After pointing out the rejection of the Jews, Paul asked, “Has God cast away His people?” He answered his own question by stating that there was still a remnant of Jews who were still obedient to Christ and that he also being a Jew was included in that remnant.
Paul reminded the Romans of the story of the prophet Elijah, who felt alone because he had thought that all of Israel had forsaken God and were seeking to kill him also. Even in the darkest hours of the relationship to God’s people with Him, there was still a remnant who had remained faithful.
The grace of God as opposed to works relating to man’s salvation was mentioned again by Paul. Even though works do not save a person, there are certain conditions of obedience that must be met in order to receive God’s grace. Consider a blind man that Jesus healed. He had to wash the mud from his eyes.
Paul used a parable of an olive tree to explain how that through disobedience the Jews had been broken off from the main tree (Christ). The Gentiles through obedience had been grafted into the tree and accepted. That same principle of disobedience breaking one off the tree and obedience grafting one onto the tree is true with individuals today.
“Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God:” Paul warned the Romans that even though God is a God of love and is merciful to those who obey, He is also severe on those who fail in their obedience. If He had cut off the natural branches, the Jews because of disobedience, He would also cut off the grafted branches, the Gentiles if they disobeyed. He also stated that if the Jews would turn again to God, He would graft them back into the olive tree.
It was concluded again that all Jews and Gentiles could be saved if they would accept and obey the Deliverer who was sent to take away their sins.