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Romans 11:1-36


Intro: In this chapter, Paul concludes his parenthesis to the Jew. He has been trying to show them that God has not forsaken them, but that God has simply postpones His work on their behalf unto a future time. It is God's plan to finish what He has started in regard to the Jew and in the area of His promises to them.

These verses are an explanation of what God is doing in the arena of salvation in this present time. Here, we learn that God has a plan for the Jew and that He has a plan for you. Tonight, I would like to look at these verses for a few minutes and discuss the thought, God's Plan For The Jew And For You. Some may have read the book of Romans up to this point and concluded that there is no salvation for the Jew. Paul shows the foolishness of that viewpoint. He teaches us that God has a plan and that God's plan will be fulfilled completely.


A. V. 1 God's Saving Grace

1. The Issue - Again, the question might be asked, "Has God completely written off the Jew? Has He condemned them all to Hell? Is it impossible for them to be saved " Paul says that such a thing is not even a possibility!

2. The Illustration - To prove it, Paul calls attention to himself. He is a Jew and he is saved! Paul is living proof that Jews can be born again! The bottom line is that salvation is available to any individual who will call upon the name of the Lord, Rom. 10:13.

B. V. 2-10 God's Selecting Grace - Paul draws the attention of his readers to an event in the past and to God's present work around them to show them God's grace in action.

1. V. 2-4 God's Past Selection - Paul draw from the life of Elijah to demonstrate the fact that God always has a remnant. Elijah thought he was all alone in his devotion to the Lord, but God reminded Elijah that there were more than 7,000 who had not bowed to Baal.

2. V. 5-10 God's Present Selection - Paul shows that now, just as in the past, God has His remnant. Those who are saved are not saved because of their birth, or their nationality, but they are saved because of pure grace. They are redeemed because they have been chosen by God in Christ Jesus.

(Ill. Paul's point in these verses is that those who ant to be saved can be saved, while those who do not are abandoned to their choice by God. For us, the message in this section of this passage is that if we are saved, it is because of the grace of God! It is not our deeds, our birth or our works. We are not saved because of ho we are or what we have or can produce. Salvation is by grace alone, Eph. 2:8-9.)

I. It Involves The Grace Of God


A. V. 11-15 The Reason - Because the people of Israel refused to come to Christ for salvation, the Lord turned to another people. He turned to the Gentiles and opened the door of salvation wide for them. The Bible indicates that Jesus came to the nation of Israel and presented Himself to them as their Messiah, they refused to receive Him and the way was opened for the Gentile nations to come to Jesus, John 1:11-12. The Lord set them aside that He might reach out to us!

Paul says that God has used the salvation of the Gentiles to provoke the Jews to jealousy. Paul hopes that they will see what God is doing for the Gentiles and that they will want the same for themselves. (Ill. Our lives ought to create a genuine thirst and longing for the things of God in the world around us, Matt. 5:13-16.)

Yet, Paul knows that since salvation is being preached to the Gentiles, many Gentiles are coming to know God through the Gospel of grace. His thinking is that if the Jew being rejected can bring men to Christ, what would happen if the Jew was saved! (Ill. A completed Jew is a powerful force for the glory of God!)

B. V. 16-17 The Results - As a result of the natural branch (Israel) being broken off, the wild branch (The Gentile nations) have been grafted in. We are allowed the privilege of being placed in a personal relationship with the God of Heaven!

(Ill. In the Tabernacle and Temple period, only the Jew had access to the things of God. They could go to the temple and sacrifice. They could approach the high priest and have their sins atoned for. They could enter into the things of the Lord. The Gentiles, on the other hand, were all left outside of these things. They had no access to God. Now, in Jesus, Who is the door John 10, the Gentiles are no longer cast out. But, through Jesus, we are allowed to enter into the holiest place of all: His perfect presence! Do you understand? Now we are not stopped at the steps of the temple. We are not forbidden from entering into the holy place. Now, we are allowed to go all the way with Jesus in to the deep things of God. Why? Because God in His grace has turned the fall of Israel into the blessing of the Gentile nations.)

C. V. 18-24 The Reminder - The redeemed Gentiles are reminded in these verses that they should not boast about their new position in Jesus. The same God Who grafted them in, is the same God Who can break them off if they become lifted up in their pride. Not broken off in the sense of their salvation, but in the sense of their effectiveness and usefulness to the Lord. The image of grafting in branches alludes to the practice of ancient farmers who would graft branches from young olive trees into older, less productive trees to make them productive again. Israel had become unfruitful, others were grafted in their place. However, if those who ware grafted in (the Gentiles) become arrogant and prideful, they too will become unfruitful and will be broken off. If Israel returns to the Lord (which she will) she will be grafted back in again!

What Paul is trying to get his readers to understand is that it is God, not the individual who is in control of these matters. As ha said in verse 18, "The branches do not support the root, it is the root that supports the branches!"

(Ill. What's the point of all this for us? We simply need to remember that we are saved tonight because of the pure grace of God! We have nothing to brag about. We have no reason to pat ourselves on the back and talk of all we have done for God. The fact is, we have done nothing as we all deserve to go to Hell! If you don't believe me look at Ephesians 2:1-3. These verses are clear in their teaching that we are guilty and wayward and deserving of the harshest of punishments. Why then are we saved? Paul answers that question in Ephesians 2:4, when he says "But God..." That is the reason we aren't in Hell! That is why we are saved this afternoon. It is all the work of God and His grace! Therefore, if we will glory, let us glory in the cross and the empty tomb. Let us glory in the promises and power of our great God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us at Calvary!)

