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Sermon #126 — Romans Series
Title: GodŐs Purpose for the Jew
and for You
Text: Romans 11:1-36
Subject: GodŐs Purpose of Grace
Date: Sunday Morning — August 20, 2017
Reading: 1 Kings 19:1-18 or Psalm 69:1-36, or
GodŐs Purpose for the Jew and for You — That is the title of my message. Our text will be the 11th chapter of the Gospel of Romans (Romans 11:1-36). Just hold your Bibles open at Romans 11, and I will show you — GodŐs Purpose for the Jew and for You.
Paul has been telling us about GodŐs great, eternal, sovereign purpose of grace throughout chapters 8, 9, and 10. He continues with the same subject here. He is showing us GodŐs purpose of grace as it involves all men, Jews and Gentiles, elect and reprobate, in all ages, throughout the course of history.
Ż Romans 8 — Assured Grace
Ż Romans 9 — Sovereign Grace
Ż Romans 10 — Free Grace
Ż Romans 11 — Purposed Grace
á GodŐs purpose of grace in predestination and GodŐs purpose of grace in providence are one.
á That which God purposed in eternal predestination is exactly what God executes in providence.
á Providence is but the outworking of predestination.
Knowing, as he did, that election and predestination are matters of Divine Revelation that are always horribly offensive to the carnal mind, Paul continues in this 11th chapter, by the inspiration of God the Holy Ghost, to drive this nail with force, to fix it in our minds. May God the Holy Ghost, whose Word we have before us, establish these things in our hearts.
Proposition: GodŐs purpose of grace is sure. It is being fulfilled in the Jew, in you, in me, in all men, and in all things, exactly according to schedule.
Divisions: Let me show you that in these 36 verses of Holy Scripture. GodŐs purpose for the Jew and for you, as it is set before us in Romans 11, involves these five thingsÉ
1. The Grace of God (vv. 1-10)
2. The Grafting of God (vv. 11-18)
3. The Goodness and Severity of God (vv. 19-24)
4. The Immutability of God (vv. 25-32)
5. The Glory of God (vv. 33-36)
The Grace of God
1st — GodŐs purpose of grace, of course, involves the grace of God (vv. 1-10). This chapter opens with a question, which Paul answers very forcefully. This was PaulŐs normal way of reasoning with men. When he was about to assert some momentous point of doctrine, he raised a question he knew cavilling rebels would raise against it and answers the rebelŐs question dogmatically. — ŇI 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 BenjaminÓ (v. 1). Paul did not soft-peddle gospel doctrine to keep from offending men who are offended with God. He confronted God hating rebels head-on. — Gospel preaching is always confrontational. You canŐt preach the gospel without confronting GodŐs enemies.
Those two words, ŇGod forbid!Ó expressed PaulŐs abhorrence at manŐs ridiculous objections to GodŐs sovereign purpose. GodŐs sovereign purpose in casting off the nation of Israel and, thereby, sending the gospel to the Gentiles was not for the destruction of his chosen, but for their certain preservation and salvation.
Though he cast away the physical nation of Israel, he did not cast them all away. There are some Jews, like Paul himself, who are Israelites indeed, of Ňthe Israel of God,Ó a part of that Ňholy nationÓ God chose to salvation before the world began, an elect remnant who must be saved.
The whole of PaulŐs doctrine in Romans 11 is this: — Every one of those given to Christ before the world was is being gathered out of the nations among whom God has scattered them in this time world. That is why God made the world. He made it that he might gather his Israel out of it, Ňto the praise of the glory of his graceÓ in Christ.
Elijah, like you and me, lived in a day of horrid apostacy. It appeared to GodŐs prophet that he alone knew God and worshipped and served him. But even in those days of darkness, the worst of times, God had an elect remnant of whom Elijah was utterly ignorant, who had not bowed to Baal (1 Kings 19:9-18. That is what we read in verses 2-4.
(Romans 11:2-4) ŇGod 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. (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.Ó
As it was in ElijahŐs day, so it is today. God has many more people in this world than the few we know, many more who are already gathered to Christ and many more who must yet be gathered by his grace (John 10:16), Ňa remnant according to the election of graceÓ (vv. 5-6).
(Romans 11:5) ŇEven 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 is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.Ó
Illustration: 3717 Sermons Downloaded from www.FreeGraceRadio.com in Japan in July 2017
Verse 6 — The inspired writer seems never to miss an opportunity to say, as he does in verse 6 — ŇSalvation is of the Lord!Ó Salvation is by grace alone, in Christ alone, through faith alone, and works have nothing do with it!
In verses 7-10, Paul tells us that the casting away of national Israel is exactly according to GodŐs everlasting purpose of grace toward his elect, and exactly according to the revelation of God given by prophecy in the Old Testament Scriptures.
