S229-070608 Ro 11
Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ 070608 ~ Romans 11
Clarify: I love you individually…
Romans 11:1-4 ~ 1I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3“Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
People misinterpret various passages in this chapter because they fail to keep the whole in proper context.
That’s one of the main points of expositional preaching.
But it is difficult on listeners and today especially so because in order to do justice to the concepts presented here we have to take the chapter as a whole.
Paul says here that God always has His remnant – from God’s side of the equation it’s all part of the plan.
From our side of the equation it is because some incline their heart towards God while others reject His presence.
God foreknew His children and as Paul has already shown those children is not the entirety of the Jews but the ones He selects and sets apart – again from His perspective.
Those foreknown by God in this case are those who from our perspective yield to God’s purposes.
Once again, God keeps a remnant and it is no different in Christianity – many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord…
Paul uses the story of Elijah; things cannot get worse! Ahab is king and Jezebel is in charge. Elijah makes the same mistake so many Christians make today…
He does not recognize God is bigger than Elijah – he thinks only those who are just like him can be true people of God – I warn us all to be cautious about judging others.
God keeps a remnant, we don’t.
Romans 11:5-8 ~ 5In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. 7What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes to see not and ears to hear not, down to this very day.”
Hardened is pwro>w, callous or thickening – a build-up of crud.
If we stop here, we’ve got God being whimsical with our eternity!
Listen carefully to what he says next…
Romans 11:9-12 ~ 9And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, and a stumbling block and a retribution to them. 10“Let their eyes be darkened to see not, and bend their backs forever.” 11I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!
God knows all things and He controls all things sovereignly and yet somehow He is able to work everything for the maximum benefit to create the most conducive environment for people to yield.
In verse 8, it said God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes to see not and ears to hear not ~ God has designed it to work that way.
So in a very real sense God hardens people and He also softens people – but how?
By giving people over to the genuine inclination of their heart and establishing the reality that the more you go one direction the less you’re able to even see the other.
1- Self-righteous, know-it-all, piety cannot accept help
2- Complacency produces indifference and indifference produces refusal – the very abundance of God’s Word destroys the power of it for so many – in Israel then and America now! Look at Europe.
Romans 11:13-16 ~ 13But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.
To this very day Jews are saved because of jealousy – not jealousy of apparent success, but of real relationship with their God
Genuine relationship with God produces real jealousy – perhaps the Rapture will be God’s catalyst.
Romans 11:17-21 ~ 17But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either.
Arrogant is katakauca>omai, cocky down upon, i.e. superior.
This is precisely the error of the Jew.
How arrogant are many Christians toward non-Christians or even Christians who lack their special knowledge or experiences
How arrogant toward the Jews in direct violation of this Scripture!
Martin Luther said, that their synagogues and schools should be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, homes razed, and property and money confiscated. They should be shown no mercy or kindness, afforded no legal protection, and these "poisonous envenomed worms" should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time. Finally, he also said we are at fault in not slaying them. (On the Jews and Their Lies 1543)
The Booklet was used by 1923 as Nazi propaganda and as a Nazi defense at the Nuremburg trials.
Romans 11:22-24 ~ 22Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?
Crab apple analogy is similar – like a family member organ donor or using your own blood during an operation.
Perseverance of the saints – it is necessary, we must choose, but it is His power!
These verses apply to classes of people not specifically individuals, but you must be aware of what class you are in!
Romans 11:25-29 ~ 25For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” 27“This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” 28From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
This is eternal security for the believer if we continue to believe – how do we do that?
Press in to God daily and He will keep you in the faith – go lone ranger and you will subtly pull back from Him – God does not leave us; we leave Him!
We cannot be arrogant about our position as God’s kids because it is His salvation from beginning to end!
Why do some not believe - / - are not chosen?
I don’t know, but what I do know is I must drive my car and part of that is to preach – whether for belief or rejection, I must preach.
Romans 11:30-32 ~ 30For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.
Never forget who you were and always be realistic about who you are and why.
Romans 11:33-36 ~ 33Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Fantastic verses to close with and just to demonstrate the unity of these chapters let’s go back to that wonderful verse in chapter 8.
Romans 8:28 We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
What do we know?
1- God keeps a remnant – please be part of that group
2- We must trust God knows what He’s doing
3- God uses all things to accomplish His purposes including hardening, pwro>w, how are people hardened?
Abundance leads to a prideful self-sufficiency
People become very self-righteous either through observing the law or placing themselves above the law.
Arrogance in self, over others and even towards God.
If I’m good I don’t need mercy, forgiveness or rescue and I do not want those things for others either – they must be as smart or as hard-working as I am!
What does it really mean?
Without reservation, God accepts those who accept Him, without reservation!
Do you need a Savior? Are you sick of your present situation? The answer is at the Cross.