PENAL SUBSTITUTION IN CONTRAST TO THE NARRATIVE

Jesus always attributed the things he suffered in his death to the hands of sinful men. Not even once did he ever attribute it to the justice of God.

Likewise, You will not find a single instance in the book of Acts where the apostles ever interpret the death of Jesus as condemnation levied against Jesus from God. The apostles always hold the people responsible.

Stephen, who was not an apostle, also testified of the death and resurrection of Jesus while on trial before the Sanhedrin.

Stephen held the Jewish leaders responsible saying to those who were about to stone him that they had been betrayers and murders of Jesus, the Just One. Their forefathers had persecuted the prophets who had showed beforehand his coming and they had followed in their footsteps by their rejection of Christ. Stephen actually says that what they did to Jesus was that of resisting the Holy Ghost!

Isaiah the prophet had testified that Jesus would suffer an unjust death and this is exactly the same scripture that Philip began with when he preached Christ to the Eunuch in Acts 8.

“In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.”

Other translations say:

He was humiliated and received no justice …(NLT)

In His humiliation He was taken away by distressing and oppressive judgment and justice was denied Him …(Amplified Bible)

In His humiliation justice was denied Him …(Holman Christian Standard Bible)

In 1 Peter 2, the apostle Peter (who learned firsthand from Jesus what had happened at the cross) says the same thing when he tells us that Jesus suffered wrongfully and committed himself to the ONE who judges righteously.

When did the the ONE who judges righteously intervene? IN THE RESURRECTION!

God exalted His Son in righteousness in the resurrection and delivered unto him the Kingdom. The stone the builders rejected is the precious corner stone which God has chosen. Now all men are commanded to repent and serve him!

This is the gospel that is declared in your Bible.

Those who teach the theory of Penal Substitutionary Atonement often take isolated verses from different portions of scripture, (verses such as Isa. 53:4 and 6, Matthew 27:1, Ps 22:1, Rom 3:25, 2Co 5:21, 1 Peter 2:24, and Gal 3:13) and piece them together to form what they think is a systematic theology.

However, it is important to take into account the narrative revealed in scripture and context of those verses.

(1). Isaiah 53 is in context of the suffering of God’s righteous servant, who would be despised and rejected by men. Isaiah 53 even states that Jesus suffered unjustly.

(2). Psalm 22 clearly shows that verse one (quoted in Matthew 27:1) was a perception not the reality. God did had not abandon Jesus according to the whole of Psalm 22. Verse 24 says, “For He (God) hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid His face from Him; but when He cried unto Him, He heard.”

(3). Romans 3:25 is in the context of justification by faith through the grace of God, not the wrath of God. The Greek word halisterion (translated propitiation in the KJV) is employed by the Septuagint to describe the Mercy Seat in the Old Testament. That which was foreshadowed by the mercy seat flows with the context of Romans 3. God has set forth Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement because of His mercy (not wrath) so that by grace He might justify all who believe in Jesus.

(4). 2 Corinthians 5:21 speaks of Christ our sin offering, not our literal sin or our sinfulness. Throughout the Old Testament the words sin and sin offering are translated from the same Hebrew word chattath. Chattath is translated as sin offering 118 times, and translated as sin 168 times.

In Hebrews 10:6, the writer of Hebrews speaks of sacrifices for sin. The words “sacrifices for” are added by the translators of the KJV for clarity. Literally, Hebrews 10:6 says: “In burnt offerings and sin thou hast had no pleasure”. However, we know that the author is not referring to sin, but to the sin offerings instead. We know this because of the context, and we know this because Hebrews 10:6 is a quote from Psalm 40:6 which says, Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required”.

The same Greek word (hamartia) used in Hebrews 10:6 which references the sin offering, is used in 2 Corinthians 5:21 for sin, and therefore should be understood as “sin offering”.

The sin offerings, which were holy offerings, were offered to make atonement or reconciliation. Reconciliation is the surrounding context of 2 Corinthians 5:21. The transference of personal acts of sin or of a sin nature is nowhere found in the context, nor was this the case under the Law when sin offerings were offered. The sin offerings had to be holy and unblemished and were offered on behalf of the sins of the people to reconcile the people to God.

