brings up five different things in chapter 11 that convince me God has not
done away with Israel. I know some of you do not agree with that. That is
your prerogative. But we have looked at two of them and we are going to
try to work our way through. I want to get to chapter 12 of Romans, but I
just cannot run through this. We have got to take it slow. I want to
remind you that chapters 1-11 come before chapters 12-16. Chapters 12-16
are the practical application of what we have learned from chapters 1-11.
If you donít have a grip on what he has said in 1-11, you will never
appreciate fully what he says from chapter 12 through chapter 16.
see the first two pieces of this puzzle becoming very clear. Is God
finished with His people? May it never be! "I am an Israelite," Paul says.
Look at the example of the way God converted me." But not only that, look
at the remnant of Israel that God has always kept for Himself. But He is
not finished yet. In verses 11-24 you see the nation of Israel itself: The
man from Israel, the remnant from Israel and now the nation of Israel
itself. You have to watch the context here very carefully. He is talking
about the whole nation, "they," "them" and "their" is referring to the
nation of Israel.
only is he talking generally about the nation of Israel, but he is also
talking about all the Gentiles in the world. He is not pulling out
individuals, he is not talking about a remnant here. He is talking about
nations. He is talking about the nation of Israel and all the Gentile
world as if it is a whole.
look at it. I think it is good to remind ourselves of what God had
promised to Abraham. Go back to Genesis 12. I want to show you what God
promised to Abraham, making sure you remember that God is a faithful God
and always honors His promises. Genesis 12:1 says, "Now the Lord said to
Abram,..." Remember, there was no nation of Israel at this time. There
werenít any Jews. Abram was a Chaldean from the city of Ur and God singled
him out. As a matter of fact, in Genesis 11 the nations were spread all
over the earth and the languages were changed. All of them had the root of
disobedience in them. Out of the middle of all these pagan people, God
reached down and said, "I am going to make a nation for Myself." He
singled out a man by the name of Abram. He became Abraham in chapter 17.
Then he had Isaac, his son. And then Isaac had two sons, but Jacob was the
next one the promise was passed to. Jacobís name was changed to Israel.
Israel had twelve sons, and that is your nation of Israel.
said, "I have a way, a plan. I love humanity and I am going to unveil that
marvelous plan of redemption." So in verse 1 it says, "Now the Lord said
to Abram, ĎGo forth from your country, and from your relatives and from
your fatherís house, to the land which I will show you [That land is
significant even to this day]; and I will make you a great nation, and I
will bless you, and I will make you a great nation.í" There is Israel
right there. A nation, singular. A great nation. He promised him a nation.
He has many promises that go along with that promise of a nation.
goes on to say, "and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so
you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one
who curses you I will curse." Look at the last part, "And in you all the
families of the earth shall be blessed." There is your promise to the
Gentile world. Not only was Israel a promise to Abraham, but He says,
"Through you and through your descendants, all of the families of this
earth will be blessed." That was written into the promise made to Abraham.
Go over to Genesis 28. He picks up again on that phrase, "all the families
of the earth will be blessed." Genesis 28:14 reads, "Your descendants
shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the
west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in
your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed."
I want you to jump to Acts 3. The Apostle Peter is preaching to these
Israelites there. Boy, is he ever different after Pentecost. Acts 3:25
says, "It is you who are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant
which God made with your fathers [He is reminding them of the covenant],
saying to Abraham, ĎAnd in your seed all the families of the earth shall
be blessed.í" Now that is as clear as the nose on your face. Israel has
always wanted the blessings of God at the expense of anybody else. They
called the Gentiles "dogs" in the Old Testament. Even in the four Gospels,
they were dogs. Jesus came for the House of Israel.
you see in Acts, Israel rejected Christ as their Messiah, which was the
ultimate of rejecting righteousness by faith. They still wanted their
standard. They still wanted religion. They wanted to justify themselves.
