As we’ve wrestled with the questions of whether God has abandoned Israel, we’ve seen that His grace is emphatic that His promises are still intact and certain. In today’s message, we peek ahead to a time when it will no longer be promises but fulfilled.
Paul’s question in Romans 11 if God has rejected Israel for their rejection of Jesus. He very quickly answers that question as “no” and then focuses our attention on how God has used their rejection to spread the wealth of the Gospel around the world, ultimately using that to bring Israel back to Him.
God is fully trustworthy. He has always kept His promises to Israel, and He will always keep His promises to us. God’s Word has not failed, and he will never reject his people. In fact, He will always preserve a remnant of believing Israelites.
When we focus on getting to the bottom of why something isn’t work as it should or perhaps why someone isn’t doing what they should, it’s common to use the strategy of ruling things out. This leads us to a rational method of understanding things without always assuming the worst. Paul uses that strategy in Roman 10:5-21 to understand why we may not take the action that the Gospel leads us to.
The message of Easter offers us something much better than a guess or a magic pill and gives us more confidence than a shrug and an “I hope it will work” when it comes to our hope in reaching Heaven. The message of Easter offers us a true miracle that brings confidence, assurance and hope!
In his book called the Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis beautifully imagines the creation of Narnia by the song of the Great Lion, and it is wonderful. But, not everyone in the story sees it as such. Here Lewis notes that “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.
As we come again to the often perplexing text of Romans 9, I’m praying that God will help us to have a better “standing” in order to see what God intends for us to see. We all have questions about election, but don’t miss the point… God wanted you first and that he will keep you until the end.
Last week in our Romans series we considered chapter 9:1-5 and Paul’s broken heart over a perplexing reality – the reality of Israel’s national rejection of Jesus as their messiah. This reality spurred in Paul an impassioned desire to see his fellow countrymen saved.
You see, Paul understands that Israel’s rejection of Jesus allows an elephant in the room. Therefore, Paul addresses it head on. He spends three chapters helping us understand the state of Israel’s present and future and ultimately proves and proclaims that God is utterly trustworthy to keep His promises. In chapters 9-11 Paul anchors the promises of chapter 8 in an infinitely trustworthy God.
The heights of Roman 8 and the peaks of joy give way to a broken Paul dealing with the reality his fellow countrymen have rejected Jesus. The first 5 verses of Roman 9 begin to lay out Paul’s burden for them to be saved and his intense defense of God and the Gospel.
If we have access to free grace and our past sins aren’t counted against us, does that lead to lawlessness then? Pastor Dustin reviews Romans 6 with us where Paul refuses that notion because of our unity in Christ.