God made him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be made the sin offering for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

(5). 1 Peter 2:24 is written in the context of Jesus suffering wrongfully (v.19-25). He is the shepherd of our souls and we are to follow His example when we suffer unjustly. Peter tells us that when Jesus suffered wrongfully, He committed himself to THE ONE WHO  JUDGES RIGHTEOUSLY.  Jesus bore our sins, not as one (who by transference) became guilty with our sins, but rather by laying down His pure and holy life for us, he made atonement through the shedding of His precious blood so that we could be cleansed from our sins. Had Jesus had our personal acts of sins and/or guilt transferred to him, he would not have remained pure. The scripture says we were redeemed by the precious Blood of Jesus as of a lamb WITHOUT BLEMISH AND WITHOUT SPOT.

(6). Galatians 3:13 is written within the context of the curse of the Law imposed on all who are under the Law. The only deliverance from the curse of the law is through the Messiah. Jesus was made a curse in that He was CRUCIFIED, or HANGED on a tree, being openly humiliated and put to shame by those who hated him. However, God raised him from the dead and declared by his resurrection, “this is My Son!”

Jesus endured the hostility of sinful men and was vindicated by God in the resurrection. Hebrews 12:2-3 says, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, DESPISING THE SHAME, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that ENDURED SUCH CONTRADICTIONS OF SINNERS AGAINST HIMSELF, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

  • The Amplified Bible says, “Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart… (Hebrews 12:30).
  • Like 1 Peter 2:19-25, Hebrews 12:1-4 exhorts us to follow Jesus, who endured the cross, as our example of perseverance. He suffered cruelty from sinful men, not from God. Yet it was the will of God for Jesus to suffer so that, through Him, God might save all, who believe though Him.
  • The sufferings of Christ according to the will of God as expressed in the scriptures should be understood in the same way in which we understand others who, according to the will of God, suffered to glorify God. For example, both Job and Paul suffered for the glory of God, but it was not God opposing and afflicting them. Yet in their sufferings they were completely in the will of God. In much the same way it is important to understand that Christ suffered at the hands of men according to the will of God.
  • Under the Law, it was the corpses of those who had already been executed for such offenses as blasphemy which were hanged on a tree. In Galatians 3:1, the apostle Paul says, “Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross.” The crucified Christ is the emblem of redemption, and through the broken body of the crucified Messiah, we are free from the curse of the Law. The writer of Hebrews tells us that we are sanctified through the OFFERING of the BODY OF JESUS CHRIST once and for all. Christ gave to God a holy and sinless life to redeem us with his precious blood and through his slain body we are redeemed from the curse of the Law so that righteousness might come to all who trust in him.

Those who teach the theory of PSA create a narrative which is contrary to the narrative revealed in the four gospels and the book of Acts.

When we have as our foundation, the teachings of Jesus and the gospel preached by the apostles in the book of Acts, we will more accurately interpret the death of Christ in view of the whole counsel of scripture. For example, if we would ask the questions, “Does God condemning Jesus prove He is the Son of God, or does God vindicating Him prove He is the Son of God?” What what be the proper response to these questions?

If Jesus had died as a condemned substitute under the justice of God, how would that work with believing He is the Son of God? Those who crucified Jesus condemned Him of blasphemy, for claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God. If Jesus had been condemned by God, God would have been siding with the people who condemned Him. Yet the scripture says that those who put Jesus to death were gathered against the Lord (God) and against His Christ (Acts 4:26). Those who condemned Jesus were opposing God!

Though He was unjustly condemned, He was vindicated when God raised Him from the dead. He is who He claimed to be, and when we believe and declare that Jesus is the Son of God we agree with the testimony of God who raised Him from the dead. This is revealed in the narrative and comes through clearly within the continuity of the scriptures.

Jesus was delivered over to death according to the will of God for the purpose of laying down His own life for our redemption through the shedding of his Blood.

This can be clearly understood when we will consider others who, according to the will of God, laid down their lives to serve the purposes of God. Stephen, for instance, laid down His life for the glory of God. Stephen was not condemned by God, but rather was a chosen vessel who suffered martyrdom for the gospel and the glory of Christ.

In the gospels, Jesus likened His own death to those who had died before Him for the glory of God. For example in Matthew 17:12-13 Jesus says the following.

