God's Plan for Israel & for Us

Posted on 01/27/19 by John Lindell in The Book of Romans

In this message, Pastor John Lindell shares an insightful sermon titled, “God’s Plan for Israel & for Us.” Join us as we read Romans 11:1-36 and hear important truth about God’s extravagant love and grace for every believer and His plan to fulfill His promises to the Jewish people. Our prayer is that this message would bring strength to your heart as you seek to know the Lord more!

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God’s Plan for Israel & for Us

1st The Principle of the Remnant

Romans 11:1a ESV
I ask, then, has God rejected his people?

Romans 10:21 ESV
But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

Romans 11:1a
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means!

Romans 11:1 ESV
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.

Romans 11:2a
God has not rejected his people whom He foreknew.

Romans 11:2a
“For those he fore-loved…”

Romans 11:2b-5 ESV
Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.

Election is the act of the God before the creation of the world in
which He chose certain people to be saved.

Ephesians 1:4-5 NIV
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—

Romans 11:5-6 ESV
So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

The ancient man approached God . . . as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man the roles are reversed. He is the judge: God is in the dock. He [man] is quite a kindly judge: if God should have a reasonable defense for being the god who permits war, poverty and disease, he is ready to listen to it. The trial may even end in God’s acquittal. But the important thing is that man is on the Bench and God in the Dock.

~C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock

Romans 11:7-8 ESV
What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”

This is what we see in the Bible. God is sovereign; man is a responsible moral agent. God is free and never ultimately bound by forces or actions or wills outside himself. On the other hand, we are morally responsible. We are guilty for our sinfulness and deserving of retribution and punishment. Therefore, we sum up God’s hardening work like this: God so arranges all reality, in his unsearchable wisdom, so that many indeed experience ongoing rebellion and hardness against God; but he does this, mysteriously, in such a way that he is never unjust or blameworthy in what comes to pass, and we never cease to be morally accountable. When he draws us to himself and opens our eyes so that we believe in him and trust him and love him and treasure him, it is owing to nothing in us, and we should be the humblest, most patient, kind, loving, tenderhearted, forgiving, courageous people on the earth. God has made us his own, and it was grace and grace alone that did it. And when he passes over others and leaves them to become hard and rebellious and unbelieving, he does them no injustice. We are as deserving of judgment as they. And it is sheer, undeserved grace that we stand justified in faith.

~John Piper, God’s Hardening Work

2nd The pattern of the Restoration

Romans 11:11a ESV
So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall?

Romans 11:11a MSG
The next question is, “Are they down for the count? Are they out of this for good?”

Romans 11:11 ESV
So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.

Romans 11:12 ESV
Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

Romans 11:15 ESV
For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?

Romans 11:16-23 MSG
Behind and underneath all this there is a holy, God-planted, God-tended root. If the primary root of the tree is holy, there’s bound to be some holy fruit. Some of the tree’s branches were pruned and you wild olive shoots were grafted in. Yet the fact that you are now fed by that rich and holy root gives you no cause to crow over the pruned branches. Remember, you aren’t feeding the root; the root is feeding you. It’s certainly possible to say, “Other branches were pruned so that I could be grafted in!” Well and good. But they were pruned because they were deadwood, no longer connected by belief and commitment to the root. The only reason you’re on the tree is because your graft “took” when you believed, and because you’re connected to that belief-nurturing root. So don’t get cocky and strut your branch. Be humbly mindful of the root that keeps you lithe and green. If God didn’t think twice about taking pruning shears to the natural branches, why would he hesitate over you? He wouldn’t give it a second thought. Make sure you stay alert to these qualities of gentle kindness and ruthless severity that exist side by side in God — ruthless with the deadwood, gentle with the grafted shoot. But don’t presume on this gentleness. The moment you become deadwood, you’re out of there. And don’t get to feeling superior to those pruned branches down on the ground. If they don’t persist in remaining deadwood, they could very well get grafted back in. God can do that. He can perform miracle grafts.

Romans 11:25a ESV
Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel…

Romans 11:25 MSG
I want to lay all this out on the table as clearly as I can, friends. This is complicated. It would be easy to misinterpret what’s going on and arrogantly assume that you’re royalty and they’re just rabble, out on their ears for good. But that’s not it at all. This hardness on the part of insider Israel toward God is temporary. Its effect is to open things up to all the outsiders so that we end up with a full house.

Romans 11:25 ESV
Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Luke 21:24b ESV
Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Romans 11:26-27 ESV
And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Zechariah 12:10 NIV
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

Zechariah 13:8-9 ESV
In the whole land, declares the Lord, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.'”

Zechariah 14:6-7 ESV
On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord,

Zechariah 14:9 ESV
And the Lord will be king over all the earth.

3rd The Praise of the Redeemed

Romans 11:33 MSG
Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.

Romans 11:34 MSG
Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?

Romans 11:35 MSG
Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice?

Romans 11:36 MSG
Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes.

1st God’s mercy is unbelievable!

2nd God’s mind is unfathomable!

3rd God’s majesty is unmatched!

Romans 11:36 MSG
Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes.