Three Types of Descendants

Three Types of Descendants

Romans 11:1-10 – I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them; let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.” 

The big idea of this section of the great book of Romans is that Abraham has three kinds of descendants:

  1. Abraham has physical descendants by birth who are biologically related to him through his son Isaac. This would include all Jewish people, or Israel. This would also include Paul who is writing Romans before he became a Christian. In this section, Paul refers to this group as “the rest”.
  2. Abraham has spiritual descendants by new birth who are supernaturally related to him by faith in the Son of God Jesus Christ. This would include most of the people who received his letter to Rome as this was a Gentile city filled with people who had become Christians. In this section Paul refers to this group as the “elect”.
  3. Abraham has physical and spiritual descendants who are connected to him both physically by birth and supernaturally through faith in Jesus Christ. This would include Paul at the time of writing Romans, and, in our day, Jewish Christians. In this section Paul refers to this group as “Israel”.

Which of these 3 categories would you fall into?

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Mark Driscoll
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