Summary: Israel’s unbelief didn’t stop God’s plan to show his love to the nations nor will God’s current dealing with the Gentiles leave out Jews who wish to enter the Church by faith.
A. Have you ever secretly thought God’s grace was unfair?
B. Have you ever wanted to say, “God I think I can do a better job of running your plan than you?”
C. Would it upset you if God saved some people you know? You know, those people you are not overly fond of? The ones who have hurt you. Secretly, if God saved them we might still want him to punish them. It’s just not fair that they get off scot free.
D. In these verses, Paul continues his discussion of God’s plan as it relates to Jews and Gentiles (everyone).
I. God’s Plan For Israel (vv. 25-27)
A. The warning against bragging over our salvation. (v. 25)
1. This warning was directed to the Gentiles who Paul had previously reminded us had been grafted into the tree of Israel.
2. God’s plan had always been to include the Gentiles, but as we know the Jewish people became proud and thought they were the only ones who could be saved.
3. Gentiles only had hope if they became proselytes of Judaism.
4. Now God has made it evident Gentiles are included in his plan, and Paul is carrying that message abroad.
5. He warns the Gentiles who might be tempted to do what little kids often do when the tables are turned: “Nany Nany boo boo.” Translated this means, “Ha ha I fooled you” or “I got it anyway.”
6. God would punish the Gentiles if they became proud and boastful as the Jews had done. They could be set aside as Israel had.
7. This entire book has reminded us our salvation is solely by God’s grace and has nothing to do with our works, culture, heritage or ritual.
8. We have also been reminded of our awful state apart from God; how our sinful nature enslaves us. Paul has also dealt with the penalty; the wages of sin is death.
9. Remembering our salvation is all of God, and that all we have done is responded to his offer of grace, should remove all temptations to boast.
10. The human tendency is strong to look at ourselves and imagine we have some trait that impressed God. Then God said, “You know, he’s a pretty good guy. I think I could use him in my kingdom’s work. I think I’ll save him.”
11. Paul says don’t feel proud and start bragging. But we like to brag. We may disguise it under the guise of humility, but secretly we want to flaunt our wisdom, skills, donations, possessions and other things we feel will impress others and perhaps even God.
B. Are the Jews totally rejected or without hope?
1. Paul makes some startling statements in the next verses.
2. Many of the Jews have hard hearts; that is, they have rejected Jesus as the Messiah.
3. This, according to Paul, will only last until the full number of Gentiles comes in.
4. Then he makes a startling statement; so all Israel will be saved.
5. This brings us to a question theologians and lay people have disagreed over throughout Christian history.
6. One’s millennial view plays a great part in one’s conclusion.
7. You may say, “Well I don’t know what my millennial view is.” That’s okay. It’s not a requirement for salvation.
8. Millennial views fall into three categories: premillennial, postmillennial, and amillennial (none).
9. The millennial is the thousand years referenced in Revelation 20:1-6.
10. Premillennials believe the thousand years are literal, while the other two millennial views-noting that much of Revelation is symbolic, see the thousand years as figurative.
11. Millennial views also divide believers over what part, if any, Israel will play in God’s future plan.
12. The post and a versions see little if any part for Israel. God dealt with them in the Old Testament but he is now working through the church and will until the end of time.
13. Premillennialists, however, see national Israel as having a part in the millennial.
14. When Christ returns at the pre or beginning of the thousand years and raptures the church (at this point one might also be a pre, mid or posttribulationists), God’s attention will again be focused on Israel and the set up will be similar to the way it was in the Old Testament-to the degree of even rebuilding the Temple and offering sacrifices.
15. Some would take Paul’s statement to mean that during the thousand year reign of Christ, the Jews will be saved and recognize Jesus as their Savior.
16. As mentioned, not all believers hold to this view, and there have been and are many devout believers who have held the other two views.
17. Therefore, our interpretation here is not grounds for division but simply an admission that the Bible is not completely clear on how end time events will occur or whether all symbols in the Bible should have a literal interpretation.