Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 11 – part 1

Last week we talked about the importance of sharing our faith. How sharing our faith is to our benefit as well as it is to others. We all grow spiritually when we speak and hear the word about Jesus.

My big idea today is that God is faithful to all his promises all the time. And because he is true to His word, we can trust Him to make good on salvation and eternal life. My prayer today is that by hearing this message we will believe that God is able. If you have your Bibles today will you turn with me to Romans Chapter 11 starting in verse 1.

I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me?” 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. 7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 8 as it is written:
“God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.” 9 And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. 10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.”

Romans 11:1-10

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections/points; Let’s take a look at my first point.

God Remains Faithful

I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me?” 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”

Romans 11:1-4

Paul addresses the question of, did God reject Israel. Emphatically, He says no! Paul senses this question because has arisen due to the fact that the Gospel is now going out to the Gentiles and corporately, Israel has rejected Christ. Paul uses himself as an example of God’s faithfulness. I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. Paul adds in verse 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: Did you catch that, He reassures them and then goes right to the scriptures as his authority?  I wonder today, where does our authority lie? Do we go to the Word of God to reassure us that God is still there?

“Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me?” 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”

Romans 11:3-4

The illustration is in the text. Elijah says, “God! They have destroyed everything and killed everyone; I am the only one left.” What does God say?  I have saved for myself a remnant. God’s faithfulness to Israel is both corporate (meaning the nation of Israel) and Individual those how believe. This also has to do with present and future plans of God.  According to theological timelines we are in the Church age. Interestingly enough, so is Paul. In verse 2, God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.  Paul continues to make the case that God has always left a remnant for himself. As far as Israel is concerned in this church age there is a remnant in Israel. Those who by faith God has called to Himself. And during the end of times God will call for the redemption of Israel on a corporate level.

What we must remember is in the old covenant, salvation wasn’t automatic for all Israelites there was still a faith-based requirement. Not all Israel are Israel. The delineation between righteousness of the Law and a righteousness by faith. God remains faithful. For us today, Its important that we don’t get caught up in works salvation or I must be saved because I go to church. Or I should be saved because I know my Momma is saved.

God Retains Grace for His Elect

So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. 7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened,

Romans 11:5-7

Many of the principles that apply to Israel can also be applied to the church today. We are called to faith not mere works. All who are Christian are not Christian. Are you following me?

So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.

Romans 11:5

I believe that God is calling each of us here to be a remnant for his glory. He has called us to be set apart for his pleasure. In many ways this is about His sovereign choice.

And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

Romans 11:6

God retains grace for his elect (those he chooses)

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you, so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

John 15:16

What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened,

Romans 11:7

Through the Law they earnestly sought righteousness and they came up empty. And because of their pride and their human sensitivities were bruised, they turn away from Christ and they turned away from salvation. And once they realized that Christ had risen, they were forced to save face and double down on their unfortunate and incorrect position about Jesus Christ. Think about this in our day today, when someone has an ax to grind against someone, what do they do? Immediately try to discredit them in some way. They positioned themselves against God and He chose to harden them for a season.

They sought so earnestly the righteousness by the Law and they failed to obtain it. The thing that Israel failed to obtain was a right standing/relationship with God. Do you know why we always want to earn our salvation? Have you ever needed to purchase something, and you weren’t sure that you had enough money? You dig the extra change out of the car/couch cushions. You go to the store and select the item. You stand in line while you struggle to know for sure if you have enough to cover the tax. There is some anxiety there. You become a little nervous, maybe. If you come up short, you may be a bit embarrassed, but you can come back later with more money. It’s a pain but you can make it happen. With salvation you only have one shot and we want to ensure our reservation. In essence we don’t trust that God has our salvation/our eternity fully covered. By definition, we are unable to obtain that right relationship with God because we didn’t believe/trust. God has called you His elect and he has a sufficient grace for you/ for all of us.

as it is written:
“God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear,
to this very day.” 9 And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. 10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.”

Romans 11:8-10

We have a choice to turn to God and position ourselves towards Him. And He will give us eyes to see. And He will give us ears to hear. In order for Paul to give this passage maximum impact for the Jews, Paul used the references from Deut. The Law, 1Kings & Psalms, the Writings and Isaiah, the Prophets. Out of each part of the Hebrew Scriptures Paul gives them an authoritative reassurance that God was still honoring his promise.  God is still faithful God has retained his grace for his chosen. That also includes you and me today.

Would you open our hearts today.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today?  God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life?  He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today

You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior. It’s not too late

It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me?  Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life.

If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.

Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26