In Romans 11, if Paul is referring to Gentile Christians as 'Israel' how could 'Israel' be our enemy?
Forgive me. I have obviously not been clear in my communication, otherwise you could not have made this remark.
Firstly, Romans 11 is not about the New Israel, but the Old Israel. Only one verse
of this chapter (verse 26) refers to both Old and New Israel together as "All Israel". Why would St. Paul use the term "All Israel shall be saved" to mean "all the the people of Jewish descent shall be saved" when he himself in the same chapter writes that only a remnant
of Old Israel shall be saved (Romans 11:5)? Wouldn't he be contradicting himself (and God) by saying that only a remnant
of Israel will be saved in verse 5 and then saying that "All Israel" will be saved in verse 26? If only a remnant of something is saved, then it is not all saved.
So clearly, by the term "All Israel", St. Paul must be referring to something other than :"all the people of Jewish descent", otherwise, as pointed out, he would be contradicting himself, since he says earlier in the same Epistle that only "a remnant" of Israel
(i.e. "the people of Jewish descent" or "Old Israel") shall be saved.
By "All Israel" in Verse 26 of the 11th Chapter of Romans, St. Paul means the "New Israel" composed of the Jews and Gentiles who have entered the Church. He leads up to this by developing his thoughts (like the skilled orator he is).
St. Paul developes his thoughts in Romans in the following way:1) God has made promises to Israel, and they were adopted as sons of God:
[bible]Romans 9:4[/bible]2) The apparent failure of Israel to believe in Christ is not evidence that God's promises have failed, because there is a New Israel composed not solely of descendants of Abraham accoding to the flesh (i.e., the Jews) but this New Israel is comprised of those who believe in Christ and become children of Abraham by Faith (whether Jew or Gentile).
[bible]Romans 9:6-8[/bible]3) The disbelief of the Jews has meant that the Gentiles can now be saved, because God's plan for Israel was that it should receive Christ, yet Old Israel rejected Him.
[bible]Romans 9:30-33[/bible] [bible]Romans 10:16-21[/bible][bible]Romans 11:11-12[/bible]4) But we must, on no account, boast or gloat over Old Israel because of this, because we are heirs of God's promises by adoption, whereas the Jews were the "natural" heirs and because just as the "natural heirs" were not spared, the "adopted heirs" may not be spared either. Not all who are baptised will be saved- we too may not be saved:
[bible]Romans11:17-21[/bible]5) Furthermore, even though for the time being New israel is being saved because of Old Israel's disobedience, a time is coming when a remnant of the Old Israel will be joined to the New Israel, and so "ALL Israel" (that is, the TRUE Israel) will be saved. And this is happening even now since Old Israel's blindness is only "in part" (i.e. "partial" in that some Jews, like St. Paul, were entering the Church).
[bible]Romans 11:25-27[/bible]6)And the saving of this remnant of Old Israel will occur because, even though Old Israel is at emnity with the Gospel because of disobedience and disbelief, she is still loved by God for the sake of the Patriarchs.And this disobedience of Old Israel has allowed salvation to come to the Gentiles (therefore, the "emnity" is "for our sake"). Even so, God has made promises to Israel, and He will not revoke them.
[bible]Romans 11:28-29[/bible]7) The promises made to Israel are being fulfilled in the New Israel, however, God will also save "a remnant" of Old Israel in the same way He saved us, the Gentiles. That is, we who were once disobedient as Gentile pagans received the mercy promised to Israel because Old Israel disobeyed. Now that the Old Israel is disobedient, a remmnant will be saved through God's mercy which is ministered through the Church ("through your mercy")