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Romans 10:1-21 & 11:1-36



Our last lesson in Romans Chapter 9 concerned God's chosen people Israel .

In that chapter, we learned how the Gospel of God affected them dispensationally and historically.

And we were made aware of the fact that God is sovereign.

God's purposes where not defeated by Israel ’s rejection of their Messiah.

Rather, their rejection only postponed the promised kingdom, and ushered in the age of grace.

This age of grace was the time hidden in the councils of God when a remnant both of Jews and Gentiles would receive salvation and be brought into the family of God.

However, as we have said, the kingdom promises to Israel were not cancelled, only postponed for a time.

Luke 13:35  "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come--- (notice that phrase)--- until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."

Yes, the qualifying word here is "until."

Israel is only set aside until the Times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, and then their time clock will start again.

In this age of grace, God is calling out a remnant from Jews and Gentiles according to His sovereign will.

But also according to His sovereign will, Israel will be saved.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So to learn more about this future event, let's go on to Romans 10.

V 1 " Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved."

Again, Paul assures them that even though he is the apostle of the Gentiles, he longs for the salvation of his own people.

V 2 " For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge."

Religious zeal without the guidance of the Holy Spirit can be deadly.

Paul knew that only too well.

In speaking of his past history before his conversion, he describes himself as    "an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
6   Concerning zeal, persecuting the church."
Philippians 3: 5-6

Yes, Paul's religious zeal had made him an enemy of the church of Jesus Christ .

And religious zeal, humanly speaking, nailed Christ to the cross.

Israel as a nation was fanatically religious, but they rejected their own Messiah.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Going on then to V 2-4 "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3   For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
4   For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." 
(We have talked about that a good deal in past lessons, haven’t we?)

Yes, faith and works cannot exist together when it comes to the subject of salvation.

The Jews, in establishing their own righteousness, rejected God's righteousness in Christ.

And there is no one as hard to reach with the Gospel as the self-righteous man.

And that’s not just true of Israel .

Today, nominal Christianity follows a religion of works.

Christ is their teacher to help them in their righteousness life.

Christ is their example that they must follow in their efforts to obtain their own righteousness.

But never is He their substitute, their Passover Lamb.

They never see that Christ’s righteousness put to their account is their only hope of acceptance with God.

Rather, they insist on establishing their own righteousness by their own  efforts.

1 Corinthians 1:18 " For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

So it was with Israel .

As V 3 says “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."

What the Jew strove for and could not accomplish, Christ has already freely given us.

V 4-5 "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
5   For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them."

The law says do, but grace says done.

V 6-8 "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
7   Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8   But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach."

" Who shall ascend into heaven?"

We cannot climb up to heaven and search God's records for salvation.

But Christ has come down to us and brought salvation, and is now sat down at God's right hand.

"Or, Who shall descend into the deep?"

We cannot plumb the depths.

But Christ has tasted death for us, and has risen victorious over sin and death.

The Gospel is not some new quest to strain after.

It is very near to us.

As V 8 says "-- The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach."

Yes, it is found in the Word of God.

It is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.

It is the Gospel of God, and we need only to believe.

V 9-10 " That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10   For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

V 9 says "Thou shalt be saved."

Are you saved?

It's a proper biblical question to ask, isn't it?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As a young man of 18, the Lord stirred my heart to search His Word in an attempt to find some formula, something in black and white that would assure me of a place in heaven.

Although I did not quite understand these two verses at the time, V 9 and 10 were something for me to hold onto.

"Thou shalt be saved." That's what I was looking for, and the Lord made sure I found out.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 11-13 "For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12   For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13   For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

What the Jews needed was to be saved.

What the world needs also is to be saved.

But to be saved, they first of all need to know that they are lost.

And they also need to be told that a Saviour has come.

V 14-15 "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15   And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

Remember when we talked about the indwelling Holy Spirit?

We found out that He should be allowed to control our bodies.

We used the example of the old mill with the new owner to show this.

We need to submit to the Holy Spirit in order that our bodies be used in God's plan rather than fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.

But do you see here another reason why the Holy Spirit must win control of our physical bodies?

God did not write the Gospel in the sky.

He did not commission a multitude of His angels to spread the good news.

Granted, modern day radio has put the Gospel on the airwaves with good effect.

But God still uses His foot soldiers even more, I think, than the air force to spread the good news.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When Eleanor and I were with Trans World Radio, we had the opportunity of hearing letters from the listeners.

These letters told of many people brought to the Lord by Christian radio.

But sometimes we would get letters from missionaries who said that when they went into a new area, they found peoples’ hearts already prepared to accept Christ because of gospel radio.

However, it seemed that in many cases, they still needed someone present in the flesh to lead them to the Lord.

V 15 says "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

These bodies that used to obey the old man have new paths to walk.

Yes, the Holy Spirit needs to control our feet, and hands, and tongues for our daily walk, but also for our Gospel walk.

"And how shall they preach, except they be sent?"

God, of course, is the real sender, but He does allow us the privilege of helping to send His ambassadors by the means of prayer and financial help, and even to go ourselves across the world or across the street.

V 17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Yes, "the word of God” is the treasure.

And we are the vessels containing that precious treasure.

If we do not pour it out willingly, God in His wisdom may break us to reveal His treasure.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The old clay jars laid for centuries holding a precious treasure until one day, a stone thrown by a little shepherd boy,  broke one, and revealed the Dead Sea scrolls!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Remember what persecution did for the church at Jerusalem ?

"Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word."

Our scripture today says--"And how shall they preach, except they be sent?"

