Romans 11 Bible Study
As we read Romans 11, keep these things in mind:
- The Jews appear to be The Chosen Ones. Gods Elect. Predestined.
- The Jews REJECT Jesus as Messiah. That’s a BIG problem.
- But Gods not naive. He foreknew they’d reject Christ. We later discover that His ultimate plan is to use their rejection to offer this Gospel to the whole world. Jews and Gentiles. In other words a spiritual Israel.
- When the Jews rejected Christ, God temporarily hardened them. He did not the Gentiles, or this guy and that guy. It was just Jews, and it was part of His plan to graft us in, and ultimately to bring the Jews back in too.
- God reveals Himself to ALL of us, BUT He only Choses those that believe Christ is Lord and savior. The remnant that is saved is the few Jews that believe. The spiritual Israel is those that believe by hearing (not by being made to believe). Romans 10:17 tells us ‘Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ’.
Through all of this we discover that it’s all believers that were predestined and not a Jewish bloodline. It was a spiritual Israel that obtained salvation through faith. Where is there bragging in believing? There’s not.
However, Israel is God’s nation and He will protect them. There is something very special about them. The Jews were in fact entrusted with words of God (Romans 3:2) and chosen to bring the Gospel to the world, Romans 9: Theirs is the adoption to sonship; there’s the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.
11 I ask then: Did God reject his people? (talking about the Israelites) By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.
God foreknew them ALL. It says GOD did not reject his people, so who did the rejecting then?
Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they (talking about fellow Jews) have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
The 7,000 (ish) are Believers. And what did they NOT do? None Bowed to the God Baal.
5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
The Jews were all Chosen to be saved by Grace. But only a remnant believed.
So they were reserved because they believed and did not worship other Gods. Not because God made them.
6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
So consistent with Paul’s letter it’s not about works. It’s about our faith. And that’s grace, because by our works we were doomed.
7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain.
Why didn’t they obtain it? Because they “worked” for it.
The elect among them did
Why did the elect get saved? Because they believed.
But the others were hardened.
They didn’t want to believe so God temporarily hardened them so Gentiles could be grafted in too. Their rejection opened the Gospel to us. Our acceptance would also cause envy between the Jews and us, and thus save some of the Jews. WOW. What a plan!
8 as it is written:
“God gave them a spirit of stupor (deep sleep),
eyes that could not see (talking about the prophets)
and ears that could not hear, (seers)
to this very day.”
9 And David says (this is a prayer of judgment)
“May their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.”
11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression,
Who’s fault was it? It was THEIRS. Not Gods. But if they believe, God will graft them right back in.
salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!
‘Full inclusion’ refers to the bloodline of the Jews.
13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
So here we see that it was they’re rejecting that brought reconciliation to the world. Not God’s choosing. That’s why God temporarily hardened them.
16 If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
This Root/tree is a Spiritual analogy. The root is God and His saving promises. The branches are the Israelites. Not all Jews will be saved but this implies that many will.
17 If some of the branches have been broken off,
So the Jews have been broken off by disbelief.
and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches.
Gentiles are the wild olive shoot, and, in other words, you’re lucky you’re in. You are not better than the Jews.
But you now share in the promises made to the Patriarchs.
If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted.
So true they were broken off. But Why? And Now Paul tells us it was because of disbelief.
But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
In other words, God didn’t spare the Jews (the Elect) for their disbelief, so He certainly won’t spare the Gentiles for disbelief. This is a warning that we need to BELIEVE.
22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness.
Sternness to non-believers. Kindness to believers. They Fell. God did not push them.
My ESV commentary seems to suggest “continue” meaning losing salvation. I strongly disagree.
We receive the Spirit after hearing and believing. Once that happens you WILL continue.
Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
We hear the gospel and faith takes root. If not, we are cut off.
23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
So all they have to do is un-harden their hearts and believe and God will graft them back in. They are the ones that need to stop persisting in non-belief.
24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
So again, God calls the Jews the NATURAL branches. So they are special. But salvation is for all, not just them.
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,
So this a hardening in part. It’s temporary, and just some.
26 and in this way all Israel will be saved.
Spiritual Israel. Believers.
As it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27 And this is my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”
Not Cover, but take away.
28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake;
So their rejection played a role in your salvation. And that was God’s plan.
but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,
Notice he is talking about the JEWS being elected. Not this gentile, and that one, and that one.
29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.
Side note: people talk about using the gifts God gives you or you’ll lose them. Not the case according to Paul!
30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their (Israel) disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you.
They are disobedient due to unbelief. And since God is not looking at their law-keeping, they too get mercy, just like us. They gift the gift apart from works. Through faith.
32 For God has bound (meaning Shut Up) everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
Note EVERYONE & ALL.
Next is a Doxology (a hymn of praises to God) Quote from Job 41:11
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
I think this doxology message is that God gives us everything as a FREE gift and we have nothing to give back of value so that He would OWE us. He’s not needy.
Everything you get from God is from His kindness and grace. It’s not repayment for your awesomeness or doing stuff for Him.
God and is not looking to be “paid back”. He’s a giver. Just take the gift. Just say thank you, God.