Vol.VI No.II Pg.7
April 1969

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Dear bro. Turner:

What is the election of grace and its process? (ROM.11:5,28) S.M.


ROM.11: is a summation of the general argument of the epistle, that said: (1) All have sinned; (2) therefore, none are justified by a system of law; (3) but have hope in the system of faith in Christ, who gave himself (grace) that man might be forgiven of his sins.

Israel sought justification in the system of law (works) (perfect obedience) (GAL.3:10-f. ROM.10:5-f) but failed miserably to keep that law. They compounded their failure by denying the Gentiles equal right to the Messiah when He came (Note ROM. 10:12-ff. Gentiles "found" God in Christ, even while Israel denied Him (10:20-21). This brings us to chapter 11.

Will all Jews be lost? No, even as God promised, a remnant would be redeemed (ISA.1:9,10:20-23 etc.). This redemption will not be by a system of law, that excluded Gentiles; but by a system of grace (the gift of Christ) that welcomes Jew and Gentile (ISA.49:5-6). So Paul tells the Jew, "There is a remnant (of Jews to be saved, rt) according to the election of grace" (ROM.11:5-6).

This "election" is not selection of particular Jews but of a "class" — those who will accept Christ (Note, vs. 7-10, 19-23). God has "chosen" to save "who-so-ever-will" accept Jesus Christ, and serve Him faithfully.

"And so (houtos, in this manner) all Israel shall be saved:" i.e., it is by the gospel of Christ that Jews have their hope. Paul urges the Gentiles to remember that God used the rejection and crucifixion of Christ by the Jews, to accomplish the means of redemption for Jew and Gentile. He pleads with the Gentiles to show love and mercy toward the rebellious Jews, that they might be brought to accept Christ and be saved (11:28-32,6:1-F).


Dear bro. Turner:

To what does 1PE.3:18-20 refer??


It was by the power of the divine Spirit that Jesus offered Himself upon the cross (HEB.9:14) and was resurrected (1PE.3:18). The spirit of Christ was in the Prophets of old, as they proclaimed divine truth (1PE.1:10-11) — even in Noah, a preacher of righteousness (2PE.2:5) — as he pled with the people of his day to turn to God.

The context of the passage under study is that of urging Christians to be faithful, even in the face of persecution (3:12,14,16; 4:1-f). It seems vs. 18-f. says that Christ, in Spirit, tried to get the people of Noah's time to accept truth and be saved (from the destruction pending); and that today He has died for us. But, as then, only those who did His bidding were saved, so today, we must endure persecution, "arm yourselves likewise with the same mind" of Jesus Christ, in order to be saved. "Spirits in prison" may have been those in bondage to sin in Noah's day or the same, now in prison, lost, because they did not heed Noah's preaching.