Romans 11:1-36† - Not Finished With Israel
Intro: Romans ch. 9-11 are dealing w/ several themes - One major theme is the Sovereignty Of God in His dealings w/ the nation of Israel
A) In Chapter 9, Paul points to God's past dealings with Israel and highlights the sovereignty of God.-seen in the faithfulness of God In Chapter 10, he deals with God's present dealings with Israel, focus is his desire to see them saved
†Now in Chapter 11. we come to God's future dealings with Israel, which show His sincerity -†† Promises
B) That is, God made certain promises to the nation of Israel which He will fulfill. For even though they've blown it badly, God has promised to see Israel through on the basis of His own sincerity and faithfulness.
C) These promises are centered in Christ and will be fulfilled in their entirety when he returns .
1) †Then the nation that rejected Him will hail him as their Messiah & their Kinsmen redeemer.
D) Yet Paul sees in scripture certain Prophecies concerning Godís move among the Gentiles .
1) †So that in the later portion of Ch. 10 he mentions some of those prophecies of how the Lord was going to manifest himself to a people who didnít seek Him.
E) But to Israel He said all day long have stretched out my hand to a stiff-necked & disobedient people .
1) †Now does this acceptance of the Gentiles mean that God is finished w/ Israel ?† Paul says definitely not twice in Ch. 11
Mistakes in interpreting Romans ch. 11 can be avoided by realizing that the theme & focus of the Chapter is on Israel & not the Church.
SO Paul shows in Ch. 11 that God deals w/ His people based on fixed principles . And inter mingled w/in those fixed principles is† His grace
A) Paul begins w/ the question of has God given up on Israel - Answer is no way!!!!!!
†V.1 11:1† I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
B) Those of You who are into Bible prophecy should have this verse should be noted in your Bible,
1) †because many people teach that God is finished with Israel.
C) And that The Church is now the recipient of the blessings that were promised to Israel
1) †As a result they get the whole prophetic picture confused.
D) There are those who try to equate the 10 Anglo Saxon nations as Israel - talk about the 10 lost tribes.
1) †But this has no scriptural basis - the bible doesnít refer to any lost tribes - but it does mention the Lost sheep of the House of Israel
But they make ref. To Denmark being Tribe of Dan - / term ish refers to man = Danish / British / What it really is is foolish. A) Now some who believe that the Church is Israel do so to try in order to make their case that the Church must go through the Tribulation.
B) You see, the post-tribulation theological viewpoint makes the Church synonymous with Israel since that's the only way the post-rapturtist
1)can explain the fact that although 144,000 Jews are seen in the††
†† Tribulation period, the Church is never mentioned.
C) Thus. those who embrace a post-trib viewpoint. always teach that God is through with Israel.
D) Yet Romans 11 deals a death-blow to this mentality, as Paul asks, 'Has God cast away His people? No way.' And then he points to himself as an example
Paul says I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.
God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.† Look at me
A) Now, the point Paul's making here is not only the fact that he's saved. but the way he was saved.
B) Paul was radical in his zeal for God ! Persecuting the Church. coming against Christianity, Yet God in His grace reached out to Paul C) Paul† had an encounter Jesus Christó and his eyes were opened (Acts 9
& met him on that road.
D) And Paul was simply a shadow personally of what will happen to the entire nation prophetically
E) Paul points to himself and says 'Is God through with Israel? Consider me and my conversion as an illustration of what will happen† to Israel according to Bible Prophecy.
F) See it will be during a time when the persecution will be coming down on Israel, when Jerusalem will be surrounded & about to be annihilated in the Tribulation† period.
G) Armies of the Arab nations along w/ Russia will be drawn down into Israel to attack them. what will happen"
H)† Suddenly the Lord will appear and. like Paul. Israel will realize they erred greatly, and will turn to Him and be saved
(Zechariah 13}.† 6† "And one will say to him, 'What are these wounds between your arms?' Then he will answer, 'Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.'
8† And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says the LORD, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one- third shall be left in it:
9† I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'The LORD is my God.'"
So Paul says donít just at my life ' 'but check out history. Remember Elijah?'
A)Don't you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah---how he appealed to God† against Israel: "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me."
There was a time in the life of the prophet Elijah when he thought he was the only one left.
