Summary: In Romans 11, Paul explains that God has not let the Jewish people down, because God has fulfilled His promises to them by maintaining a remnant and by bringing blessings through their unbelief.
A. Many years ago, Gina Cruz, a Manila grandmother, had spent months playing Pepsi-Cola’s Numbers Fever promotion lottery.
1. She bought several bottles of Pepsi a day and saved the caps in hopes that one of the numbers printed inside the cap would win her a one million peso prize ($40,000 at the time).
2. When the magic number was announced in May of 1992, Cruz was overjoyed to find that she had not one, but two bottle caps bearing the winning number – she promptly fainted.
3. Unfortunately, the biggest shock came when Cruz discovered she had not won anything at all.
4. Cruz and thousands of others were victims of a computer error that generated 800,000 winning numbers instead of 18.
5. Pepsi Cola explained that it simply didn’t have the money it would take to pay all claimants and that the real winners would be identified by security codes placed on the bottle caps.
6. Can you imagine how let down all those people felt who thought they had won?
B. Have there been times in your Christian experience when you’ve felt that God has let you down?
1. Perhaps you did the best job you could raising your kids, and you believed God’s promise that they would not depart from God’s way, but they have.
a. They’re going their own way, and they’re far from God, and you feel as though God has not kept His Word.
2. Perhaps you’ve given faithfully and generously to God’s work over the years, and you believed God promise that “in all things at all times” God would give “all that you need.”
a. Yet right now you’re staring bankruptcy square in the face.
b. And where’s God in it all? It doesn't seem like He's kept His promise, does it?
3. Perhaps you prayed diligently about changing jobs.
a. You didn’t want to make a mistake, and you really wanted to do the will of God.
b. And you believed that God would answer your prayer for guidance.
c. So you made the change, and it hasn’t worked out at all.
d. It’s been a disaster and you feel like God has let you down.
C. Similarly, those were likely the kinds of questions going through the minds of many first century Christians, particularly when they thought about the Jewish nation.
1. God had made some spectacular promises to the Jews - promises of salvation, promises of blessing, promises of spiritual leadership among the nations.
2. But the nation of Israel as a whole had rejected its Messiah, the only one in whom those blessings could be fulfilled.
3. So what’s going to happen to Israel? Is God going to cancel His promises to His people. Will He fail to keep His Word. Is He finished with them? Is He going to cast them off forever? Have they no more place in His scheme of things?
D. These are some of the questions that Paul addressed in Romans chapters 9 through 11.
1. In chapter 9, we saw how Paul responded to the question of God’s faithfulness to His promises to Israel, by explaining what those promises did not mean.
a. Paul explained that God’s promise did not guarantee salvation for all the physical descendants of Israel, but only the spiritual descendants of God’s people.
2. In chapter 10, Paul explained God’s sovereign choices and how God has a right to call the Gentiles as well as the Jews to be His spiritual children.
a. In Chapter 10, Paul also explained that the main problem is that many Israelites have persisted in unbelief, and that they have rejected God’s plan of salvation because they are a disobedient and obstinate people.
E. With that introduction and review, we are ready to jump into chapter 11.
1. Paul begins the chapter with a related question: I ask, then, has God rejected his people? Absolutely not! (Romans 11:1)
2. In the rest of this chapter, Paul proceeds to give reasons for his answer.
3. Let’s work our way through the chapter and see why God’s promises to Israel did not fail and as we do so, we will also discover why His promises to us have not failed, in spite of how it looks or feels.
4. Today, we are going to examine two of the reasons that God has not rejected His people, and Lord willing, next week we will examine the last reason.
F. The first reason Paul gives to show that God’s has not rejected His people is that there is a remnant.
1. The word remnant appears in verse 5: In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace.
2. When we think of a remnant, we think of a small piece of cloth left over at the end of the bolt.