Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” – Romans 11:25-27
Paul argued that Israel as a nation has turned away from God, but God is able to save them. The question, then, is will He?
He writes, “Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers“. Remember that there seems to have been some arrogance among the Gentiles about their own salvation. The explanation of this mystery should be the antidote to their arrogance.
Mystery, in this sense, is talking about something that was previously concealed or unclear and is now revealed or made clear. And here is this mystery: a partial hardening has come upon Israel. This widespread Israeli rejection of the gospel that Paul’s audience was seeing was only partial. It wasn’t a total rejection. In this case, it wasn’t final. For this hardening would only be in place until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in. God knows His elect, and He knows exactly how many He will save. So, when the full number of God’s elect Gentiles are saved, this partial hardening will be removed.
To what end? In this way all Israel will be saved. Some take this to mean that all spiritual Israel will be saved, both Jew and Gentile. As wonderful and true as that is, it doesn’t seem to be the mystery that Paul is talking about here. No, this is what happens when the partial hardening is removed when the fulness of the Gentiles has come in: there will be a large multitude of unbelieving Israeli nationals who turn to Jesus on that day.
Paul backs this up with a conglomeration of Old Testament quotes. As it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
This was a part of God’s redemptive plan from the beginning. He will magnify His faithfulness by grafting national Israel back into spiritual Israel. His promises have not failed.
There is nothing left to say, except “Praise God!”