Summary: Paul encourages us to restrain from being ignorant of God's plan for our lives.
Mercy For All
Romans 11: 25 – 32
Intro: I do not claim to be intellectually superior to anyone. However, I will say there may be some things you may not know which my mother taught me which gave served me well.
Here are just a few bits of this wonderful knowledge my mother taught me beginning with LOGIC: she ended every argument with “Because I said so, that’s why!” She taught me FORSIGHT: “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.” She taught me IRONY: “Keep laughing and I’ll give you something to cry about.” She taught me STAMINA: “You sit there until all that broccoli is eaten.” She taught me about WEATHER: “It looks like a tornado swept through your room.” She taught me BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION: Stop acting like your father. She taught me ABOUT RELIGION when I spilled grape juice on the new carpet: “You better pray that stain comes out of the carpet.” Finally, my mother taught me EQUALITY: “You are no better than anyone else who lives in this house.” Consider yourself educated about some mysteries of life.
I I want to begin with VS. 25 “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery . . .” so that we can fully understand what Paul is addressing here in his letter.
A Mystery in GK is (µ?st????? – mastérion) Is used twice in this letter by Paul (11:25 and 16:25)
B It commonly denotes something that was hidden or unknown until it was revealed.
C Paul is saying, “I am going to reveal to you something you do not know.” He is addressing a situation that exits in the church at Rome.
II There was a division in the church between Jews and Gentiles. Here Paul will give a lesson on equality.
A The Jews believe they were the “chosen People” who had Moses, Prophets, Patriarchs Abraham, the Covenant and promises from God.
B The Jews mistakenly thought that b/c God had chosen them that made them superior to the gentiles.
C “I’ve been a member of this club for 30 years, so . . . I’ve lived in this community for 20 years and I . . . .”
II The Gentiles, on the other hand, had come to believe that b/c God was pouring out His mercy on them they were somehow now more favored by God.
A They believed God was finished with the Jews and with Israel.
B The rejection of Jesus and His gospel does not mean that God has rejected the Jews.
C Paul basically says the Gentiles cannot judge Jews for not believing in Jesus: no one can pass judgment on another’s faith or lack thereof.
III VS. 32 – “For God has bound everyong over to disobedience so that He (God) may have mercy on them all.”
A Most people today believe that people get what they deserve and they deserve what they get.
B The divine rescue operation demonstrates God’s elective grace as an undeserved gift. God’s mercy has nothing to do with worthiness.
C The mercy and salvation offered by God is not based on being rewarded for our own goodness. It is not ours because we’ve EARNED it.
Concl. Professional golfer Tommy Bolt was playing in a tournament with a caddy with a reputation of constantly talking. Bolt told not to talk and only answer with a yes or no when asked a question. Bolt found the ball next to a tree where he had to hit under a branch, over a lake and onto the green. Bolt checked out the possibilities and asked the caddie for a 5 iron. The caddie said, “No.” Bolt grabbed the 5 iron, hit the ball which landed on the green about 2 feet from the hole. Bolt turned to the caddie and said, “You can talk now. Tell me what you think of that shot.” The caddie said, “Mr. Bolt, that wasn’t your ball.” (from Ignorant of God’s Mystery by Steve Shepherd, 01/27/2014 – SermonCentral.com)
Paul tells us here that we need to focus on our own faith and living and not judge others for their faith or lack thereof. It is not our place to judge. That is up to God, the final, supreme judge.