It was after that tremendous encounter with the 400 priests of Baal, recorded in 1 Kings 18, / fire came down from heaven and wiped out all the sacrifices.
1) †400 Prophets of Baal were slain
Queen Jezebel mounted a persecution against all the prophets of God, including Elijah, and brought Elijah to the place where he felt that he was the only one left.
B) Note that : times of greatest trial often - follow times of greatest Victory.
C) Elijahís Vision was tainted however - He saw only one /but God saw 7000
v.4 "I have reserved for myself 7000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal."
D) Elijah, like many of us, made some† mistakes. First, he forgot about man's limited knowledge about any subject.
E) We don't see very clearly; we don't understand all the issues. I do not think there is anything that we know everything about. ( Limited )
F) God saw the big picture :† Sees your situation / probably not as bad as you think !
Second, Elijah forgot about God's unlimited power. The situation is never as bad as it looks because God is not weak ! Though at times we doubt
A) Sometimes we think that God must have lost the battle, that the powers of darkness are so strong and violent and so in command that God has given up.
B) But when we think that way, we have forgotten what the Scriptures tell us again and again---
1) †that God is using the very opposition of the enemy that to bring about his purposes.
C)† Never forget that. God cannot lose because he uses the very opposition against him to win. Elijah had no reason to despair.
So There was a faithful remnant & God knew who they were & had them numbered .
A) And Paul points out that God has always had His faithful remnant - those believers among the Jewish people who recognized the true work of God
††††††††† 1) Who have walked in fellowship w/ God.
V.5 Even so at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace(Now .The Church in the Beg. Was a Jewish Church ) And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
V.6 6† And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
Paul says here that the believing remnant - was according to Grace & not works - Where grace is works as a means for salvation no longer exist
A) It is not of works - Grace & works are mutually exclusive. If I am seeking for God to accept me by His grace = undeserved favor.
1) †Then there is no room for works or trying to earn his favor.
B) If I am trying to earn Godís favor through my efforts then there is no room for grace .
V.7†† What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
A) What was Israel seeking after ? They were seeking to be righteous before God - through their works through keeping the law - impossible
B) But they didnít obtain it - They fell short!† But continue to this day still trying to obtain righteousness through their works
C) But the Jews are not alone in this. Many churches today do the same thing.
D) One of the main reasons that we need to be ministering in places like E. Europe & where Brian is in London is because - church is dead or in Legalism
E) Burdens on the People - follow these rules & keep these sacraments - do these varies things & you can be saved.
1) †Subo - Church - legalistic- Heard word - grace - drawn.
So the Jews did not - could not obtain what they were seeking because they insisted on trying to obtain it through their own works
A) RESULT THEY WERE HARDENED!
B) There is a remnant who have ran to God but the majority are running away from God.
1) At this present time there is a believing† minority & blinded majority
8† Just as it is written: "God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day."
9† And David says: "Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them.
10† Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, and bow down their back always."
C) Paul quotes from 3 O.T. scriptures Duet.29:4 / Isa. 29:10 / Psa. 69:22,23 to illustrate that Israel was hardened as a Judgment for their unbelief.
D) The word blinded = hardened or callused.† This is a terrible judgment, but one brought on by the Jews' own actions.
Everett Harrison, after carefully assessing these Scriptures in their Old Testament contexts, says this:From an observation of the setting of the quotations, it is clear that God did not give his people deaf ears to mock them any more than he gave them blind eyes to taunt them. What was involved was a judicial punishment for failure to use God-given faculties to perceive His manifested power and to glorify Him.
C) In other words God only† hardens those who want to be† hardened . - Pharaoh is a good example of this/ we read in the book of Ex.
1) †That Pharaoh hardened his heart - & also that God hardened Pharaohís heart -
D)† what we donít see in our English versions is there are different words used there speaking of this hardening & the words illustrate a progression of God meeting Pharaoh† right where he was at.
E) Pharaoh resisted - thus God made his heart resist / Pharaoh made his heart - stiff - God made pharaohís heart stiff.
1) †Another miracle - Pharaoh makes heart firm unmovable / God does the same until - Pharaohs heart was heart.
F) God did virtually the same thing - w/ Israel - for 1000ís of yrs He would use one method after another to get His peoples attention -
G) but they continued to resist Him - rebel against Him - harden their heart against Him - until finally He allowed them to go their way & be blinded.
