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BIBLE STUDY on the book of Romans

Chapter 11

We will see that God has a future purpose with Israel. In chapter 9 we saw God's past dealings with Israel. In chapter 10 we saw God's present dealings with Israel: a remnant of Israel is finding salvation. Perhaps you are saying, "Well, it must be a very small remnant." It is larger than you might think it is. It is estimated that there are about fifteen million Jews throughout the world, and the percentage of those who are believers is probably much higher than that of the gentile world with its four billion people.

We have seen that the nation rejected Christ and the "by faith" righteousness of God in Christ which was offered to them. And now God has rejected them temporarily as a nation. Two questions naturally arise: Has God permanently rejected them as a nation? In other words, does the nation of Israel have a future? Secondly, are all the promises of the Old Testament nullified by the rejection of Israel? Remember that God had promised primacy to Israel in the Old Testament. He had said they would be the head, not the tail, of the nations (Deut.28:13). My friend, all the promises of the Old Testament will have a literal fulfillment. Paul will make that clear.

See our articles on Israel: . . . http://www.hisservants.org/israel_h_s.htm . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_israel.htm

Remnant Of Israel Finding Salvation (11:1-6)

Romans 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. (KJV)

What “people”? ISRAEL! Not all Jews have rejected God’s Message of salvation. There is still a faithful remnant. Paul was a Jew, and so were Jesus’ disciples and nearly all of the early Christian missionaries. God has NOT cast away Israel, nor will He ever cast them away!

Romans 11:2-3 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. (KJV)

Elijah challenged the northern kingdom of Israel to repent. He stood all alone for God, against 450 prophets of Baal. What an amazing man this was. This story is told in 1 Kings 18:16-46

Romans 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. (KJV)

Elijah stood alone on Mt. Carmel, but when he complained, God told him He had 7000 who did not worship Baal. (1 Kings.19:18). We cannot see God working in people’s hearts, yet He does.

Romans 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. (KJV)

God always has a remnant of Jews, those who have believed God, acknowledged the Truth and come to Christ. Remnant: (Isa.1:9; 10:20-22; 11:10-12,16; 46:3; Jer.23:3; 31:7; 39:9; 40:11; Eze.6:8-10; Joel 2:32; Mic.2:12; 5:3-8; Zep.2:7-9; Zec.8:6-12; Rom.9:29; 11:5; Rev.12:17).

Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (KJV)

Grace and works are completely opposed to each other. Do you think God loves you more when you are good? Do you think God chose you because you deserved it? Do you think some people are so bad that God couldn’t possibly save them? If so, you do NOT understand that salvation is by grace, a free gift (John 4:10; Acts 2:38; Eph.2:8-9; 3:7; Rom.5:15-18; 6:23; 2 Cor.9:15). It cannot be earned, not in whole or in part; it can only be accepted with thankfulness and praise. Works will NOT get you there.

Remainder Of Israel Blinded (11:7-10)

Romans 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (KJV)

What Israel is seeking for, has not been obtained; just those who were chosen attained it, the rest simply would NOT accept the light God gave them. We all have the choice: accept Christ . . . or reject Christ. God gives ALL people enough light to come to Christ (Rom.1:20).

Romans 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. (KJV)

The vast majority of Jews CHOOSE to reject Jesus. Hardened hearts, blind eyes and deaf ears were predicted by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 6:9-13). If people refuse to hear God’s Good News about Jesus, eventually they will be unable to understand it.

Romans 11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: (KJV)

Quoting Psalm 69:22-23. The hearing ear, seeing eye and understanding heart, are gifts of God. We should not be strangers to the grace of God, for wisdom is given abundantly to all who ask for it (Jam.1:5). The table symbolizes prosperity. Don’t ever let the world’s treasures keep you from eternal treasures in Heaven (Mat.6:19-21). Earthly security could well be your downfall that puts you in Hell.

