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Romans 11.6-The Election Of The Remnant Is Based On Grace,Thus Excluding Human Merit Otherwise Grace Is Never At Any Time Grace

Romans Chapter Eleven  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:02:39
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Romans: Romans 11:6-The Election Of The Remnant Is Based On Grace, Thus Excluding Human Merit Otherwise Grace Is Never At Any Time Grace-Lesson # 357

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Wenstrom Bible Ministries

Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom

Wednesday June 24, 2009

www.wenstrom.org

Romans: Romans 11:6-The Election Of The Remnant Is Based On Grace, Thus Excluding Human Merit Otherwise Grace Is Never At Any Time Grace

Lesson # 357

Please turn in your Bibles to Romans 11:1.

Last evening we noted in Romans 11:5 that in the same way that God set aside a remnant for Himself in Elijah’s day so He had done so in Paul’s day according to His sovereign grace.

This evening we will study Romans 11:6 in which Paul argues with his readers that if you agree with me that the election of the remnant in Israel is on the basis of God’s grace policy, then it follows logically that it is never at any time on the basis of human merit otherwise grace never at any time exists as grace.

Romans 11:1, “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.”

Romans 11:2, “God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?”

Romans 11:3, “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.”

Romans 11:4, “But what is the divine response to him? ‘I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.’”

Romans 11:5, “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice.”

Romans 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”

In this passage, Paul is providing additional information with regards to the remnant’s election by means of grace, namely that the remnant was never selected by God on the basis of meritorious actions.

“If” is the conditional particle ei (ei)) (i), which introduces a protasis of a first class condition that indicates the assumption of truth for the sake of argument.

As we noted many times in our study of the book of Romans, the idea behind the first class condition is not “since” but rather, “if-and let us assume that it is true for the sake of argument that, then...”

This would encourage Paul’s audience to respond and come to the conclusion of the apodosis since they already agreed with him on the protasis.

Therefore, Paul is employing the first class condition as a tool of persuasion with his audience.

Here the protasis is “if and let assume that it is true for the sake argument the remnant’s election is on the basis of grace.”

The responsive condition would say: “Of course we agree that it is.”

Paul’s readers would agree that the election of the remnant in Israel was by means of grace because election takes place in eternity past before this remnant could do anything good or bad.

They would also know this for certain based upon what he has taught about salvation in the first ten chapters that justification and salvation of sinners is based upon God’s grace policy and received through faith alone in Christ alone totally excluding human merit.

The apodasis is “(then) the election of the remnant in Israel is never at any time on the basis of meritorious actions as the source of this election otherwise grace never at any time exists as grace.”

Paul is not attempting to prove that his protasis is true rather he is saying with the first class condition that we agree that this doctrine is true that the election of the remnant in Israel is on the basis of grace.

The first class condition would then persuade them to respond to the conclusion that this election by grace would exclude meritorious actions as the basis and source for their election.

Therefore, Paul’s audience would have to come to his conclusion if they submit to this line of argumentation.

He wants them to come to his line of argumentation because he is teaching them about the mechanics of salvation.

Therefore, it is essential that they agree with him on this point since it will also help them to understand how God deals with Israel and all men.

He also wants them to understand God’s grace policy and that God’s grace and human merit are mutually exclusive.

The basic relation that the protasis has to the apodasis is “evidence-inference.”

The “evidence” is that the remnant’s election is on the basis of grace.

The “inference” is that this would exclude meritorious actions as the basis for this election.

“By grace” indicates that the election of the remnant in Israel in Paul’s day is “on the basis” of God’s grace policy.

Next, we come to the apodasis of this first class condition, which is introduced implicitly meaning without a structural marker.

Romans 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”

“No longer” is the adverb ouketi (ou)kevti) (ook-et-ee), which expresses an absolute, direct and full negation and is used in both a logical and temporal sense here in Romans 11:6 and thus means “never at any time.”

With this word ouketi Paul is saying to his readers in this first class conditional statement that “if you agree with me that the election of the remnant is on the basis of grace, then logically, it is ‘never at any time’ on the basis of meritorious actions.”

The translation “no longer” should not be used here since it implies that at one time this election of the remnant was based on human merit.

However, Paul has established in the protasis and his teaching in the first ten chapters that it is a spiritual axiom that this election of the remnant is based on God’s grace policy.

Therefore, Paul is saying that this election of the remnant could “never at any time” in history be based on human merit since it is a spiritual axiom that it is based on grace.

“On the basis of works” is composed of the preposition ek (e)k), “on the basis of,” which is followed by the genitive neuter plural form of the noun ergon (e&rgon) (er-gon), “works.”

The noun ergon is used in the plural form means, “meritorious actions” since we are speaking in the context of God electing the remnant on the basis of grace, which is totally antithetical to it being on the basis of human merit.

The preposition ek functions with the genitive form of the noun ergon, “works” as a marker of cause with focus upon source.

Therefore, this prepositional phrase indicates that if the election of the remnant in Israel in Paul’s day is based on God’s grace policy, it follows logically that it is never at any time “on the basis of” or “because of” meritorious actions as constituting its (the election of the remnant) source.

Romans 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”

“Otherwise” is the conjunction epei (e)peiv) (ep-i), which is introducing a statement that presents the “reason why” the election of the remnant in Israel in Paul’s day is never at any time on the basis of meritorious actions, if his readers agree with his premise that this election is based on God’s grace policy.

“Grace is no longer grace” means that grace never at any time exists as grace if the election of the remnant in Israel is based on human merit since they are mutually exclusive.

Completed corrected translation of Romans 11:6: “ For you see, if and let us assume that it is true for the sake of argument that it is, as an eternal spiritual truth on the basis of grace. And we agree that it is! Then, it is never at any time on the basis of meritorious actions as constituting its source, otherwise grace never at any time exists as grace.”

Therefore, we see that in Romans 11:6 Paul argues with his readers that if you agree with me that God had set aside for Himself a remnant in Israel on the basis of His grace policy, then it follows logically that this election of the remnant is never at any time on the basis of meritorious actions otherwise grace never at any time exists in the state of being grace.

In this passage, Paul is teaching that once the reader acknowledges that the election of the remnant in Israel is never based on meritorious actions but rather on the basis of God’s grace policy, there is never any place in the plan of salvation for meritorious actions.

Therefore, Romans 11:6 once again refutes the Judaizers and the Pharisaical teaching in Israel that taught that justification is by meritorious actions.

Paul is teaching in Romans 11:6 that God’s grace policy and human merit are mutually exclusive.

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