Thursday, February 22, 2018

2018.02.22 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 11:1-32

Questions for Littles: Whom does Paul give as an example of an Israelite that God has not cast away (v1)? Which of the Israelites has God not cast away (v2)? What determines which Israelites will be saved (v5)? So, if the nation as a whole does not obtain salvation, who do obtain it (v7) What happened to the rest (end of v7)? Who has given them over to their blindness like that (v8-10)? What is one reason that the Lord has done this (v11)? What is one way that the Lord will bring these elect Israelites to salvation (v13-15)? What does Paul warn Gentile believers against doing in v18? What will happen to branches that do not continue in God’s goodness (v19-24)? How many of these elect Israelites will be saved (v25-29)? How does everyone whom God saves in mercy start out (v30-32)? 
In this week’s Epistle reading, we come to the conclusion of Paul’s explanation of what is happening to the Israelites.

And his explanation is that—with respect to the elect Israelites—what is happening is that they are being saved!

As we heard toward the end of chapter 9, God had determined not to leave Israel like Sodom and Gomorrah. God had determined to save a remnant. God had elected some, and He is determined that not a single elected one will perish.

What is necessary, however, is that this salvation would come not merely by being Israelite, but only by trusting in Jesus. That was the whole point of chapter 10. Salvation is by faith through hearing, not by works.

Now, in chapter 11, the Holy Spirit ties these two items together. If God has elected some Israelites, but for now they have not been saved, it is so that He might bring them to faith as a result of what He is currently doing in saving Gentiles.

It’s really a marvelous plan. It announces to us about God that He is gloriously merciful in His electing, saving love. And it announces to us about ourselves that the only way that we can be saved is through faith in Jesus Christ as a result of sovereign, electing love.

Do we know that about ourselves? We deserve to be given over to our own blindness as was justly done with those many Israelites who were not elect! But the Lord is gloriously merciful, and astonishingly wise in His plan for whom and how He saves!

God grant to us the rejoicing humility of those who are saved entirely and only by sovereign, merciful, electing grace.
When are you tempted to spiritual boastfulness? What has God given us to help against it?
Suggested songs: ARP51A “God, Be Merciful to Me” or HB402 “I Sought the Lord, and Afterward I Knew”

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