And when that happened, God opened the door and let the Gentiles in. That
is not just because they rejected Him. That was a promise given to Abraham
a long time ago. But in the economy and the genius of God, He decided to
do it the way He did it. He is just simply fulfilling what He says He is
going to do.
used the Gentile nations to prove that the people of Israel were sinners,
even in the religious masks they wore. Paul says back in Romans 2:1,
"Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment,
for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge
practice the same things." One of the things that religious Jews loved to
do was judge the Gentiles. They were always pointing fingers and judging
the Gentiles. In chapter 2 Paul tells them, "You do the same things. You
have all the teachings, all the promises and all the privileges, but you
are sinners, just like they are. You donít show yours like they show it.
Yours is more inward than outward, you have just masked it."
3:23 he sums it all up when he says, "for all [Jew and Gentile] have
sinned and fall short of the glory of God." He uses the Gentiles, first of
all, to prove that the people of Israel were sinners and that they were
lost and needed Christ. This time he uses the Gentiles to assure Israel of
a future restoration that is going to come one day. The very fact that
Gentiles are coming in now gives Israel hope that one day they will be
brought in and God will honor His promise to the nation which He gave to
letís look at verse 11. The first thing he begins to speak of is that
future restoration. He calls it a future fulfillment. In Romans 11:11 he
says, "I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it
never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the
Gentiles, to make them jealous." Now watch this. The word "stumbled" means
to sin, to fall into sin. Figuratively where did they fall into sin? They
rejected righteousness by faith. Yes, they stumbled.
the word "fall" means to fall from a high place to a low place to where
you are out of sight. Even though they stumbled, even though they fell,
did they fall out of sight? Did they fall from being the apple of Godís
eyes in the Old Testament to where they are no longer in His sight? What
does he say? "May it never be!" Yes, they missed it, but are they still in
Godís eyes? Yes, He still sees them. They didnít fall so as to fall out of
says, "But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to
make them jealous." Now what was their transgression? I am going to keep
asking it like a broken record. What was their transgression? They
rejected righteousness by faith, which means they rejected Christ being
their redeemer. Who needs a redeemer? They wanted Him to come and set up a
kingdom and kick everybody else out. They are already righteous by their
own standard. They have justified themselves. You see, they missed it.
They are blind to the fact that they are sinners like anybody else, even
though they are privileged by what God had given to them.
word for "transgression" there is paraptoma. It is the word that
means a fault, a mistake or an error. What was the error of Israel? What
was the mistake of Israel? What was the fault of Israel? We already know.
So God let the Gentiles in. Why? In order to make them jealous.
want to tell you something. When God does something like that and you see
that God wants somebody to be jealous, it is not like when you and I want
somebody to be jealous. I remember when I first started dating. I would
call up the girl and talk her out of the date. I just had no confidence at
all. "You donít really want to go out with me next week, do you? No, okay
good. I didnít want to go either." I remember trying to impress the girls
and always trying to make the other guys jealous of me because this girl
might like me.
was going to make you jealous, that would be the end, the goal. If I make
you jealous and you are now jealous, good. Then I just walk off. That is
because I have a sinful body and the nature of the flesh in me, and it is
rotten to the core. So if I make you jealous and you are now jealous, I
have succeeded. But you see, when God makes somebody jealous, that is not
the end. That is the means to an end. God doesnít just make people
jealous, God is a redemptive God.
God makes Israel jealous, it is for a redemptive purpose. He made them
jealous when they started seeing the Gentiles come in. Can you imagine if
they hung around us for a while and watched the victory we have and the
power of the Holy Spirit of God and watched the joy we get out of praising
God and the joy we get out of the word? They would say, "That is not
right! These are our blessings. These are all our blessings. Why are you
getting these blessings?" Oh, the genius of God. He had already promised
the Gentiles would come in. Israel was supposed to take the message to the
Gentile world, but they didnít. They turned it upside down and used it for
themselves. So God said, "Alright. I will accomplish two things. I will
bring in the Gentiles, the church of Jesus Christ, that parenthesis that
stands between the 69th week and the 70th week of Daniel which we are in
right now, full of Gentiles. There are a few Jewish people, but it is full
of Gentiles because the doors are open to the Gentile world right now. He
accomplished that purpose. His promise is being fulfilled. But since
Israel has rejected Him, He is accomplishing something else. He is
bringing a jealousy to them. He wants them for Himself. He loves Israel,
folks. Donít ever think for a second that God does not love Israel. But He
is making them jealous by all the Gentiles that are coming in.
we see then that He has got something on His mind. Look in verse 12 of
chapter 11. It says, "Now if their transgression be riches for the world
and their failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their
fulfillment be!" He says "their transgression be riches for the Gentiles."
