Romans 11:19-36

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Text: Romans 11:19-36

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 have also seen that -

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

We are in the process of seeing that -

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

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?

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

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

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?

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

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

We continue with 11:19 -

Romans 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.

This Gentile is a professing believer.

I is emphatic. It is a boast that the Gentile may be making. He is thus boasting in his person or in something that he has done that he merits being grafted in and that the Jew deserves to be gotten rid of just so that he can be included.

In verse 19 it is apparent that the Gentile is admiring himself and arguing that the Jews were removed in order that he himself might be grafted in.

Thou wilt say is predictive of what the Gentile will say.

Then is inferential and suggests therefore, accordingly, consequently, or so.

What the Gentile will say is the branches were broken off that I might be graffed in, where I is emphatic.

The point of the emphasis is that the Gentile believes that he somehow deserves to be grafted in and that the Jew deserves to be gotten rid of just so that he instead can be included.

Romans 11:20 (20) Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear.

Well is used in the sense okay, but you need to remember something. It does not suggest that Paul is agreeing with any argument the Gentile has made in his statement. It is suggesting that Paul will be pointing out something to him that will contradict what he is saying.

Because of unbelief provides the reason they were broken off.

And thou standest by faith is something Paul wishes to remind the one arguing. Remember that this Gentile is a professing believer.

Thou is emphatic.

Standest suggests that he has stood in the past and continues standing as a result.

By faith suggests because of his faith or by means of his faith; but a warning is given unto him.

It is be not highminded but fear; for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Be not highminded suggests that an action already going on must be stopped in the sense of stop being proud or stop being haughty.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to be not highminded.

Fear is another imperative and means be afraid or become frightened.

Romans 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Verse 21 provides the reason why this Gentile who is boasting should stop being highminded and why he should be afraid.

Remember that this Gentile is a professing believer.

Verse 21 is given in the form of a simple condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true; and it is true.

The condition is if God spared not the natural branches.

The conclusion is take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Because the condition is actually true, if is understood in the sense of because, since, inasmuch as, or in view of the fact that.

God is the One Who did not spare the natural branches. By the natural branches he means some of the Jews.

Take heed suggests beware.

Lest he also spare not thee is the reason this boasting Gentile should take heed.

Lest is lest somehow or that perhaps. The suggestion is that God could cut off any branch if He chose to do so. Therefore, the individual who is boasting about his position needs to beware and fear.

This is not teaching that one can lose his salvation. It might be hinting, however, that an individual might think he is saved and not really be saved. For why would an individual who is genuinely saved be boasting against the Jews? It does not make sense because his very salvation came through the Jews. He is only a professing believer.

The setting aside of the Jews is only a temporary situation, and it will last until such time as the fullness of the Gentiles is come in.

Romans 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

In verse 22 Paul sums up the dealings of God with the Jews and with the Gentiles.

Behold is you see, and then is therefore.

Goodness . . . of God means God's kindness or God's generosity.

And severity of God means God's severity. Severity is the opposite of goodness.

God's severity is on them which fell, i.e. on these Jews who have been set aside.

But toward thee, goodness is toward this Gentile

If thou continue in his goodness is if you persist in (or persevere in) His goodness. The only reason that the Gentile would fail to continue in God's goodness is if he were not saved in the first place. Unsaved Jews will be broken off. Unsaved Gentiles can certainly be cut out as well.

Otherwise is for, if it were different.

Thou also is you also and is emphatic.

Shalt be cut off is shall be cut down. It is not speaking of a loss of salvation for someone who has been genuinely saved. Jews were removed who had never been saved in the first place. Rather their continuance is proof of their salvation.

Romans 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.

In verse 23 we see that, just as God is able to cut out an unbelieving Gentile, He is able to graft in a believing Jew.

And they also refers to the Israelites.

If they abide not still in unbelief is a condition about which no assumption may be made. They refers to the Jews.

Abide is the same word translated continue in verse 22, meaning continue, persist in, or persevere. What they are persisting in is unbelief; but if this should change and they no longer persist in unbelief, (they) shall be graffed (or grafted) in, a prediction of something which will occur in the future if the condition is met.

For God is able to graft them in again is a statement of fact. What Paul does not state, but which is also true, is that God is willing to graft them in again. The Jews are not lost hopelessly in the sense that God has an inability to save them. It is only a temporary matter where He has set aside the Jews in order that the Gentiles might be saved. There is also no necessary implication in this chapter that God could not have saved the Gentiles without setting the Jews aside temporarily. As a matter of fact, both could have been saved without either ever being set aside. In the future, however, when the time for the salvation of the Gentiles as a group will be completed, the Jews as a nation will be saved. It is all in the plan of God, and it is proceeding right on schedule.

