Thu, Nov 01, 2018
Romans 11
Romans 11 by Joe Guglielmo
TH3478
Series: Thursday Service

ROMANS

            Please turn in your Bibles this evening to Romans chapter 11 as we continue our study through the Word of God.

            Over the last few weeks we have been dealing with the subject of election, and specifically, looking at the nation of Israel. And as we get to Romans chapter 11 tonight, we will finish up this section on election.

            We saw in Romans 9:1-29 Israel’s past election.

            Then, in Romans 9:30-10:21 we looked at Israel’s present rejection.

            And tonight, we will be looking at Israel’s future restoration here in Romans chapter 11.   In this chapter we will see the faithfulness of God to His promises to the nation of Israel. And this is so important, because if God is not faithful to Israel, why in the world would we think He would be faithful in His promises to us? So if we get this wrong, we have some serious problems to contend with!

            Let me show you what we have seen so far.

            In Romans chapter 9 Paul spoke of Israel’s past election, as he said, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. Romans 9:4-5. 

            Then in Romans chapter 10 Paul spoke of Israel’s present rejection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ as Paul said, Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:1-4.

            Now here in Romans chapter 11 Paul is going to speak of Israel’s future restoration, that they will receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

            But there is a growing trend today that have rejected this teaching. In some denominations, and a growing number of non-denominational churches, they feel that the Jews blew it by rejecting Jesus and thus, God is done with them, they have been put on the shelf, they have fallen, you might say, and they can’t get up. 

            Arnold Toynbee, the great historian said that Israel was “a fossil civilization.” In other words, they are done with, there is no hope for them, and they are like the dinosaur, extinct!  Well, not exactly, as we shall see!

            But I do want to talk about this for a minute before we get to our text. What we are talking about here is what is called, “Replacement Theology.”

            And this is what it means. “Since the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah, God rejected them. He poured out His wrath upon them, scattered them all over the earth, and transferred the promises made to them to ‘Spiritual Israel,’ the Church. God has no purpose left for the Jews. The re-establishment of modern day Israel is, therefore, merely an accident of history with no spiritual meaning.”

            Here is a problem, and there are many, with that kind of teaching. As you read the Scriptures you will see that God identifies Himself 203 times as “The God of Israel.” “The God of Jacob” 28 times. “The God of Abraham” 17 times. And “The God of Isaac” 13 times. Never is He called the “God of any other ethnic group.”

            Dave Hunt reminds us, “If the nation of Israel is dead, or has been replaced by the church and does not have an eternal future, then the very term “God of Israel” would not be to God’s glory but a slur upon His character in view of His many promises that Israel would never cease to exist.” Exactly!

            What I love about this is that those that feel God is done with Israel and the church has replaced them, is that they hold onto the blessings that God has given to them but not the cursing for their disobedience. Very convenient.

            Also, think about this for a minute. We see in the Scriptures that the covenant that God made with the nation of Israel was an “everlasting” covenant and that word is used some eleven times! If it is not an everlasting covenant, then why would God promise that to them?

            And we also see that the prophets foretold that the Messiah would be rejected by Israel and crucified, yet in all of those prophecies there is never a suggestion that because of this rejection God would break His everlasting covenant with Israel.

            Recently a number of leaders in the Protestant community of the United States have urged the endorsement of far-reaching and unilateral political commitments to the people and land of Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, citing Holy Scripture as the basis for those commitments. To strengthen their endorsement, several of these leaders have also insisted that they speak on behalf of the seventy million people who constitute the American evangelical community. They are not speaking for me!

            This letter is from Knox Theological Seminary from around 2005 and their views are held by many. This is what said,

            In “An Open Letter to Evangelicals and Other Interested Parties: The People of God, the Land of Israel, and the Impartiality of the Gospel,” they declare:

            “The inheritance promises that God gave to Abraham . . . do not apply to any particular ethnic group, but to the church of Jesus Christ, the true Israel. . . . The entitlement of any one ethnic or religious group to territory in the Middle East called the “Holy Land” cannot be supported by Scripture. In fact, the land promises specific to Israel in the Old Testament were fulfilled under Joshua.”

