The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleRomans 11:29
For the gifts and calling of God…
By "gifts" are
meant, not the gifts of nature and providence, as life, health,
strength, riches, and honour, which God sometimes gives, and repents
of, and takes away; as he repented that he had made man upon earth,
and Saul king of Israel; which must be understood by an
"anthropopathy", after the manner of men, and that not of a change
of the counsel of his mind, but of the course of his providence: nor
do gifts here design external gifts of grace, or such gifts of the
Spirit, which qualify men for ministerial work, for public service
in the church; for these may be taken away, as the "parable" of the
"talents" shows, (Matthew 25:29) ; see (1 Corinthians 13:8) ; but the special and
spiritual gifts of God's free grace, which relate to the spiritual
and eternal welfare of the souls of men, even that, grace which was
given to God's elect in Christ before the world was, and all those
spiritual blessings wherewith they were then blessed in him: these
are without repentance;
that is, they are immutable and unalterable;
God never revokes them, or calls them in again, or takes them away
from the persons to whom he has made such a previous donation: the
reasons are, because that his love from whence they spring is always
the same; it admits of no distinction, nor of any degrees, nor of
any alteration; and electing grace, according to which these gifts
are bestowed, stands sure and immovable; not upon the foot of works,
but of the sovereign will of God, and always has its sure and
certain effect; and the covenant of grace, in which they are
secured, remains firm and inviolable; and indeed, these gifts are no
other than the promises of it, which are all yea and amen in Christ,
and the blessings of it, which are the sure mercies of David.
Whatever God purposes, or promises to give, or really does give to
his people, whether into the hands of Christ for them, or into their
own, he never repents of or reverses. Agreeably to these words of
the apostle, the Jews say F7
``that the holy blessed God, after (hntmh Ntnv) , "that he hath
given a gift", (lbqmh hnxqy al) , "never takes it away from
the receiver"; and this is the "Gemara", or doctrine of
the Rabbins F8 (ylqv al lqvm ybhy bhymd) , "that giving they
give, but taking away they do not take away"; the gloss
upon it is, (ybhyd rtb) , "after it is given":''
the meaning is, that what is once given to men from heaven, is never
taken away from them up into heaven: and elsewhere F9 they ask,
``is there any servant to whom his master gives a gift, and
returns and takes it away from him?''
Moreover, the apostle here says the same of the "calling of God", as of
gifts; by which is meant, not a bare external call by the ministry of
the word, which oftentimes is without effect, and may be where persons
are neither chosen, nor converted, nor saved; but an internal effectual
call, by special, powerful, and efficacious grace; and designs either
actual calling, to which are inseparably annexed final perseverance in
grace, and eternal glorification; or rather the purpose of God from
eternity, to call his people in time, and which is never repented of,
or changed. The apostle's argument here is this, that since there are a
number of people among the Jews whom God has loved, and has chosen to
everlasting salvation, and has in covenant promised to them, and
secured and laid up gifts for them, and has determined to call them by
his grace; and since all these are unchangeable and irreversible, the
future call and conversion of these persons must be sure and certain.
F7 R. Saphorno apud R. Juda Muscato in Sepher. Cosri, fol. 43.
F8 T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 25. 1.
F9 T. Bab. Erachin, fol. 15. 1.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Romans 11:29". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=ro&chapter=011&verse=029>. 1999.