Summary: A teaching message on Romans 11:1-15.

Romans Series # 45 July 03, 2002

Title: A Biblical Understanding of God’s Plan for Israel



Introduction: Welcome to New Life in Christ. We are currently in Chapter 11 of Romans as we continue with message #45 of our verse-by-verse study of the Book of Romans.

Read Romans 11:1-10

Opening Prayer

Tonight I will be sharing with you on the subject of: "A biblical understanding of God’s plan for Israel." This is the theme of all of Chapter 11. Although there several lessons for us from this chapter the two main points Paul is making are:

1. God has not completely rejected the nation of Israel.

2. God has not permanently rejected the nation of Israel.

Even though the church, which is composed mostly of non-Jews (Gentiles), is the main instrument God is using now, God still will use the Jewish people as he promised.

Before I share verse by verse on this chapter, I wanted you to know why it is important that Christians understand God’s plan for Israel. There are practical and important reasons for having a biblical understanding of Israel’s present and future part in God’s plan. For instance, our understanding of God’s plan for Israel greatly affects certain aspects of our theology. One area of our theology that is affected is eschatology (end-times). How we view and understand the end-time scenario will be affected by how we view and understand God’s plan for Israel. If God is through with Israel, as some people teach, then the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel who go through the Great Tribulation in the Book of Revelation must be spiritualized to represent the church. On the other hand, if God still has a plan to use the nation of Israel in a special way then the 144,000 represent literal Israelites.

Our understanding of God’s plan for Israel also affects our trust in God’s faithfulness; if God is through with Israel then what about his unconditional promises to Israel? Can God be considered faithful and yet not do what he promised with the nation of Israel?

A biblical understanding of God’s plan for the nation of Israel also affects our attitude toward the Jewish people (verse 28). As a church we’re very much pro-Israel. We’re very supportive of the Jewish people and the nation of Israel, but this support is not based on political ideology, rather it is based on a biblical understanding of God’s plan for Israel. Without a biblical understanding of God’s future plan for Israel, Christians tend to be either neutral toward Israel or in some cases even anti-Semitic.

I’ve made these few points about the practical implications of a biblical understanding of God’s plan for Israel so that you would understand the importance of this subject. Now let’s look at this passage verse by verse.

Read Verse 1.

"Did God reject his people (Israel)?" Has God reneged on his promises to the nation of Israel? Has he said, "Enough is enough, I am through with you!" In one respect it looked like this is just what had happened. After all it was now the Gentiles who were called God’s adopted sons, who were promised eternal glory and inheritance, and who were being used by God to show the world his character and ways. These things were promised to Israel and yet it was the non-Jews who were experiencing them according to Paul. It certainly seemed like God had broken his promise and rejected the Jewish people.

Illustration: Jay Fielder is the quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. That is the position he was promised. That is the position he is trained for. That is the position he is paid to play. Now let’s suppose that when the season starts, he starts to ignore the coach’s directions and plays lousy. If he continues to do this, the coach will pull him from the game and put in another quarterback. He may feel that the coach has broken his promises to him. He may feel that he has been rejected by the coach, but that isn’t true. He is still on the team; he’s just not on the field. In due time, he will return to the starting quarterback position when he listens and obeys the coaches directions.

This is illustrative of the situation of Israel. They were chosen for a certain position and equipped to fulfill that position, but they had not responded appropriately, so God would now use the Gentiles in their place. They were pulled from the starting position but not completely rejected by God. God is faithful to his promises to Israel, even though the Gentiles might have the prominent position now. This is why Paul answers the question, "Did God reject his people?" with a firm "by no means!"

1. God has not completely rejected the nation of Israel.

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