Comments for Study 9
Memory Verse: 11:33
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I. God's Sovereign Choice (9:1-33)
True Israel (1-13)
>1. Why does Paul have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in his heart? (1-3) Think about his shepherd heart toward his own people.
* Romans 9:1-3 "I speak the truth in Christ--I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit-- I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race,"
* The Jews stoned Paul, beat him, had him put into prison and still he loved them and prayed for their salvation, accepting Jesus as Lord.
* "I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart" -Paul was filled with the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. Yet, at the same time he was sorriful when it concerned others salvation. Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit and God's one and only Son. Yet while praying in the Mount of Olives he confessed that he was filled with sorrow. (Mark 14:34) Sorrow mixed with joy is possible in a life of following Jesus.
* "for I wish that..." -Paul knew that this was impossible since he was elected. In the preceding chapters he points out God elects not man. However, follows Jesus heart example in wanted to give up all, including life, to save his brothers.
* "my own race" -the Israelites. Paul was a Jew meaning politically he was of the nation of Judea. However, physically he was from the tribe of Benjamin, not the tibe of Judah. (Rom. 11:1) Similarly today many call themselves Jew when in fact they may be from another tribe of Israel. Beyond the Israelites were told not to many someone from outside of Israel. However, they were allowed to marry someone from another tribe of Israel. Thus the tribes genes intermingled. That is why God traced a person's ancestor only through the male.
>2. What are the privileges that the Israelites received from God? (4-5)
* Romans 9:4-5 "the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen."
* "the adoption as sons" -sons of God. (Hos. 1:10)
* "the divine glory" -the bright shining glory of the Lord. Jesus referred to this as the cloud of heaven (Mark 14:62) which will be around him when he comes again. Glory is doxa in Greek and kabad in Hebrew meaning a bright sinning cloud surrounding the LORD God. The glory of the Lord came on Mt. Sinai just after the Lord led the Israelites out of Egypt (Ex. 16:7-10, 24:16-17), in the desert Tabernacle (Ex. 40:34-38; Lev. 9:6, 23; Num. 14:10), and in the Temple in Jerusalem (1 Ki. 8:10-11; and 2 Ch. 5:14, 7:1-3, Isa. 6:1-4). Jesus coming in the glory of the Lord is prophecies by Isaiah (Is. 4:2-6; Isa. 35:1-2; 40:4-5; 59:19-20; 60). Ezekiel also saw the glory of the Lord. (Ez. 1:25-28; 3:12, 22-23; 9:3-4; 10:3-4, 18-22; 11:22-23; 43:1-5; 44:4). Luke 2:9 says the glory of the Lord shown over the shepherds when they angles said Jesus was born. Paul calls Jesus the "Lord of glory" in 1 Cor. 2:8 and the "radiance of God's glory" in Hebrews 1:3.
* "the covenants" -The first covenant is the Abrahamic covenant. The Isaac and Jacob covenants are the same as God's covenant with Abraham. The Mosaic covenant was given when the LORD brought the Israelites out of Egypt to Mt. Sinai. The last covenant was with David refering to the Messiah coming from his line.
* "the receiving of the law" -The law as given at Mt. Sinai as the condition to that covenant.
* "the temple worship" -God instructed the Israelites through Moses to build a tabernacle (tent) so that he could dwell with them and as a place where Moses and the high priest could meet with him. He told them that when they would reach the Promised Land, that they should build a temple to replace the tabernacle. The place he chose for the temple was Jerusalem. God has instructions for worship in the tabernacle and temple through Moses which are recorded in the first five books of the Bible.
* "the promises" -God's promises to Abraham and their descendants concerned the Messiah.
* "the patriarchs" -Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) are referred to the patriarchs.
* "from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ" -found in the beginning of Matthew and Luke.
* "Christ, who is God over all" -Jesus is the creator God, Elohim JHWH in Hebrew. Here God is in Greek, Theos. Anyone who says that Jesus is not God does not know the Bible well for his divinity is proclaimed thoughout the Bible.