            Let me get this right. Joshua lived for 110 years and thus, the everlasting covenant that God promised to Israel was fulfilled in Joshua and thus, the everlasting covenant is only for 110 years? Are you kidding me?

            In fact, if you think about it, if this was fulfilled in Joshua, then why do we have hundreds of prophecies given to Israel, specific to Israel spoken of hundreds of years later, after the time of Joshua? That makes no sense!

            If there is one chapter in the Scriptures that truly make this clear, it is Romans chapter 11, and we will see that tonight.

            I don’t know where you stand on this issue of Israel and the church, but, as you will see, the answer is clear and now it is just a matter of accepting it or rejecting it but please do not ever say that God has rejected Israel!

            As we are going to see tonight, Paul makes a very strong case for the restoration of Israel back to God and I pray that we have open ears to hear and an open heart to receive!

            With that as our background, let’s begin reading in Romans chapter 11, starting in verse 1 and see what the Lord has for us this evening as we study through His Word.

 

ROMANS 11

VERSE 1

            This question that Paul is asking just makes sense. Think about it. If Israel’s rejection of the gospel was somehow both consistent with God’s eternal plan, which we saw in Romans 9:1-29, and Israel’s own choosing, which we saw in Romans 9:30-10:21, then, . . . has God cast away His people?

            In other words, does this mean that Israel’s fate is settled, and there is no possibility of restoration?

            And then Paul answers this question by saying, “Certainly not!” And it is even stronger than that. Paul is really saying, “God forbid!” In other words, God has not cast away Israel as a nation.

            Now if you try to put the church in here, it just does not make sense. First of all Paul speaks of “His people” or the people of God, which are the Jews.

            But if we still don’t get it and we think this is the church, look at this again. You see, Paul gives to us the proof that God is not done with the Jews as He looks at His own life. He says, For I also am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. I think that is pretty clear!

            You see, to prove his point Paul looks at his own life; a Jew, a Pharisee at one time, a keeper of the Law for righteousness at one time, a persecutor of the church of God, and yet, he got saved! 

            Thus, the nation of Israel is no different and Paul’s point is simple, one day, the nation of Israel will be saved just as he was saved!

            Listen to what God says regarding His people in Jeremiah 31:35-37, Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name): ‘If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the LORD, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever.’ Thus says the LORD: ‘If heaven above can be measured, And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel For all that they have done, says the LORD.’ 

            God is in control and He will not fail His people, the Jews, they will be saved, or we are in trouble!

 

VERSES 2-5

            To prove his point that God has not cast away His people . . . he goes back to the Old Testament Scriptures, to the prophet Elijah.

            In I Kings chapter 18 Elijah has a contest with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, a Canaanite goddess to see whose God is real.

            And you know the story. An altar was built, wood was placed down, and the sacrifice was placed on the altar. The contest was to see whose God would accept the sacrifice by consuming it. 

            The prophets of Baal went first, and they jumped up and down, made all kinds of noise, and nothing happened. So Elijah mocked them, told them maybe their god was asleep, or didn’t hear them, maybe he was in the bathroom, which made them cut themselves and just go crazy trying to get the attention of their god, but nothing happened. 

            Finally, Elijah had enough of this foolishness, he had his people repair the altar, get the wood in order, place the sacrifice on the altar and then covered the sacrifice and wood with four water pots full of water and they did this four times with these pots of water until the trench around the altar was filled with water. 

            Then Elijah prayed, and we are told in I Kings 18:38-40, Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!’ And Elijah said to them, ‘Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!’ So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there. 

            What a great victory until Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab heard about what happened to her prophets, they were killed, and she made a threat against the life of Elijah, that he was going to be killed just as her prophets were! 

            Now, this great man of faith, this great prophet of God who withstood the 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah on Mount Carmel, what did he do when this woman threatened him? He ran for his life!

            And we see that Elijah ends up in a cave, having himself a little pity-party. He complains to God that He alone is working for God, everyone else is against him and thus, against God, there is none serving the Lord except him. 

            And the Lord replies back to Elijah and tells him, Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him. I Kings 19:18.

