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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's letter to the Romans

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Frameworks: Romans 11

 

(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)

         

 

CHAPTER 11

v.1-6 All called but only a faithful remnant chosen
v.7-10 The obedient chosen, the disobedient rest
v.11-15 Faithful Gentiles to make Jews Jealous
v.16-24 Analogies of Grafting
v.25-32 The hope of the future
v.33-36 Praise to God

 

 

[Context: We continue to provide a brief summary of earlier sections to provide present context:

Part 1: Ch.1-8: Our lost state & God's Justification & the New Life

Part 2: Ch.9-11 Considering the State of Israel

Ch.9 He considers the state of his own people, Israel, who might feel rejected when they see Gentiles entering the kingdom. He deals with God's sovereign choice. See notes at end of chapter 9]

Ch.10 He considers the misguided zeal of his own people, their need to receive and speak out by faith the words of the Gospel about Christ, and their failure to believe.

Now he reflects on the unbelief and belief of Jews and Gentiles and how roles have been reversed – for the time being.

 

 

v.1-6 All called but only a faithful remnant chosen

 

v.1 (was Jewish disobedience a God-act? No Paul, a believer was a Jew) So I ask, “Did God force his people to leave him?” Of course not. I myself am an Israelite. I am from the family of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.

v.2,3  (God chose Israel so didn't force their unbelief. This has often seemed to happen. Elijah, for instance thought he was the only believer left in his day) God chose the Israelites to be his people before they were born. And he did not force them to leave. Surely you know what the Scriptures say about Elijah. The Scriptures tell about Elijah praying to God against the people of Israel. He said, “Lord, they have killed your prophets and destroyed your altars. I am the only prophet still living, and they are trying to kill me now.” [1 Kings 19:10,14]

v.4 (God disagreed – there were still at least 7000 ) But what answer did God give to Elijah? God said, “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have never given worship to Baal.” [1 Kings19:18]

v.5 (it is the same today – a minority believing remnant) It is the same now. God has chosen a few people by his grace.

v.6 (but they are believers by faith-grace not by what they do) And if he chose them by grace, then it is not what they have done that made them his people. If they could be made his people by what they did, his gift of grace would not really be a gift.

 

v.7-10 The obedient chosen, the disobedient rest

 

v.7 (Israel wanted God's blessing but the price was obedience and many wouldn't) So this is what has happened: The people of Israel wanted God's blessing, but they did not all get it. The people he chose did get his blessing, but the others became hard and refused to listen to him.

v.8 (because He wasn't heavy handed with them, Israel's negative hearts accepted a slumber-type spiritual life, right up to now) As the Scriptures say, “God caused the people to fall asleep.” “God closed their eyes so that they could not see, and he closed their ears so that they could not hear. This continues until now.”

v.9,10 (David spoke of the same things – complacency in the good life caused their fall) And David says, “Let those people be caught and trapped at their own feasts.   Let them fall and be punished. Let their eyes be closed so that they cannot see. And let them be troubled forever.”

 

v.11-15 Faithful Gentiles to make Jews Jealous

 

v.11 (But their flal hasn't resulted in their destruction; they continue to exist, having opened the door to faith in the Gentiles who now make them jealous) So I ask: When the Jews fell, did that fall destroy them? No! But their mistake brought salvation to those who are not Jews. The purpose of this was to make the Jews jealous.

v.12 (their rejection of their messiah brought salvation to the Gentile world) Their mistake brought rich blessings to the world. And what they lost brought rich blessings to the non-Jewish people. So surely the world will get much richer blessings when enough Jews become the kind of people God wants.

v.13 (I am addressing Gentiles) Now I am speaking to you people who are not Jews. I am an apostle to the non-Jewish people. So while I have that work, I will do the best I can.

v.14 (I hope my ministry with you will make some of my people jealous so perhaps they will get saved) I hope I can make my own people jealous. That way, maybe I can help some of them to be saved.

v.15 (God made friends with the Gentiles so when the Jews eventually come back it will be the resurrection of their people) God turned away from the Jews. When that happened, he became friends with the other people in the world. So when he accepts the Jews, it will be like bringing people to life after death.

