Romans Chapter 11

January 10, 2013

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on Romans. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

Last week we talked about Paul’s deep passion for his own people. Paul had pinpointed Israel’s problem. They had disregarded the “righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own”.

We also looked at verses 9 and 10:

9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

These verses give you the beautiful answer: Salvation is as close as your own lips and heart. People think it must be a complicated process, but it is not. If we believe in our heart and say with our mouth that Christ is the risen Lord, we will be saved.

I encouraged you to think about being prepared to give a simple gospel presentation.

In Chapter 11 Paul is still dealing with some of the theological issues that the people of Israel are having with Christianity.

Romans 11:1-36 (NIV)
1 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah–how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. 7 What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, 8 as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day.” 9 And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. 10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.” 11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring! 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! 25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Romans 11:1-6

Paul points out that not all Jews have rejected God’s message of salvation. Paul was Jewish, as were Jesus’ disciples and nearly all of the early Christian missionaries.

God chose the Jews to be the people through whom the rest of the world could find salvation. But this did not mean the entire Jewish nation would be saved; only those who were faithful to God were considered true Jews. We are saved through faith in Christ, not because we are part of a nation, religion, or family. The church is now tasked with the mission of letting the world know about God and the way to Him in Christ.

Roman s 11:7-10

“The hearts of the rest were hardened” was a consequence of their sin in refusing to believe the Good News. Resisting God is like saying to him, “Leave me alone!” But because God is ever present, His answer to that request might be to agree and make that person less sensitive, more hardened to him. The very possibility of that happening ought to keep us asking God specifically for ears that really hear and eyes that really see. If people refuse to hear God’s Good News, they eventually will be unable to understand it.

Romans 11:11-15

Paul had a vision of a church where all believers (Jewish and Gentile) would be united in their love of God and in obedience to Christ. While respecting God’s law, this ideal church would look to Christ alone for salvation. A person’s ethnic background and social status would be irrelevant. What would really matter would be his or her faith in Christ. Unfortunately this is still the ideal more than the reality.

There are some new churches on the Island. Why do we pray for all the churches who preach the Gospel?

Romans 11:16-26
Some say the phrase “and so all Israel will be saved” means that the majority of Jews in the final generation before Christ’s return will turn to Christ for salvation. Others say that Paul is using the term Israel to refer to the “spiritual” nation of Israel, which is comprised of Jews and Gentiles who have received salvation through faith in Christ. Thus, “all Israel” (or all believers) will receive God’s promised gift of salvation. Still others say that “all Israel” means Israel as a whole will have a role in Christ’s Kingdom. The Jews’ identity as a people won’t be discarded. God chose the nation of Israel, and he has never rejected it. He also chose the church, through Jesus Christ, and he will never reject it either. This does not mean, of course, that all Jews or all church members will be saved. It is possible to be Jewish or to belong to a church without ever responding in faith. But just because some people have rejected Christ does not mean that God stops working with either Israel or the church. He continues to offer salvation freely to all. Still others say that the phrase “and so” means “in this way” or “this is how,” referring to the necessity of faith in Christ.

Romans 11:28-32

Paul finishes the chapter by discussing how the Jews and the Gentiles benefit each other. In God’s original plan, the Jews would be the source of God’s blessing to the Gentiles:

Genesis 12:1-3 (NIV)
1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

When the people of Israel neglected this mission, God blessed the Gentiles anyway through the Jewish Messiah. He still maintained his love for the Jews because of his promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The privileges and invitation of God given to Israel will never be withdrawn. There is hope for the individual Jew, just as there is now hope for the individual Gentile. Christ has come down from heaven, died, and risen again. All that is left for a person to do is to believe. It is not a matter of “doing” the Law, but of confessing that Jesus is Lord, and believing in Him in one’s heart. Everyone, each individual, who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Filed in: Preaching in Shorts
Tagged with:

There are no thankful5(s) or Comments yet. Why not be the first to share your thankful5 or Comment?

Comments are closed.

Back to Top