Rom 11:5-8 “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.”
It is easy to get discouraged when we look around at all the sorrow and strife in the world. There is so much hatred and unkindness. Men seem to find it easy to ignore the righteousness of God. We who love the Lord find ourselves ridiculed and accused of all manner of vileness because we try to live according to God’s word.
Elijah expressed a sentiment that we may find ourselves giving in to. Church attendance is declining. Ministers are abandoning the pulpit. If all we see are the statistics, then we may begin to feel that there are only a few of us left and we will not be here long.
These are certainly serious times and the apparent decline in our churches is no laughing matter. Still, we need to rely on God and hold fast to our faith in Him. He told Elijah that He had reserved (kept) to Himself seven thousand who had never fallen into idol worship. Just like in Elijah’s day, Paul assured the church at Rome that God still kept a remnant.
If we believe the scripture to have application to us today, then we can read Paul’s statement here like it was just written today. At this present time, God has reserved to Himself a remnant who love and worship Him. Just as surely as our eternal salvation is by the grace of God, so too is the keeping of a remnant who honor and glorify Him here. This is done according to the election (divine selection) of grace.
Our works do not bring grace. Rather our works are a fruit of grace. God did not tell Elijah He had reserved seven thousand because they had not bowed to the image of Baal. They had not bowed because God had reserved them.
If we have received grace, it has nothing to do with our works. Our works of righteousness are as filthy rags before the Lord (Isaiah 64:6). Our works are only pleasing to God when we recognize that they come as the result of His grace. If we are relying on our works, then we have fallen from grace.
God’s covenant people under the law did not obtain what they were seeking. They failed to submit themselves to the righteousness of God. The remnant according to God’s divine selection have obtained it. Our life in God’s kingdom here and our ability to recognize our Messiah (Jesus Christ) has not come by our efforts, but by the election of grace.
When we seek to claim the glory of God for ourselves, we will find that God is still the same today. It is apparent that He still gives the spirit of slumber to those who do not have the righteousness of faith. God is able to open blind eyes and unstop deaf ears (on both a physical and a spiritual level). He is just as able to blind men to His glory and prevent them from hearing (with understanding) of His wonderful grace.
May we rejoice in the Lord today for His wonderful election of grace!