(Romans 11:7-10) ŇWhat then? Israel (as a whole) hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election (GodŐs elect among the Jews) hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (8) (According as it is written (in Isaiah 29:10), 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 (Christ) saith (in Psalm 69:2-3), 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.Ó
If we are saved, it is because of the grace of God and by the grace of God (v. 6; Ephesians 2:8-10). We are not saved by our deeds, our birth, our works, or even our choice. If we perish, if we are at last cast off and reprobate, it is because, like Israel of old, we refuse to obey the gospel.
The Grafting of God
2nd — GodŐs purpose of grace involves the grafting of God (vv. 11-18). God did not send blindness to the Jews just to destroy them. He sent blindness to them that he might send the light of the gospel and salvation in Christ to chosen, redeemed sinners scattered among the Gentiles. But even as he tells us this, Paul reminds us that God will gather all the fulness of his elect from Jews as well as from the Gentiles.
á All GodŐs elect must be saved.
á All Christ purchased with his blood shall be saved by his grace.
á ThatŐs the doctrine of verses 11-16.
(Romans 11:11-16) ŇI 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? (13) 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. (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? For if the firstfruit (Christ) be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root (Christ) be holy, so are the branches.Ó
á GodŐs servants magnify their office as preachers of the gospel by preaching the gospel, seeking the salvation of GodŐs elect.
á Salvation is resurrection from the dead (Ezekiel 37), the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6).
á That first resurrection guarantees the second (v. 16).
á As Christ, the Firstfruit and Root is holy, so his church, the lump and branches, shall be made holy in grace and in the resurrection glory.
The Lord Jesus Christ came to the nation of Israel and presented himself to them as the Christ of God. They refused to receive him and the way was opened for the Gentile nations to come to God by him (John 1:11-14). God set them aside that he might save us, exactly as he purposed from eternity.
(John 1:11-14) ŇHe came unto his own, and his own received him not. (12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.Ó
PaulŐs reasoning is magnificent! He is saying, ŇIf the Jew being cast off can bring sinners to Christ, what might the salvation of the Jew do! — ŇFor if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?Ó
Illustration: Jerry Salsburg
Next, the Apostle tells us that we who are believing Gentiles have been grafted into one body with the believing Jews, because we have been grafted into Christ (vv. 17-18).
(Romans 11:17-18) ŇAnd if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root (Christ) and fatness (Christ) of the olive tree; (18) Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.Ó
For one tree to be grafted into another both trees must be cut and the one bound to the other in a living union.
á Christ was wounded for our transgressions.
á We have been cut to the heart by the convincing work God the Holy Ghost.
á We are bound to our Savior by omnipotent grace in an everlasting union of life.
The Goodness and Severity of God
3rd — GodŐs purpose of grace involves the goodness and severity of God (vv. 19-24). — WhatŐs the point of all this for us? We must constantly be reminded and must constantly remember that we are saved because of the pure, free, sovereign grace of God in Christ! We have nothing to brag about. We have no reason to pat ourselves on the back and talk of all we have done for God. The fact is, we have done nothing. We all deserve to go to Hell! — ŇBut God...Ó (Ephesians 2:1-4). God intervened and saved us by his grace. That is the reason we arenŐt in Hell! That is why we are saved. It is all the work of God and his grace! Therefore, if we will glory, let us glory in the cross and the empty tomb. Let us glory in the propitiation, promises, and power of our great God, who loved us and gave himself for us at Calvary!
(Romans 11:19-24) ŇThou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed 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. (23) And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed 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, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?Ó
God can take away the light from us just as he took it from Israel. Let us cherish the light, walk in the light, carry the light to the rest of the world. If it is despised, it will be taken away. Behold the goodness and severity of God!
á The goodness of God sends the light of the gospel to sinners who deserve nothing but darkness.
á The severity of God is seen by the fact that he judges sinners according to the light he gives them.
The Immutability of God
4th — GodŐs purpose of grace involves the immutability of God (vv. 25-32). The immutability of God assures us thatÉ
1. All GodŐs elect, Jew and Gentile, the whole Israel of God, shall be saved (vv. 25-26).
(Romans 11:25-26) ŇFor 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 (natural Israel), until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (26) And so, all Israel (the Israel of God) shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer (Christ), and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (GodŐs elect).Ó
GodŐs elect scattered among the nations of the Gentile world, all of them, are the fulness of the Gentiles, which must be saved (John 10:16; John 3:16); and GodŐs elect among the Jews must be saved. When all GodŐs elect are saved, Ňall Israel shall be saved.Ó All of GodŐs elect are Ňthe Israel of God,Ó GodŐs true Israel, GodŐs covenant people, AbrahamŐs spiritual seed.
2. The Lord God graciously and wisely raised up AbrahamŐs physical seed, the Jews, specifically for the salvation of his spiritual seed, the Israel of God, and they serve that purpose (v. 28). — God raised up the Jew that he might be gracious to you who are Jews, not outwardly in the flesh but inwardly in the spirit.
(Romans 11:28) ŇAs concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.Ó
3. The purpose of God never changes, is never altered, and cannot be hindered (v. 29). — God never changes his mind about anything!
