Saturday, May 17, 2008

Romans 9-11 - Israel & God's Character

ROMANS 9-11: Has God’s Word failed?
That was the big question that the congregation at Rome wanted to know. Paul’s short answer is No, because of God’s character of Sovereignty, Faithfulness, and Justice overlaid with Mercy.
Romans 9-11 not a parenthesis between Romans 8 and 12 as some Bible teachers assert. It is integral to the book of Romans.
The Big Question that the Roman believers, Jewish and Gentile were asking: “Paul, if God is all powerful and faithful as you say (chap. 8), then why as more Gentiles come to Christ are more Jews rejecting it? Didn’t God say he had an everlasting love for Israel (Jeremiah 31:2)? If so, how can the Jews reject his love after centuries of relationship with Him and His Word (Rom 3:1-2)? They are being lost, and God’s everlasting love does not seem to be doing them any good! That worries us. How can we be sure of God’s promise that nothing separates us from God’s love (Rom 8:39)? Has God’s word failed?”

Romans 9-11 is Paul’s answer.
The problem is found in Romans 9:1-6a. Israel’s rejection of the Gospel makes God’s promises appear to fail. The solution is found in Romans 9:6b-11:32. The celebration is found in Romans 11:33-36.

  1. Romans 9:1-6a: Does Israel’s rejection of the Gospel make God’s word a failure?
  2. Romans 9:6b-29: Is God to blame? No. He is Sovereign.
  3. Romans 9:30 – 10:21: Is Israel to blame? Yes. Their failure is in seeing the Law (Torah) as a book of legalistic works rather than trusting God (Rom 9:31-32; 4:1-3). This is why Israel has not receive the promises.
  4. Romans 11:1-32: Israel’s failure is not permanent. God will fulfill His purposes for Israel. And if Israel’s failure means salvation of the nations, then God’s fulfillment of His promises to Israel will be even more glorious. Therefore, don’t boast, you Gentiles. Salvation was for the Jew first, then the Gentiles (Rom 1:17). In fact, through Gentile Christian mercy, Israel will see their Messiah and come to salvation in Jesus their Messiah.
  5. Romans 11:33-36: Hymn of Praise at God’s plan for world history.