Summary: God continues to use those who seek Him, to accomplish His work - which is to bring His entire creation back to Him. Will we be part of the remnant which does this?
Romans, Part 34
- We are each called to respond … to minister … to witness … to deliver
- It is the output of Grace: we take grace in; and out comes its testimony
- Last week we examined Paul’s declaration to the Jews of God’s eternal love
- Even in disobedience, or arrogance, God still extends His hand to us
-- His hand … is extended to ALL that would hear and respond to the Gospel
- Tonight, we examine the final encouragement meant for the Jews
- It is important that we not only see the encouragement to the Jews in Rome
-- But, that we see our role in being part of the existing remnant
- Stand and read Romans 11:1-10 / Pray
Point 1 – The Remnant (1-6)
- Consider his testimony: Paul is a Jew who was brought into right relationship
- Paul was an Israelite; and so rejection of Israel was (at best) partial, not total
- Paul is a member of the tribe of Benjamin
-- According to the Book of Judges, the entire tribe of Benjamin, women and children included, was almost wiped out by the other Israelite tribes after the Battle of Gibeah.
-- The remnant of the tribe was spared and allowed to marry women of another town, whose husbands had been killed, to enable the tribe to continue.
-- APP: God’s provision allowed this tribe to continue; Paul’s lineage
- Many prophets I’m sure asked God if they were being heard or effective
- Elijah asked God if he was going to die next; and God provides reinforcements
- APP: There are more in line to continue the mission of spreading the Gospel
-- Noah’s family were considered righteous; and they were saved from a flood
- Grace is the critical application (discussing it for weeks now)
- Have to understand that grace is God’s work; and not something of ours
- Because of what Jesus has done on the cross; the work is already finished
- Paul ends encouraging the Gentiles … and now he encourages the Jews
- There is nothing that God hasn’t given us and them to finish the race
-- This is why in 2 Tim 4:7 he can write, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
-- It is critical that we understand this as believers today; through faith we have life
-- 1 John 5:5, “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
- Because of His faith we (just like Paul), can succeed in this life
Point 2 – How God uses those who seek Him (7-10)
- V7 is very critical … seeking God through our own pride is not the way
-- Those in Israel who thought they had found God were actually lost
-- And those who weren’t looking were those who God found and used
-- APP: Romans 10:20 … those who not looking are found and used by Him
- V8: God blinds those so that they cannot fully comprehend
-- Deut. 29:4 “But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear.”
-- Isaiah 29:10, “The LORD has brought over you a deep sleep: He has sealed your eyes (the prophets); he has covered your heads (the seers).”
- To us, we can see this as even those who hear the Good News may reject it
- But why would God hide Himself from His creation?
- Look at this critical verse of what God enjoys: Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”
- APP: When we spend time searching out God, we are doing the work of Kings
- DEEPER: What is God’s work? To bring His creation back to Him – to bring back to him a creation that DESIRES to be closer and WANTS to know Him
- V10: Paul is quoting Psalm 69:22-23, “May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and a trap. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.”
- But why?
-- Matthew Henry writes, “God glorifies his grace by changing the hearts and tempers of the rebellious. The Jewish nation were as in a deep sleep, without knowledge of their danger, or concern about it; having no sense of their need of the Savior, or of their being upon the borders of eternal ruin.
David, having by the Spirit foretold the sufferings of Christ from his own people, the Jews, foretells the dreadful judgments of God upon them for it. This teaches us how to understand other prayers of David against his enemies; they are prophecies of the judgments of God, not expressions of his own anger. Divine curses will work long; and we have our eyes darkened, if we are bowed down in worldly-mindedness.”