* All these are blessings that God gave to the twelve tribes of Israel, especially the tribes that made up the southern kingdom called Judah.
>How did they bear these privileges? (10:3-4)
* Romans 10:3-4 "Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes."
* "they did not know the righteousness that comes from God" -a righteousness by faith through Jesus, the Messiah.
* "sought to establish their own" -by following the law.
* "they did not submit to God's righteousness" -they did not live by faith in God, but faith in their own ability to live without sin.
* They became self righteous because of God's blessings to them. They began believing the blessings proved that God loved them more than anyone else. This lead them to believe that they must have been better and thus righteous because of their actions. In other words they began believing that their perfect living by the law forced God to bless them.
* When I receive God's blessings I should remember that it is because of God's grace not because of a righteousness of my own.
* Jesus taught, "So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'" (Luke 17:10)
>3. Who are the true children of God? (6-9)
* Romans 9:6-9 "It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."
* "not all who are descended from Israel are Israel" -those whom God would choose out of Israel based on faith, not all Israel physical descendants.
* "Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children" -Isaac was not Abraham's only child; Ishmael and Keturah's children were also Abraham's. Yet only one physical son received the promise and covenant of God, Isaac. He was God's election. The others were rejected; that is they were not sons of the promise. The same can be said for Jacob (Israel), Judah, through David, and the rest right down to Jesus' physical parent Mary and even Joseph, though he was not Jesus' physical father.
* "It is not as though God's word had failed" -not all of Jacob's physical descendants accepted the Messiah Jesus and thus didn't receive the promised blessings found in the Messiah. Some could and did argue that God's promises to Abrahan, Isaac, and Jacob were thus broken. They were saying that God did not keep his end of the promise if indeed Jesus was the Messiah because most rejected Jesus as the Messiah. Paul is saying that logic is flawed because the physical seed in the gene was not the determining seed of who was and wasn't Abraham's, Isaac's and Israel's offspring. Rather the determining seed was the seed of faith that was expressed in the patriarchs' day to day life.
>What condition is required to be God's children?
* Accept by faith the Messiah Jesus and the promise of God found in him.
* Live by faith as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did.
* The study of the Old Testament especially the lives of faith of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David is needed to better understand what it means to live by faith. Yet, even when we study them we see that at times they did not live by faith and sinned. Still, in spit of sin they believed by faith that God forgives the repentant heart and blesses those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11)
* When all is said and done, it is God's election that decides who is and is not the subjects of the promises.
>Why isn't human condition the criteria to be God's children? (10-13)
* Romans 9:10-13 "Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger." Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
* God made it so that Rebekah had twins so that all would know that it is he that chooses. God's will is at the center. God is at the center.
* Humanly God's choices don't look fair (i.e. Esau and Ishmael were born first).
* How do we know God's will and promises are to us too? Answer: stand on the promises of God and live by faith in them (i.e. Lot did not though he was a righteous man.)
* When a person doesn't accept God's promises in God's way, to them his election doesn't seem and is declared unrighteous.
* We work hard to earn our bread and so we begin to think we must work hard to obtain all of God's blessings. This is flawed logic.
* "Rebekah's children" -Rebekah's life of faith is displayed well in Genesis. She sought God's blessing when Abraham's servant came. She agreed to go with him by faith. Not only that but her spiritual influence to her children and grandchildren can also be seen. She knew how to live by faith and wanted her sons to marry wives who also lived by faith.
* "him who calls" -God calls us. We do not call him. Jesus told his disciples, "Have I not chosen you, the twelve?" (John 6:70, 13:8, 15:19)
* "before the twins were born" -Human boasting is completely useless for it is God who decides and has nothing to do with us.
The Potter and the Lump of Clay (14-33)
>4. What is the general human thinking of people concerning God's way of working?
