Roaming Through Romans-Part 32

Where does what we have been studying leave Israel?  Romans, Chapter 11 gives us very important information. There are some Christians (and others) that teach that God has "written Israel off". Not a few Christians believe that the Church has become "true Israel". In Verses 1-6, Paul (under inspiration, remember) makes it very clear that God has not abandoned Israel. She has a promised place in God's plan for the future. She is on hold, for now. Verses 7-12 highlight the present condition of Israel (from their rejection of the Messiah until the beginning of their 70ieth week, right after the Rapture). In Verses 13-24, the Apostle goes on to caution the Gentiles not to make the mistake of assuming that they are better than Israel. He further warns them that they could be "cut off", nationally. He reminds them that God is using them to provoke Israel to jealousy, with a view of opening Jewish minds to the need of salvation. Verses 25-32 drive home the truth that God doesn't give up on His loved ones, Jew or Gentile. We are told that God has concluded them all in unbelief, in order to make His mercy available to all those who open themselves to Him and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.  In the closing verses of this chapter, Paul's heart overflows with admiration and wonder for the wisdom and knowledge of God and asks who can outsmart or out give God. It is a rhetorical question to which the obvious answer is, no one!  His heart rises to a crescendo of praise as he reminds us that God is "all in all" and he climaxes his worship with a resounding "Glory to God!!!!".  Selah!  Does God fill your thoughts with this kind of Holy Obsession?   Ron

2 thoughts on “Roaming Through Romans-Part 32

  1. Good series on Romans
    I would be one that would affirm the Church as The Israel of God and also see a future salvation for ethnic Jews. Looking at Romans 11 I would note a few things….
    The question Paul was answering was not “does God have a future plan for Israel?” Although he does address that—the question was “Has God cast off His people” in the present day? Paul uses himself as part of the remnant as an example that God has not cast off his people. He describes True Israel in terms of a cultivated olive tree, some of the natural branches (Jews) were broken off but the tree remained. Gentiles are said to be wild branches that are grafted in and become partakers of the root along with the natural branches. The future salvation of the Jews is described as them being grafted back into the same olive tree. The interesting thing here is that God did not plant a Gentile tree which he is working with in the present time and have some future date he will go back to the other tree. The Gentiles who believe are part of the same tree—so Gentiles are considered an expansion of the already existing Israel. That idea is supported numerous times in the New Testament where you see the Church spoken of in terms of Old Testament Israel. Ephesians ch2 says the blood of Christ brought us into the common wealth of Israel and v 19 says “Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”
    I know you probably don’t agree but I wanted to show that you don’t have to have a dispensational understanding of an Israel/Church distinction to see the significance of present day Jews and to believe they will have a future day of salvation. And the fact that Gentiles are now included does not mean God cast off or replaced Israel.
    God Bless

  2. Matt, thanks for your thoughts. your comments were interesting. Your view(s) seem(s) to be a somewhat different approach than usually presented. I will try to respond sometime next week. A brief comment here: I,personally, accept the dispensational approach for two reasons: 1.It seems most consistent with Scripture and 2. It cleared away a great deal of confusion thus giving me a much greater appreciation of God’s Word. Thanks for your comments, Matt. Watch for my response. Pastor Ron

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