God's Mercy Endures Forever - Part 2 (Romans 9-11)
Paul's point in Romans 9-11 is not to communicate some obscure doctrine about divine election unto salvation or reprobation. Rather, his point is to show the unyielding MERCY of the living God. Who although enduring objects of His wrath with patience (hardened Unbelieving Jews) so that you and I can hear the Gospel (the fullness of the Gentiles are to be brought in) He still holds out a welcoming hand to the people of Israel (those who will pursue by faith). Since not all Israel, is Israel (9:6-7) True Israel are those who pursue by faith (9:31-32) And as we will see today it’s their call, “If they do not continue in unbelief.” (11:23)
[Jeremiah 18:1-10 NASB] 1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD saying, 2 "Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will announce My words to you." 3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. 4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. 5 Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, 6 "Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter [does?]" declares the LORD. "Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. 7 "At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy [it;] 8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. 9 "Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant [it;] 10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.
Teaching on Context:
God did not give us a single verse of scripture. God did not give us a chapter of scripture. What God gave us was a series of books (66 to be exact) and they must be interpreted and understood in this light.
For example: God did not give us Romans 3:23...
[Rom 3:23 NASB] 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
...without Romans 3:24.
[Rom 3:24 NASB] 24 (ALL) being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
God did not give us John 3:16-17...
[Jhn 3:16-17 NASB] 16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
...without John 3:18.
[Jhn 3:18 NASB] 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
But those should be easy. Here's one that's not as obvious. God did not give us John 6:44...
[Jhn 6:44 NASB] 44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
...without John 12:32.
[Jhn 12:32 NASB] 32 "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."
This is precisely why I took Romans 9-11 in one fell swoop. So as I said in conclusion last week:
Walk Through of Romans 11:
1 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew.
A. There's our word progonosko again. Those whom God knew from the past; Israel. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.
Or do you not know what the Scripture says in [the passage about] Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 "Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE." 4 But what is the divine response to him? "I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL." 5 In the same way then,
B. Just like in Elijah's time.
there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to [God's] gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise, grace is no longer grace. 7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written, "GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY." 9 And David says, "LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM. 10 "LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER." 11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they?
C. Who is they here? It's the "rest" who "were hardened." How do I know? Because they stumbled.
11 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.
D. I want to point out something here of the immense love that God has for the Jewish people. He builds a vineyard, leases it to them, sends prophets to reap but they kill them. Sends His own son but they kill Him. And instead of just crushing them He instead saves us Gentiles to provoke them to Jealousy so that they will return. That is persistent love. One that doesn't take into account a wrong suffered.
12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!
E. Those hardened being fulfilled. Please understand this is not about God picking and choosing some for salvation and some for reprobation. Otherwise, the storyline comes crashing down as these supposed reprobates are restored.
13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.
F. The hardened can be saved and that is Paul's mission!
15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will [their] acceptance be but life from the dead?
G. This is where we get into one of the most misunderstood ideas in scripture. That of being spiritually "dead". Although this is a point of fact according to the scripture this deadness doesn't ever imply an inability to respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The prodigal Son was said to be dead and now alive. These judicially hardened Jews, as we see, are dead and yet their acceptance will be "life from the dead." Just a point to ponder if Spiritual deadness means that one cannot respond to God by faith, then it also means they cannot sin or do anything at all. If dead means dead the way some interpret it we cannot choose God or reject Him.
16 If the first piece [of dough] is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. 17 But if some of the branches were broken off,
H. Hardened Jews.
and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in
17 among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, [remember that] it is not you who supports the root, but the root [supports] you. 19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." 20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith.
J. Why were they broken off? Sovereign decree? No! Unbelief. How do we stand? Not by works! "By your faith." Paul's point in this section:
20 Do not be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. 22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
K. What is God waiting for? For the true Israel to accept righteousness which is by faith! For them to believe.
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 will these who are the natural [branches] be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery
L. Understanding Romans 9 isn't contingent upon some people "capacity for mystery" as some say. Paul declares the mystery right here in the text.
25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery
--so that you will not be wise in your own estimation--that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;