* Romans 9:14 "What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all!"
* Human tendency is to believe that God is unjust. For example: Esau was rejected before birth. God did bless Esau as Esau himself confessed (Gen. 33:9; 36:7-8). However, he was not the son of the promise. The Messiah would not be his descendant.
>Why can't there be no injustice in God? (15-18)
* Romans 9:15-18 "For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden."
* God is not obligated to save anyone. We are all in a fallen race.
* God uses his power and sovereignty to save some from the fallen race. He does not crush us. We all have chosen to be outside of his blessing. He chooses to redeem us into his blessing; his will to save.
* The Israelites were not worthy to receive God's mercy, but they depended on it as they cried out from Egypt's chains of slavery.
* The unjust break the law of God. God does not go counter to his law for his law is a reflection of his character and it is impossible for God to go against his character. Therefore it is impossible for God to be unjust.
* No one can say that God's election is cruel because he has taken upon himself all that is required to save someone from the totally fallen human race.
* Martin Luther wrote concerning verse 16, "This does not mean that God's mercy altogether excludes our willing or running. But the words mean: The fact that a person wills and runs, he owes not to his own strength, but to the mercy of God; for it is God who gives us the power to will and to do. Without this (power) man os his own accord is unable both to will and to do. This truth the Apostle expresses in Philippians 2:13."
* "says to Pharaoh" -Paul's point of Pharaoh is the same the Ishmael and Esau, it is God who chooses, his election. Thus no one can claim that they are good. When the rich young ruler came to Jesus concerning what must he do to inherit eternal life, his question was flawed with the thinking that there was anything that he or anyone could do. That is why Jesus said, "Why do you call me good?" The man's concept of good was that man is good where only God is good.
>5. Why is it unreasonable for men to argue with God about his will? (19-21)
* Romans 9:19-21 "One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?"
* We are less than God.
* We are made by God for his purposes.
* We do not know why God has made us so.
* Situations that seem reasonable to fallen man are unreasonable to God. Man forgets who were are. We have a tendency to place ourself as good as God.
* Spiritual order must be maintained.
* 2 Peter 3:16 "He (Paul) writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. "
* "pottery... purpose" -Zechariah 11 says Jesus betrayal will be 30 pieces of silver, the price of a potter's junk pile. The broken pieces of bad pottery was thrown there. It was a junk pile and God used it to fulfil his prophecy.
* "noble purposes... common use" -The mature in faith accept where God has placed them and how God has made them. They are like Jesus was on the Mount of Olives, "Not my will, but your's be done." That is I do not like what is planned for me, but what is planned is planned by God and I accept it.
* Jesus' taught the good disciples' attitude in parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matthew 20.
>6. How does God exercise his sovereignty in choosing to show his mercy or his wrath? (22-29)
* Romans 9:22-29 "What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he says in Hosea: "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one," and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.'" Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality." It is just as Isaiah said previously: "Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah."
* "What if God" -Paul us using a hypothetical argument.
* "choosing to show his wrath and make his power known" -God wants all of the fallen race to know of his great wrath and power. Adam and Eve did not comprehend this before they sinned.
* "bore with great patients objects of his wrath" -He let them sin.
* "prepared for destruction" -A persons response to this statement depends on their point of view of God. God is sovereign. Have you decided to accept his sovereignty and turn to him for forgiveness? Have you begged in humility for Jesus act of salvation on the cross and in the resurrection led you to truth? Do you trust and believe his truth? "Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened," Jesus promises.
* "the objects of his mercy" -God wanted his people to know the riches of his glory.
* Satan wants to make God look unreasonable. so he twists this words to make people turn from God and turn towards him.
