Romans 11:11-18

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Text: Romans 11:11-18

SALVATION AND ISRAEL

INTRODUCTION:

As a nation Israel has had opportunities to be saved, but these opportunities have been consistently rejected. In Romans 11 we see that Israel as a whole has been temporarily set aside but will be saved as a whole at the second coming of Christ.

We have seen that -

I. GOD HAS NOT CAST AWAY ISRAEL - 11:1-6

We are in the process of seeing that -

II. AS A NATION ISRAEL HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY SET ASIDE - 11:7-12

Romans 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (verse 8 . . . unto this day)

Romans 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

Romans 11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them.

Romans 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

Romans 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

I say then (i.e. I am saying therefore) indicates that Paul is drawing an inference based upon what he has written.

The form of the question, have they stumbled (or tripped) that (i.e. in order that or for the purpose that) they should fall?, indicates that it expects a negative answer. It is understood in the sense, they have not stumbled that they should fall, have they? No, they have not. The point is that Israel did not stumble just so that God could get rid of them; and, of course, He has not gotten rid of them.

God forbid is the strong negative wish which we have seen on a number of occasions and means may it never come to pass, may it never be, or may it never happen. It expresses utter abhorrence at the very thought of it.

But rather introduces a statement in strong contrast to the thought that they have not stumbled in order that they should fall.

Instead, through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Through their fall is by means of their fall.

Fall is the term translated false step, transgression, or sin; and it refers to their sin in rejecting the Messiah.

Salvation is come unto the Gentiles as a result of their fall. However, prior to their fall, although individual Gentiles had been saved, God was not generally dealing with Gentiles as far as offering them salvation.

For to provoke them (i.e. the Israelites) to jealousy is in order to make them jealous or in order to provoke them to jealousy.

Romans 11:12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

Verse 12 takes the logic one step farther as now indicates.

If the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles is a simple condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true, and it really is true.

If should, therefore, be understood in the sense of because, since, inasmuch as, or in view of the fact that.

The fall of them is the fall of Israel, where fall is the same word used in the previous verse meaning false step, transgression, or sin.

Israel's sin in rejecting Jesus as the Messiah is the riches of the world or the wealth of the world in the sense that salvation is now available to the world, i.e. to the rest of the world besides the Jews.

The diminishing of them is the defeat of them and again refers to Israel. It is the wealth or the riches of the Gentiles. It is true. Israel's stumbling or transgression in rejecting the Messiah and Israel's spiritual defeat have resulted in a richness to the world and to the Gentiles.

The conclusion of the conditional statement is how much more their fulness.

How much more suggests how more surely or how more certainly.

Their fulness suggests their completion. Paul's point is that, if the Jews' rejection of Christ resulted in salvation for the Gentiles, the salvation of the Jews will result in even greater blessing for the Gentiles.

Their refers to Israel, and fulness suggests their completed salvation as a nation.

We see next that -

III. ISRAEL'S BLINDNESS IS ONLY IN PART - 11:13-25

Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.

In verses 13-25 Paul warns the Gentiles against unbelief also. Israel had been guilty of unbelief and was set aside by God. If the Gentiles were guilty of unbelief, could they expect anything different from God?

For I speak to you Gentiles is literally For I speak to the Gentiles. You does not appear in the Greek text. Paul is speaking, not to the believers at Rome who were Gentiles by birth; but he is speaking to the class of Gentiles everywhere. They are non-Jews.

Speak is a word ordinarily translated say and is to be understood in the sense of say, assert, declare, or proclaim.

Insomuch as is to the degree that or in so far as.

I am the apostle of the Gentiles is simply an apostle of Gentiles.

I magnify is used in the sense of I praise or I honor.

My office refers to Paul's service or Paul's ministry as an apostle of the Gentiles.

Romans 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

If by any means is if somehow or if perhaps.

I may provoke to emulation is I shall provoke to jealousy or I shall make jealous.

Those whom Paul wishes to provoke to jealousy are them which are my flesh, which refers to Paul's brothers in the flesh by which he means the nation of Israel.

And might save some of them is and I shall save some of them.

Save is the term used in the sense of keep from harm, preserve, or rescue. By this Paul means that he would do his best to save them from their sins and from the consequences of their sins. Of course, Paul cannot save them in the sense that Christ saves them; but he can save them in the sense that he can point them to Christ; and they can place their faith in Christ as Savior.

Some of them is a rather indefinite number, but Paul wants to see as many of the Jews saved as possible.

Romans 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

In verse 15 Paul asks a question which is intended to show that the casting away of the Jews was beneficial to the Gentiles and that the salvation of the Jews will be even more beneficial to the Gentiles.