It is hard for us to admit, but everything we have spiritually and
eternally is a result of how God worked through Israel. As Gentiles we
donít like to say that. We would rather say, "No, it is because of our
faith." No sir, it is because of Godís faithfulness and Godís plan and
Godís purpose in our life. So, it became riches for the world and riches
for the Gentiles. One day the nation through which these blessings came,
however, is going to accept Him and be born again because it was through
them that we heard to begin with. The seed came through them and that is
how we know of salvation.
verse 12 also says, "how much more will their fulfillment be!" I thought
that was interesting. The word "failure" and the word "fulfillment" in
that verse are exact opposites of each other. It is a beautiful picture
here. The failure means the fact that they have slipped. It has the idea
of being in a high place, but you have slid down to a lower place. But the
word "fulfillment," pleroma, has the idea of being brought back up
to this place and everything you lost fully being restored and being
abundant in that. So there is the picture right there. Even though they
slipped and failed and because they failed now we get to get in on all
those blessings which were promised to Abraham. One day their fulfillment
will be that they will be brought back up and everything they lost will be
given back to them in abundance. Now, to me that indicates the fact that
something is yet to happen in Israel.
verse 13 Paul makes sure you understand he is talking to the Gentile
world. Paul, a converted Jew, is saying to the Gentile world in Rome in
verse 13, "But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I
am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry." Now that is a tough
verse. When you first read it you think, "What is he saying?" The word
"magnify" is the word that means to render something splendid. Do you know
what he is saying here? He is saying, "Gentiles, I love you. I love you.
God has assigned you to me. And I am going to be faithful to Him until the
last day. But my prayer is all along, the more of you that come to know
Christ, the more of you that come into His kingdom, the more my kinsmen
according to the flesh will get more jealous and more jealous and more
jealous. And if I can just see some of them come to know Christ, oh, what
a splendid ministry I could have, not only to the Gentile world but also
to see my people come to know Christ because of that jealousy that they
were provoked to by watching you being saved."
14 says, "if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and
save some of them." That is the heartbeat of Paul. He never forgot his
people, folks. God assigned him to the Gentile world. That was not Paulís
idea, that was Godís idea. But Paul never forgot the burden that he had
for his own people. Verse 15 continues, "For if their rejection be the
reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life
from the dead?" Do you see what he is doing here? He is picturing a future
fulfillment of something to happen in the nation of Israel. He is saying,
"Right now, God has turned His back on them and He has put His face toward
the Gentile world. But one day He is going to look back at them and there
is going to be a fulfillment. There is going to be a time that they are
brought back to where they used to be. They are going to have an abundance
of the blessings of God." It will come the same way, by faith. It is the
same way we go in. It will be by faith.
one day a whole nation will be born again. It will be like people being
raised from the dead, life from the dead. Boy, what a beautiful picture. I
mean, right now, as far as the gospel is concerned, as far as Christ is
concerned, they are dead. As a nation they said, "No sir, He is not the
Christ. We are already righteous. We live up to the law. We go every day
and do what it says. We are waiting on the king to come and set up his
kingdom." They have missed it. So God looks over here. They are dead as
far as the gospel is concerned, as far as salvation is concerned. But one
day it will be life from the dead. God will raise that nation back up. It
will be like a born again experience for a whole nation in one day.
the second thing Paul mentions is not only a future restoration, but he
talks about a future grafting in of Israel. Now, I am going to have to
walk with you through this. You are going to have to stay with me because
this is not easy. I want you to think. I am going to try to take as many
verses as I can because sometimes when you get a question if you just keep
right on going, it answers it. Alright. Stay with me now.
tree that he is going to start talking about in a moment, the original
pure olive tree, is the one that sprang forth from Abraham. The wild olive
is what you and I came from. Now I want you to think about that. Next week
when you act like a maniac on the highway to somebody remember something,
you have the roots of a wild olive tree. That is the Gentile world, folks.