            And Paul, in looking back at that story, is saying that just as the Lord had a faithful remnant back then, just seven thousand out of maybe some 1 million men or so, but He still had a remnant and the same is true today. 

            The majority of Israel are unbelievers but there is a faithful remnant who do believe that Jesus is the Messiah, they are saved by grace through faith and not by the Law through works!

            Let me say this, because I have seen posts on Facebook that portray this beautifully and it is very sad. There are Christians who go into the cave of self-pity and they have themselves a big old pity-party as Elijah did. 

            We can think that we alone are serving God, no one else is, or this church alone is serving God, there are no others who are faithful like we are. In fact, they are against us! 

            But that is not true, God has His faithful remnant wherever we go and thus, it is not the numbers that matter, but putting our trust in the grace of God and allowing Him to work through His people!

            You see, what was true then is true now: God never leaves Himself without a witness. He always has a faithful remnant chosen by Himself as special objects of His grace. Never forget that!

 

VERSE 6

            Why does Paul speak of Grace and Works here? He is speaking of how these Jews, this remnant are saved! It is by God’s election of grace in the previous verse and now he tells us that grace is a free gift of God, it is not of works because then it would not be free, it would not be grace! 

            Grace is getting what we don’t deserve, eternal life, and folks, that is free, you can’t earn it, you can only receive it by faith!

            Think of it like this,

            When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day’s pay for his time, that is a wage. When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance, that is a prize. When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements, that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award - yet receives such a gift anyway - that is a good picture of God’s unmerited favor. This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God.

- G. W. Knight, Clip-Art Features for Church Newsletters, p. 53

 

            Simple, but that is grace. We don’t deserve it, but God freely gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ. It is the way that God has always done it, even in the Old Testament. They looked forward to the coming Messiah, we look back at His finished work!

 

VERSE 7

            It is as Paul said in Romans 9:30-32, What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.   Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.   

            You see, Israel tried to obtain righteousness by the Law, and they could not for the wages of sin is death.

            On the other hand, the Gentiles, not seeking self-righteousness, they knew they were sinners when they saw God, obtained the righteousness of God by faith in Jesus. 

            Israel tried to seek a relationship with God by their own efforts and they did not obtain it.

            Only those who receive the free gift of God found in Jesus will be saved, the elect Jews; the rest have been blinded!

 

VERSES 8-10

            Here was the problem for the Jews. They had become so comfortable in their traditions, so secure in their rituals, that it became a snare to them, a trap for them and they then saw no need for Jesus, no need for a Savior. Their salvation they did the old-fashioned way, they worked for it! But that is not the way that God accepts, not our efforts but the finished work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. There is salvation only in Him and not apart from Him!

            You see, their very religious practices and observances became substitutes for the real experience of salvation. Sad to say, this same mistake is made today when people depend on religious rituals and practices instead of trusting in Christ who is pictured in these activities.

            We see that with the whole Hebrew Roots movement and anything and everything that adds works or religious activity to our salvation!

            And we see here that Paul is quoting from Isaiah 29 and Psalm 69 to show how God has placed a spirit of stupor upon His people; they were dead to spiritual things. 

            We read that, and we may think, “That does not seem fair!”

            Let me say this, God is fair, and He gave to them what they wanted.

            They did not want to see that Jesus was the Messiah, so God blinded their eyes to that truth. 

            They did not want to hear the Words of the Messiah, so God caused them to be deaf to the things of God.

            He only gave to them what they wanted, and that judgment continues to this very day!

            J. Vernon McGee gives this perspective, so we don’t lose sight and blame God for their condition. He wrote, “It is important to notice that they were hardened because they failed; they did not fail because they were hardened. A lot of folk get the cart before the horse - in fact, they get the horse in the cart, and it doesn’t belong there!” Exactly!

            Now for those who wanted to see and hear, their eyes and ears were open, and they were saved! Again, God will give to us that which we want, and that is not always good!

 

VERSE 11

            This next question that Paul is asking is this, “Did they stumble that they might fall and never be restored? Has Israel stumbled so far that they have fallen out of the grace of God?”