God has different ways of sending us, doesn't He?

Sometimes willingly, and sometimes otherwise.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Gospel will not always be accepted with enthusiasm, but there will always be a remnant.

Israel as a nation rejected their Messiah, but in the wisdom of God, a remnant of Israel believed.

And then God sent His servants out into the "highways and hedges" and called another remnant from among the Gentiles.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 16-17 "But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

The only stable hook that faith can be hung on, and the only message that will bring salvation, is the "word of God."

V 18-21 " But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
19   But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
(Referring to the Gentile nations)
20   But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
(Again referring to the Gentile remnant)
21   But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people."

So we see in these verses the setting aside of Israel , and the calling out of a remnant from among the Gentiles, and, of course, a remnant from Israel .

As a matter of fact, the Gospel is "to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

But God has not rejected His chosen people and turned to the Gentiles instead of Israel .

Rather, God has called out a remnant from both, and as we shall find out in Chapter 11, He will one day fulfill His promises to the nation of Israel .

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So let's begin Romans Chapter 11 to see God's plan.

V 1 " I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin."

In a manner of speaking, Paul is exhibit "A" in the case for Israel .

Paul is a part of the holy remnant that has been called out.

V 2-3 " God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,
3   Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life."

Here Paul reminds us of the time when Elijah was convinced that all was lost.

Lord, the whole plan has failed!

When they kill me, all of your godly people will be gone.

But God said, Not so, Elijah.

V 4 " But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal."

God will always have a remnant, even though (as in the case of Noah) that remnant may be exceeding small.

And wasn't it amazing that from eight souls God started a new world?

An old song says,

little is much when God is in it.

Yes, God always has His remnant.

V 5-6 " Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6   And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."

You can’t put works and grace together.

It's like trying to mix oil and water.

And how is this remnant formed, by works?

No, but by "the election of grace."

That's God sovereignty, isn't?

V 7-10 " What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
8   (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
9   And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
10   Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway."

One of the dangers of wilful blindness is that it leads to judicial blindness.

The Jews refused to believe God's message about His Son, and one day that message went underground, so to speak.

Yes, from that time forward, Jesus spoke in parables.

It was such a sudden change that the disciples noted it, and asked Jesus about it.

Turn with me to Matthew 13: 10-15:  "And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11   He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12   For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13   Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14   And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15   For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing
(now Jesus speaks of their willing blindness that had led to God's judicial blindness) and their eyes they have closed;(they had willingly shut their eyes) lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

It doesn't pay to play games with God.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So they were blinded, as we see in Romans 11:7

" What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded."

Let's go on to V 11-12 " I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
12   Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?"

We as a church should never go along with any anti-Semitic teachings that suggest that God is finished with Israel .

Yes, nationally, Israel has been temporarily set aside, but not cast away.

In this age of grace, God is calling out a Jewish remnant for His church--as He is also calling out a remnant from among the Gentiles.

But we should pray for "the lost sheep of the house of Israel ."

And one day when the Times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, God will again bless Israel as a nation.

V 13-18 " For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
14   If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
(That’s Israel.)
15   For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
16  For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17   And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
18   Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee."

God's great love for us His church should never produce pride in our hearts, but rather thanksgiving.

V 19-22 " Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
20   Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21   For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22   Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."

If I did not believe in eternal security, I am sure it would be these verses that I would quote to prove my point.

But to believe that I could be saved and lost again would force me to reject much of the Word of God.

Such a belief would wrest the work of salvation from Christ’s shoulders and place it on my own.

No, I could never believe that a child of God, saved by Christ’s redeeming work, covered by His blood, could ever be found in hell.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So what does Paul mean when he says -- "otherwise thou also shalt be cut off"?

I believe Paul is using the nation of Israel as a warning to Christendom as a whole.

I believe this portion is written to groups, not individuals.

Israel as a nation thought they had a monopoly on God because they were the sons of Abraham.

But God blinded that nation of unbelieving Jews, and chose, rather, a remnant of Israel for His children.

Today in the nominal Christian Church, there is only a remnant of real children of God.

Among the professing churches that call Christ their leader, there is only a remnant of born again believers.

V 21 " For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee."

As I read this warning in V 21, I think of past assemblies of God that are no longer part of the living church.

I also remember the words of Jesus to the churches in Revelation---" Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

Yes, there are church organizations that once preached the Gospel faithfully, that saw sinners come to the altar for salvation, but now deny the blood, and preach a Gospel of works.

So I believe Paul is not teaching us that a believer can be saved and lost again, but, rather, he is teaching that no denomination has a monopoly on God.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 23-25" And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graff them in again.
24   For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature
(speaking of the Gentiles), and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25   For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."

There is a great day coming for the nation of Israel when the church, the bride of Christ, is completed.

V 26-29 " And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27   For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28   As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.
29   For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."

Did we think God was beaten because Israel rejected His Son?

Oh no.  God is sovereign.

"And so all Israel shall be saved."

Not a remnant this time---" all Israel shall be saved."

V 29-32 " For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
30   For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
31   Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32   For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all."

The age of grace is like a parenthesis in the national history of Israel.

During this time, the nation of Israel is set aside.

But when Christ’s feet touch Mount Olivet, the whole nation will accept their Messiah, and their time clock will start again!

Yes, by God's sovereign will, all Israel of that generation will accept their King.

V 26-27 " And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27   For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Going on to---V 33-36z;  " O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34   For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
35   Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
36   For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."

Yes, Christ will have His bride, and Christ will reign as King over God's chosen people.

Hallelujah!  God is sovereign!



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