For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world is a simple condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true. Since it really is true, if is understood in the sense of because, since, inasmuch as, or in view of the fact that.

The casting away of them speaks of God's rejection of Israel.

Reconciling is reconciliation. The reconciliation in view, however, is specific. It is that reconciliation provided by Christ when He died upon the cross and paid for the sins of all humanity. The barrier of sin which had separated men from God was thereby removed. At least, provision was made for its removal. When the individual places his trust in Christ as Savior, the sin is forgiven; and the barrier is removed. The individual is said to be reconciled to God.

Of the world indicates that it was the world that was reconciled to God by the casting away of the Jews. Inasmuch as the Jews were cast away, the world refers to the rest of the world or the non-Jews, i.e. to the Gentiles.

The conclusion of this conditional statement is put in the form of a question: what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

The receiving is the acceptance.

Of them is supplied by the translators as is indicated by the italics. It refers to the Jews.

But is except or if not.

The receiving of them will be life from the dead.

Life is the term which is used throughout the New Testament of eternal life, and from the dead is literally from among dead ones or out from among dead ones. It indicates that they were among dead ones and that they were, therefore, spiritually dead. When they come out from among them, it suggests that they are no longer part of that class of dead ones but now have eternal life.

Romans 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

Verse 16 is given in the form of two simple conditions, both of which are assumed, for sake of discussion, to be true. The first condition is if the firstfruit be holy, and its conclusion is the lump is also holy. The second condition is if the root be holy, and its conclusion is so are the branches.

In both conditions, if is understood in the sense of assuming that.

The firstfruit is what is first produced from something. In this case it is produced from a lump or batch of dough.

Holy suggests dedicated to God or sacred.

The principle is that the result will not be better than the original. If the firstfruit is holy, it stands to reason that the lump of dough also had to be holy. Otherwise, the firstfruit would not be holy.

If the root be holy, so are the branches. This second condition turns it around. Whereas the first condition views the result as holy because the original was holy, in the second condition, the original is viewed as holy and, therefore, so is the result of it.

If a root is dedicated or set apart to God, so are the things which the root produces going to be dedicated to God or sacred. In this case the root produces the branches.

Romans 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree.

Verse 17 is a simple condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true; and it actually is true. The conclusion of this conditional statement is the phrase boast not against the branches found in verse 18.

If is understood in the sense of because, since, inasmuch as, or in view of the fact that.

Some of the branches refers to a part of the nation of Israel. It is not the entire nation, but it is a part of it.

Be broken off is in keeping with the picture of Israel as a tree and suggests that some of the Israelites were cast away or were rejected.

Thou refers to individual Gentiles who have been saved and who, therefore, have been grafted into the tree one by one.

Being a wild olive tree is understood in the sense of although you were a wild olive tree.

Wert graffed in is were grafted in.

Among them suggests among the branches that were not broken off but which remained. In other words, the Gentiles have not replaced the Jews as God's people but were simply added to them, although some of the Jews were removed.

And with them partakest is literally and you became a partner or you became a participant. The idea is that the Gentiles shared something with the Jews.

What the Gentiles partook of were the root and the fatness of the olive tree.

Fatness suggests richness. The original olive tree supported the wild olive tree which was grafted in with its nutrients and so forth.

Romans 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

The conclusion of the condition given in verse 17 is boast not against the branches. Its tense indicates that this was already happening and must be stopped. This means that the Gentiles were boasting against the Jews. It means stop boasting against the branches or stop exulting over the branches.

The second half of verse 18 introduces a statement in mild contrast with the first half as is indicated by but. Again we have a simple condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true.

The condition is if thou boast, while the conclusion is thou bearest not the root but the root thee.

Since one may or may not boast, if is to be understood in the sense of assuming that.

Thou is you (singular) and is emphatic. Thou boast is you are boasting, you are exulting over, or you are bragging.

Bearest not the root is used in the sense of are not carrying the root or are not supporting the root.

The second but introduces a statement in strong contrast to thou bearest not the root.

The root thee suggests that the root is bearing you. Is bearing is to be supplied from the context by the reader. The point is that, if an individual is going to boast, he needs to have his facts straight. The Gentile should not be boasting about how he has replaced the Jew; instead, he should be boasting in the Jews and the part that the Jews have had in his salvation.

CONCLUSION:

Paul desired that Israel be saved. Israel had had ample opportunity, but continued to reject the gospel as God's means of salvation.

Now this situation is only temporary. Eventually Israel as a nation will be saved.

Have you trusted Christ as your personal savior, or are you continuing to reject Him as Israel did?