            Not at all! You see, God’s purpose is to restore Israel. And thus, as salvation has come to the Gentiles God will use that to cause Israel to be jealous as they see God blessing the Gentiles with the hope that Israel would turn back to God. 

            Let me give you this example about jealousy provoking you to do better. When I was in High School I ran Cross Country and the top seven runners on our team would get these awesome sweats and track outfits while the rest received these baggy and ugly things. 

            What that did for me was it made me jealous, I wanted to wear those outfits and thus, I worked hard to get on the varsity team, and I finally worked my way to the point where I was in the top seven, a varsity runner and I had one of those awesome track outfits. 

            Now the difference here is you don’t have to work to receive salvation, just receive it by faith. God is not done with Israel but through the salvation of the Gentiles He is provoking them to jealousy, so they might return back to Him and be saved!

            Regarding this Morris makes this interesting point. He wrote, “It is a matter for profound regret that just as Israel refused to accept this salvation when it was offered to them, so the Gentiles have all too often refused to make Israel envious. Instead of showing to God’s ancient people the attractiveness of the Christian way Christians have characteristically treated the Jews with hatred, prejudice, persecution, malice, and all uncharitableness. Christians should not take this passage calmly.” 

            What a powerful point he makes. May we take it to heart and make people jealous, not just Jews, of what we have, Jesus, so that they would desire to have what we have, Jesus!

 

VERSES 12-14

            Paul puts things into perspective for us as he tells us that because of the Jews rejecting Jesus the Gentiles have been blessed, and then when they come to know the Lord there will be even more of a blessing. When will this be? In the Kingdom Age!

            And notice that Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles, not Peter. Which goes against the Roman Catholic Teaching that Peter was the first Pope, ministering to the Gentiles. Not at all!

 

VERSE 15

            Paul is speaking of Israel outside of Christ; that those outside of Christ are dead, but when they receive Jesus it will be like life coming to a nation that was spiritually dead!          

 

VERSES 16-21

            Paul has been looking at the future of Israel, their restoration and to prove his point he goes back to the past. 

            In other words, if Abraham, being a type of firstfruits, a type of the heave offering to the Lord, (Leviticus 23:9-14, Numbers 15:17-21), if he was holy and accepted by God, it assures us that as the part is sanctified, so will be the whole, Israel will be saved.

            Now the question may be, “How was Abraham justified, was it by his works?”

            Not at all, for Paul told us back in Romans 4:1-5, What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. 

            So just as Abraham was saved by grace through faith, so too will his descendants, and thus, at the end of the Tribulation Period we will see the Jews, as a nation, call upon Jesus.

            Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 23:37-39, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’

            They will call upon the Lord and we see, when the Lord returns, one of the places He goes to is Bozrah, or Petra, where the Jews have been hiding from the Antichrist. I believe this is the picture of the nation coming to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins and not of works any longer!

            And, starting in verse 17 here in Romans chapter 11 Paul speaks of those branches that were broken off. Who is he speaking of? He is speaking of the unbelieving Jews and the wild olive branches, he is speaking of the Gentiles, were grafted in. 

            Now this is interesting because the wild olive branch was unfruitful in holiness, wild and yet it was grafted into the natural olive tree and what was unfruitfulness in holiness, wild, now is fruitful in holiness, it has taken on a new nature, the nature of God that was given to Israel and now has been assimilated into the lives of the Gentiles. 

            It is as Paul said in II Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

            Now it is easy to boast about what we have and look down upon the Jews for what they don’t have, what they have missed out on, and from there it is just a short step to self-righteousness. 

            The Jews developed that mentality; they believed that every Jew would be snatched from the fires of Hell because they were a child of Abraham, even if they were wicked! 

            On the other hand, every Gentile, no matter how good they were, would go to Hell because the only reason they were created was to fuel the fires of Hell. The only way a Gentile could escape that was by becoming a Jew. 

            But Paul said in Romans 9:6 For they are not all Israel who are of Israel. 

            In other words, just because you are a descendant of Abraham does not mean you are saved, you must believe by faith in Jesus and then you are of Israel, governed by God! 

