Summary: You can’t separate your body and your soul and your spirit. God knows if you give your body to Him, the soul and the spirit is going to be given to Him.
Please open your Bibles to Romans 11. Today I’m going to talk about “Our God is an Awesome God.” When I was in high school, I had a friend named Dottie Pippin and even in the tenth grade, she was a knockout. She was my friend, but of course, I never thought about dating her, because she was going steady with a senior, Tim. In fact, she wore his senior ring on her hand. Do you remember when girls used to wrap tape on their boyfriend’s ring to make the big ring stay on her small finger? One year, a couple of weeks before homecoming, she batted her big, brown eyes at me and said, “David, why don’t you ask me to go to the homecoming dance with you?” I said, “I thought you were going with Tim, Dottie.” She said, “Not anymore. He asked some other girl. We broke up.” So I said, “Yeah, man!” So I took Dottie Pippin to the homecoming dance.
I noticed that night at the dance she seemed to be distracted and preoccupied. She kept looking across the dance floor at Tim, sort of steering me toward him. To make a long story short, during the intermission, she and Tim got together and talked. She came over to me and said, “David, I hope you don’t mind, but Tim’s going to take me home, okay?” I didn’t even get to take Tim’s date home. She went home with her sister.
I’ve got to admit, I’ve always been a little naive, but I was really naive then. You know what Dottie was doing? It took me this long to figure it out. She wanted me to take her to that dance just to make Tim jealous. And it worked. What in the world has that got to do with the Bible? Look at Romans 11:11. It will all make sense to you. This is exactly what the Bible says.
I. GOD’S AMAZING PLAN–THEOLOGY (25-32)
Salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious, jealous. This message is going to go in two different directions. The first part is God’s amazing plan; how He has dealt with, how He is dealing with, and how He will deal with the nation of Israel. I call this theology.
Look at Romans 11:25-32. Paul writes, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: [and here’s the truth] Israel has experienced a hardening in part” You remember I told you the word hardening is the word porosis, which means like a covering over the eyes that causes blindness. “Until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. [Then here’s the prediction.] And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written.” This is a quotation from Isaiah: “The deliverer [Jesus] will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
Then Paul says, “As far as the gospel is concerned, they [when he uses they, he’s talking about the Jews; when he uses you, he’s talking about Gentiles] they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they [the Jews] are loved on account of the patriarchs.” Here’s an amazing overarching principle of the word of God: “for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” His promises, his call, his gifts to the nation of Israel, they’ve not been canceled.
Verse 30, “Just as you, Gentiles, who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they, too, have now become disobedient in order that they, too, may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound all men [Jews and Gentiles, men and women, boys and girls] over to disobedience [which means we’re all lost without Christ] so that he may have mercy on them all.”
In verse 25, Paul says, “There is a mystery, but I want you to understand this mystery.” The word “mystery” in the New Testament is not some whodunit you can’t figure out; it is a deep truth of God that is revealed, and God wants you to understand.
Let’s consider three truths about this blindness or hardening over the eyes of Israel.
1. Israel’s blindness toward Jesus is partial
Verse 25 says their hardening is in part. That means only a portion of the nation of Israel is blind to Jesus. There is a believing remnant of Jews and there has always been a believing remnant of Jews who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, but most of Israel is blinded to this.
When we get on the Internet, we can go from website to website. We have a word for that; we call it links. Sometimes one web site will link you to another web site, and that’s a good way to get information. The Bible is better than the Internet. I call it the Salvation Net because there are links in the Bible. When we read one truth in the Bible, we ought to be looking to link it with a parallel or corresponding truth.