Summary: Yep! There really is a conspiracy. But our God is conspiring for us, not against us! As we continue through Romans, ch.11 gives us a glimpse of God’s conspiracy for this world.
Conspiracy of Grace
Intro: Have you ever read or studied up on some of the conspiracy theories people have these days? There are those who believe that we never did land on the moon. It was all fabricated by our govt. Also, there are some who believe that the 9/11 attack on the twin towers was all planned by the govt. to justify going to war. Some believe the assassination of JFK was all part of a govt. conspiracy (along with several other political assassinations). Others believe that Princess Diana was murdered by the royal family. Still others are certain the govt. is hiding evidence of UFO’s and other evidence of extra-terrestrial life. And of course, there are numerous conspiracies about the Bible. Some claim that Jesus really had a wife, Mary Magdalene, and children, that a group such as the Priory of Sion has secret information about the bloodline of Jesus, that Jesus did not die on the cross, that there was a secret movement to censor books that belonged in the Bible, or the Christ myth theory, portrayed in the novel The Da Vinci Code. If you want to believe a conspiracy theory, take your pick. There are plenty of them out there.
-The fact is a major conspiracy is going on all around the world. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been conspiring since before time began to save the people of this world from being lost forever without hope or life with God. It is a conspiracy designed to break people free from the bondage of their sins and turn their hearts back to God! This conspiracy is so simple that the intellectuals often miss it. It is so free that the wealthy often overlook it, seeing it as having little value. But for those who are broken and beaten down by life and by those more powerful, they sometimes become victims of this conspiracy – victims of grace! They get swallowed up by the mercy of God and find His forgiveness and peace – poor deluded souls that they are. Some of them even find that this conspiracy removes their need to escape life through drugs, alcohol, or sexual addictions.
-Yep! There sure is a conspiracy. But our God is conspiring for us, not against us! As we continue through Romans, ch.11 gives us a glimpse of God’s conspiracy for this world. More specifically, we can see God’s conspiracy to bring His chosen people, the Jews into right relationship with Him through Jesus His Son. So let’s look a little deeper into this conspiracy of grace in Romans 11:1-12.
I. The Riddle of Divine Rejection (1a)
1 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means!
-Did God reject Israel? Is that why so many Jews do not believe that the Messiah has come? Does God reject those who reject Him? Paul answers NO very quickly, but it helps us if we know what he is getting at in these verses.
-God had not rejected the nation of Israel as a whole, but many Jews have and will miss God’s grace, as will many Gentiles. In Rom. 1:16 he says the good news about Jesus is the power of God for all who believe – both Jew and Gentile. In another place Paul speaks about the good news about Jesus being spread through believers like a fragrance. To those who reject God it is the smell of death, but to those who are being saved it is the fragrance of life! So, does God reject those who reject Him? Based on several verses in the Bible I have to say yes, if they continue in their unbelief and reject the one true God. Paul would say the same. But God has not rejected Israel as a whole. He still has plans for them.
-If you’re asking, “Have I been rejected by God?” let me encourage you with these words – NOT YET! Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved! If you call on the Lord in faith, He will accept you by His grace! However, if you put it off and just let things ride, nobody can promise you tomorrow! The Bible says now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation! God has been working in your life from day one to show you who He is and to draw you to Himself. He is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance!
II. The Provision of Divine Preservation (1b-6)
I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah-- how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me"? 4 And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.