Romans 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

Verse 24 suggests the compatibility of salvation for the Jews. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree is a simple condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true.

Thou, i.e. you, refers to this representative Gentile.

Cut out is the same word translated cut off in verse 22. This Gentile was cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature. This Gentile was also grafted into a good olive tree.

Contrary to nature indicates that it is not normal for a wild olive tree to be grafted into a good olive tree, i.e. a cultivated olive tree. The contrast is between an olive tree which grows wild and one which has been planted and cultivated where its owner wishes.

How much more is suggesting that it is an even greater likelihood that the natural branches will be grafted into their own olive tree in contrast with thou, the wild olive tree, being grafted into the cultivated olive tree.

The natural branches refers to the Jews that will be saved.

Shall . . . be graft into is predictive of something that is going to happen in the future. It means that it will be no problem to God to save these Jews.

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

In verse 25 Paul spells out clearly that this setting aside of the Jews is only a temporary situation, and it will last only until such time as the fullness of the Gentiles is come in.

For I would not (i.e. do not wish or do not desire) that ye should be ignorant is for I do not wish you to be ignorant.

You has been singular throughout verses 17-24, but now in verse 25 it is plural.

Instead of addressing a representative Gentile, he is writing to his brothers in Christ as is made clear by brethren.

What Paul does not wish these fellow believers in Rome to be ignorant of is this mystery or this secret.

Lest ye should be wise in your own conceits is the reason Paul does not want these fellow Christians ignorant of this mystery.

Lest ye be is in order that you (plural) not be.

Wise means thoughtful, sensible, or prudent.

However, in your own conceits gives it a rather bad connotation. It is literally before yourselves or in the presence of yourselves and suggests a proud reaction.

This mystery or this secret is that blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Blindness is a word which literally means hardening or dulling; and when used figuratively as here, it means dullness, insensibility, or obstinacy.

In part suggests partially. Israel was not totally blind or totally insensitive about spiritual things; only some of the Israelites were.

Is happened is has come to pass, has happened, or has become, and its result has continued.

Until is until the time.

The fulness is the full number.

Of the Gentiles be come in suggests until the full number of the Gentiles enters and implies enters into salvation or is saved. Thus, the setting aside of Israel is only a temporary measure. It is going to change at some time in the future when the full number of Gentiles has come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior.

We see next that -

IV. REPENTANT ISRAEL WILL STILL BE SAVED - 11:26-32

Romans 11:26-32 - (26) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (27) For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. (28) As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. (29) For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (30) For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: (31) Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. (32) For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

In verses 26-32 we see that Israel as a nation will be saved in the future.

And so is and thus.

All Israel suggests the nation of Israel as a whole.

Shall be saved is predicting something which is definitely going to happen.

As it is written is just as it has been written.

What was written is, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins. This reference is to Isaiah 59:20-21 , but it is not an exact quotation.

Sion is Zion or Jerusalem.

The Deliverer is one who saves, one who rescues, or one who preserves. It is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ, and it pictures Christ in His second coming.

He shall not only come out of Zion, but He also shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

Shall turn away is predicting something that is definitely going to happen.

Ungodliness is godlessness, irreverence, or impiety.

From Jacob refers to Israel.

Romans 11:27 (27) For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Verse 27 continues the reference from Isaiah 59:20-21 and is also part of the subject of is written in verse 26.

For this refers to shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

It is described as my covenant unto them or my covenant with them, i.e. with Israel.

When I shall take away their sins suggests that their sins will be removed. The time is not certain, but it is going to happen.

Romans 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.

Verse 28 considers the Jews in their relation not only to the gospel, but also in their relation to election.

Their relation to the gospel is introduced by as concerning the gospel. It is with reference to the gospel, pertaining to the gospel, or according to the gospel. They are enemies refers to the Israelites, the nation as a whole. Paul had more problems from the unsaved Jews than from anyone else. It probably does not mean that they are enemies of those who would proclaim the gospel but that they are enemies of God.

For your sakes suggests because of you. The point seems to be that the Jews have been temporarily set aside as far as obtaining salvation is concerned and are thus constituted enemies of God in order that Gentiles might be saved.

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to they are enemies for your sakes.

As touching election is according to the election, with reference to the selection, or pertaining to the choosing. They are beloved indicates that the Jews are loved by God the Father or that they are dear to God the Father.

For the fathers' sakes is because of the fathers and has specific reference to the fathers of the nation of Israel, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Without repentance = God is not changing His mind regarding the nation of Israel. Everything is happening as He intended.