If you want to track your heritage back, go back to chapter 1 and verses
19-32, it is not very good. It is a wild olive tree.
remember, he is talking about two nationalities of people. He is talking
about Israel as a nationality and he is talking about the Gentiles as the
Gentile world. Keep that in mind. He starts off talking about some dough
in verse 16: "And if the first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also."
Now I think what he is referring to there is out of Numbers 15:17-21. In
other words, if the first part is holy, set apart unto God, then the rest
is also that way. When you offer something to God, the first part
automatically means He possesses the rest. Numbers 15:17 says, "Then the
Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ĎSpeak to the sons of Israel, and say to
them, "When you enter the land where I bring you, then it shall be, that
when you eat of the food of the land, you shall lift up an offering to the
Lord. Of the first of your dough you shall lift up a cake as an offering;
as the offering of the threshing floor, so you shall lift it up."í" Then
in verse 21 it reads, "From the first of your dough you shall give to the
Lord an offering throughout your generations."
Paul is saying something here. It is kind of like the feast of the first
fruits. They took out a sheaf of the harvest, the first sheaf that would
come in and they would wave it before the Lord. That was a picture of the
fact, "We are giving this to you, but it is symbolic of the fact the rest
is also yours." So Paul says, "If the first part of the dough is holy, the
rest of the lump is also." Holy means set apart unto God, Godís
possession, God owns it. It is Godís.
you have to remember there are two parts. Abraham is the first part of the
dough. Some people say it is Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That is fine with
me, but all the deposits were originally put into Abraham. So you want to
take it right to the very beginning, which starts with Abraham. All the
promises were given to him. What was in that promise? We read it a while
ago. There are two parts to that dough, arenít there? There is the dough
that comes out of the natural Israel; in other words, the descendants, the
nation. There is also the dough that comes out of the spiritual Israel. So
you have two things that were promised to Abraham. Since Abraham was
Godís, the rest of it is also Godís. God owns it all. God is over it all.
It has been given back to Him.
second part of the verse says, "and if the root be holy, the branches are
too." Here is where you have to take it a step further. The root would
have to be Abraham. How did he become the root? By faith Abraham believed
and righteous was reckoned unto him. Now, if that root be holy, then the
rest of the branches that come out are Godís. But there is a certain tree
here. It is a tree that grows up out of faith. God intends to have
branches of Jews on that tree who come to know Christ, to have branches of
Gentiles who come to know Christ. It is the tree of the everlasting
covenant. But you have to remember, because Abraham is the root, out of
him comes a nation that is also going to be attached to that tree for a
particular period of time.
watch what Paul does with this. I personally think it is just genius what
we are about to read but I donít want to lose you. Verse 17 says, "But if
some of the branches were broken off,..." Now somebody broke them off.
What branches would be broken off? Well, they would be the part of Israel,
the physical part of Israel that were kin to Abraham. They didnít believe
like Abraham believed, so God cut them off that tree. The tree then is a
tree of faith. It is an everlasting tree. It is the tree of salvation and
it starts with Abraham. It starts right here. There is only one covenant
of grace. There is only one salvation to every man and that is through
Jesus Christ. It started with Abraham. Now watch. He goes on to say, "and
you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker
with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward
the branches [He is talking to the Gentile world now]; but if you are
arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root
letís talk about the branches that were broken off. That is Israel that
did not believe. But an amazing thing happened. When they were broken off,
God, the husbandman (the one who tends the vineyard), goes over here,
takes the wild olive tree, takes a branch off of it and starts grafting in
the wild olive branches. Now first of all, that is contrary to nature. You
donít do that. You donít take a branch off a wild one and graft it into a
good one. If you want to help the wild one, you take a branch off the good
one and graft it into the wild one. Remember, Israel was supposed to do
that, but Israel didnít do it. Israel rejected. So God, the one who
controls this whole thing, was the one who grafted, took them off the wild
tree and grafted them into this tree, this tree of faith. That is
salvation. That is the spiritual Israel that God is talking about back in
remember physical Israel, that came out of Abraham, was also in the
promise that God gave. He had to break them off because they disbelieved.