 

v.16-24 Analogies of Grafting

 

v.16 (if a part of a loaf is holy, the whole loaf is; is tree roots are holy, so is the tree and its branches) If the first piece of bread is offered to God, then the whole loaf is made holy. If the roots of a tree are holy, the tree's branches are holy too.

v.17 (take an olive tree for example: call it the people of God. It's like some branches – Israel – have been broken off and new ones – Gentiles – grafted in) It is as if some of the branches from an olive tree have been broken off, and the branch of a wild olive tree has been joined to that first tree. If you are not a Jew, you are the same as that wild branch, and you now share the strength and life of the first tree.

v.18 (but if you're a grafted in branch don't feel superior because you only have life because of the roots) But don't act as if you are better than those branches that were broken off. You have no reason to be proud of yourself, because you don't give life to the root. The root gives life to you.

v.19 (you might say they were broken off so we could be grafted in) You might say, “Branches were broken off so that I could be joined to their tree.”

v.20 (right! but they were broken off because of unbelief. Bear than in mind!) That is true. But those branches were broken off because they did not believe. And you continue to be part of the tree only because you believe. Don't be proud, but be afraid.

v.21 (if you stop believing don't you expect to remain in the tree of God's people) If God did not let the natural branches of that tree stay, he will not let you stay if you stop believing.

v.22 (God can be kind and strict, kind if you remain obedient but you don't then expect to be cut off) So you see that God is kind, but he can also be very strict. He punishes those who stop following him. But he is kind to you, if you continue trusting in his kindness. If you don't continue depending on him, you will be cut off from the tree.

v.23 (if the Jews as a people believe again they will be rejoined) And if the Jews will believe in God again, he will accept them back. He is able to put them back where they were.

v.24 (it would be more natural for them, the original branches to be regrafted than you wild branches having been grafted in) It is not natural for a wild branch to become part of a good tree. But you non-Jewish people are like a branch cut from a wild olive tree. And you were joined to a good olive tree. But those Jews are like a branch that grew from the good tree. So surely they can be joined to their own tree again.

 

v.25-32 The hope of the future

 

v.25 (the truth is that their stubbornness will only last until the full number of Gentiles have come to belief) I want you to understand this secret truth, brothers and sisters. This truth will help you understand that you don't know everything. The truth is this: Part of Israel has been made stubborn, but that will change when enough non-Jewish people have come to God.

v.26,27 (they will be saved when they ‘see' their Saviour) And that is how all Israel will be saved. The Scriptures say, “The Savior will come from Zion;   he will take away all evil from the family of Jacob. And I will make this agreement with those people   when I take away their sins.”

v.28 (at the moment they are in unbelief but they started the church to bless you Gentiles but He still loves them) The Jews refuse to accept the Good News, so they are God's enemies. This has happened to help you who are not Jews. But they are still God's chosen people, and he loves them because of the promises he made to their ancestors.

v.29 (God hasn't changed His intentions to bless them) God never changes his mind about the people he calls. He never decides to take back the blessings he has given them.

v.30 (you once were unbelievers but now received mercy because of them starting the church off) At one time you refused to obey God. But now you have received mercy, because the Jews refused to obey.

v.31 (now it's them who don't believe but that won't last for ever) And now they are the ones who refuse to obey, because God showed mercy to you. But this happened so that they can also receive mercy from him.

v.32 (let's face it, all mankind rebelled so now God's mercy can be held out to all peoples) All people have refused to obey God. And he has put them all together as people who don't obey him so that he can show mercy to everyone.

 

v.33-36 Praise to God

 

v.33 (accept it, we're all a bit lost trying to understand God's wonderful plans) Yes, God's riches are very great! His wisdom and knowledge have no end! No one can explain what God decides. No one can understand his ways.

v.34,35 (scripture speaks of our lack of understanding) As the Scriptures say, “Who can know what is on the Lord's mind? Who is able to give him advice?” “Who has ever given God anything?   God owes nothing to anyone.”

v.36 (but God is Creator ad Sustainer of all we know, so worship Him) Yes, God made all things. And everything continues through him and for him. To God be the glory forever! Amen.