The GREAT REVERSAL of Israel (Romans 11:25-32)
INTRO: Imagine this: wake up a vast majority of Jewish people on Earth have turned and place their faith in Jesus.
-Could we ever hope for such a thing? Is this a wish-dream?
-Paul hoped for it and believed such a thing was a sure reality that would one day take place
-God is not done with the Jewish people and one day there will be a great turning of them to the Lord
MP: A great reversal is coming where we will see a massive conversion of Jewish people to faith in Jesus, and this fact leads Christians to marvel at God and walk in humility.
CONTEXT REVIEW: Romans theme stated–GOSPEL.
-Romans 1-4 Gospel explained; Romans 5-8 Gospel Results Unpacked
-Romans 9-11 Paul wrestling with perplexing question regarding Israel:
If the gospel is the fulfillment of OT promises to save God’s people, how come most Israel rejects Jesus and is unsaved?
Answer in 3 main sweeps:
1. God’s purposes in election stand
2. Israel is not saved because it sought to be right with God through works rather than faith
3. God is not done with Israel:
-He not utterly rejected her, but a remnant are saved, chosen by grace.
-Israel has not fallen irrevocably, but hope is hinted of a future deliverance
THIS WEEK: A great reversal is coming where we will see a massive turning of Jewish people to faith in Jesus, and this fact leads Christians to marvel at God and walk in humility.
1. A Great Reversal is Coming (11:25-26a) 2. This is what We Should Have Expected (11:26b-32)
1. A Great Reversal is COMING (11:25-26a)
God is NOT done with the Jewish people. A GREAT REVERSAL is coming! Most of Jews in Paul’s day were not saved and rejected Jesus as their Messiah, but that would not always be the case! -The Folly of “being wise in your own sight” Lest you be wise in your own sight,
-Paul wants the Roman Christians (and us) not to “wise in our own sight”—proud, resting on our own understanding
-FOLLY of resting on your own understanding: Prov 3:5-6; 28:26
-Unbelieving Worldview: False views about God and reality (universalism, no hell, God of own making)
-Christian’s Misinformed: where Bible is not informing or supreme authority
(hard thoughts of God, unbiblical views of marriage or church leadership, etc, embracing unbiblical views on abortion or LBTQ).
-A MYSTERY is made known I want you to understand this mystery, brothers:
-Biblically, MYSTERY refers to some truth previously hidden but now made known.
-The MYSTERY stated (READ 25b-26a):
1. a partial hardening has come upon Israel,
-Part of Israel (large part) is hardened in their unbelief (11:7b)
-This is only “partial” as there are still some Jews coming to faith
2. until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
-Gentiles (non-Jews) are coming to the faith and the vast majority of the church are Gentiles
-God’s people were meant to be a blessing to the nations (Gen 12:1-3)
-Still, this was a surprise that it would be mainly Gentiles who received Messiah.
-“Fullness” is the full number of God’s elect throughout history
3. And in this way all Israel will be saved.
-“in this way” refers to this manner: partial hardening, until full number of Gentiles, and then things will change
-“All Israel will be saved”=The nation as a whole
-Not every single Jewish person who every lived, but corporate whole. (like “whole church/school/nation”)
-“All Israel” most likely refers to a future generation where vast majority believe.
-Paul hints at this hope (11:1, 11:11-12, 15, 23-24), but now makes it clear.
*MYSTERY RESTATED: In the future, there will be a great reversal for the Jewish people. Right now, a vast majority
reject Jesus and are not saved, but there is coming a future day—after the full number of Gentiles are saved—when there will
be a massive turning of Jewish to faith in Jesus.
APP: This gives us hope as we pray for and share the gospel with our Jewish friends
-It leads us to marvel at God who has more wonderful works of salvation to perform.
-It leads to humility: we should never be proud toward unbelievers, especially Jewish unbelievers.
2. This Great Reversal is what we should have expected (11:26b-32)
In the second half of our passage Paul argues that such a truth about Israel is what we should expect if we read our Bibles and recognize who God is.
1. Bible Predicted this Mystery (26-27)
-Paul quotes from Isaiah 59:20-21 to show that this is what God foretold in Isaiah:
as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
“and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
–Deliverer=Jesus; “banish ungodliness [unbelief and sin] from Jacob [Jewish people]
-“Take away their sins” this only can happen through faith in Jesus
-Jesus taught his disciples to see him in the OT (Luke 24:27, 45-47)
-Paul’s point: Is 59:20-21 predicts a future gathering of Jewish people to faith in Jesus
APP: A faithful reading of the OT is one informed by how the apostles read it. They saw Jesus in it.
2. The Current Situation of Israel Needs to Be Understood Along with God’s Faithfulness to His Promises (28-29)
-Currently, the Jewish people are enemies of God (28a)
-Estranged from God and hostile toward him
-This is the state of all people outside of Christ due to sin (Eph 2:1-3)
-“for your sake”=referring to how God uses this evil to bring about good of Gentiles (11:12, 11:15)
-But in regards “election” they are beloved (28b)
-God still has a plan for the people of Israel and has not utterly rejected them
-Still, those individually who reject Jesus are not saved and go to hell
-But God still has a plan to save many
-“for the sake of their forefathers”=Abraham, Isaac, Jacob
-God won’t go back on this promises: “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
-Faithfulness of God to bring about good and salvation for Israel
-This leads us to worship God, he is FAITHFUL!
-We see then the character of God—faithful—shows we should expect this ‘mystery’ of Israel
APP: Many people and situations will let us down and compromise promises, but God will not!
-Instead of mediating on social media or news, meditate this week on the promises of God.
3. God’s Beautiful Impartial MERCY (30-32)
A great reversal is coming and this is in part due to the beautiful impartiality of God, who saves all kinds of people!
-Gentiles were ‘disobedient but not have received mercy’
-“because of their disobedience”=Jewish people rejecting the gospel
-Jewish people have “now been disobedient”=disobedient by rejecting Jesus
(we are commanded to believe in Jesus [1 John 2:23])
-“in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.”
-Mercy shown to the Gentiles lead to mercy for Israel!
-“now receive mercy”=logical now (now that this has happened, that can happen)
-God’s IMPARTIAL MERCY, Saving ALL KINDS of People (32)
-“God has consigned all to disobedience” = in the Fall, and now in age of the Church of majority of Israel
-“that he may have mercy on all” = “all” is not every single person
-“all” is all kinds of people (Jews and Gentiles)
-God’s mercy to all kinds of people (Jews and Gentiles) is BEAUTIFUL!
For the Christian, the ‘best is yet to come!’