But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. LIKEWISE shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

Notice that Jesus likens His death to that of John the Baptist. John was not condemned by God, but was a martyr who died for the glory of God. Jesus says, “LIKEWISE shall also the Son of man SUFFER OF THEM.”

We see the same line of thinking In Matthew 21:33-43 in the parable concerning the Husbandmen of the vineyard who rejected the Son of the the Lord of the vineyard. The Lord of the vineyard first sent many different servants and they were mistreated and killed by the wicked Husbandmen of the vineyard. In Verses 34- 39 we read the following. 

And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

As we can see in this parable, the Lord of the vineyard was not the one condemning His Son. Instead, it was the Husbandmen who mistreated and killed the Son. They did to the Son as they had done to the other servants who were sent before Him. This is the narrative according to Jesus and His apostles concerning the nature of Christ’s sufferings. He died at the hands of sinful men who unjustly condemned Him. He was condemned by men, not condemned by God. 

As we continue reading this parable, Jesus says the following.

When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? (Matthew 21:40-42).

The significance of Jesus as the Stone which THE BUILDERS REJECTED and the ONE GOD ACCEPTED is abundantly clear throughout the Gospels and the Book of Acts.

Jesus, in accordance with the will of God, laid down His life, dying unjustly at the hands of sinful men, to redeem us with his precious Blood. In His resurrection, God overturned the verdict of sinful men who oppose God by raising his Son from the dead.

In 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul tells us that through the cross, God has made foolish the wisdom of this world.

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.  As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know Him through human wisdom, He has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is THE POWER  of God and THE WISDOM of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength (1 Corinthians 1:18-25).

Christ crucified, is both the power of God (through His shed blood for our redemption) and the wisdom of God, who in the resurrection, overturned verdict of sinful men and has brought to nothing the counsel of the princes of this world who unjustly condemned His Son.

THE PROMISED LAND AND GOD’S REST

For if Joshua had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day (Hebrews 4:8).

The reference above belongs to the exhortation by the writer of Hebrews concerning the rest promised for the people of God. In chapter 3, he tells us how the people of Israel fell in the wilderness because of unbelief.

God became so angry with the Israelites in the wilderness that He swore in His wrath that that generation would not enter into His rest, i.e., the Promised Land.

The author of Hebrews, writing to Hebrew believers speaks of Israel’s land inheritance as a rest foreshadowing the true rest which was yet to come.

Notice that he says, “IF JOSHUA HAD GIVEN THEM REST, he would not have spoken of another day.”

Israel never entered into God’s rest under Joshua, though they inhabited the land. This is why he mentions “another day” and quotes the words of David from Psalms 95 which was said by David, long after Israel occupied the land.

Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts (Hebrews 4:7).

Hebrews 4:6-7 in New Living Translation says the following.

God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. SO GOD SET ANOTHER TIME FOR ENTERING HIS REST, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come.

Writing to Hebrew believers, the writer of Hebrews tells them that there remains a rest to be entered by the people of God. That rest is the finished work of Christ. The author of Hebrews will continue to expound on this truth throughout the epistle as he expounds on Jesus’ Priesthood, sacrifice, and the new covenant of which Christ is the mediator.

Israel’s inheritance in the land of Canaan wasn’t a permanent rest. Instead, it was only a type and a foreshadowing of something much more significant: the true rest that comes through faith in Jesus.

WHY IS IT NECESSARY FOR JEWS TO BE IN ISRAEL TO BE SAVED?

If all Israel being saved means all Jews will be saved, then why is it necessary for them to be in the land of Israel for this to happen? Being in Israel or not being in Israel has nothing to do with being saved. Salvation is by believing the gospel of Jesus Christ through repentance and faith.

If all Israel being saved means all Jews will be saved, then why is it necessary for them to build another temple like the one God destroyed before they are saved? When anyone is saved they become a living stone in God’s true spiritual temple. Salvation is by believing the gospel of Jesus Christ through repentance and faith.

If all Israel being saved means all Jews will be saved, then why is it necessary that they bring back a defunct Levitical priesthood after Christ has been appointed as the Great High Priest, and the only mediator between God and man? Salvation is by believing the gospel of Jesus Christ through repentance and faith.