* 2 Corinthians 10:5 states, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
* "not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles" -God's grace has poured out to everyone in the world so abundantly since Jesus rose from the dead, ascended to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit some two thousand years ago. God promised Abraham that through his seed (the Messiah) all nations would be blessed. God had kept has that promise as can now see. God also said of the northern tribes (Israel) that were scattered during the Assyrian captivity that he could call them a nation again; that is his people again. Who are these people? Where are they at? Their seed is spread to every corner of the earth. People may be direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and may not even know it. Not only that, people who do not have Jacob's seed have miraculously been made Israel by faith in the Messiah Jesus. Thus those of the northern kingdom (called Israel) whom God said, "You are not my people," he has through Jesus called them his people again. Their numbers are so great, like sand on the seashore, and some among them are saved through Jesus. As proof of this fact all we have to do is to look at the list of the twelve tribes in the book Revelation; not just Jews (Judah) is mentioned, but all twelve tribes are listed to get the mark of the Lord and are sent out.
* "For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality" -The age we are in now is often called the age of preaching the gospel, the age of grace, the age of the Gentiles, and the age of the church. Whatever one calls it, this age is coming to an end very soon. Soon God's judgement, a sentence already made, will be carried out. After the judgement will be a new again, the age of the one thousand year reign of Christ.
* Hosea 1:8-11 states, "After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. Then the Lord said, "Call him Lo-Ammi, for you are not my people, and I am not your God. "Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.' The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited, and they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel."
* Hosea chapter two is also an amazing read pointing to our generation. It ends with, "I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one.' I will say to those called 'Not my people,' 'You are my people'; and they will say, 'You are my God.'" (Hosea 2:23)
>7. How does God show the way of salvation, exercising his sovereignty? (33)
* Romans 9:33 "As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
* "I lay in Zion a stone" -Jesus is the stone. He is both the way of salvation and the stumbling block.
* Jesus could have argued with God because he had to suffer for others sins. But he did not. He accepted God's will for his life with humility. He said, "Not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42)
* The Jews argued against God's ways through their arguments with Jesus. They could not accept God's way to save them.
* "the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame" -Those who believe in Jesus as the Messiah, as their Savior and Lord, will not be condemned for their sins have been paid for. Their sins are removed.
* By faith alone in Jesus is one freed from sin, fear of death, and condemnation. No work is required on our part. No matter how much we try to obey the law we will eventually break one of the laws. When we break one we are disqualified for eternal life. Yet there are some that believe they are "good enough" to enter heaven (paradise). This is the stumbling block. This is the error. One does not need to be "good enough" to be a part of the kingdom of God. One needs to be perfect. The only way to be made perfect is through faith in Jesus. Few accept this stone of salvation. Most stumble over it and fall into hell.
>Why did the Israelites stumble? (30-32)
* Romans 9:30-32 "What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone."
* They could not accept that God's way was not by righteousness from man's work, but by God's work through his Son.
* The way they wanted to be saved was by their ability to keep the law. Even to this day many Jews want to keep the law of God for their salvation, even among the self proclaimed Messianic Jews. Not only that, but almost all the other religious belief systems rely on man working his way into heaven. Sometimes they teach that the work is to live a holy life, more than bad things committed. Other times they teach that the work is through penance paid in this life or in some kind of temperary percatory after physical death. Others teach we will live another life, and another, and another, and another until we finally live a righteous life. All these depend on man and ignore God's soverign work.
II. God's Way of Working Shown in the Scriptures (10:1-21)
>8. How is the righteousness that is by faith different from the righteousness that is by the law? (1-8)
* Romans 10:1-8 "Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them." But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) "or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:
* Righteousness from God is by faith; believing in God.
* Righteousness from the law comes from obeying the law completely and exactly. (Deut. 30:12-13)
* "they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge" -Zealous is only good if it is grounded in truth. Jesus taught that we will and must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24)
* "Christ is the end of the law" -A statement that some still do not accept, even among Jews who have now confessed that Jesus is the Messiah.
* "The word is near you" -Jesus often stated, "The kingdom of God is near." For more on this read my manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires.