Yes! There is a Hell! . . . http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_hell_is_it_there.htm

Romans 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. (KJV)

God graciously gives us spiritual light that we may see the things of God (Rom.1:20). But, IF a person insists on going their own way, be they Jews OR Gentiles, God will NOT force Himself on them. IF they persist on their blindness, they cannot and will not see Christ, and they cannot possibly understand the Bible. God can open your eyes, IF you let Him! Are you letting your blindness keep you from Jesus today?

Reason For Setting Aside Israel . . . Romans 11:11-21

Romans 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. (KJV)

Paul opens this verse the same as he did verse 1. Has God cast the Jews away? NO! Rejection is only in part and temporary, so that God could open the gates of salvation wide for the Gentiles (non-Jews). Their stumbling was a blessing to us! It brought salvation to the Gentiles, thus provoking the Jews to jealousy (Deut.32:21).

Romans 11:12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? (KJV)

The sin of the Jews brought rich blessings to the world. Their spiritual poverty brought rich blessings to the Gentiles. For now, the Jews have been set aside, bringing blessings they could have had (and still CAN) to the Gentiles. Think how much greater a blessing the world will share when the Jews finally accept Christ. It will be AFTER the church is raptured (1 Thes.4:13-18) that multitudes will turn to Jesus.

Romans 11:13-14 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. (KJV)

Paul was a Jew, but he was called by God to go to the Gentiles. He wanted desperately to find a way to make the Jews want what the Gentiles had, so that in some way he might save some of them with the Gospel he brought.

Romans 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (KJV)

Since the Jews' rejection meant that God offered salvation to the rest of the world, how wonderful it will be when they accept Jesus. As we believers well know, it will be life for those who were dead! (Eph.2:1-2).

Romans 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. (KJV)

Since Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were holy, their children will also be holy. For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too.

Romans 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; (KJV)

Some of the olive branches have been broken off, and we, a wild olive branch, have been grafted in their place. So now we also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in God's rich nourishment of his special olive tree. We as born again believers benefit because of Israel. We should not, we cannot be anti-Semitic. We cannot hate the Jews as some professing Christians do.

See our articles on Israel: . . . http://www.hisservants.org/israel_h_s.htm . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_israel.htm

Romans 11:18-19 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. (KJV)

The “olive tree” is symbolic of Israel. The “wild olive tree” is the church, (born again believers). Our salvation is rooted in the fact that God called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for out of that nation came our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. We have NO room to boast of anything, save our Lord Jesus. We must not despise those who were broken off like branches. We are just a branch; the roots support us. How can we be proud even though the branches were broken off to make room for us? We should be sad for the Jews and try to reach them for Christ.

Romans 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: (KJV)

Israel was set aside because of their UNBELIEF! How can we stand before God on our own merit? We can’t! It was our faith alone and the grace of God that saved us (Eph.2:8-9). Our works, our honesty, our good morality, our good life, our church membership . . . NONE of these brought salvation to us. It was our faith alone! We can never be proud but fear the Lord God Almighty!

Romans 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. (KJV)

Since God did NOT spare Israel (the natural olive tree), why would He spare the church (the wild olive tree)? He will NOT spare an apostate church! It is my firm belief that after the Rapture, many churches will continue to hold services the following Sunday morning, for there are many today that fit the profile of the Laodicean church (Rev.3:14).

See our articles on apostasy: . . . http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_apostate_world.htm

Restoration Of The Nation Israel . . . Romans 11:22-32

Romans 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (KJV)

This is really a warning to us. Israel’s rejection reveals the severity of God. He is loving, YES! But He can also be stern and severe in His judgment when we do NOT obey Him, and reject His Beloved Son. This verse also shows the goodness and grace of God to all who place their trust in Jesus. It shows that we Gentiles can also be cut off.

Romans 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. (KJV)

When the Jews abandon their unbelief, they will be put back in the place where they were; for they will be grafted onto the tree again. God is well able to do that (Luke 18:27).

Romans 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? (KJV)

Since God was willing to take Gentiles who were, by nature, branches from a wild olive tree and graft us into His own good tree which is a very unusual thing to do; He will be far more eager to graft the Jews (these broken-off branches) back to their own tree again, back where they belong.

