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Romans 11




SCRIPTURE: Romans 11

This chapter deals with an age old question: what about Israel?  This question has been asked by countless people through the years because every time that Israel seems to be wiped out, done away with, and gone, there is a miraculous rebirth.  

So, to answer the question what about Israel, let’s start at the beginning.  God chose Israel.  And when God chooses, He does not unchoose.  That simply means that once God declared Israel His chosen people, they have been and will always be God’s chosen people.  So, why did God choose Israel?

Deuteronomy 7:7-9 speaks to this.  What we learn there is God did not choose Israel because there were more of them than any other nation.  God did not choose Israel because they were better than any other nation.  God did not choose Israel because they would be more faithful than any other.  He chose them because He chose to choose them.  He chose to love them.  In the same way we might ask why did God save us.  He saved us because He chose to save us.  Thank God that when He chooses, He does not unchoose.

When Romans 11 opens, Paul asks the question: “Has God rejected Israel?”  His answer is a resounding “No”.  And most of the remainder of the chapter is evidence that God has not rejected Israel.  Paul uses himself as an example. (Remember.  He was a Jewish man.)  He uses an incident with Elijah as an example.  He adds the Gentiles as a reminder.  The Patriarchs of the Old Testament are an example.  And finally, all of the work of God is an example.

But don’t miss this point.  Although God had not and will not reject Israel, Israel has a long history of rejecting God.  This rejection actually started in the wilderness not long after Moses led the people from the slavery of Egypt.  Even with all the consistent proof of God’s continuing relationship with Israel, the Hebrew people continually turned their back on Him.  

I want to be careful not to overstate this.  Although I am most accurate when I speak of the Hebrew people turning their backs on God, I am speaking of this in terms of the nation.  Throughout history and all of the events of the Hebrew nation rejecting God, there was always a remnant of Hebrew people who stayed faithful to God.  And God would work through those faithful ones to bring the rest of the nation back to Him.

We see this happen during the days of Jesus.  The nation of Israel rejected Him as the promised Messiah.  But thousands of Jewish people did accept Him and were saved.  There are Jewish people still accepting Jesus as the promised Messiah.  God is still at work among His chosen people.

This is also prophesied during the last days.  During the Great Tribulation, there will be 144,000 Jewish people set aside and protected by God.  These 144,000 represent 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel.  One of the crazy things about that is we are not sure where members of some of the twelve tribes are today.  

But God knows.  He always knows.  And He has made a choice that Israel is His chosen people.  And that choice will not be changed.  God has gone and will go to great lengths to protect at least a remnant of His chosen people so that the nation of Israel will continue as the recipient of His great blessings.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Romans 10




SCRIPTURE: Romans 10

Romans 9 has a lot to say about the sovereignty of God.  Romans 10 has as much to say about the responsibility of man.  God is the Sovereign King of the Universe.  He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present.  He is able to do whatever it is that He wills to do.  And yet, He gave man a free will.  He gave man the ability to choose Him or reject Him.  And when it comes to salvation, God has chosen not to override the free will of man.

In other words, it is plainly God’s will for everyone to be saved.  Jesus died for the sins of the whole world.  For God so loved the world… God is not willing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.  And yet not everyone will be saved.  Why?  God gave every human a free will to accept or reject the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.  

As this chapter opens, you see where Israel, as a nation, was zealous for God but continued in their ignorance when it came to knowing how they could have a relationship with God.  They created their own righteousness and rejected the righteousness of God.  They were given the commandments that Galatians 3:24 says were intended to be a “school master” to lead them to Jesus.  But as a nation, the Jewish people rejected Jesus.  They exercised their free will and refused the good gift of salvation that God freely offered them.

The irony is when you get to verse 9 God has made salvation so easy to have.  The person just have to believe a couple of truths about Jesus (He is Lord and God raised Him from the dead) and you can be saved.  If we believe and confess Jesus to be Lord, we can be saved.

Just the other day I was having a conversation with a gentleman about his salvation.  I asked him if he was saved.  He said that he was.  I asked him if he knew where he would spend eternity.  He said he hoped he would go to heaven.  I talked with him a bit about the difference in hoping you would go to heaven and knowing you would go to heaven.

Then he asked me the question.  He said, “How do you know if you did it right when you asked Jesus to save you?”  We had a bit of a conversation about that that I think helped both of us.  But his question, nonetheless, needs to be answered.

How do you know if you did it right when you asked Jesus to save you?  The answer is God has made it so simple for any of us and all of us to be saved.  Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth.  Believe that Jesus is who He says He is and ask Him to save you.  That simple.

In fact, anyone who tries to add anything to that has corrupted the gospel.  As important as baptism is, if we make baptism necessary for salvation we have corrupted the gospel.  As important as church membership is, if we make church membership necessary for salvation we have corrupted the gospel.  As important as moral living is, if we make moral living necessary for salvation, we have corrupted the gospel.  The only thing necessary for salvation is Jesus.  Everything else might be important later on.  But the only thing necessary for salvation is Jesus.

And the good news is He really will save any and all who call upon His name.

What a glorious Savior!

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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