For introduces an explanation regarding why the Israelites are beloved for the fathers' sakes.

The gifts refers to gifts freely and graciously given. In this context Paul is referring to the privileges granted by God to the people of Israel. And the calling of God refers to God's invitation.

Are without repentance means are not to be regretted or are without regret. God is not changing His mind regarding the nation of Israel. Everything is happening as He intended.

Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief.

Verses 30-31 are written to show an analogy between the unbelieving Gentiles obtaining mercy and the unbelieving Jews obtaining mercy. Verse 30 deals with the unbelieving Gentiles, and verse 31 deals with the unbelieving Jews.

For introduces an explanation of what God is doing.

As is just as and is to be connected with even so in verse 31. They are used together.

Ye is emphatic and refers to the Gentiles.

In times past is at some time or other of the past, once, or formerly.

Have not believed God is were disobedient to God or disobeyed God. Here the supreme disobedience is a lack of belief or a refusal to believe the gospel. Hence, it is used in the sense of to disbelieve or to be an unbeliever.

Yet now is but now or but at the present time.

Have obtained mercy is found mercy or were shown mercy.

Through their unbelief refers to the unbelief of the Jews, and unbelief is the word for disobedience. Here it has the definite connotation of unbelief because the supreme disobedience is a refusal to believe the gospel.

Through is probably best understood as because of so that the Gentiles have now obtained mercy because of the unbelief of the Jews.

Romans 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Verse 31 is to be connected with verse 30 as forming part of an analogy.

Even so is used to draw the analogy between how the Gentiles had at one time not believed and then had been saved and how the Jews do not now believe and yet will be saved.

These refers to the Jews.

Now refers to the present time, meaning at the time Paul wrote the epistle.

Have . . . not believed leaves no doubt that Israel at the present time is in a state of unbelief. The word means to disobey, be disobedient, disbelieve, or be an unbeliever. Once again the supreme act of disobedience is viewed as disbelieving the gospel message.

That introduces a purpose clause and is to be understood in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that.

Through your mercy is best understood as because of your mercy. It is the mercy of God which has been poured out on the Gentiles.

Mercy is compassion or pity.

They also refers to the Jews and implies in addition to the Gentiles.

May obtain mercy is may find mercy or may be shown mercy. Its tense indicates that although they have not yet found mercy, they may obtain it at some point in the future.

Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Verse 32 explains why verses 30-31 are so, as is indicated by for.

God hath concluded them all in unbelief.

Hath concluded means confined or imprisoned. Thus, God has imprisoned them all, i.e. both Jews and Gentiles, in disobedience or in unbelief. This unbelief, however, is the word meaning disobedience. As in other places the supreme act of disobedience is the rejection of the Gospel, i.e. unbelief.

The reason God has done this is that he might have mercy on all.

That is understood in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that.

His purpose is that he might have mercy upon all or He might show pity to all, whether Jews or Gentiles. Thus, God's purpose all along is to save both Jews and Gentiles.

Finally, we see that -

V. GOD'S WISDOM IS MATCHLESS - 11:33-36

Romans 11:33-36 - (33) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller? (35) Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (36) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

In verses 33-36 Paul breaks out into a word of praise for God. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.

O the depth of the riches (or wealth) of both the wisdom and knowledge of God suggests, Oh the inexhaustibility of God's wisdom and knowledge. They are impossible to fathom.

How unsearchable are his judgments.

Unsearchable means unfathomable.

His judgments are His decisions or His decrees. God never makes a mistake.

And his ways are past finding out.

Past finding out means inscrutable or incomprehensible. God operates on a different plane than humanity does.

Romans 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller?

Verse 34 is given in explanation of Paul's word of praise in verse 33.

For who hath known the mind of the Lord? The implication is that no one has.

Mind is used in the sense here of the result of God's thinking, His thought, His opinion, or His decree.

Or who hath been his counselor implies that no one has been God's counselor or advisor. God did not need anyone to advise Him, for His wisdom is perfect and complete.

Romans 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again implies that no one has given anything to God with the result that God owes him something in return. God does not owe anyone anything. God did not borrow His brains as we must. He did not get His information or His ideas from someone else; and He is, therefore, not now indebted to someone for it.

Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

For is the word ordinarily translated because and is used in that sense here.

Of him suggests that He is the source of all things.

And through him suggests that He is also the means by which all things exist.

And to him suggests that all things are ultimately for the Lord.

Are all things suggests that apart from God nothing has meaning.

To whom, i.e. to God, be glory forever. All glory belongs to God, and it belongs to Him forever.

Amen, meaning truly or so be it, is used to sum up Paul's word of praise.

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?