There have been many sermons preached and articles written about the role of the remnant in the last days. Almost 100% of these have interpreted the word “remnant” to be some sort of small group within the Body of Christ which possesses special knowledge and revelation of the Kingdom of God and, hence, understand certain spiritual mysteries that are hidden from the Church at large.
Other than this idea touching on the fact that many in the Church today do not seek after God as they should (and thereby fail to obtain an ever-growing knowledge of Jesus Christ), this teaching of the “remnant” is simply a misunderstanding of the word. And here’s why:
The Apostle Paul, speaking of his Jewish brethren according to the flesh and quoting Isaiah the prophet, said:
“Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:” (Romans 9:27)
Listen to the Word of God and allow it to speak to your heart. The term “remnant” does not refer to an elite army of Gentile Christians who are hand-picked by God to perform mighty works in the last days. The term simply refers to those Jews who become “saved” through the faith that is in Christ Jesus. Over the centuries, Jews who have converted to Christianity have been extremely few in number. This fact is true even up to the present time. Hence, the term “remnant”.
This is the very thing which Paul longed after:
“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.” (Romans 9:1-2)
“For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:” (Romans 9:3)
Paul, more than any other, knew the difference between the natural nation of Israel and the spiritual nation of Israel:
“Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:” (Romans 9:6)
“Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (Romans 9:7)
“That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Romans 9:8)
When an unbelieving Gentile becomes born again, he is immediately grafted into the tree of Israel. But that tree is not a natural tree after the flesh (i.e. the State of Israel), but rather a spiritual tree after the promise of the Holy Ghost (i.e. the Body of Christ).
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, …to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1Peter 2:5)
“… ye are a chosen generation, … a holy nation, a peculiar people;” (1Peter 2:9)
Did you catch that? We which have believed are a “spiritual house” and a “holy nation”. We, as the whole Body of Christ, are a new creation in Christ Jesus. We have become the true Israel, in the spirit … not in the flesh.
“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth,” (Galatians 3:1)
“Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3)
“He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, … doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:5)
“Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Galatians 3:6)
“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham [i.e. spiritual Israel].” (Galatians 3:7)
“That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:14)
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26)
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27)
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, …for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
If you have read the above scriptures carefully, then you will understand the term “elect”:
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved,…” (Colossians 3:12)
“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” (1Thessalonians 1:4)
“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, …” (Titus 1:1)
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:” (1Peter 1:2)
“The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, …” (1Peter 5:13)
You see, God originally chose the natural nation of Israel to be the tree of “election”. But the natural Jew refused to abide in that tree because they stumbled at the great stumbling block, which is Christ!
“Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;” (Romans 9:32)
“As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 9:33)
So, if any one (Jew or Greek) comes to God through faith in his Son Jesus Christ, he is instantly grafted in to that tree of “election”:
“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” (Romans 11:5)
This “remnant” are those natural Jews (few in number) who have come to the knowledge of the “saving grace” which is by faith in Christ Jesus. So, instead of being “broken off” (as natural branches), they have been able to remain in their tree (spiritual Israel) through the “election of grace” which is by faith.
“What then? (the nation of) Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” (Romans 11:7)
“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” (Hebrews 3:19)
“And they also (the Jews that were broken off), if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.” (Romans 11:23)
And accordingly, when a Gentile becomes a “believer”, he is “grafted” into that same tree, but for the first time, because he was never a “natural” branch of the spiritual nation of Israel. In other words, through this supernatural operation of God, …
“…some of the branches (unbelieving Jews) be(ing) broken off, and thou (a Gentile), being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them,..” (Romans 11:17)
This makes you, as a Christian, part of that original spiritual tree of “election”..
“… and with them (the remnant) partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;” (Romans 11:17)
“For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.” (Romans 11:16)
So, as you can see by scripture, the “remnant” are those natural Jews who become part of the “election of grace” when they place their faith in Jesus Christ. Gentiles also become part of the same “election of grace” when they place their faith in Jesus Christ. This is the living tree of the “elect” … whether one is a Jew or a Gentile … there is no difference! As it is written:
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, …” (Ephesians 2:11)
“…ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” (Ephesians 2:12)
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)
Because God wanted…
“…to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;” (Ephesians 2:15)
“And that he might reconcile both (Jew and Gentile) unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:” (Ephesians 2:16)
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18)
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” (Ephesian 2:19)
“In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22)
Hallelujah! Both the “remnant” Jew and the “believing” Gentile are now partakers of the same “election of grace”. And, by this grace, they are enabled to partake of the same life-giving roots of the Tree of Life! This is the newly-created “Man” which abides in the “Tree” that he might partake of the “Spirit” of God and grow up into Him in all things as one “Body” in the Lord:
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:13)
This is the “elect” of God!
“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” (Romans 10:12)
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