Monday’s Blog: Paul Series “Romans 11”

We continue our study of Paul’s letters this week with Romans 11. Last week, at the end of Romans 10, Paul quoted where God said that He was found by those who did not seek Him, and He revealed Himself to those who did not ask for Him. And as for Israel God said, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people” (Romans 10:21, NASB).

Paul begins Romans 11 explaining that God has not rejected His people. There was a remnant chosen, not by works, but by His grace.

I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

v. 1-6 (NASB)

For the rest of Israel, who did not believe, they were hardened for a time so they could not see or hear the truth.

just as it is written,

God gave them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
Down to this very day.”

And David says,

Let their table become a snare and a trap,
And a stumbling block and a retribution to them.
Let their eyes be darkened to see not,
And bend their backs forever.”

v. 8-10 (NASB)

But God did not leave them to fall beyond recovery. He had a plan to use their disobedience to save the rest of the world. By bringing salvation to the Gentiles, God’s mercy was shown to all, so if Israel would not continue in their unbelief, they too would be shown mercy and receive salvation.

I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

v. 11-24 (NASB)

Because of their disobedience, Israel was hardened and cut off for a time so the world could be reconciled to God through Christ. I love how Paul stated above that if they do not continue in their unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. God is so patient and merciful toward us!

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimationthat a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
“This is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy.  For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen

v. 25-36 (NASB)

Just as we were once disobedient to God, we have been shown mercy because of their disobedience. And because of the mercy shown to us for our disobedience, they may be shown mercy for their disobedience. Praise God for great His mercy and kindness toward all who believe Him!

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:3-7 (NIV)

Heavenly Father,

We praise You that You haven’t given up on Your people. And You will not give up on us. You are faithful to Your promises. Thank You for bringing salvation to world through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your mercy and kindness to all who believe. Help us to continue in Your kindness, keeping our faith in You, so we will not be cut off from You.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

 

How did God speak to you through Romans 11? Is there anything He revealed that you would like to share with others? 

 

*This series will continue next Monday as we study Romans 12. Have a blessed week receiving God’s mercy and kindness!


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Monday’s Blog: Paul Series “Romans 4”

We continue our study of Paul’s letters in Romans to Philemon. Follow this link to read any previous messages in this series. This week we are studying Romans 4.

As in the previous chapters, Paul talks about how we are justified before God and made righteous by faith, not by works of the law.  Paul explains how Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.

How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

v. 10-12 (NASB)

Abraham set an example for us to follow in his footsteps as he, against all hope, believed God was faithful to deliver what He promised him. Because he stood firm in faith, Abraham received what God promised and he became “a father of many nations” (v. 17).

Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

v. 19-21 (NIV)

We can learn by Abraham’s example how to receive what God has promised us in His Word. First, we learn that Abraham didn’t deny the fact that he and Sarah were well past child bearing age. Walking in faith doesn’t mean we ignore the facts. Walking in faith means we trust that God can change the facts. 

…God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

v. 17 (NASB)

Second, we learn that Abraham didn’t allow himself to waver in unbelief. The Bible says, But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (James 1:6-8, NIV). Abraham was spiritually minded. He refused to entertain carnal thoughts of doubt.

Third, we learn that Abraham’s faith grew as he did not allow himself to doubt God. He was fully convinced that God had the power to do what He promised. To receive God’s promises we must be fully convinced in our minds that He will certainly deliver.

I once needed healing in an area. I read God’s promises on healing and believed it was His will for me to be healed, but I didn’t see any change.  One evening, when I was starting to lose hope, I cried out to Jesus and told Him if He was here on earth today I would come to Him and He would touch me and I would be healed. I told Him that His Word says He’s the same yesterday, today and forevermore. I cried out for Him to reach down and touch me so I would be healed. Later that night, I awoke from my sleep and noticed my husband was awake. My husband, not knowing what I prayed for, said that while I was asleep God spoke to him to tell me I was healed. Receiving that confirmation took away any doubt and convinced me in my mind that it was already given to me. Because God spoke that promise to me I was able to stand firm in faith and receive what He promised.

It’s not that we don’t have the faith to receive from God. The Bible says that God’s already given us a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). And all it takes is the faith of a tiny mustard seed to move mountains and do the impossible (Matthew 17:20). It’s that our minds need to be renewed and convinced of His will in order to see it come to pass in our lives.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)

 

Heavenly Father,

We praise You that no matter how many promises You have made, they are “Yes” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).  We want to receive all that You have for us. Help us to renew our minds in Your Word and cast down any doubt, so that we can be fully convinced that You have the power to deliver what You have promised us.

In Jesus’ faithful name, we pray. Amen!

 

How did God speak to you through Romans 4? Is there anything He revealed that you would like to share with others? 

 

*Come back next Monday as we study Romans 5. Use the share tabs below to invite others to join us in this study of Romans to Philemon. You can also subscribe below to receive email reminders of new posts. Have a blessed week renewing your mind in God’s Word!

 

 

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Monday’s Blog: God’s Promises Still Stand

I met a woman recently at my homeschool co-op class. Her name is Amanda also. I found out that she also writes blogs. For several weeks we’ve been sharing our stories and personal struggles with each other. She’s been going through a lot of hardship since her and her family stepped out and followed God’s will. Last week, she shared that she’s been fearful of looking back at the Scripture verses God first led her to before the arduous journey her family has been on the past few years. She explained that she’s been avoiding those chapters lately out of fear of disappointment.

As she shared her story with me, I realized that we were struggling with the same fear. When I surrendered my will over to God’s, and started following His plan, God spoke His will to me through two specific chapters in the Bible. For the first year or so, I would read the verses frequently with great expectation and hope. But as time went on, and troubles arose, I started losing hope as God’s plan appeared to be forgotten. I’ve avoided those verses out of the same fear Amanda had. I couldn’t face the disappointment that they hadn’t come to pass.

As I was talking to Amanda, I suddenly realized why God brought us together at that exact moment. I expressed to her, “Maybe God brought us here to tell us that those promises He spoke to us individually still stand.” Since then we’ve prayerfully re-read our verses and God has individually confirmed to us that His promises for us do indeed still stand.

For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.

Romans 11:29, NLT

I love how God goes through great measures to remind His children that His promises are true. He never takes back His Word. If God promises us something, He will deliver. We must not give up and lose faith when we don’t see His promises come to pass in the time frame we expect.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.

Hebrews 11:1-2, 11

If you are waiting for a promise to come to pass, God is speaking this message to you too. His promises for you still stand. Don’t be afraid to look back at those promises. Psalm 119:148 says, “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.” Continue meditating on God’s promises, and keep the faith that they will come to pass at just the right time.

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I, whom you have redeemed.

Psalm 71:20-23

 

*I want to thank my friend, Amanda, for giving me permission to share this message. You can read her inspiring messages on her blog: I’m Still Clay


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