If all Israel being saved means all Jews will be saved, why is it necessary that they bring back animal sacrifices which cannot take away sins? Jesus has offered one sacrifice for sins forever. Salvation is by believing the gospel of Jesus Christ through repentance and faith.

If all Jews will eventually be saved, they will not have to be in Israel. They will not need a Jewish temple. They will not need a Levitical priesthood or animal sacrifices. They will, however, need to hear the gospel. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Salvation comes by hearing the gospel preached. If there is going to be a time when all Jews are saved, they will have to come to salvation the same way the first century Jews and all other Jews the last 2000 years have been saved, and that is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In his letter to the Galatians, the apostle Paul said, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:6-9).

Those who teach that all Israel will be saved in some other way than by hearing the message of Jesus and believing in Him, are preaching another gospel.

ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! (Psalm 53:6a).

I once saw this portion of scripture on a caption on a social media site. In response one commenter wrote the following: “The help will come from God…. seems the President of the US has turned his back on Israel.”

This comment is very indicative of the ideology that many Western Christians have embraced regarding Israel. It is an ideology which advocates that salvation for Israel is something that has not yet come. On the contrary, the New Testament reveals that salvation has indeed ALREADY come to Israel.

For example, consider the following declarations from the New Testament about the salvation of Israel which has come through Jesus Christ.

In Luke 1:68-70, Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, prophesied by the Holy Spirit these words about Jesus:

“Blessed be the Lord God of ISRAEL; for he hath VISITED and REDEEMED HIS PEOPLE, and hath raised up an HORN OF SALVATION for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began…”

Zacharias also prophesied to John the Baptist (only 8 days old) saying, “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby THE DAYSPRING FROM ON HIGH HATH VISITED US” (Luke 1:76-78).

Notice three things here:

  1. John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for the Lord. This was also prophesied by Isaiah the prophet and is recorded in Matthew and Mark.
  2. John was sent to give the people of Israel the knowledge of salvation. In John 1:31, John the Baptist says that he was sent to reveal the Messiah to Israel.
  3. Zacharias prophesied that God had visited His people according to His promises and John the Baptist was the forerunner who would make this glorious announcement (see Luke 1:68-80 in its entirety).

In Luke 2 we read of Simeon, who lived in Jerusalem. He was just and devout man. The Bible says he was waiting for THE CONSOLATION OF ISRAEL. The Holy Spirit was upon him and revealed to him that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah (Luke 2:25-26).

When he came by the Spirit to the temple at the time of the dedication of Jesus by Joseph and Mary, he took Jesus up in his arms, and praised God saying, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to thy word: FOR MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THY SALVATION” (Luke 2:28-30).

We also read of men like Zacchaeus, of whom Jesus said, “This day is SALVATION come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham (Luke 9:19).

Consider also the words of the apostle Peter from Acts 10.

THE WORD GOD SENT TO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:). THAT WORD, I say, ye know, which was PUBLISHED throughout ALL JUDAEA, and BEGAN FROM GALILEE, AFTER THE BAPTISM WHICH JOHN PREACHED; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both IN THE LAND OF THE JEWS, AND IN JERUSALEM; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us TO PREACH UNTO THE PEOPLE, and TO TESTIFY THAT IT IS HE WHICH WAS ORDAINED OF GOD to be the Judge of quick and dead. TO HIM GIVE ALL THE PROPHETS WITNESS, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins (Acts 10:38-43).

In Acts 13 Paul says, “Men and brethren, CHILDREN OF THE STOOK OF ABRAHAM, and whosoever among you feareth God, TO YOU IS THE WORD OF THIS SALVATION SENT.”

According to the New Testament gospel, Israel’s salvation is not about the political well being of the modern State of Israel. Instead, it is about redemption from sin and death through Jesus Christ. Rather than holding firm to the Biblical gospel concerning Israel’s salvation, the influence of Zionism as brought about a redefinition of salvation for Israel which is, at its core, political rather than spiritual.

The Psalmist prayed that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion, and it has! His name is Jesus, He is the Savior, and He was preached first to the Jews. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts reveal the gospel of Jesus Christ as the announcement of salvation to the people of Israel.