(Romans 11:29) ŇFor the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.Ó
The apostacy of the nation of Israel, AbrahamŐs physical seed, and God casting them off in blindness, that he might call out a people for himself from the Gentiles might make it appear, to the unbelieving mind, that God changed his mind, but that is not the case. He told his people of old, by Moses (Romans 10:19) Hosea (Romans 9:25-26), Isaiah (Romans 9:27-33; 10:20-21; 11:8), and David (Romans 11:9-11), that his elect must be called out of all nations.
á GodŐs purpose is without repentance.
á GodŐs promises are without repentance.
á GodŐs gifts of grace are without repentance.
á GodŐs salvation is without repentance.
(Numbers 23:19) ŇGod is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?Ó
4. Our GodŐs purpose in predestination regarding all things and all people is his purpose of grace toward his elect (Romans 11:30-32; 8:28-32).
á Casting off the Jews, he sent the gospel to the Gentiles (v. 30).
á Now, Jews are saved by Gentiles carrying the gospel to them (v. 31).
á God shut the nation of Israel up in unbelief, that he might save all his elect, both from among the Jews and from among the Gentiles (v. 32).
(Romans 11:30-32) ŇFor 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(the nation of Israel) in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all (true Israelires, Jew and Gentile, his elect).Ó
(Romans 8:28-32) ŇAnd we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?Ó
In this present age, the Jew is the enemy of the gospel, the enemy of Christ, and the enemy of GodŐs church. Yet, God has not forgotten about them, or about his purpose for them. There is still among them Ňa remnant according to the election of graceÓ (v. 5), who must and shall be saved, who must yet obtain mercy. — ŇAnd so, all Israel shall be saved.Ó
The Glory of God
5th — GodŐs purpose of grace involves the greatness and glory of God (vv. 33-36). — Paul closes this chapter with a threefold doxology. He praises the Lord for three great characteristics of the only true and living God: his greatness, his grace, and his glory.
His Greatness (v. 33-34) — PaulŐs first statement concerning the character of the Lord our God speaks of his greatness as the all-wise, omniscient Lord God.
(Romans 11:33-34) ŇO 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?Ó
The infinite GodŐs infinite mind can be can be known by no finite man, except as God reveals his mind by his Spirit through the Scriptures. Read Job 39 and 40, and see how God baffles man with questions he cannot answer.
á We are not his counselors! We donŐt tell God what do!
á He does as he pleases and we are left to praise him for what he does!
That would be a good lesson for us all to learn. We need to stop trying to figure out the why of everything and start learning to believe God!
á He knows what he is doing. We donŐt!
á He knows what is best. We donŐt!
á He knows what is right. We donŐt!
á Let us bow before him and his glory, and exalt his worthy name!
(Isaiah 55:8-9) ŇFor my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.Ó
His Grace — God owes nothing to us! Nothing! God does not jump through your hoop. He jumps you through his! God owes us nothing. We owe him everything! — If we give God anything, we give him only what he has given us. If we give God anything, we give him only that which is his!
(Romans 11:35) ŇOr who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?Ó
á If I give him faith, it is faith he gives me.
á If I give him my time, it is time he gave me with which to serve him.
á If I serve him, it is with talents he put in my hands.
á If I give him money, it is money he has entrusted to me to use for him.
á And we lose nothing by anything done for or given to him. — God almighty will be no manŐs debtor! — ŇLacked ye anything?Ó
His Glory — Everything comes from God, is ruled by God, and shall redound to the everlasting praise, honor, and glory of God (v. 36).
(Romans 1136) ŇFor of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.Ó
(1 Corinthians 10:31) ŇWhether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.Ó
Romans 11 reveals GodŐs purpose for the Jew and for you. What a blessed, instructive portion of Holy Scripture this is! It teaches us about GodŐs grace, by which he calls his elect to faith in Christ.
á By Providence (Psalm 107)
á By Gospel Preaching (Romans 10:17)
á By His Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5)
Romans 11 explains the wondrous mystery of GodŐs providence, while reminding us that our GodŐs promises are all yea and amen in Christ Jesus, because our great, glorious, all-wise, and ever-gracious God is the absolute Sovereign of the universe, the absolute Monarch of Heaven, Earth, and Hell. — ŇFor of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever!Ó
So, I will leave you with this question: Are you in Christ? Are you saved by the grace of God? Have your sins been washed away by the blood of the Lamb? Has IsraelŐs fall become your bridge to salvation? Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ? Is he your Savior and your Lord?
á If not, come to him now.
á If Christ is yours, if you believe on the Son of God, it is because God cast away the Jews and sent the gospel to the Gentiles, and has called you to life and faith in his Son by his Spirit.
Let us now leave this house of worship with the high praises of our God sounding in our hearts and from our lips. LetŐs read Romans 11:33-36 together for our benediction.
(Romans 11:33-36) ŇO 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 forever. Amen.Ó