Hosea My people are destroyed for lack of Knowledge Because they have rejected Knowledge.
Now What Paul says here about hardening should be sobering to both Jew and Gentile, for the principle is universal:
if anyone hears the truth and does not respond to it, the time can come in which he or she will be incapable of responding.
A) The most terrifying thing as a pastor is seeing people who might sit in church on a weekly basis but are dead to the word - resisted so long.
B) The Lord Jesus, speaking of this principle, said in Matthew 13:12, "Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
C) That is some Good insight into how we listen. " Then he went on to explain in verses 13-15:"This is why I speak to them in parables: 'Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.' In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become callused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them."'Some of the Pharisees could not understand what Jesus was saying because they had not appropriated the truth of God they had already received.
Heb2:1† Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
2† For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,
3† how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
Returning to Paul's overall point, God is not through with Israel. The existence of a believing remnant today, just as in Elijah's day, is evidence that God still has a plan for his people &† that he has the power to bring it about.
Now Paul asked a second question. 11† I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.
A) The Jews have stumbled nationally speaking - but their fall - is not a permanent one.
B) But because of their fall the door has been opened for the Gentiles to be saved. according to the grace of God.
1) †One Purpose of our salvation is to provoke the Jews to Jealousy.
Dr. Charles Feinberg. brilliant Jew, He was so intelligent that he could continue lecturing to his class without missing a syllable while writing a note to his secretary!
Dr. Feinberg graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pittsburgh he lived in an Orthodox Jewish household. That household had a "Sabbath Gentile," a Gentile woman who was hired to serve them on the Sabbath.
Though Feinberg was not aware of it, this woman had taken the rites of purification simply so she could bear witness in that home.( Christian) Feinberg was attracted by the quality of this believer's life and began to ask questions. Although the woman could not give him all the answers, she took him to Dr. John Solomon, then resident head of the American Board of the Mission to the Jews, and Dr. Feinberg was led to Christ.
He had been made thirstyójealous so to speak, beautifully jealousóby this cleaning woman.
The Church is to be a place where there is such love for Christ and such love for each other that Jews and Gentiles become thirsty for Christ.
We Christians ought to be so alive, so full of Christ, and so full of love for one another that Jews and Gentiles say to themselves, "They have something I don't have, and I must have it."Now Paul alludes to a coming blessing that will extend to all when Israel is restored: 12† Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! 13† For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
14† if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.15† For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
A worldwide spread of spiritual life will come when Israel is restored. When Christ comes back again !
A) The difference will be so dramatic that it can only be described as the difference between life and death.
B) Paul's argument is this: if that kind of riches has come because of the Jews' rejection, what will it be like in the day when Israel comes again into its proper position?
C) According to the prophets, that is the time when the earth shall blossom like the rose, when there shall be no more war, "nothing to hurt or destroy
D) Israel is the key. That is why every Christian should keep his eye on that remarkable people and see what is happening to them.
So Paul is contrasting the lesser w/ the greater - if their fall or casting away brought salvation just think what will happen- when their saved.
Paul pictures the temporariness of the Jews' rejection and the certainty of their restoration through two illustrations. The first is in verse 16: 16† For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
A) While we may wonder at what is meant here, the Jews had no problem understanding it.
B) Paul is referring to Old Testament offerings and sacrifices, and specifically the offering of the firstfruits.
C) In that offering the priest took some of the dough from the larger lump and offered it to God.
D) Paul reasoned that if the lump offered to God was acceptable, the rest would naturally be as well.
1) †The firstfruit was Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation, and he was accepted before God.
E) Paulís point is that Israel's origins make her restoration the most natural thing!
In verses 17-24Paul extends this argument with the illustration of grafting branches onto an olive tree.
17† And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,
18† do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19† You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in."
20† Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.
21† For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22† Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
23† And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
†24† For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
A) The normal practice was to upgrade a wild olive tree by grafting healthy fruit-producing branches to it.
B) While grafting does not affect the rest of the tree, the new branches become very productive.
1) †But here Paul talks about grafting wild, fruitless branches onto a good tree, something he knew was "contrary to nature"
C) If you take a nectarine branch and graft it into a peach tree, what does the branch grow from then on---peaches or nectarines?
