Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Romans 11:11-13
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 11:11
v11: Paul has just explained (vs7-10) that by rejecting the gospel many Jews had spiritually damaged themselves, and those who had actually participated in the persecution of believers had exposed themselves to the backlash of God’s justice. These were the consequences produced by the wrong choices people had made, but such consequences should never be interpreted as abandonment. Yes, many had “stumbled over the stumbling stone” (Ro 9:32) but that did not mean they had fallen so low they could not still repent and be saved, nor had God ceased to desire their salvation. To even the suggestion of such a possibility Paul once again replies, ‘May it never be!” (Ro 3:6; 6:2, 15; 7:13; 9:14; 11:1).

Monday: Romans 11:11
v11 (continued): The rejection of Jesus by so many in Judaism had forced believing Jews to cease preaching in synagogues and in some cases to flee for their lives. The focus of evangelistic efforts had now turned toward the Gentiles (Ac 18:4-11). This shift had already resulted in the ingathering of thousands of new believers into the early church, and as the presence of the Holy Spirit transformed their lifestyles and brought to them tangible blessings, their Jewish neighbors and friends could not help but observe the change. Paul anticipated that seeing the impact of salvation on the Gentiles would provoke many Jews to jealousy. In time, they too would long to have the same blessings from God. They too would long to possess the righteousness of faith.

Tuesday: Romans 11:11
v11 (continued): Paul understood this shift of emphasis toward the Gentiles to be a strategic move on God’s part which would result in more Jews coming to Jesus in the long run. That does not mean Paul thought God wanted to save Jews more than Gentiles (Ac 9:15; 26:16-18; Ro 1:5). He’s showing us that God was at work making something good out of a bad situation. He was directing Jewish hostility in such a manner that it would not end in defeat, but rather in the salvation of more Gentiles and Jews. This was what Moses had prophesied would take place. He said someday God would use the Gentiles to make Israel jealous (Ro 10:19; Dt 32:21). When Jews who initially rejected the gospel saw the Holy Spirit resting mightily on their Gentile neighbors, the would be forced to ask themselves whether or not they had been mistaken in their rejection of Jesus.

Wednesday: Romans 11:11, 12
v11 (continued): At that point in time Jewish hostility was producing many Gentile believers, but Paul deeply hoped that someday in the future all those changed Gentiles would be used by God to turn the hearts of Israel back to their Messiah. God had a plan to reach their hearts by another avenue. He hadn’t given up, He’d merely changed tactics. v12: God is so great He can use even human sinfulness to serve His purposes. During the time of the Exodus He used Pharaoh to spread His reputation throughout the ancient world, and now He was using Jewish hostility to spread the gospel among the Gentiles.

Thursday: Romans 11:12
v12 (continued): Paul’s careful choice of words in this verse prevents us from making the mistake of assuming that God somehow caused this hostility. He identifies the source of the problem as “their trespass” (paraptoma: a footstep that lands off the path causing the person to stumble). It started in the human heart, yet God was able to direct this “misstep” so that it would produce spiritual “riches for the world” (responsive Gentiles). By the way, had so many Jews not “misstepped,” God would have brought these same spiritual “riches to the world” another way. His original plan had been to send believing Jews to carry the gospel to both Jew and Gentile alike (Ac 1:8). This, of course, did take place in a limited way, but would have been greatly amplified had their response been different.

Friday: Romans 11:12
v12 (continued): Yet as Paul declares later on in this chapter (Ro 11:25-27), a future day is coming when the vast majority of Jews will recognize Jesus as their Messiah, and the riches of the Spirit will be poured out upon them. When that takes place they will once again take their rightful role in God’s plan. He says their “gifts and calling” will be restored (Ro 11:29) and the work of God around the world will be immensely strengthened.

Saturday: Romans 11:13
v13: A great deal of Paul’s focus in his letter to the Roman churches has been directed toward Jewish believers who were part of those congregations, and undoubtedly, in many cases, held eldership roles. But here he turns his attention to Gentile believers who surely made up the larger percentage of most local congregations. Up to this point he has written bluntly, and even critically, arguing theologically from a Jewish perspective as well as discussing the poor response with which the gospel had been met in so many Jewish communities. Yet he is very concerned that his Gentile readers not draw the wrong conclusions from all that he has said. Yes, Judaism had struggled, and yes, many Gentiles had readily responded, but this should give Gentile believers no occasion for a sense of superiority to arise.

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