Bible Discussion — Romans 11

November 7, 2007, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Chloe, Connie, David, Josh J, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the next chapter in the book of Romans, Romans 11.

Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50

Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40

And the book of Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4
Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I) | Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10

 
INTRODUCTION:
David:
During the previous two chapters, Paul has picked up his opening argument that God opened the Gospel to the Gentiles based on faith, and rejected the Jews and their pursuit of salvation through the works of the Law.

This requires some adjustment of the parameters of “rejection” and “acceptance” to assure the Jews that they are not beyond God’s grace, and remind the Gentiles that they are not above rejection themselves if they do not continue in faith.

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Steve:
Paul identifies the Jewish remnant as saved by grace in verse 2, and goes on to say that grace rules out the possibility of works. Work and grace exclude each other. We can’t rely on some combination of the two.

David:
David’s remarks, quoted from Psalm 69 (11:9-10), actually referred to those who would specifically reject the Messiah.

Connie:
For a chapter that talks about the rejection of Israel, there is a lot of talk about the restoration of Israel.

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Steve: Irrevocable; Holy Lump
David: Seven Thousand Men
Chloe: Wild Shoot
Josh: Stumbling Block

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF::
Steve:
My most memorable sermon, the only one I’ve ever preached at our church building (rather than the campground), was based on verse 29 and illustrations of its truth throughout the Old Testament and today. Samson, David, Jim Bakker: once God anoints a servant, they retain His gifts regardless of their personal failings. His calling is irrevocable.

Josh:
When I was 11, my friend Ricky’s dad had a vegetable garden that he would pay us — peanuts really, but a major payday for kids our age — to weed. It was hard work in the hot sun and often slow going due to the vastness of garden size and relative attention span of the average 11-year-old.

One day Rick, Sr. was out helping us when Ricky, unable to identify one growth, asked his father if it was a weed. Rick, Sr. turned to find Ricky already holding the plucked plant aloft. Um, it turned out it was a tomato plant, a wild one that had grown naturally from previous years’ plants. I’m pretty sure Rick was able to replant it.

David:
The music of Tim Grant comes to mind in verse 33.

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
Chloe:
“But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!” I like this reasoning. Instead of telling the Gentiles to rejoice in the good that’s come from the Israelites’ transgressions, he’s telling them that if they want to rejoice even more, they should support the Jews!

David:
Israel’s rejection of God is not total or irreversible, and our admittance into God’s grace is not final or irrevocable.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Steve:
I love Paul’s little detours into hymns of praise, like at the end of this chapter. The words of this one seem particularly appropriate; “unsearchable” sums up the passage quite well.

David:
How would you like to be Jewish? You could be part of the control group designed to fail so others could benefit from your experience.

Josh:
Some of Paul’s analogies are a bit convoluted, but the whole olive branch deal makes perfect sense to me, and my thumb is decidedly not green.

Chloe:
“Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.” I can just hear him saying this, and believe me, I am afraid!

 
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE:
Josh:
Gardening.

David:
The stumbling Stone (11:9-11, Psalm 69:19-28).

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Chloe, Steve:
11:6 — “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.”

David:
11:33 — “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”

Steve, Connie:
11:29 — “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”

Josh:
11:12 — “Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!”

 
PORTION YOU WOULD MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
Chloe:
So when the full number of Gentiles comes in (what does that mean?), all the Jews won’t have hard hearts anymore? Why does that have to be? Why can’t we coexist?

Josh:
If the election of Israel is irrevocable, what exactly does that mean now that the blessing for all nations has come?

Steve:
“All Israel will be saved”? How? What do you mean by that?

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Josh:
Sometimes Christians can have a combative or haughty attitude towards Jews. After all, they rejected Jesus! Paul is clear in this passage that our faith should not lead to arrogance, however, because not only did their disobedience unexpectedly lead to the undeserved mercy shown us, but even greater blessings are in store when they are brought to fullness.

David:
Paul told the Thessalonians: “God, from the beginning, chose you for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit (the Holy Spirit setting us apart) and belief in the truth (our response of belief).”

It’s no different for the Jews. They were chosen, but failed, because they did not believe God. We can fail for the same reason. We cannot stop hearing, believing and obeying God, and still remain his children.

Steve:
The study notes in my Bible suggest that Paul’s warning to “continue in God’s goodness” lest He be tempted to “cut you off” is meant to refer to Gentiles as a whole. Maybe so (although the argument seems a bit strained), but I don’t see the harm in taking it to heart personally, at least a little.

 
GENERAL RESPONSE TO THE PASSAGE:
David:
There is no reason to assume every Jew who ever lived will be saved based on Paul’s comment in verse 26. He has made the argument that in the past, all of Israel was not “saved,” but just the remnant. His remarks here can be interpreted as meaning that now, under grace, Israel can be a nation consisting entirely of “saved” people. Just a thought.

Steve:
This really is a mystery to me, precisely what Paul means here. Israel has been blinded until the fullness of the Gentiles have come in, but then they shall obtain mercy and “all be saved.” The nation? Individuals? God knows.

 
CONCLUSION:
David:
On to Romans 12, one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.


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