1) †It still grows nectarines. The fruit is determined by the branch, not by the tree.
D) The peach tree will grow nectarines on a nectarine branch, and plums on a plum branch, and so on. That is what happens according to nature.
Now we are the wild olive branches that have been grafted into the tree A) Following Paul's analogy here, if we, a wild olive branch, were grafted into
a rich cultivated olive tree, the fruit that would continue to grow would be the wild olives, bitter and shriveled that which we already were producing.
B) But God does a miracle with us. He changes us so that the fruit that comes forth is the fruit of the Spirit, and we begin to produce rich, wonderful,† fruit
C) So† Paul argues, if God can do that with bitter fruit such as we Gentile believers are, how much more will he produce w/ the true branches?
D) Gentiles shouldnít boast - shouldnít think we are better than they - it is all according to Godís grace.
1) †You are standing by faith according to the grace of God.
Throughout History - Church has had a poor relationship w/ Israel -
A) Church has been responsible for much of the persecution of the Jews
B) Catholic church - Luther broke away still anti-Semitic - carried on by many protestant churches even today - Chuckís hate mail
C) Shouldnít be !† Donít get high minded ! Grace through faith - just wild branches grafted in!
D) The Jews are still going to have to exercise faith in Jesus Christ but God is going to give them some special signs .
1) †During the Trib. Godís desire to save - big emphasis is on Israel. Angels / 2 witnesses / 144,000 Jewish Billy Grahams
E) All centers there & around Jerusalem - and Israel - God isnít finished w/ them - What is He waiting for ! Paul tells us in v. 25 25† For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
Now understand that there are 2 things mentioned about the gentiles that are sig. To the last days & Godís plan -
A) Times of the Gentiles - Luke 21 / and the fullness of the Gentiles that Paul mentions here.
B) In Luke 21, Jesus said Jerusalem would be trodden down until the times of the Gentiles' are fulfilled . for close to 2000 yrs that was the case
1) †Israel became a nation in 1948 - but Jerusalem was not in their possession - belonged to the Arabs .
B) But In 1967. Jerusalem was recaptured by the Israeli Defense Forces, & I believe it was then that the times of the Gentiles' were fulfilled.
C) So what does that mean for us now today ! We are simply in overtime right now, due to God's goodness and patience.
1) †How many of you have been saved since 1967? Aren't you glad He
took us into overtime?
So† understand this: The time of the Gentiles (Luke 21), deals with the recovering of Jerusalem but the Fullness of the Gentiles is a different issue.A) The fullness of the Gentiles Is† when the full number of Gentiles are saved.
B) In other words there is a Gentle somewhere on the earth that is the last one to be saved.
C)When that person acknowledges Jesus Christ as Savior, that constitutes the fullness of the Gentiles, and consequently. at that moment, we go up.
1) †So if you re here tonight and not yet savedóget saved. You could do us ad a great favor because you might be the last one!.
26† And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27† For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins."
28† Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.
29† For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
30† For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience,
31† even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy.
32† For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
A) God has made special promises to Israel & He is going to keep them
B) We might not know exactly how but - that is what He says - and it is going to be glorious to see!
Finish v.33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
34† "For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?"
35† "Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?"
36† For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Quote from John Phillips : If God were small enough to figure out He wouldnít be big enough to worship!
Augustine, the distinguished bishop of Hippo in North Africa, was strolling the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea one morning, engaged in deep thought. He was attempting to come to grips with the depths of the doctrine of the Trinity.
†He was interrupted in his thoughts when he stopped to watch a little fellow running toward the ocean with a bucket. He watched with amusement as the little guy filled his pail with water and hurried back up the beach to pour it into a little hole he had pawed into the sand. Within seconds the sea water soaked into sun baked, thirsty sand.
† Then the bishop's eyes followed the little boy down to the ocean again, and then back up to the hole. Once again the little guy poured the water into the hole, and once again the sand swallowed it up greedily.
†† "What are you trying to do?", asked Augustine with a smile.
The little boy, a little annoyed at being interrupted in the middle of his busy task, replied, "I'm trying to put the ocean into this hole."
Suddenly, it dawned on Augustine that he was behaving much like this little fellow. He was trying to cram the ocean of God's truth about Himself into his little box of brains and was having no more success