Remember that. Donít forget them. We are going to come back to them. Right
now it is these Gentiles coming off the wild olive tree being grafted into
that tree. Now Paul anticipates a reaction by the Gentiles. He is right.
Verse 19 reads, "You will say then, ĎBranches were broken off so that I
might be grafted in.í" Do you see the arrogance in that? Oh, that is how
the Gentile are sometimes. "Why, we are the only ones!" Paul is saying,
"You had better be careful about what you are saying because God is not
finished with those branches He broke off. You think they were broken off
just so you could come in." No, no.
at the next verse. He gives a gentle warning here. Verse 20 says, "Quite
right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your
faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural
branches, neither will He spare you."
how are you going to interpret that?!" I am going to tell you. There are a
lot of folks out there who say this passage shows that a Christian can
lose their salvation. I want to take you back to the context. Which
branches were broken off by God? The unbelieving branches. He is not
talking about individual Christians who are Gentiles or Jews. He is
talking about the Gentile world and he is saying, "Listen, right now in
the economy of Godís grace, the offer is on the table for the Gentile
world to come to know Christ just like the offer was given to Israel. They
rejected it and God cut them off. If you reject it as a Gentile world,
then God is going to cut the Gentiles off." Is He going to do that? Yes,
sir. That comes up in the next passage of scripture. It says when the
fulness of the Gentiles comes in. That is when God slams that door. Right
now it was open to Israel. Israel had to be cut off as a nation because
they rejected Him. God turned to the Gentile world and offered it to them.
But one day He is going to cut them off and then He is going to turn back
do I know that? Keep following the verses. It is so simple. Look at verse
22: "Behold then the kindness and severity of God." Boy, that is a
beautiful picture of the character of God. The kindness of God. Oh, donít
you love to talk about it? The severity of God. That is what I donít like
to talk about. Buddy, if you ever reject the kindness of His offer, He
cuts you off. It says, "Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to
those who fell, severity, but to you [Gentiles], Godís kindness, if you
continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off." That is not
referring to individual believers, but to the Gentile world in general.
23 goes on to say, "And they also, if they do not continue in their
unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again."
Does that mean that God is finished with Israel? "After all," you might
say, "they rejected Him. We are spiritual Israel." Yes, we are part of the
root of that tree. We have been grafted in. Yes, we are part of the tree
of salvation. But friend, donít forget, those unbelieving branches who are
physical descendants of Abraham, who are part of the covenant God made
with him, have been cut off. But God is able to graft them back into that
plant again. I donít know how anybody can miss that. To the Gentiles who
reject Him, they are cut off and not grafted back in. Why? Because they
were never part of that tree to start with. But to Israel as a nation (I
want to herald it to any Jewish person) God is not finished with Israel.
God loves them. God gave a promise to them. But in the economy of His
grace, they have rejected Him. So God allows the Gentiles in.
any Jews coming in right now?" There are a lot of Jews who are coming in
right now. But the focus is the Gentiles. When the fulness comes in, as we
see next, then the focus is going to be Israel again. "Are there going to
be any Gentiles who will come in?" I donít see why it should be any
different. There may be some that come in, but the focus is going to be
Israel once again. One-third of that nation, Zechariah says, will be all
that is left, but God is going to bring them through the fire and they are
going to be born again in a day. They are going to mourn over Him who they
pierced. God has a coming day, a grafting in, a fulfillment, a restoration
for the nation of Israel.
he says in verse 24, "For if you were cut off from what is by nature a
wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated
olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches
be grafted into their own olive tree?" Now what is he saying when he says
"grafted"? You wouldnít have to be grafted into it if He already had you
there. But you have been cut off. He says you are going to be grafted
right back in to that tree. Has God finished with Israel as a nation? I
think not. You say, "I donít agree with you." That is fine. There is a lot
of disagreement on this.
