Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 11 – Part 4

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

We are at the close of Chapter 11. Paul has been agonizing over the spiritual condition of Israel. And instructing the Gentiles how to understand their faith in light of the Jewish rejection of Jesus. Paul has been using this tragedy of lost Jews to explain the salvation history to the Gentile believers

My Big Idea for today is a reminder that our response to God must be about Gratitude and acknowledgment. My prayer for us today, is that by hearing this message we might be encouraged to approach God in humility and awe, knowing that He alone is worthy of praise and that he has lavished his grace on us. If you have your Bibles today will you turn with me to Romans Chapter 11 starting in verse 33.

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. 

Romans 11:33-36

Normally, I would have 2 or 3 points to share with you, but today we are going to look at 2 ideas that track simultaneously. Let’s see what we got going on.

Paul Demonstrates A Grateful Acknowledgment Of God

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  

Romans 11:33

This is Paul’s Doxology. This is Paul’s hymn of praise. This is not just Paul telling the truth about some aspect of God, Paul is praising God with joy and thanksgiving. Paul begins with an exclamation of Joy! He has humbled himself in comparison to the sheer awe and depth of God in his wisdom and knowledge. I know that as church people we are supposed to worship God. So why is Paul’s expression of praise so significant that it gets its own little section in the Bible. Let’s go back for a moment.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 

Romans 1:21

The sin issues here remember they were the people who once knew God but, “they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him…”  For almost 7 chapters, Paul has been declaring Gods mercy and grace. In these chapters, Paul has been laying out the details of salvation and our Christian assurance brought out by faith in Jesus Christ. As Paul bring this section (chapters 9-11) to a close, he reminds us of our proper perspective in worship and attitude towards God. To acknowledge Him as God, giving praise and thanks to Him.

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

Romans 11:33

 How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!    

Paul focuses here on riches, wisdom and Knowledge. Riches, although It can stand alone really helps to quantify a vast amount of wisdom and knowledge, Wisdom in this context, Paul is pointing to God’s endless lovingkindness demonstrated by His plan of salvation. And in this way knowledge of God is reflected in a relational knowing regarding to His elect and foreknowledge. Somebody needs to get excited today. Are praising God for Who He is today. His unsearchable judgments are not judicial ones. However, His Judgements are more about His sovereign choice/decisions that provide for the salvation of all who believe.

“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”

Romans 11:34-35

Only Christ has the embodied fullness of God’s wisdom is his work of salvation on that cross. Paul uses his signature type rhetorical questions to make his point, reminding them of the Old Testament passages in which he refers.

Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor?

Isaiah 40:13

No one can instruct/counsel the LORD! God Speaks to Job about Leviathan/ when Job demands an explanation for God.

Will it keep begging you for mercy? Will it speak to you with gentle words?

Job 41:3

God is not bound to human terms and he never gives Job an answer as to his affliction. The point Paul wants to make is that God’s Plan and mind are so much higher than ours and Paul exclaims this with joy. Thanksgiving is implied in Paul’s joy. How many of you have had joy with no gratitude? Because Paul is grateful, he exclaims with joy. Are you praising God with joyful exclamation?

For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.  

Romans 11:36

In humility Paul, gives supremacy to Christ in all creation and all purpose.

Jesus teaches us this manner of prayer.

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed
be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
[a]For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV)

Our life & communication with God should always include these elements; Humility- Our action should be informed by our understanding that God is Greater in all things. Intellect, Wisdom and foresight.  This encompasses his love and our salvation. Submitting to His will is not just a Christian catch phrase. It is a state of being. Humble in His plan.

Next is acknowledgment of His holiness. (hallowed be your name). His holiness is the characteristic of God that we should remember the most. Remember it is only through the merits of Jesus Christ can we approach a holy God. This remains part of our commission.

for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:16

Those who once knew God, they rejected Him and ignored God and were turned over to their sinful desires. Their foolish hearts were darkened. Finally friends, we must come with thanksgiving to God.

Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

A grateful heart is life changing. Can I just say that being grateful to God will replace misery and anxiety in your life so fast it will blow your mind. When we are focusing gratitude towards God, our eyes are not on our problems. Our eyes are on Him. Let’s be people That are grateful to God, focused on Him.

So, as we praise God for all that He is and All that he has done let us bow our knee in humility to Him. Let’s keep a good and proper perspective of our limitations and His infinite and glorious plan for our lives and salvation.

The he would give us the grace to glorify Him with all that we say and do.

If you are hearing me today and you aren’t really sure of what God has done for you. You don’t have a relationship with Christ and you’ve never asked him into your heart.

Let me just share this last thing with 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

Would you open our hearts today. 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