Chapter 11/Romans

REJECTED ISRAELITES CAN BE SAVED IF THEY BELIEVE
Romans 11

Thesis: All of Israel has the opportunity to be saved in the same manner as the remenant who, like Gentiles, are saved through their faith.

I. GOD DID NOT REJECT HIS PEOPLE AS A PEOPLE OR BECAUSE OF WHO THEY ARE (1-10).
A. Paul, the great Christian missionary to the Gentiles, was an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin (1).
B. Just as there was a remnant of 7,000 in Elijah’s day who had not bowed their knee to Baal, there is a remnant of the Jews who are Chosen by grace (2-5).
C. Since they are chosen by grace, it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace (6).
C. The righteousness that Israel sought (cf. 10:1-3) they did not obtain, but the elect (cf. 10:5-13) did (7-10).

II. THE LOST ISRAELITES DID NOT FALL BEYOND RECOVERY (11-24).
A. God granted salvation to the Gentiles hoping to provoke the Israelites to envy so they would claim Christ for themselves (11-12).
B. Paul made much of his ministry to the Gentiles with a hope that he might somehow arouse his own people to envy and save some of them (13-16).
C. Like the natural branches on the olive tree deserve the place of branches more than wild olive branches do, the Jew deserves salvation more than a proud Gentile who would abandon faith (17-21).
1. The natural branches, the Jews, were broken off because of unbelief.
2. If God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare the unbelieving Gentile.
D. Since God is both kind and stern, he will save believing Jews and Gentiles, and he will condemn the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles (22-24).
E. If Israelites do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again (23).
1. God was able to graft in the wild olive, Gentiles, branches because they believed (24).
2. Surely, natural branches, Jews, who believe will be grafted into their own tree (24).

III. ALL OF ISRAEL HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE SAVED THROUGH THE SAME PLAN BY WHICH THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL WAS SAVED (25-33).
A. Israel experienced hardening among part of them until the fullness of the Gentiles had come (25).
B. All Israel has the same opportunity as the remnant; the Scripture promises that God will turn wickedness away from them and take away their sins (26, 27; cf. Isaiah 59:20, 21; 27:29).
C. The Jews became enemies for the benefit of the Gentiles, but they are loved on account of the Patriarchs (28).
D. God bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all (30-32).
1. The disobedient Gentiles received mercy through faith (30).
2. So the Jews also became disobedient so that he may have mercy on them also (31).

IV. THE WISDOM OF GOD THAT IS MANIFESTED IN THE ABOVE PLAN IS BEYOND MAN’S ABILITY TO FULLY UNDERSTAND (33-36).
A. Isaiah and Jeremiah say that the wisdom, knowledge, and judgments of God are unsearchable and we cannot know the mind of God (33, 34; cf. Isaiah 40:13; Jeremiah 23:18).
B. Job says that man has not become so deserving that God owes him anything, even explanations (35; cf. Job 41:11).
C. All things are for God, to God, and through God (36).

Conclusion: Although we cannot fully understand his plan, God’s plan for saving Gentiles included the rejection of unbelieving Jews. Also, his plan for converting unbelieving Jews involved provoking them to envy by saving the Gentiles.

© 2004, Dr. Wm. T. (Bill) Lambert
Professor Emeritus – NT Literature and Interpretation
College of Bible and Religion
Harding University

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