* "it is in your mouth and in your heart" -see verse 9 for the need for a public confession.
>9. What do we have to do specifically to be saved? (9-11)
* Romans 10:9-11 "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
* We cannot save ourselves. However, we do need to respond to God's love invitation by:
1. Confess with our mouth that Jesus is LORD, not just amongst a group of believers, but also amongst non-believers so that they to may believe and confess.
2. Believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead.
* "you will be saved" -from the judgement Paul mentions in chapter 9.
* "shame" -See comment made above in chapter 9.
>What can we learn about his person when we see God who saves everyone who calls on the name of the Lord? (12-13)
* Romans 10:12-13 "For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
* God is Lord of all.
* Salvation from sin and death does not depend on whether or not Abraham's genes are in us, but on whether or not we have the faith that Abraham has.
* "richly blesses" -Don't be like me a few years ago when I forgot that God blesses us when we live by faith. If you remember God blesses those who live by faith, when hard times come you will be able to trust God and make it through with his peace. The blessing of God will be rewards that he hands out at the end of this age and the beginning of the next age. Jesus often taught this and I discuss this in my manuscript The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires.
>10. What process does one go through until he can call on the name of the Lord? (14-17) Think about the absolute necessity of preaching the gospel through this.
* Romans 10:14-17 "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."
* The process is:
1. Having one sent to them.
2. Having the sent one preach the gospel to them.
3. They hearing (understanding) the gospel that was just preached to them.
4. Believing and calling on Jesus as it is preached in the gospel.
* Raising people who are ready to preach the gospel at any moment is very important.
* "through the word of Christ" -The good news (gospel in Greek) is all about Jesus the Christ (Messiah in Hebrew).
>11. What was the mind of God toward the people who did not accept the word preached to them? (18-21)
* Romans 10:18-21 "But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, "I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding." And Isaiah boldly says, "I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me." But concerning Israel he says, "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."
* They were angry.
* They were disobedient.
* He never gives up as in the prodigal son.
* "Their voice has gone out into all the earth" -Jesus has instructed us to go into all the earth and preach the gospel. Who have you told about Jesus today? If your excited about the salvation is Jesus do you tell others so they can be excited too?
* "I will make you envious by those who are not a nation" -The fruits of the Holy Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self control; will make Israel and Judea jealous. They will want it and seek to obtaining it through faith in Jesus. This word is being fulfilled in our lifetime. Many Jews are turning to Jesus and receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Gal. 5:22-23)
>And what was his response toward them?
* "I have held out my hand" -God reaches toward us, but we must respond to him by faith. He is gentle and will not force himself on anyone who does not want to take his hand.
III. God's Redemption Plan Through Israel (11:1-36)
>12. What is the evidence that God did not reject Israel? (1-6)
* Romans 11:1-6 "I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah--how he appealed to God against Israel: "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me"? And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
* Paul himself is an example.
* God always keeps a remnant.
* We may like Elijah believe that we are the only one left. God has people doing his will that we don't know about.
* "remnant chosen by grace." -God had always had a remnant who believed in him. Remnant is mentioned a lot in the Old Testament. They are called a remnant because they were allowed to remain, while the rest were given up to judgement. Jesus also taught that even in this age only a few will be saved.
>Who is Israel in light of history?
* Those who by God's grace live by faith in Jesus.
* "grace" -unmerited divine assistance
>Why did Israel divide into two nations?
* Solomon put a heavy burden on the northern tribes who tried to rebel because of the burden. When he died the northern tribes rebelled against his son and the southern tribes. They succeeded. This is recorded in 1 Kings 11 and 12 and 2 Chronicles 10.