“Tell ye the daughter of Zion, ‘BEHOLD THY KING COMETH UNTO THEE…” (Matthew 21:5, John 12:15).

At the heart of the redefinition of Israel’s salvation is a new narrative which is contrary to the gospel revealed in the New Testament. This new narrative has “ethnic Israel” being saved when the Jews are back in the land, with a rebuilt the temple, and animal sacrifices.

Yet, the Bible reveals that these were judged because Israel (not the remnant) rejected the prophets and the righteous men whom God had sent to them. Their rejection of Jesus, the Son of God, was catastrophic in that it brought about the permanent end to the Jewish national status as the chosen nation.

Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! BEHOLD, YOUR HOUSE IS LEFT UNTO YOU DESOLATE. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord (Matthew 23:34- 39).

Jesus also told them, “the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43). The Kingdom of God is no longer revealed through the physical nation of Israel, and their priesthood, and their temple, and their city. Instead it is revealed through Christ and those who belong to Him, both from among the Jews and the Gentiles.

The new narrative which redefines salvation for Israel by making it political is contrary to the New Testament’s declaration of how the people of Israel are saved. This new narrative is based on – proof texting – Bible verses such as Romans 11:26 which speak of all Israel being saved.

However, there is nothing within the context of Romans 9-11 which supports the ideology that Paul is speaking of a future nationalistic salvation in the last days wherein Israel will be superior to all other nations.

Paul never says all ethnic Israel would be saved; rather, he tells us that only a remnant from among the Jews would be saved. Paul quotes from the Old Testament book of Isaiah and says the following:

Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, A REMNANT SHALL BE SAVED (Romans 9:27).

Throughout the narrative of the story of Israel, God was faithful to those who were faithful to Him, but those who rebelled against Him, He judged. In both the Old and New Testaments, those who trusted God were delivered and those who did not perished.

Israel’s salvation doesn’t mean all Jews will eventually be saved. Instead, it means that salvation has come through Jesus Christ and all who look to Him for deliverance will be saved. Jesus is the promised deliverer who has come out of Zion.

In Romans 11:26, the words “all Israel shall be saved” are qualified by the following statement, which says, “AS IT IS WRITTEN, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob…”

In Acts 3, the apostle Peter declared to the Jews, “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, IN TURNING AWAY EVERY ONE OF YOU FROM HIS INIQUITIES(Acts 3;26).

The turning of ungodliness from Jacob (Israel) came through Jesus and it is not something still yet to come.

To correctly interpret the meaning of “all Israel shall be saved,” that which has been expounded upon about the deliverer coming out of Zion has to be in view. Nowhere in Romans is 9-11 does Paul ever imply that Israel’s deliverer is still yet to come. According to the text “all Israel will be saved” when the deliverer comes out of Zion and turns ungodliness from Jacob (Israel).

Who then is Israel?

According to the flow of thought in Romans 9-11, there is Israel (the remnant) and Israel in unbelief (the rest). Those who are the remnant are referred to by Paul as the children of God according to the promise. Those who are in unbelief are those who are not truly Israel.

Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. FOR THEY ARE NOT ALL ISRAEL, WHICH ARE OF ISRAEL: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, THESE ARE NOT THE CHILDREN OF GOD: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed (Romans 9:6-8).

Throughout Romans 9-11, Paul carefully explains the distinction between those who are truly Israel according the promise and those who are Israel after the flesh.

This is evident all throughout the narrative of scripture. For instance, Jesus referred to Zacchaeus as a son of Abraham, and therefore salvation came to his house (Luke 9:19). On the other hand, Jesus referred to those Jews opposing Him in John 8 as children of the devil. Jesus told those Jews who opposed Him that they would die in their sins if they did not repent and believe in Him (see John 8-10).

Those who are Israel according to the promise are those who embrace the promise, those who are Israel after the flesh stumble over the promise.

As it is written, Behold, I lay IN ZION a stumbling stone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed (Romans 9:33).

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded (1 Peter 2:6).

Throughout Romans 9-11, Paul reveals that the true Israel within Israel are those who are of faith. These are they who are the true election according to grace. These, along with the Gentiles who are grafted in with them, are the, “all Israel who shall be saved.”