matter of fact, I divide chapter 11 into five parts: the man from Israel,
the remnant from Israel, the nation of Israel, the mystery of Israel and
then the wonder of Israel.
you ever watch that TV special called, "A Christmas Story"? It took
place in the late 40ís or early 50ís. That is when I grew up. I remember
the old cars. Going to church my Daddy would push in the clutch and I
would shift gears. We had an old Studebaker. That thing looked like a
bullet. Daddy told me I couldnít drive until I was 15. However, when I was
about 11 or 12 I got out in the yard one day after he was gone to work. I
would get out there and play with that straight shift. I would push that
clutch in and I would put it in reverse. Mama didnít hear me. I had the
car running and I would back that thing up. I remember the car felt like
it raised up and I thought, "Well, that is a neat feature." I would put it
back into first and it would go forward and I would put it in reverse and
it go back up again. Finally I heard something and I got out of the car
and walked around and saw my bicycle! I had been backing over my bicycle!
That thing looked awful.
of the biggest things you could ever want when you were growing up during
that time was a BB gun. Man, we would have BB wars. We would load up with
BBís and hit the woods and we would have the good boys and the bad guys
and we would go after each other. Well, in this movie "The Christmas
Story", the story was about a young little boy who wanted a BB rifle
for Christmas. He did not deserve it. He tried everything in the world he
could do to get it. He even tried Santa. You know, some people will try
anything. That didnít work. I mean, he tried everything to get that BB
rifle. Well, it came time for Christmas, and he just knew that his Daddy
had sort of promised it to him because he and his Dad were real close.
Christmas came and the presents were all under the tree and everybody got
what they wanted. He kept looking and kept looking and kept looking but it
wasnít there. He was the only one in the whole family who didnít get what
he wanted. Finally, it was over and he was so disappointed. What he
thought had been promised to him wasnít there. The Dad was sitting over on
the couch. He smiled all the time. A lot of time passed by and finally he
says, "Well, what is that over there behind the radiator?" He said, "I
believe I see something else over there." The little boyís eyes lit up. He
ran over, got that package, opened it up and there was that BB rifle. Boy,
the Dad is just grinning.
know that is a trite illustration and some of you are going to say, "Well,
that is not very spiritual." Do you know what I think? I think right now
Israel is saying, "You know, I donít understand. The Gentiles are getting
all the presents. I thought they were ours. God, didnít you promise?" Then
one day God is going to say, "Oh, yeah. There is one more present right
over here. Israel, my beloved, come to Me."
Habakkuk says, "I saw Him come forth from Edom, from Paran, from Mt. Timan,
down in Jordan." Do you know what is down in Jordan, folks? It used to be
part of Israel. Down in Jordan is a little place called Petra or in the
Old Testament, Bazra, and right there is a city, a rock city. Remember He
says in Matthew 24, when you see all these things, flee Judea and go to
the mountains. Have you been there lately? They flee down to Petra and
they see Him coming. Habakkuk says, "Oh, I saw Him come for the salvation
of His people." God has not forgotten them. Oh, folks. Do you see it?
you know how far it is from Petra to Megiddo? Two hundred miles. What does
it say in scripture? The blood will be up to the horsesí bridles after
that battle for how far? For two hundred miles. When He goes down and gets
that third of Israel that is left, He brings them to Himself and honors a
promise that He made to Abraham in Genesis 12, 15, 17, 18 and 28. You see,
these people who say that the branches have been cut off forget that He
says, "Yes, that is right, but they are going to be grafted right back
into their very own tree as a nation."
itís good. I canít wait until we get into chapter 12. The first thing he
says in 12:1 is, "therefore." Do you know what he is saying through all
these chapters, folks? Salvation is Godís business and donít you mess with
it. I know we think we are smart. I know we are educated and all this kind
of stuff. But I want to tell you something, we came out of dirt and donít
ever forget it. We donít deserve anything but hell itself. Wake up every
morning and say, "Dear God, how in the world could you love me?" We live
under grace and not under law. Understand what God is going to do with
Israel whether we like it or donít like it. God is a faithful God. He
keeps His word.