* Israel originally consisted of twelve tribes when they entered and conquered the land God promised them. Just after the reign of Solomon, David's son, the twelve tribes split into two nations; the northern and the southern kingdoms of Israel. (1 Kings 12) The northern kingdom consisted of ten tribes of Israel and was called Ephraim (Hos. 4:17, 5:3, 7:1), Samaria (Hos. 7:1, 8:5-6, 13:16), house of Joseph (1 Kings 11:28), and house of Israel (1 Kings 12:21, Jer. 31:31). The southern kingdom consisted of the other tribes of Israel and was called Judea. The two kingdoms grew to hate each other. (1 Kings 11-12, and 2 Chron. 10)
>What does this mean to us today?
* When Jesus comes again they two halves of Israel will be reunited. That reunification has just begun by those of both houses who now have faith in Jesus.
>13. What did the Gentiles obtain through the stumbling of Israel? (7-12)
* Romans 11:7-12 "What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, 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." And David says: "May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever." 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. 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!"
* Salvation has come to the Gentiles.
* Riches for the world, the Gentiles.
* "to this very day" -Paul's time. That time is now ending as many Jew's are accepting Jesus is the Messiah again. As this age started with some Jewish believers, so the age is ending with Jews coming to faith in Jesus.
* "how much greater riches will their fullness bring!" -We are beginning to see what this means today. As more and more Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah, the Gentile believers are discovering the Jewishness of Jesus. We are thus learning more of the meaning of passages of the Bible and are strengthened in faith.
* The fullness of the riches should compel Gentile believers to preach Jesus to Jews in a loving way.
>How does this result help the salvation of Israel? (13-15)
* Romans 11:13-15 "I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
* Our salvation and joy makes them jealous.
* "I am the apostle to the Gentiles" -Jesus chose him in an unusually way so that he may preach mainly to the Gentiles. His letters, Roman's being one, have helped Gentiles to the very end of this age.
* "I make much of my ministry" -Paul worked continually preaching, teaching and building up what we call the church.
* "what will their acceptance be but life from the dead" -Paul is speaking of the resurrection of the dead at the end of this age. When all of Israel and Judah accept Jesus as the Messiah and call to him to be their God and the King, Jesus will come again. Thus their plead for him in faith and love will start the next age, a most blessed age, the best yet.
>14. What does the olive tree represent?
* The fig tree and olive tree are often symbols of Israel and Judea in the Bible. (Hos. 9:10, Matt. 21:18-20, Mark 11:12-20, Luke 13:6-9, Rom. 11:13, 17-24, Ezek. 37:5-27, Jer. 11:16-17)
>What should be the attitude of the Gentiles in light of the parable of grafting of the olive tree? (16-24)
* Romans 11:16-24 "If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!"
* We are holy because Christ, the Root is holy. (16)
* Do not be boastful. (18)
* We stand by faith. (20)
* Do not be arrogant. (20)
* Have the fear of God. (20)
* Consider God's kindness and sternness. (22)
* We need to remember what happened to Israel and the Jews and how God dealt with them in the past.
>How does this illustration shed light on Jesus' statement, "I am the Branches and you are the vines"? (John 15:1-15)
* If it were not for Jesus we would be nothing.
>What can we learn about God through this?
* He is gracious.
>15. How did the Gentiles receive the mercy of God? (31)
* Romans 11:31 "so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you."
* The Jew's rejected it so God gave it to the Gentiles.
>What is God's mind and will over all mankind after all? (32)
* Romans 11:32 "For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all."
* God's plans are hard to understand if we do not believe he is love and mercy.
>16. How is Paul's unceasing anguish changed in verses 33-36?
* Romans 11:33-36 "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 ever given to God, that God should repay him?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."
* He praises God.
* "to him be the glory forever" -This is the true heart of a believer in Jesus.
>What can you see about God who Paul praises?
* God has a good plan.
* God can use man's nature to bring about his plan.
* God knows all.
* God is sovereign.
>Through the study, think about God's way of working in saving all of mankind.
* God can use even negative things, Israel's rejection of the Messiah, for good and his glory.
>How does God use his sovereignty and power in directing his purpose?
* For good.
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