Romans 11:6 – “then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
This scripture deals with God’s plan for Israel’s future. Paul was sure that God did not plan to end His relationship with His people. Paul was an Israelite as a descendant of Abraham and from Benjamin’s family. When Elijah complained to God that in Israel they killed all of God’s prophets, destroyed all the altars, that only he remained loyal to God and they were trying to kill him for this. God then told him of the 7000 people who were still loyal to Him and did not bow down to Baal. God did not want to severe His relationship with His people whom he chose long ago.
God had wonderful plans for Jews, a chosen people. He sent Jesus to offer grace, salvation, and righteousness. But in their unbelief, the Jews refused to accept God’s generous gifts. Did God’s plans for the Jews fail? No, in fact, God has an even more wonderful plan for the Jews future. His grace will see them through salvation and righteousness. Paul shows in two ways that God has not ended his relationship with the Jews:
- Paul had acted against God before he became a Christian. God forgave Paul so God will forgive other Jews as well.
- Paul reminds the Jews about the answer that God gave to the prophet Elijah. God told him that there were still 7000 people who were loyal to Him.
The situation at the time of Paul was similar. People had shown great unbelief but could not stop God’s plan. Even today God has a plan for his chosen people. Those people who show unbelief will not benefit. Unless they repent, they will suffer the punishment for their sins. God’s plan will always succeed.
Even today, as in the time of Elijah, there are people who are loyal to God. God chose us because He loves us though we do not deserve His love. We cannot receive salvation because of our own deeds. God shows His kindness when He saves us. If we deserved salvation, God would not need to show any kindness. This means, God gives gifts to us that we do not deserve. This is called God’s grace – the free gift of God, not given with an eye to performance or potential in the one receiving, but given only out of kindness in the giver. Grace and works don’t go together. If God chose us by His grace, which we don’t deserve, then works don’t come into the picture. And vice versa, if we are rewarded for our good deeds, then undeserved reward called grace is then non-existent. God is a gracious Father to us His chosen people.