            You see, we stand by faith; it is not that we are so special. Israel was cut off because of unbelief, and that too can happen to us, to Gentiles if we turn from the Lord and we know that during the Last Days the apostasy or falling away will come, where Gentiles will turn away from the Lord, and we can see that happening in churches across America!

            It is not that they were saved and lost their salvation, they were never saved in the first place!

 

VERSES 22-24

            Look at the goodness of God, grafting us into the natural olive tree. 

            Now in reading this you might come to the conclusion that God is just waiting for a Jew or Gentile to cross that line and bam! They are cut out of the olive tree. 

            I don’t believe that is the case. God is merciful, He is longsuffering, He is patient and His desire is that all would be grafted in, both Jew and Gentile.

            I truly believe that God is waiting for us to turn to Him so that He can graft us in and not the other way around. The thing is, if you want to reject God, He will give you what you desire, but He is patient, He is longsuffering!

            Notice what Paul says in regard to the covering of the eyes of the Jews because of unbelief. He wrote in II Corinthians 3:12-17, Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech - unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 

            Paul is speaking of the Jewish people here but in reality, all who turn to the Lord, their covering, that veil that has covered their eyes will be removed and they will see the Lord, they shall be saved!

            And we see Paul conclude by saying that if God can graft a wild olive branch into an olive tree, He can certainly graft back in that which was natural, and Israel will be saved!

            And notice how Paul drives this point home about Israel being saved in the next few verses.

 

VERSES 25-27

            In the epistles or letters of Paul he speaks of three things he doesn’t want us to be ignorant about, and tragically, as you look at the church today, these are the things that many are ignorant about. 

            One of them is the Rapture of the church, which he speaks of in I Thessalonians 4:13-18, But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words. 

            And yet, look at those in the church today who deny the Rapture and yet, Paul did not want them to be ignorant about this event, but they are. And it is because they too are wise in their own opinion and not what the Scriptures teach!

            He also speaks of Spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to us as we need. And he speaks of this in I Corinthians 12:1-11 where we are told, Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

            And again, we see so many deny these gifts of the Spirit today because again, they are wise in their own opinion and not what the Scriptures are teaching!

            And here in Romans Paul tells us that he does not want us to be ignorant about the salvation of Israel, it is going to happen. God is not done with Israel yet! They will be saved!  Their blindness is only in partor temporary, it will last until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. 

            Of this Chuck Smith said, “One day the Jews will realize their blindness and folly. They’ll accept Jesus Christ, and the glorious national restoration of these people will bring in the Kingdom Age.” That day is coming!

            Now, Paul tells us that this blindness has happened to them until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.What does that mean? What is Paul talking about?

            He is speaking of the last Gentile to be saved before the Lord takes His Bride, the Church home in the Rapture. It is at this point that the Church Age comes to an end and God will be dealing with the nation of Israel once again during the Tribulation Period or the 70th week of Daniel, that last 7-year period before the Lord returns to set up His Kingdom on this earth!

            The Scriptures also speak of the times of the Gentiles which is different. Some say that this took place back in 1967 when Israel re-captured the city of Jerusalem, but I don’t see it that way. 

            In Luke 21:20-24 we are told, But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.  But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 

            The times of the Gentiles began when Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon invaded Jerusalem and took the Jews away captive and it continues on today when Gentile nations are persecuting the Jews, even though they are in their homeland. Just look at how the United Nations treats Israel and how they treat terrorist nations. Israel is the bad guy and they try to tell Israel what to do instead of going after these terrorist nations, who are on the security council! Go figure!

            And as you read those verses in Luke they are speaking of the end of the Tribulation Period and when this event happens, the Lord will return, and the end of Gentile rule will come to pass, no longer will the Jews be persecuted by Gentiles, for the times of the Gentiles will have been fulfilled!   

            Now, when Paul says that all Israel will be saved does that mean every Jew will be saved?

            Not at all! This does not mean there will be a time when every last person of Jewish descent will be saved. Instead, this is a time when Israel as a whole will be a saved people, and when the nation as a whole (especially its leadership) embraces Jesus Christ as Messiah.

