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Romans 11:11-24

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Verse by verse study through Romans 11

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Romans 11:11–12 ESV
So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
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SLIDE 3
Romans 11:13–15 ESV
Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?
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Romans 11:13-
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God had a special and unique purpose for the people of Israel. In they were to be a light for the nations, so that the salvation of God might reach to the end of the earth..
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In … God calls all the nations who have eyes, but are blind… who have ears, yet are deaf… to come together and do their best to declare the former things… They are to bring their witnesses to prove them right… - AND TO THAT GATHERING… God presents Israel, and says to Israel, “You are my witnesses”.
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In … the people who believe in God… the people who worship God… in this case, specifically… Israel… - are called to “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!”
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Israel had a responsibility.
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God revealed Himself to them, and they were in turn, called to reveal God to the rest of the world..
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But… they didn’t do a good job at that. - They were exclusive, rather than inclusive. They showed prejudice and intolerance, rather than acceptance and love. They should have been out there, amongst the Gentile world… telling them how wonderful Yahweh is…
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But instead, they declared the Gentile world unworthy… they called them dogs… their purpose, was to merely stoke the flames of hell.
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In the first ten verses of … Paul addresses those amongst Israel who have rejected the Gospel. Some would say, that God has rejected them… but Paul says, “by no means!” - And he introduces himself, in light of Elijah’s story, as a remnant. He, Paul, is of Israel… and God has saved him…
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So no… God has not rejected His people.
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Paul calls those who are saved from Israel… a ‘remnant, chosen by grace’
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Many amongst Israel tried to attain salvation through their works… and they were resistant to grace… for this reason… many were hardened.
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In verse 11, Paul asks a new question… one that the listeners would have unanimously answered “Yes” to. - Did they, (Israel), stumble in order that they might fall? - His readers, would have expected a yes.
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In seeking to attain salvation through works, rather than through grace… they stumbled.. yes… that’s what Paul just said..
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As a result of their stubbornness, many were given a spirit of stupor… they became a people who stumbled… a people whose eyes were darkened.. All this sounds like stumbling that leads to falling… so yes…
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But Paul offers up a different answer.
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Did they stumble in order that they might fall? BY NO MEANS.
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From here, Paul goes on to explain something that probably blew their minds. Israel was hardened… Israel was stumbling… Israel was unbelieving… but… they are not down yet.
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God has another strategy. One that flips the table on them.
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Remember… in the OT… we saw, that God had a unique purpose for Israel… they were to declare the wonders of God to the world. They were to be His witnesses. In many ways, their relationship with God had such great potential… THAT IF THEY TRULY WALKED IN IT AS THEY WERE CALLED TO…
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It would have provoked the nations to jealousy. -That was God’s purpose. Instead, Israel became jealous of the other nations. The ones who worshipped idols… the ones who had prostitutes working in their temples… the ones who bowed down to images carved by men.
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As a result… because Israel sought other gods rather than Yahweh.... 10 of the 12 tribes… the northern Kingdom… were conquered and hauled off by the Assyrians. The remaining two tribes… they were eventually conquered by the Babylonians and taken into captivity also.
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Their history, as a nation… as a whole.. is not one of great spiritual success.
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So noow… God is turning the tables on them.
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God poured out His grace upon Israel… but as a whole, they rejected it… so that grace overflowed to the Gentiles. Unto what purpose? Look at the end of verse 11…
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TO MAKE ISRAEL JEALOUS.
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They failed… but God continued to pour out His riches to the rest of the world. Because of their failure, God was able to still do amazing things for the people of this world… with this argument in hand… Paul then declares this statement:
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“How much more will their full inclusion mean!”
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God still has a plan to save people from this hardened heritage. Later in vs. 25… he references the fullness of the Gentiles… meaning… that there is determined number of Gentiles who will come to believe. This verse here… in vs. 12, shows us that there is a determined number of Israel that will be saved.
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Later on, in vs 26, Paul describes how this plan will lead to the salvation of “all Israel”..
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now, maybe this has been a point of confusion for you. It has for me, but Paul has already given us a solution to this quandary.
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will everyone who is of Hebrew heritage be saved? If so, what about the millions who have gone before us… they have rejected Jesus as Messiah and they have died in their unbelief.
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Does this mean that God will make an exception to His rule… that faith will not be required… that repentance will not be required… that believing in the work of Jesus on the cross will not be required… for those of Hebrew descent?
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Absolutely not. The scriptures have clearly defined God’s plan, method and means for salvation… and Paul has already made it abundantly clear in previous verses… that your heritage and your works are not sufficient for salvation..
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So what do we do with this phrase here in vs. 12… what do we make of this “full inclusion”… or the statement from vs. 26.. “all Israel will be saved”?
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We merely need to go back a tiny bit… and find our answer.
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SLIDE 4
Romans 9:6 ESV
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,
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BIRTHRIGHT IS NOT ENOUGH… To be a true Israel… a true, prince with God… you have to be saved the same way everyone else is… there is no exception. The work of the cross is the same for everyone.
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IN vs. 13… Paul wants to make sure that his desired audience is listening. Now I am speaking to you Gentiles.-
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Listen up… this message is important, and it’s for you.