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (KJV)

The fulness of the Gentiles” began many years ago; when God called out the church. Acts 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. (KJV) . . . It will conclude with the Rapture of the church (1 Thes.4:13-18).

Mystery” needs to be explained. In Paul’s day there were ‘mystery’ religions. Today, a mystery is an unrevealed plot or person. In the Bible it is neither of these. In Scripture, mystery refers to something that was concealed in the Old Testament, but revealed in the New Testament. The mystery here is the identification of the fulness of the Gentiles which was NOT revealed in the Old Testament.

Many Jews have hard, unbelieving hearts; but this will last only until the complete number of Gentiles comes to Christ. After that, after the Rapture, God will start dealing with Israel in the Great Tribulation period. Millions of Jews will hear the Gospel brought to them by the 144,000 (Rev.7).

See our articles on the Rapture and Second coming of Christ, and the Great Tribulation Period: . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_rapture,_second_coming.htm . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_tribulation_what.htm . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_tribulation,_why.htm

Romans 11:26-27 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. (KJV)

Some say “All Israel will be saved” means that the majority of Jews in the last generation before Christ’s return will turn to Christ for salvation.

While others say that “all Israel” means Israel as a whole will have a role in Christ’s kingdom. Their identity as a people will not be discarded. God chose the nation of Israel, and He has never rejected it.

Paul does NOT mean that every Jew will be saved. In Elijah’s day only a remnant was saved; in David’s day only a remnant was saved; in Paul’s day only a remnant was saved; in today’s time only a remnant is saved and in the Great Tribulation there will be just a remnant saved. ALL of the remnant will be saved. Isaiah 59:20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. [KJV] . . . The Lord says to His people, “I will come to Jerusalem to defend you and to save all of you that turn from your sins.” This message is to every individual in the nation Israel! They must “turn from their transgression” and TO the Redeemer (the Messiah, the Christ). It is exactly the same way we Gentiles receive salvation. There is but ONE God. There is NOT one God for the Jews and another for the Gentiles. We ALL have the same God!

Remnant: (Isa.1:9; 10:20-22; 11:10-12,16; 46:3; Jer.23:3; 31:7; 39:9; 40:11; Eze.6:8-10; Joel 2:32; Mic.2:12; 5:3-8; Zep.2:7-9; Zec.8:6-12; Rom.9:29; 11:5; Rev.12:17).

God also chose the church, through Jesus Christ, and He will never reject it either. This does not mean, that all Jews or all church members will be saved. We can belong to a nation or an organization and never respond to Christ in faith. But, just because some people have rejected Christ does not mean that God stops working with either Israel or the church. He continues to offer salvation freely to all.

See our articles on Israel: . . . http://www.hisservants.org/israel_h_s.htm . . . http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_israel.htm

Romans 11:28-29 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (KJV)

Because the Jews reject the Good News, they are God’s enemies for the sake of us Gentiles. But because of God’s choice (election), they are His friends because of their ancestors. God never changes His mind about whom He chooses and blesses. The privileges and invitation of God given to Israel can never be withdrawn.

Romans 11:30-31 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. (KJV)

As for us Gentiles, we too disobeyed God in the past; but now we have received God’s mercy because the Jews were unbelieving. In the same way, the Jewish people have also disobeyed God; and God will also be merciful to them just as He was to us.

Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. (KJV)

Both Jews and Gentiles are in a stubborn state of unbelief and rebellion against God. God has allowed all people to be imprisoned in their own disobedience and unbelief, so that He could be merciful to all people. It is only by grace that we are saved (Ep.2:8-9). Our faith, our believing God, saves us because of God’s amazing and abundant grace. IF we could save ourselves we would surely brag about it to everyone. As it is, we cannot brag about it because it is a FREE GIFT! 2 Cor. 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (KJV) . . . In my humble opinion, MORE than one Gift: Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit, grace, love, mercy, forgiveness, justification, salvation, etc., etc. Thank You , thank You, thank You!

