Romans 11:1-10 “Remnant Chosen by Grace”
Intro: Today, there are roughly 15 million people in the world who identify as Jewish
-Do you know what country has the most Jews living in it? America (8 million) followed by Israel (6 million)
How should we as Christians think about Jewish people today? (Those who identify as Jewish but reject Jesus?)
-Two Errors to avoid:
1. We assume they are spiritually fine. God saves them a different way, or there are lots of ways to God.
-There is only one way to be right with God and that is through Jesus Christ
-Paul prayed for their “salvation” (10:1) and worked hard to see Jews embrace faith in Jesus.
2. We assume God has rejected Israel and there is no significance today to ethnic Israel
-Paul teaches us that God is still has a plan for the Jewish people: some are still being saved today!
MS “God has not rejected Israel, but chooses a remnant who are saved by grace.”
-Theme of Romans: GOSPEL
-Rom 9-11: Paul is wrestling with question of Israel
-Wants us to see that God’s promises to save his people have not failed.
1. God’s purposes in election stand
2. Israel is not being saved because they are seeking it by works instead of by faith
3. God is not done with Israel.
TODAY: God has not rejected Israel, but a remnant of the Jewish people are being saved.
-We know (or will know) Jewish people. This teaches us how to think about reaching them.
-This passage also teaches us about God’s grace in salvation and God’s judgment upon those who reject Him.
1. God has not rejected Israel, but a remnant are saved (1-5a)
ILLUSTRATION: Frustrated school teacher who gives up on job and students. Is God like that to Israel?Paul wants it to be clear in our minds that God has not completely rejected Israel. He is not finished with them! If we are to be good students of the Bible we need this in our minds.Question Asked (1a): I ask, then, has God rejected his people?
-If most of ethnic Israel were not saved, does this mean God has rejected Israel?Answer: (1b): By no means!
-Strongest way to say no in the Bible. Support for this—Paul Himself! (1c): For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.
-Paul was a Jew and He himself experienced salvation in the gospel.
-A great way to see evidence of truthfulness of gospel is looking at our own lives!Restatement (2a) 2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.
-Restated to hammer the point in.Further Support from Story of Elijah (2b-5a): Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4 But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too at the present time there is a remnant,
-Remember context of Elijah: 1 King 18 (Ahab was king and Jezebel was his wife; prophets killed)
-Elijah “appealed against Israel,”: they were complicit in the evil
-Elijah believed himself alone (3)
-God’s reply (4): Elijah was not alone but God had others (7k!) who were faithful to Him
(faithfulness=not bowed the knee to Baal)
-Paul’s conclusion: “at the present time there is a remnant”
-In Elijah’s time and Paul’s time and our time: there is a remnant of Jews who have truly followed God’s way
and done this by believing in Jesus as their Messiah, and become right with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
-Adore God who is still saving unbelieving Jews: My friend Bob, Jews for Jesus, Christians in Israel today.
–Imitate Paul’s approach by praying and working toward the salvation of the lost.
2. The remnant who are saved are chosen by God in grace (5b-6)
ILLUSTRATION: Me auditioning for honor band and hoping to get chosen. God is not like thatAs Paul brings up and answers this question, he takes a moment to teach us again about the nature of our salvation. It is a salvation that is possible because of God’s election (choosing a people to be saved) which comes about by GRACE.
-The remnant are “chosen by grace” (5a)5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.
-GRACE=God’s kindness toward sinners who deserve His judgment. Unearned favor.-An important deduction (6) 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
-God does not chose to save some on the “basis of works”
-If God did this, “grace would no longer be grace”
-God choses a people (from Jews and Gentiles) by grace, not because they deserve it.
-See and know that this was true for you.
-It was SHEER grace that saved you.
-Let this embolden us to pray for all, it is not by works but by grace that any are saved.
-It is SHEER grace that saves anyone
-Don’t write off your Jewish family member, neighbor, or friend
-Don’t write off any unbeliever. Pray for their salvation and share the gospel with them.
3. God righteously hardens unbelieving Israel (7-10)
SOBERING FACT: God’s righteous judgment and anger toward sin and sinners.
-Experienced in part now and in total after death.After clarifying how we ought to think about Israel and how God chooses to save a remnant of them by grace, Paul now brings about the sobering reality of God hardening unbelieving Israel.
-The sad, lost state of Israel (7a)
-Failed to obtain SALVATION, RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD
-The elect obtained it (7b)
-God’s elect are saved and do obtain salvation with God
SCHREINER: “Many worry that the choosing of some and not all would be unjust, but this idea overlooks the fact that election is
gracious. No one deserves to be elected, and thus the election of any is a merciful gift of God that cannot be claimed as a democratic right”
-The rest are “hardened” (7c)
MOO: hardening:: “a spiritual insensitivity that prevents people from responding to God or to his message of salvation.”
“God’s hardening permanently binds people in the sin that they have chosen for themselves.”
SCHRIENER: “The concept of hardening is difficult, but Paul doesn’t think such hardening exempts Israel from responsibility. Certainly he doesn’t believe that they are mere puppets or robots. Probably the idea is that God hardened those who were already sinners so that there is a judicial hardening”
-Scripture confirms this hardening (8-10)
-Verse 8 is from Isaiah Isaiah 29:10 and Deut 29:4
-God’s judgment on unbelieving Israel
-Verse 9-10 is from Psalm 69:22-23
-Imprecatory prayer for judgment on those who oppose God and God’s people.
IMPORTANT TO KEEP SCRIPTURE BALANCE HERE:
Piper: “So this is what we believe. This is what we see in the Bible. God is sovereign; man is a responsible moral agent. God is free and never ultimately determined by forces or actions or wills outside himself. On the other hand, we are morally responsible. We are really guilty for our sinfulness and really deserving of retribution and punishment.
Therefore, we sum up God’s hardening work like this: God so arranges all reality, in his unsearchable wisdom, so that many indeed experience ongoing rebellion and hardness against God; but he does this, mysteriously, in such a way that he is never unjust or blameworthy in what comes to pass, and we never cease to be morally accountable.”
APP: -This should lead us to fear God
-We still keep praying for the salvation of the lost and seek to share our faith with them.