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Paul tells them… that he is magnifying his ministry… that is: He wants the world to see what he is doing. He wants the world… especially the Hebrew world… to see the amazing work that is being accomplished amongst the Gentiles.
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Why? Its the same message… one that has already been stated, and one that will be repeated again… Paul wants his fellow Jews to be jealous… to have a jealousy, which leads to their own salvation.
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Why is Paul making it a point to get the attention of the Gentiles? Because he is letting them know… that they have a huge responsibility. They have been saved by grace, and now, they have a responsibility, to display that grace to the world around them.
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SLIDE 5
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Romans 11:15–16 ESV
For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Romans 11:15
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Paul uses two metaphors to help the Gentiles remain humble. They might have begun to think, that they were really something special in contrast to the unbelieving Jews over in the synagogue. They had their own special apostle… they must be special..
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Paul corrects this thinking
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In , we learn that the whole harvest was dedicated to God only by the offering of firstfruits. - and therefore, it would be absurd for the ‘non-firstfruits’ harvest to boast that is was more special than the firstfruits part…
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In the second metaphor… we see that the branches of of an olive tree take the nature of the roots, so it would be absurd for a branch to boast that it was more important than the root.
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This seems to indicate that the firstfruits and the root refer to the patriarchs… and maybe, specifically, to Abraham… from whom, ultimately, the Christ came… - This was one of Paul’s previous lessons early on back in chapter 9.
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His second metaphor now expands in the following verses.
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SLIDE 6
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Romans 11:17–18 ESV
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.
Romans 11:17-
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SLIDE 7
Romans 11:19-
Romans 11:19–21 ESV
Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
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I think it’s incredible, that history declares a horrible blight of prejudice from Christians towards Jews. Historically, they have consistently been one of the most discriminated against groups in the world… a violent discrimination that obviously exists amongst the Nazis and Islam… but one that is also evident in our modern culture… and going back for centuries… in the church.
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The indication for that propensity exists in this warning… - He tells the Gentiles in vs. 21… “do not become proud”… - But, the Gentiles did become proud.
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This warning is pretty important to consider… because the Gentiles are being warned… to not do, what Israel did.
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Israel was called to declare the wonders of God the world… to provoke them to jealousy so that they would believe… but Israel didn’t do that… and in turn, went down a path of idolatry which led to captivity.
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Engaging the same plan… this time, Gentiles provoking Israel to jealously… the warning is given… because the threat to be prideful, amongst the Gentile believers… was eminent.
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And so, this illustration stands as a warning… -Israel didn’t do what I told them to do… and their branches were broken off… - Listen up Gentile believers… your branches can be broken off also.
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Which means.... because of our pride… because of our failure to display the wonders of God’s grace to the world… we might also go down a path of rebellion, which leads to spiritual captivity… and there might be a time… where Gentile believers receive a spirit of stupor… and of blindness… and of hard hearts..
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And maybe… this has already happened in different places in the world. Maybe this explains how some nations, that were once, very Christian, are now considered, post-Christian..
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Maybe… warnings always lead us to the maybes.
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SLIDE 8
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Romans 11:
Romans 11:22–23 ESV
Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.
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SLIDE 9
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Romans 11:24 ESV
For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
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This message… has been a lot of information… but maybe you’re wondering… “What does this mean for me?”
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Well, I’m glad I anticipated you asking…
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The message for us, in all of this, is huge. This message is delivered to us by way of warning and by way of exhortation.
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We are warned of what might happen, if we fail to do what God calls us to do..
… and, we are motivated to do what God calls us to do… by the kindness that God has shown.
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This entire chapter has been about grace. - The previous message emphasized, that we who believe, are chosen… not by our works, not by our heritage, not by our good looks… - BUT RATHER… WE ARE CHOSEN BY GRACE.
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Ok saints.. you are here, because God showed you grace… and you saw your need for Jesus… and you repented and committed your live to Him..
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Now… that you are a believer… you have a responsibility.. to display that grace to the world around you.
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That was Paul’s message to the Gentiles… - Israel rejected the grace… it poured over onto you… now you need to go back out there, and who Israel how awesome this grace is.
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Church… we too, need to be a people who display grace. We’ve received it… we have been given that which we do not deserve. We are abundantly blessed with a resource for wisdom. We have the HS… There is peace that passes understanding… there is joy…
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How do we then… take that out into the world?
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How do we display that?
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Do people see in us… something that is desirable? Do they see joy? Do they see peace? Do they see patience? Kindness? Goodness? Gentleness? Self control? - These are the attributes of love… when love is given to us a the fruit of the Spirit.
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Are you letting the Spirit work in you and through you? IF so, your life will demonstrate love… and love will demonstrate these other things…
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I find it challenging, to look at these attributes of love… and to consider the opposite of each one, and ask if those things are evident in my life. For if they are, they reveal areas where I’m not letting the Spirit work through me… places where I’m hindering my call to love..
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Do I display joy… or bitterness?
Do I display peace… or discontentment?
Patience… or agitation?
kindness… or coldness?
Goodness?… or cruelty?
Gentleness? or harshness
Self Control? or a lack of discipline?
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There’s a lot at stake here… WE don’t display the fruit of the spirit, to simply follow some rule… we do it, so God can use us. We do it, so others will notice it. We do it, so that the grace which has been given to us… will over flow to others..
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pray.
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