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Paul concludes Romans eight with the thought that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Given all the promises of God’s word concerning Israel in the Bible, the question then that Paul faces up to is, “So why is Israel separated from God and does this not indicate that the word of God has indeed failed?” (Romans 9:6) Romans nine, ten and eleven is Paul’s answer to this question.
1. Paul’s Longing Romans 9:1-5
He could wish himself accursed from Christ if this would bring his people to Jesus especially since all that we hold dear as Christians is Jewish.
2. Paul’s Answer Romans 9:6-11:29
This is a complicated part of the Word of God and it demands careful thought and study. It all has to do with God’s choice of Israel and the divine principles that govern this choice.
We will examine these in the following way:
a. The historical choice Romans 9:6-13
God’s choice of Israel involves role and light. That is, she is chosen to be the “vehicle of world redemption” and she is required to radiate the light of this redemptive initiative. Israel’s mission is one of “serving” and “shinning.”
b. The sovereignty of God in choice Romans 9:14-29
God’s choice is supremely with purpose in mind in that it is aimed at Jews and non-Jews being saved. (Genesis 12:1-3)
c. The will of humankind in choice Romans 9:30-33
Israel failed because she misunderstood and neglected the Word of God. Salvation from sin was always by faith in Messiah’s atoning work and so salvation history likewise always pointed to Jesus. “He came to His own and His own received Him not.” Actually Israel’s problems in terms of focusing on the Law as a way of salvation began at Sinai! (2Corinthians 3:12-16)
d. The importance of faith in embracing God’s choice Romans 10:1-13
Here Paul affirms the need to be clear, watchful and consistent about the way of salvation. In fact he demonstrates that this word of “faith” was first given by Moses! (Deuteronomy 30:12-14) Israel is without excuse.
e. The privilege of choice Romans 10:14-21
Israel constantly rejected the outstretched saving hand of God. The Gospel came first to her in the written word, in the prophetic word and in the living word. She had a huge privilege; she undertook solemnly to be God’s people and then turned against Him and rejected Him but the “not my people”; who had no such privilege and never gave a pledge of faithfulness welcomed Him.
f. God’s faithfulness in choice Romans 11:1-10
Though God has not removed Israel’s role in choice He has “blinded her” in terms of salvation….but has reserved a saved remnant as He did in Elijah’s day. It is important to note at this juncture that God’s sovereignty and choice and humankind’s sinfulness and accountability all come into play in God’s dealing with His world. Our salvation is not cheap and should never be counted as such.
g. Paul’s exhortations in the light of God’s choice Romans 11:11-29
1. Do not doubt God’s faithfulness to Israel. V11
2. Be aware of your obligations to unbelieving Jewish people. V12-14
3. Be clear about the consequences of Israel’s unbelief and spiritual recovery. V15-16
4. Be warned about the consequences of Christian arrogance toward fallen Israel. V17-24
5. Be assured about Israel’s spiritual recovery. V25-27
6. Be convinced again of God’s faithfulness to Israel. V28-29
3. Paul’s eulogy Romans 11:30-36
We will never understand this passage of God’s word if we do not have a high view of God’s holiness, character and sovereignty. He is just loving and merciful and everything He does is right and good and carries mystery with it. We must not reduce Him to our level of understanding for we could never be His counselors and we do not fully understand His mind. We should rather bow the knee and give Him glory!
4. Paul’s remedy Romans 12:1-2
Lest we be cut off as the Jews were from God’s favor and blessing we should commit all that we are to God, a sacrifice to be fully consumed! In other words nothing is to be held back from Him and we are to embrace the life of His Spirit in a way that we are transformed and constantly prove, and live in, His will.
©Malcolm Hedding Ministries