The Introduction

The Text

Romans 11:11-32 (CSB) I ask, then, have they stumbled so as to fall? Absolutely not! On the contrary, by their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous. Now if their transgression brings riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness bring!

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Insofar as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if I might somehow make my own people jealous and save some of them. For if their rejection brings reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? Now if the firstfruits are holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, do not boast that you are better than those branches. But if you do boast—you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” True enough; they were broken off because of unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but beware, because if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Therefore, consider God’s kindness and severity: severity toward those who have fallen but God’s kindness toward you—if you remain in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from your native wild olive tree and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these—the natural branches—be grafted into their own olive tree?

I don’t want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you will not be conceited: A partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

The Deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.

Regarding the gospel, they are enemies for your advantage, but regarding election, they are loved because of the patriarchs, since God’s gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable. As you once disobeyed God but now have received mercy through their disobedience, so they too have now disobeyed, resulting in mercy to you, so that they also may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may have mercy on all.

The Support

There is a lot here. Let us walk through the passage.

Where do you see God in the text? What does the text say about God?

God

God has dealt with Israel differently than Gentiles

Deuteronomy 7:7-8 (CSB) he LORD had his heart set on you and chose you, not because you were more numerous than all peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors, he brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from the place of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Now back to Romans 11, starting at verse 11:

11I ask, then, have they stumbled so as to fall? Absolutely not! On the contrary, by their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous. Now if their transgression brings riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness bring!

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Insofar as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if I might somehow make my own people jealous and save some of them. For if their rejection brings reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?

We read in Romans 2 how God gave the Law to the Israelites while the law of God was written on the hearts of Gentiles as their conscience. But the Jewish have disobeyed every single line of God’s law because they have broken at least one of God’s law or they fail to do one part. Gentiles (that is, the rest of the world) is not without excuse. God has given them a conscience. But whatever does not proceed from faith is a sin:

Romans 14:22-23 (CSB) Whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever doubts stands condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith, and everything that is not from faith is sin.

In other words, to go against conscience, to go against what you believe is right or wrong, is a sin. Some of you might hear this and say, “Some people’s consciences are allowing them to sin.” Therein lies the razor’s edge. Our consciences can be seared because of our own sin. But that is a whole other Bible study.

God will not give his glory to another

Isaiah 42:6-8 (CSB)
“I am the LORD. I have called you
for a righteous purpose,
and I will hold you by your hand.
I will watch over you, and I will appoint you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light to the nations,
in order to open blind eyes,
to bring out prisoners from the dungeon,
and those sitting in darkness from the prison house.
I am the LORD. That is my name,
and I will not give my glory to another
or my praise to idols.

Back to Romans 11, starting at verse 16

16Now if the firstfruits are holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, do not boast that you are better than those branches. But if you do boast—you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” True enough; they were broken off because of unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but beware, because if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Therefore, consider God’s kindness and severity: severity toward those who have fallen but God’s kindness toward you—if you remain in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from your native wild olive tree and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these—the natural branches—be grafted into their own olive tree?

God is going to use whomever he will to draw anybody he will. But people are only saved by God alone. We are called to proclaim the gospel and live our lives in response to that great gospel. This passage is to guard against any replacement theology–Gentiles are replacing Jewish people as His chosen people. For the non-Jew, we are simply grafted in by his wonderful grace into this family. We, by faith alone, are called the sons of Abraham. Abraham believed the gospel of God and it was counted to him as righteousness. For those of us who believe in the gospel of God, that counts as God’s righteousness to us.

The Gospel

25I don’t want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you will not be conceited: A partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

The Deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.

Matthew 1:21 (CSB) She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

The cross of Christ strips every believer of all of their sins. They are free to worship and praise and live in the glory of God.

Our Responsibility

Confess our sins. Place them upon Christ, the worthy Lamb that was slain. And be free and loved and saved on this day.

Pray

God of all time
 

You have given your Scriptures to your people throughout the ages. And we still only know you in part. We might know you fully but we do know you truly. And we know you so by the power of your Holy Spirit and the life and death of your blessed Son, my Lord Jesus Christ.

Save us on this day. Cause us to confess and repent.

Help us.

Amen.