I. It Involves The Grace of God

II. It Involves The Grafting Of God


A. V. 25-27 His Promises - Israel's blindness at the present is a temporary condition. One day her eyes will be open to the Person of Jesus and she will be saved! God hasn't forgotten her, but He is filling His house with those who will come to Him during this the age of grace. We are reminded again of the parable of Jesus in Luke 14:16-24. We can see that the Father desires His house to be filled. If those who are invited will not come, then He will invite others until His house is filled! In the end, God will keep every promise He has made to Israel! Not one of them shall fail.

B. V. 28-32 His Purposes - In this present age the Jew is the enemy of the Christian faith. They deny that our Jesus is their Messiah. Yet, God has not forgotten about them, or about His plans for them. For as they were called by the Lord, that calling will be fulfilled and Israel will come to salvation through Jesus Christ.

It is to be noted that Israel has paid a high price for their rejection of Jesus as Messiah. They have suffered as no other group of people has suffered in this world. They have been hated and some, like Hitler, have even tried to exterminate them. Yet, through it all, God has kept them and brought them through every trial. For over 1,900 years there was not a nation called Israel. Then in 1948, the United Nations created a country called Israel. Since that time there have been many attempts by their enemies to destroy them and take their country from them. But, God has continued to preserve them. Their darkest day has not yet dawned. During the Tribulation period, verse 26-27 will be literally fulfilled. God will purify His people so that when Jesus returns in glory and power, the Jews will fall before Him and receive Him as their King, their Messiah and their Savior. This is one of the great prophecies of the Bible, Zech. 13:6. Of course, their pain is prophesied in the Old Testament: Zech. 10-12.

When Jesus comes, He will redeem them and receive them unto Himself, Isa. 25:8-9; 43:25; 51:3; 55:12. It will be a great day for the Jew when the Lord Jesus fulfills His plans on their behalf. Are they forgotten? No! They are merely on hold for the time being. Their day will come!

(Ill. While these verses speak primarily to the nation of Israel, there is comfort in knowing that God will always keep His promises. He can be trusted! We can take Him at His Word and know that He will do just what He promises to do, Rom. 4:21; 2 Cor. 1:20.)

I. It Involves The Grace of God

II. It Involves The Grafting Of God

III. It Involves The Guarantee Of God


(Il. Paul closes this chapter with a threefold doxology. He praises the Lord for three great characteristics. Since God doesn't change, you and I should be willing to praise Him for these same attributes. Let's look at them together this evening.)

A. V. 33-34 His Greatness - Paul's first statement concerning the Lord has to do with God's wisdom and omniscience. The question is asked, "Who knows the mind of God and who is the person that gives God advise?" The answer is no one! God's mind can be pondered by men through the reading of the Scriptures, but no man can know the mind of God. His mind transcends our ability. He is God and we can never fully understand Him or His ways, Isa. 55:8-9. All one has to do is read Job 39-40:1 to see that no man understands the depth of wisdom and knowledge possessed by God. We are not His counselor! He does as He pleases and we are left to praise Him for what He does!

(Ill. That would be a good lesson for us all to learn as we go through life. We need to stop trying to figure out the why of everything and start simply learning to trust God by faith! He knows what He is doing, we do not! He sees the future and knows what is best for now and then, we do not! Therefore, let us bow before Him and His glory and exalt His worthy Name!)

B. V. 35 His Grace - The question here is this: "To whom is God a debtor?" Does He owe man anything at all? Some people seem to think so. They expect God to jump through their hoops at their command. But, that is not the God of the Bible! The God of the Bible is a God Who moves first. He reaches out to men through His grace and man are debtors to Him!

(Ill. Let us never forget that truth! God owes us nothing, we owe Him everything! Every dollar in our pockets is His gift. Every lung full of air is His blessing. Every heartbeat is His grace manifested. Your home, your car, you family, your job, your health, your intellect, you talents, your possessions are all His gifts to you. He doesn't owe you, but you owe Him! And what does God want in return? Nothing more than your love, which manifests itself in obedience to Him, John 14:15. He gives us everything and all He asks is that we honor Him by receiving His Son Jesus as our Savior. When we do that, then His real giving begins. No, God isn't in debt to us; it is we who are in debt to Him!)

C. V. 36 His Glory - Everything in this world exists because there is a God in Heaven Who willed it to be here! That is Who He is and that is the power He possesses. In Col. 1:16, Paul said it this way, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:" God is the center of His universe. Is He the center of yours? If you are giving Him the glory due His name He is! Let us remember, the world does not revolve around you or me. I know that comes as a shock to you, but it doesn't! It revolves around God! Therefore, let every believer in this room tonight come to the place where we are more than willing to seek His glory first in everything we are and do, 1 Cor. 10:31.

Conc: Yes, this is a Jewish passage and we may wonder why we would even bother with it. The reason is, is that it teaches us about God's grace in calling us to faith in Jesus. It reminds us that our God is a promising keeping God. It teaches us that we should always seek to honor the Lord in all we do and in all we are.

So, I will leave you with this question: Are you in Jesus Christ? Are you saved by the grace of God? Have your sins been washed away by the blood of the Lamb? Has Israel's fall become your bridge to freedom?

If there is a need in your heart tonight for salvation, repentance this altar is open for you. Or, if you just want to praise the Lord for His grace and goodness on your behalf, there is no better way to say thank you than to come into His presence and simply say "Thank you!" Whatever your need may be, it can be met this evening if you will come to Jesus!

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