Sermon: Israel, God’s Promises, and Unexpected Favor

Israel, God’s Promises, and Unexpected Favor
Romans 11:17-24
July 5, 2020

In Romans, Paul is establishing his credibility as an apostle and as a missionary.  He wants the Roman church to be his sending church on his journey to Spain, and he is giving them his understanding of the gospel — man’s sin and lostness (chs. 1-3), God’s salvation (chs. 3-4), the Spirit’s sanctification (chs. 5-8), and God’s sovereignty over the whole process (chs. 9-11).

Much of Paul’s explanation of God’s sovereignty in salvation has focused on the nation of Israel and its relationship to salvation.  Because Israel’s religious leadership rejected Christ (Mt. 13), and so few Israelites believed Christ, one might think that God has given up on Israel and changed his plan to developing a Gentile church (and excluding the Jews).  In Romans 11, Paul clearly explains that God has not given up on Israel and that God is faithful to His promise to Israel.  [Aside:  The faithfulness of God that we see in this chapter is always an encouragement, but it seems particularly appropriate to think of it in these days of COVID-19.]  So what about Israel and what about the church and what should we think about Israel and God’s promises?  This morning’s passage teaches us that —

God’s covenant with Israel is both a warning and encouragement to believers.

Paul’s premise:  the hardening of individual Israelites does not negate God’s promise to national Israel.

  1. Consider Israel and Be Warned (vv. 17-22)
  • Salvation is Always a Reason to Remember Humility (vv. 17-18)
  • Salvation is Always a Reason to Remember Fear (vv. 19-21)
  • Salvation is Always a Reason to Remember Grace (v. 22)
  1. Consider Israel and Be Encouraged (vv. 23-34)
  • Israel Can (and Will Be) Grafted Back Into God’s Promises (v. 23)
  • Israel Will Not Be Cut Off (v. 24)

Lessons Learned:

Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 11:17-24.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.

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