Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Romans 11 – God’s Future Plans

Romans 11:1-10 – The Remnant

Paul tells us that God had wonderful plans for the Jews.  He sent their Messiah, Jesus and offers them grace, salvation, and righteousness.  But the Jews reacted with unbelief and refused to accept Jesus.  It many have seemed that God’s plans failed.  Paul shows that His plans had not failed.  Paul was a Jew, a descendant of Abraham.  He had acted against God, but God forgave him and now he was a Christian.  He reminds the Jews about God’s answer to Elijah when he thought he was the only Jews still loyal to God.  God told him there were still 7,000 Jews loyal to God, because they had not worshipped the false god Baal.  By God’s grace He chose them.

Paul talks about the group of people who do not believe the gospel.  They are unable to hear or understand it.  He quotes Deut 29:4, Isaiah 29:10, and Psalm 69:22-23.  Their attitudes will cause them great trouble.

Principle:  God has always reserved for Himself a remnant of faithful believers.

When have you felt rejected and how did God encourage you and show you mercy?

Romans 11:11-24 – Gentile Salvation

God was not finished with Israel.  They would suffer because of their unbelief, but He still had a plan for them.  They would again be God’s chosen people, but until then God offers salvation to all who would believe - the Gentiles.  He did this so the Jews would become envious and jealous and they would turn to God.

Paul was talking to the Gentiles and is an apostle to them.  He wanted them to become righteous is by means of faith in Christ.  He hoped this would cause the Jews to want the same faith.  He uses the example of a gardener who uses grafting of branches.   A strong tree doesn’t always bear quality fruit and a weaker tree may not bear much fruit.  By cutting of some of the branches from the strong tree and replacing branches from the weaker tree, they would then have a much better tree.  It would bear much quality fruit.  The Gentiles were like the new branches. 

The holy root is the Old Testament patriarchs.  The natural branches are the Jews.  The broken off branches are many Jews and Gentiles who have not believed in Jesus.  Unbelief cuts them off from the spiritual blessings that belonged to Abraham’s descendants.  Believing Gentiles have entered into those blessings by their faith in Jesus.
Principle:  God brought salvation to the Gentiles so as to make Israel envious.

God joined the Gentiles to His people the Jews, but warns the Gentiles that they must not be too proud that they are now a part of God’s family.  He wanted them to have the right attitude.  God didn’t spare the unbelieving Jews (the natural branches) and if the Gentiles don’t continue in faith, God will not spare them either.  If God had removed the Jewish branches, He could also remove them, too.  This doesn’t mean Gentiles can lose our salvation.   God will protect them.  “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.”Jude 24.  We must remain loyal to God.  None of us deserve salvation.  He has given us salvation because of His kindness.

How do you show humility about your salvation?

Romans 11:25-32 – Israel's Future Salvation

Paul doesn’t want them to be ignorant of this mystery so that they may not be conceited.  Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in.  Then Paul tells us that all Israel will be saved.  This means once the whole world has heard the gospel and all those that will come to faith in Jesus, then believing Jews will be saved.  That doesn’t mean all dead and living Jews will be saved.  They still have to believe in Jesus.  It just means God will open their eyes and lift the hardening from their hearts so they can believe.  Then God will take away their sins.  There will be many believing Jews - a remnant.

This mystery has been hidden in the past, but now God is revealing it.  The mystery is the plan of God to save the Gentiles and Jews through Israel’s partial hardening.  His gracious plan has always included Jews and Gentiles.

Paul shows us that there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles.  They have all sinned and need to receive God’s salvation.  Paul says all are like prisoners, because they are unable to obey God.  Until they receive God’s salvation, sin controls their lives.  There is only one way to get out of prison and that is through God’s mercy for everyone who trusts Him.  Neither Jews nor Gentiles deserve mercy, but God pours out mercy on both.

Principle:  Believing Jews will be saved because of God’s promises and great mercy.

How is sin controlling your life?
Are you believing and trusting in God?

Romans 11:33-36 – Words of Praise

Paul expresses words of praise because of God’s mercy.  Because of Israel’s disobedience, we (Gentiles) now have received God’s mercy of salvation if we just believe.

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  Who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has been his counselor?  Who has every given to God, that God should repay him?  For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him to be glory forever!  Amen.”Rom. 11:33-36

We can’t imagine the riches of God.  Just look at the oceans and the beaches.   As you go farther out into the water it gets deeper and deeper, but the water only comes so far up on land.  Who could have thought of a plan like God did?  He provided a redeemer, even His own Son.  He knows all things.  He knows each time a sparrow falls.  He knew about 911 and knows all that goes on in the Middle East.  He has a plan so don’t worry about anything.  It’s under control.  He searches our hearts.  He knows about our envy, our fears, and our every thought.  He knows all.  Take time to worship Him. We own Him everything.  Praise Him for it and for the salvation He brings. 

Principle:  Salvation is from God, through God, and for His glory.

How can you truly worship Him? – Praise Him and His character.  Acknowledge His mercy and creation.  Take time to actually worship not just pray.  Meet Him daily at the same time and the same place.  Take your Bible and a note book and expect to hear from Him.  Watch for words that describe God.  Stop and say them back to Him.  Focus on Him and not on yourself.  Confess to Him and thank Him for all He has done.

What thing has God done for you that would cause you to praise Him? 

God knows everything that has happened or will happen in the future.  He’s knows everything about every person and every living thing and every circumstance.  He knows every attitude and secret thought of a person.  He knows who does evil and who does good.  He knows every excuse and every motive.  He knows each need we have the desires of every living thing. 

Principle:  God is far greater than you can ever comprehend and only God is worthy of our praise.

Next time we will study Romans 12.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here again.  -- I encourage you to trust in Jesus.

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