God’s People? Saved! (Pt 1)
July 12, 2020
How have you spent your COVID? It’s not the only thing we have done, but we spent at least four days attacking trees and shrubs in our yard — trimming, cutting down, and then digging out roots. By my count, I have dug out 10-12 tree stumps of varying sizes. Shovels (spades and hand shovels), various sized clippers, a hatchet, and when things got desperate, even my chain saw. Then last Sunday after exhausting all those tools and raising three blisters on my hands, I took drastic action against one last stump. Fire.
One neighbor told Raye Jeanne the next day, “I saw y’all had a campfire in the front yard yesterday — it looked like so much fun.” I was covered in sweat, dirt, blisters, and smoke. It wasn’t fun as much as it was a tactical squad against a belligerent enemy. But I won. The stump is gone.
As you think about the progress of the gospel, it might be tempting to think about the various opponents of the gospel and think that God thinks about them the way I think about my tree stumps — “It’s time to get rid of them and I will do everything I need to do to rid Myself of them — even fire.” We might think that about people in general, but also about the nation of Israel in particular. Has God given up on Israel? Has he “burned out the stump” of Israel and His promises to Israel and moved on to Gentiles and the church? Or is there still hope for Israel?
In his ultimate chapter on God’s sovereignty in salvation, Romans 11, Paul culminates his argument in this chapter and section (chs. 9-11) by saying in vv. 25-32 —
Israelites have rebelled against God. But God will yet save His people, Israel.
In this passage, we find three truths about the “mystery” of Israel’s salvation:
- A Mystery Revealed (v. 25a)
- The Mystery Explained (vv. 25b-26a)
- Israel was partially hardened temporarily (v. 25b)
- Gentiles are receiving from Israel’s blessings (v. 25c)
- Israel will be saved (vv. 26a)
- The Mystery Affirmed (v. 26b-27)
- God will provide a deliverer for Israel (v. 26b)
- God will forgive Israel’s sins (v. 26c, 27b)
- God has given an unconditional, unilateral promise (v. 27a)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 11:25-27.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.