            Think about it, in their apostasy did it speak of every last Jew being apostate? Of course not and thus, the salvation of Israel will not extend to every last Jew.

            Bruce put it like this, “All Israel is a recurring expression in Jewish literature, where it need not mean ‘every Jew without a single exception’, but ‘Israel as a whole.’”

            And listen to what the Lord said to Abraham. In Genesis 13:15 the Lord said to Abraham, for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 

            And in Genesis 17:7-8 the Lord said, And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. 

            I can’t see how people can say that God is done with Israel, with the Jews when these passages, as well as others, seem to be very clear, all Israel will be saved!

            One more point and that is this. How are these Jews saved? Notice what it says in Romans 11:27, For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.

            Did you see that? The Lord did not say cover their sins, but He is going to take away their sins, cast them as far as the east is from the west to be remembered no more.

            How is that done? Through the shed blood of Christ and that means that the Jews are saved just as the Gentiles are saved; by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone!

            May we not be ignorant of this because this is truly a growing trend in the church today, that the church has replaced Israel and, as you can see, that is not Scriptural!

 

VERSES 28-29

            Yes, they have fought hard against the Gospel message, but they are loved by God and this gift He has given to them can’t be taken away, it is irrevocable! 

            You see, the covenant that God made with Abraham back in Genesis chapter 15 was a unilateral covenant based upon God’s faithfulness and not Abraham’s or his descendants! 

            Why is that? Because when the covenant was cut, God walked through but Abraham was sleeping, thus, these promises of God will come to pass, all Israel shall be saved!

            My pastor put it like this,

            God chose Israel in His grace and not because of any merit in her (Deut. 7:6–11; 9:1–6). If the nation was not chosen because of its goodness, can it be rejected because of its sin? “Election” means grace, not merit. The Jewish people are “enemies” to the believing Gentiles because of their hostile attitude toward the Gospel. But to God, the Jewish people are “beloved for the fathers’ sakes.” God will not break His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

- Pastor Phil Ballmaier, Romans 11:28-29

           

            Praise God for his irrevocable gifts and calling!

 

VERSES 30-32

            God showed the Gentiles mercy when they were disobedient to Him and through the disobedience of Israel they were saved. 

            Now, as God has used the disobedience for good for the Gentiles, He can also use the mercy He has shown the Gentiles and bestow it upon Israel. 

            The thing is, if you truly admit it, we all have come from disobedience, both Jew and Gentile, and have received the mercy of God, we did not get what we deserved – DEATH!

 

VERSES 33-36

            As Paul considers God’s great plan of the ages, he breaks into spontaneous praise. Paul realizes that God’s ways are past finding out, and God’s wisdom and knowledge is beyond him.

            It is as Isaiah said, ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.’ Isaiah 55:8-9.

            Also, in Psalm 139:6 we are told, Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. 

            God has a plan, and we might not fully understand it now, but because we know the character, the nature of God, that He is good and there is no darkness in Him at all, we can trust that He is doing what is best!

            Look at Romans 11:36 once again. Paul says, For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

            Did you notice that “me” is nowhere to be found in this verse, why? Because it is all about Him and what He has done and all we must do is walk by faith, trust in Him! 

            It is as Paul said in Ephesians 1:3-14, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth - in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” 

            As we understand the greatness of God we learn to worship Him more and we wait for that day, we pray for Israel to return to the Lord, for in that day, the Kingdom will be established!

            What a section on election! And praise the Lord, all Israel shall be saved. It would make no sense to put the church in that verse. But the nation of Israel will come to saving faith as they come to their Savior, Jesus Christ!

            This is an important section for us to learn before Paul moves onto dealing with application. He wants us to understand that God is faithful to His Word and thus, since He is, then Paul is able to say, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2. 

            And we will see this next time in Romans chapter 12.

            Let me close with these words. We are told,

            God isn’t finished with His people Israel. His plan is unfolding today and progressing toward that day when Israel’s hardness will be softened through tribulation and the Jewish people will then turn to Christ Jesus in huge numbers. Gentile believers can only pray that God will hasten that day.

- Woodrow Kroll, The Book of romans, p. 186