Did God reject all Israel?
“I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.” Romans 11:1, NIV. Who among the Israelites received the promised grace? The Remnant did! “It is just as Isaiah said previously: ‘Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah’.” Romans 9:29, NIV. The descendants God preserved is the Remnant who rejected the teachings made by men and preserved the faith of Abraham. Paul employs the example of the prophet Elijah to confirm the existence of the Remnant. “‘Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me?’ What was God’s answer to him? ‘I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; … Romans 11:3 – 6, NIV.
The remnant of Judah, in Jesus’ time, understood that righteousness does not come through the observance of the law and statutes, even those promulgated by God Himself. The righteousness which God requires is by a willful abandonment of one’s own-self, andn unconditional surrender to the redeeming act of God’s mercy in the Son of the promise – Jesus Christ. Romans 10:4. Only those who, like Abraham, believe God against all hope; and are, like Isaac, born from above; and, like Jacob, persevere with God; are the true Israel.
It is the same today. Only the yielded believers who have crucified their own-self so that Christ can live in them, are the actual children of God, the true Israel. They are the children of God because they have a new standing as; justified, sanctified, and glorified; in Jesus Christ only (Romans 8:30). The yielded believers do not need the letter of the law because they conduct themselves in a manner worthy of their calling in Christ Jesus. “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Ephesians 4:1, NIV. The yielded believers conduct themselves in conformity to the spirit of the law, which points to the Son of the promise, Jesus Christ, in whom we have, here and now, the eternal and irrevocable standing as the called children of God.