Summary: A teaching message on Romans 11:16-36.

Romans Series # 46 July 10, 2002

Title: A Biblical Understanding of God’s Plan for Israel Part 2



Introduction: Welcome to New Life in Christ. We are currently in Chapter 11 of Romans as we continue with message #46 of our verse-by-verse study of the Book of Romans.

Read Romans 11:16-32

Opening Prayer

Tonight will continue a study we began last week on "A Biblical Understanding of God’s Plan for Israel." Last week, I shared how the Apostle Paul was making two main points. First, God has not completely rejected the nation of Israel. Second, God has not permanently rejected the nation of Israel. I also shared on the practical implications of these truths. These two spiritual truths affect our theology, our trust in God’s word, and our attitude toward the Jewish people, among other things. For more information on these things, please get the tape covering verses 1-15.

Tonight, as we look at verses 16-32, I believe I could once again summarize Paul’s message in these verses in to two main points. I believe the main messages that Paul is communicating are:

1. God has the power to successfully restore Israel.

2. God has plans to successfully restore Israel.

When I use the word "restore", I am referring to the physical descendant of Abraham, the Jews, being restored to the position and calling they have from God. To use an illustration I used last week, they will be placed back into the starting line-up. God has the power and a plan to see that this takes place.

Illustration: I want you to imagine the following situation. Let’s suppose there’s a man named Mr. Johnson who is the most eligible bachelor in the world. He is wealthy, powerful, handsome, and kind. Now let’s suppose he meets a girl named Sally. Sally is not a glamorous movie star or a super-model by any means. In fact she is not particularly attractive at all. Neither is she talented, popular or successful and yet for some reason this bachelor begins to date her and eventually marries her. Now after only a short time, Sally begins to be unfaithful to her husband, not just once but many times, but each time she is forgiven and the marriage continues. This goes on for many years and still Sally continues to be unfaithful to her husband so he finally divorces her and as a result she loses the status and privileges that went along with being married to Mr. Johnson. Now suppose that Mr. Johnson meets another woman whose name is Julie and marries her. She now has the status, position, and privileges that Sally once had. Julie might think that she was chosen and that Sally was rejected because she is prettier, better, or more compatible. As a result she might become proud, boastful, overconfident, and antagonistic towards Julie, believing that Julie is out of the picture permanently.

This story illustrates the relationship between the Gentiles in the church and the Jewish people. The Jewish people were once like Sally, having a special privileged relationship with God but because of unbelief they lost their status and privileges. The Gentile Christians are like Julie. They now have the status and privileges that Israel lost but they must not become proud, overconfident, or antagonistic toward the Jewish people.

Paul uses these first few verses to tell the Gentiles in the church why they should not look down or be hostile to the Jewish people. The Gentiles need to understand that they did not earn or deserve the status they have. The Gentiles were not chosen because they were more righteous or more compatible that Israel was. In fact one reason they were chosen was to make Israel jealous (vs. 11, 13). They must be careful about their attitude toward the Jewish people because they too could lose their special status and because God’s special relationship with Israel will be restored!

1. God has the power to successfully restore Israel.

Now let’s look at this passage verse by verse in which Paul emphasizes these points.

Read Romans 11:16

Here Paul uses imagery that is unfamiliar to many people today, so let me briefly explain. In Old Testament times, the Israelites would take the first of the harvested grain and make dough with it. From the batch of dough they would take a small portion and offered it up to God as a symbolic gesture that all the wheat had come from him and that all the wheat was to be used for his purposes, the whole dough was considered holy. In a similar sense we give 10 percent of our income to the church, but acknowledge that it all belongs to God. "Holy" in this context does not refer to moral uprightness but to being set apart as special to God.

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