Why will the nation Israel be restored? What is God’s reason? The reason is locked up with the riches of God’s all-knowing wisdom. He is omniscient, all knowing, all seeing all the time (Ps.139:2; Job 42:2; Jer.16:17; Is.42:9; 46:9-10; Eze.11:5; Lu.16:15). We as His creations can only rest in the fact that ALL (everything) that He does is wise and right. He will do what is best for Israel and He will do what is best for born again believers. Count on it.

We tend to question God when He does something contrary to what we think. We feel His decision is wrong, but my friend, He is NEVER wrong! He is God and He has the right to do as He pleases. He is sovereign, absolute and almighty. He can do whatever pleases Him and we as His creations have no right to object to any decision He makes. IF at any time you think He is not doing right . . . you are wrong! We are inclined to do stupid things at times; but God never does anything stupid or wrong, ever! Nor does He ever make mistakes!

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (KJV)

What an awesome and wonderful God we have! How great are His riches and wisdom and knowledge! It is simply impossible for us to understand His love, His decisions, and His purposes! NO one can explain His decisions or His ways. They are beyond our ever finding out!

This is a prayer of praise to God for the wisdom of His Plan. Although God’s method and means are beyond our comprehension, God is not chaotic or careless. He governs the Universe and our lives in perfect wisdom, justice, and love. The apostle Paul knew the mysteries of the kingdom of God as well any person could possibly know them; yet he was at a loss. He humbly admits and adores the depth of our awesome triune God. The more we know about God and His love, power, and wisdom, the more we feel our own lack of love, weakness and deficit of wisdom. The Divine counsels of God are rich and abundant for those of us who flee to Him in prayer. His counsels are precious, valuable, and complete; not only deep and high but wide and long (Eph.3:18), and they pass any and all our knowledge.

This brief Passage is pure praise to Almighty God. IF we do not understand the why of God’s dealings with Israel and the Gentiles, it is simply because we are unable to comprehend the love, wisdom and ways of God. 1 Cor. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. [KJV]

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. [KJV] . . . We really do need to consider this Truth. We do not think like God thinks and our ways are different than His.

Romans 11:34-35 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (KJV)

These are some hard questions! Who knows the mind of the Lord? NO ONE! It should be our earnest desire to know Him (Phil.3:10), but we will never know His mind. We can never know what the Lord is thinking.

Who knows enough to be His counselor? Who is able to give Him advice? NO ONE!

There are a lot of people who seem to think they could do it better than God, especially cult members, but no one can advise God on any subject!

Who could ever give Him so much that He would have to pay it back? NO ONE!

God owns it all, so how could we, His creations, ever give Him something that He would have to pay us back? Utter nonsense.

The implication of these questions is that NO one has ever fully understood the mind of the Lord. NO one has ever been His counselor, or can be. And last but not least, God owes nothing to any of us. Isaiah and Jeremiah asked similar questions to show that we are unable to give advice to God or criticize His ways (Is.40:13; Jer.23:18). God alone is the Possessor of absolute and complete power and absolute and complete wisdom.

Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (KJV)

This is an amazing verse. An astounding and wonderful prayer of praise to the One and Only One who deserves it!

Everything is “of Him” (from Him, out of Him), means that God is the all sufficient reason and source of everything everywhere!

All things exist (live, remain, endure, continue, survive) “through Him” means that God is our mighty Sustainer and Worker (John 5:17).

To Him” means that all things were created by Him, and for Him.

In the final analysis, all of us are absolutely dependent on God for everything. It is only by His amazing grace that we survive. He could take us out of this world at any moment. He is the source of all things, including ourselves. He is the power that sustains us and He rules the world that we live in. God works out all things to bring glory to Himself. The all-powerful God deserves our praise.

Everything comes from God; everything exists by His almighty wisdom and power and everything is intended for His glory. All glory belongs to Him, in all ages. Anyone who accepts honor and glory for themselves is robbing God and taking credit for something they have no business taking credit for. To GOD be the glory, now and for evermore. Amen.

The Book of Romans

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