved away from his/her Jewish heritage. Then along come the Gentiles who do not have a Jewish background of the Law and the prophets, and therefore the Gentiles by believing in Christ receive what the Jews bypassed in arrogance. Having only self-righteousness, there is terrible judgment in time but greater judgment in the Lake of Fire forever.
Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written, “Behold I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
It begins with a debater’s rhetorical question. The rhetoric was designed to bring the Jews around to seeing the true issue. The question asked why the Jews did not accomplish the true purpose of the Law. Paul was asking the question, not because he didn’t understand it; it was rhetorical to show the Jews their problem and their failure. The true purpose of the Law was to demonstrate that human self-righteousness (works) can never save, that possessing divine righteousness was the only way to go to Heaven and the only way to receive divine righteousness was to believe (faith) in Jehovah (the Lord Jesus Christ).
The Lord Jesus Christ (the Rock of Salvation) became the stone of stumbling to the Jews who rejected His first coming as Savior. This means the ones who do not stumble, but believe in Jesus Christ, will not be disappointed in eternity. A believer will not be disappointed because he/she will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ. No believer will be involved in the Great White Throne Judgment (for unbelievers only). Believing Jews will never be judged. Faith in Christ eliminates condemnation in time and in eternity.
Grace is always “pitted” against works throughout the Word of God. Works, therefore, are the opposite of grace. Mankind from the beginning has been attempting to “work” his way to God. Works are any form of legalism that can be imposed upon a person. These works include, but are not limited to, water baptism, church membership, giving money, changing your behavior, obeying the Ten Commandments, turning from your sin and penance. Scripture is very clear that it is impossible to work your way to Heaven and yet mankind continues to pursue God on man’s terms (works) instead of God’s terms (grace). When man, in his ignorance or arrogance, adds works to salvation he cancels grace. Grace is the total absence of human works or it would not be unmerited favor and undeserved mercy. If it were possible for mankind to earn or deserve salvation by his good works, then he would have a reason to boast about it. However, since Christ has done all the necessary work, salvation can be based only on grace through faith. This means that salvation is not only undeserved but it cannot be earned. (Romans 4:4; 11:6; Galatians 2:16; 5:1; Ephesians 2:8-9)