ROMANS, CHAPTER 11
Romans 11:6) [NIV] And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
QUESTION: What is Paul getting at here?
ANSWER: It’s either grace or works; it is not a combination of the two. If any works are involved then there is no grace involved.
QUESTION: What does this verse tell you?
ANSWER: If “works” are necessary for salvation then it is no longer a gift, but a paycheck, something that we have earned by our conduct.
SO, WHAT ABOUT WORKS?
Ephesians 2:8-10) [KJV] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
9) [KJV] Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10) [KJV] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
QUESTION: What part do works play in our salvation?
ANSWER: Absolutely none!
NOTE: We were saved without doing any good works whatsoever. When we were saved, however, we became new creations in Christ; and that new creation has been crafted/shaped to do good works. Good works didn’t save us, but saved people ought to do good works.
On To This Week’s Lesson:
Romans 11:7-15) [NIV] What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened,
8) [NIV] 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.”
QUESTION: What does the “others were hardened” mean?
ANSWER: Israel, as a whole, chose to reject Jesus in spite of His many miracles. God, Who first went to His own people, then went to the Gentiles. Israel hardened their collective hearts towards the One God sent, so God then declared that the hardening would last. Since that time only “a remnant” of Jews have believed in Christ in the various times of history from then to now.
9) [NIV] And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
10) [NIV] May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.”
QUESTION: What happened next?
ANSWER: Israel’s history had been one of rebellion, then repentance; rebellion, then repentance, etc. In the times of rebellion, those times that they rejected their God and turned to idols, they were chastised by the Lord and given into the hands of oppressors. In the times of repentance they were renewed as a blessed nation. From the time they rejected Christ to the time of their emergence once again as a nation in these last days they were not blessed to be a nation. They walked for centuries as a scattered people.
11) [NIV] 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.
Deuteronomy 32:21) [KJV] They have moved me to jealousy with [that which is] not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with [those which are] not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
QUESTION: What is Paul teaching here?
ANSWER: When God judged Israel for their unbelief He then turned towards the non-Jews with the message of salvation through His Son Jesus.
QUESTION: Why did God do this?
ANSWER: For 2 reasons:
- In order to make Israel jealous so that they would return to Him;
- In order to save all who would come to Him through Christ, rather Jew or Gentile.
QUESTION: Would God have offered salvation to us Gentiles if Israel hadn’t rejected Christ?
ANSWER: The answer to this question is wrapped up in the doctrine of His foreknowledge. He always knew Israel would, as a people, reject Christ, and He always knew that He would then offer salvation to us Gentiles. How can we possibly dissect His will from His foreknowledge? He knew that you would be saved from before the foundation of the world!
2 Peter 3:9) [GW] The Lord isn’t slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.
1 Timothy 2:4-6) [GNB] who wants everyone to be saved and to come to know the truth.
5) [GNB] For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and human beings together, the man Christ Jesus,
6) [GNB] who gave himself to redeem the whole human race. That was the proof at the right time that God wants everyone to be saved,
QUESTION: Has God always wanted to save Gentiles?
ANSWER: Yes! This is why He sent His Son to die for our sins.
NOTE: The issue isn’t rather or not salvation would have come to the Gentiles if Israel hadn’t rejected Christ, but to understand that God wants to, and will save everyone who comes to Him. Israel did reject Christ! Salvation has come to us Gentiles!
12) [NIV] 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!
QUESTION: If Israel’s rejection of Christ predicated God’s inclusion of the Gentiles then what will the repentance of Israel cause?
ANSWER: It will cause the “manifestation of the sons of God” [Romans 8:19].
QUESTION: What does that mean?
ANSWER: We will discuss that in a few moments.
13) [NIV] I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry
14) [NIV] in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.
QUESTION: What is Paul going back to here?
ANSWER: He’s returning to the issue of his sorrow that the Jewish people haven’t accepted their Messiah [Romans 9:1-3], but also the knowledge that God hadn’t “cast away” his people [Romans 11:1]. He understood that even in the fact that God had sent him to evangelize the Gentiles God was at work in the Jews, causing envy in them that “some of them” would be saved [current verse].
15) [NIV] For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
QUESTION: What does this verse tell us?
ANSWER: This verse, in essence, answers the question raised in verse 12.
QUESTION: What is the answer to that question?
ANSWER: God will wrap up the current history of mankind and initiate the “glory which shall be revealed in us” [Romans 8:19], causing us to be “conformed to the image of his Son” [Romans 8:29]. IT WILL USHER IN THE THOUSAND YEAR MILENNIUM PERIOD, AND EVENTUALLY ETERNITY!
Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church