ROMANS:ROAD TO RIGHTEOUSNESS

Making Jews Jealous

Romans 11:13-36

Jerry A Collins

SCC

5/30/04

 

*               Can we expect a future for Israel?

*               How will God restore Israel spiritually and physically?

*               What does Israelís restoration teach us about Godís wisdom?

 

I was once told by a friend of mine, There is a method to my madness. Unable to figure out what he was up to, he assured me that he knew exactly what it was he was doing even though I was confused by his actions. When the outcome was clear, it was then obvious how all of his actions and decisions made sense. We often find ourselves struggling to understand what it is God is up to as well. We have to frequently wait until the outcome is clearer before we can understand what it is God is up to. In Romans 11 God is filling us in on His plan for the nation of Israel. There is a method to what can seem maddening and He describes for us what His plans are for Israel in the future. We can marvel at this plan and itís outcome both for our Good, and Israelís as well.

1. †††† GOD IS ABLE TO RESTORE THOSE WHO REJECT HIM13-24

In this case it is His own people that He will restore.

A. Israel will have a reversal of fortunes13-15

13-14 There is hope for the Jews. By evangelizing Gentiles, Jews were becoming jealous of Godís favor on Gentiles. Not that jealousy is an end in itself. But that if they are jealous of Gentiles, they may be willing to listen to gospel, turn back to God, accept His mercy freely independent of the Law.

15 When they return to God the results for mankind are comparable to life from the dead. Godís favor on humanity will pale in comparison with what the world will experience thenóthe Millennium.

B. We share common roots with Israel16-24

16 First piece of dough is believing remnant. The lump is the whole nation. God has consecrated (Holy) both of these to Himself. The root & branches refer to Abeís covt both holy as well. Instead of believing Jews are cast-offs, we must see how our connection to them can enrich our own experience with Jesus. We have a common bond with them. We both in the church.

17 In 17-24 this is pictured by an olive treeóa common symbol for the nation of Israel. As wild olive branches, we have replaced the natural olive tree branches and been grafted into this tree. We do not belong to this olive tree but now we can enjoy the nourishment that the root of this tree supplies for us. And what is this root? It is the promise of Abe that God would bless all nations thru His descendent, Jesus Christ. We benefit thru this promise given to Israel.

18 Apparently it is possible, as some were, to feel superior toward these broken branches, Godís program of redeeming a remnant from Israel, God had broken off. We of this church age were grafted into this tree in place of this remnant but we must keep in mind that we have been grafted into something God was already doing thru them. This program supports us not the other way around. We benefit spiritually from the promises given to Israel physically.

19-20 While it is true that we have opportunity because of Jewish unbelief, the only reason we do is because we believed God for it. There is nothing we have done to deserve it or earn Godís favor this way.

21 Here is a warning about arrogance in this matter: If God set aside Israel, did not spare the natural branches from judgment because of unbelief and rebellionóHe could do the same with us because of our arrogance and boasting. There is no reason for any of us to assume that we were worthy of our gift of salvation. God hates pride. Pride is the root of all evil. Pride is independence from Godóto focus on my status or achievement independent of God. Pride tempts me to live my life independent of God and that invites God judgment in my life. Instead I should fear God. I should live my life in the fear of God. That will keep me out of trouble. This is our assignment.

22 The church can be cut off from the goodness of God and suffer His sternness just as easily as Israel did. It is our response to this kindness that determines whether we will be cut off or spared. Arrogance will certainly bring this on. Forgetting God, turning our back on Him will do this. The kindness of God is not an attribute of God because His kindness can come to an end. None of His attributes have an ending because they are essential to His character so that His holiness can never have an endóhis omnipotence can never be depletedóHis omniscience can never be diminishedóbut His kindness, His goodness is a work of God and can come to an end if we forget Him and sin against Him. 23 The Jews as a nation, when she believes will be grafted back into this tree again. That will happen after the church is removed, during the tribulation period when the 144000 are preserved and others converted thru their ministry. How natural it is and how well they will fit back as natural branches.

24 Natural branches are easy to regraft. If god can do the difficult thing, namely grafting wild olive branches onto cultivated stock, it is not hard to believe he will do the easier thing of restoring pruned branches of cultivated tree to former position in the future.

2. †††† GOD WILL RESTORE THOSE WHO REJECT HIM 25-36

A. Prophecy of salvation of all Israel

25 Israelís hardness is partial and temporary. The hardening was partial even though removal from the tree was total. Some Jews were not hardened like the apostles, converts of Acts 2-4, converts of John the Baptistóthese were all taken into the church age and some continue to. This is new revelation previously unrevealed. Rejection of Israel lasts until the full number of Gentiles believe.

26-27 When this happens God will bring about a complete restoration of His promise to this nation. The timetable is the coming of their deliverer, the Second Coming of Christ to establish a future kingdom for Israel.

28-29 So for us today in this age Godís rejection of Israel means we beneficiaries of His grace. And from Godís ultimate purpose, Israel is object of Godís love because of His commitment to their fathers. Since He did not choose Israel for her goodness, he will not abandon her for her badness but fulfill promises.

30-31 For us, our former disobedience is turned into the present objects of Godís mercy because of Jews disobedience. Israelís present disobedience will turn to future objects of mercy.

32 So all need mercy because all are disobedient. God has declared all guilty (Rom 3:23) so that He can have mercy on all. Justice requires God to reject Israel but His mercy is why He will have mercy on Israel. So God is consistent with His acts of mercy as well as His acts of judgment.

B. God has a wise plan33-36 Compare to doxology of Romans 8:31-36

33 Itís Complex:Godís wisdom is ability to arrange His plan so it results in our good and His glory. He constructs His plan logically extending beyond human comprehension. His procedures so complex we cannot discover them without divine revelation.

34-35 Itís Exclusive: Isaiah said noone can know mind of God fully. So wise he needs no counselors. Job observed God never needed to depend on human help putting him in our debt. Fact that God includes us in executing His will does not mean He cannot get along without us.

36 Itís Eternal: God is source from which all things comeómeans by which all things happenógoal toward which all things are movingóoriginator, sustainer of all things ultimately and He deserves our praise and worship forever!

(1) Remain faithful & fearful. We are part of Godís people purely by Godís grace. Nothing to do with how good, nice we are.

(2) Realize privilege we have been given.

(3) Rejoice in & thru Godís plan for you.