on Romans 11 :29
For the gifts and calling of God, etc. - The gifts which God has bestowed upon them, and the calling - the invitation, with which he has favored them he will never revoke. In reference to this point there is no change of mind in him; and therefore the possibility and certainty of their restoration to their original privileges, of being the people of God, of enjoying every spiritual blessing with the fullness of the Gentiles, may be both reasonably and safely inferred.
Repentance, when applied to God, signifies simply change of purpose relative to some declarations made subject to certain conditions. See this fully explained and illustrated by himself, Jeremiah 18:7-9.
on Romans 11 :29
For the gifts - The favors or benefits which God bestows on men. The word χάρισμα charisma properly denotes any benefit which is conferred on another as a mere matter of favor, and not of reward; see Romans 5:15-16; Romans 6:23. Such are all the favors which God bestows on sinners including pardon, peace, joy, sanctification, and eternal life.
And calling of God - The word "calling" κλῆσις klēsis here denotes that act of God by which he extends an invitation to people to come and partake of his favors, whether it be by a personal revelation as to the patriarchs, or by the promises of the gospel, or by the influences of his Spirit. All such invitations or callings imply a pledge that he will bestow the favor, and will not repent, or turn from it. God never draws or invites sinners to himself without being willing to bestow pardon and eternal life. The word "calling" here, therefore, has not respect to external privileges, but to that choosing of a sinner, and influencing him to come to God, which is connected with eternal life.
Without repentance - This does not refer to man, but to God. It does not mean that God confers his favors on man without his exercising repentance, but that God does not repent, or change, in his purposes of bestowing his gifts on man. What he promises he will fulfil; what he purposes to do, he will not change from or repent of. As he made promises to the fathers, he will not repent of them, and will not depart from them; they shall all be fulfilled; and thus it was certain that the ancient people of God, though many of them had become rebellious, and had been cast off, should not be forgotten and abandoned. This is a general proposition respecting God, and one repeatedly made of him in the Scriptures; see Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he not said, and shall he not do it? hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" Ezekiel 24:14; 1 Samuel 15:29; Psalm 89:35-36; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18; James 1:17. It follows from this,
(1) That all the promises made to the people of God shall be fulfilled.
(2) that his people need not be discouraged or desponding, in times of persecution and trial.
(3) that none who become his true friends will be forsaken, or cast off. God does not bestow the gift of repentance and faith, of pardon and peace, on people, for a temporary purpose; nor does he capriciously withdraw them, and leave the soul to ruin. When he renews a soul, it is with reference to his own glory; and to withdraw those favors, and leave such a soul once renewed to go down to hell, would be as much a violation of all the principles of his nature as it would be to all the promises of the Scripture.
(4) for God to forsake such a soul, and leave it to ruin, would imply that he did repent. It would suppose a change of purpose and of feeling. It would be the character of a capricious being, with no settled plan or principles of action; no confidence could be reposed in him, and his government would be unworthy the affections and trust of his intelligent creation.
on Romans 11 :29
11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance - God does not repent of his gifts to the Jews, or his calling of the gentiles.