Israel’s Fall (Romans #16)

Israel’s fall and the glorious new covenant!

Text: Romans 11

Who are God’s people? (vss 1-6)

  • The nation of Israel are not God’s people because only faithful people are God’s people.
  • Paul spent the last two chapters explaining that most Jews are condemned by God because of their unbelief, but he wished they weren’t. Then he explains that within the nation some were faithful and those were the actual children of promise.
  • People he foreknew  are defined in 1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.
  • God’s people are according to the election of grace in Romans 11:5 by faith.
  • The they Paul is talking about in verse 3 are Jews.
  • There was a remnant in Elijah’s day who were elect by the grace of God according to their faith, and so it is in Paul’s day.

What happened to the nation of Israel? (vss 7-10)

  • Some in the nation became elect by grace through faith, but most were blinded in their self-righteousness.
  • Jesus called them blind leaders of the blind in Matthew 15:13-14.
    • Paul cites Isaiah 20:10, but 10-14 is a great explanation.
    • Paul quotes David in Psalms 69:22, but the verses following are good as well.

Israel is like an olive tree (vss 11-24)

  • The them Paul keeps talking about is the olive tree. There are some faithful olive branches and some unfaithful olive branches. These unfaithful branches are dead because they’re not connected to the Root. Jesus talks about this in John 15:1-8.
  • Verse 16 says the root is holy, so all branches connected to the root are holy. Those disconnected are dead.
  • Verse 23 is talking about future generations of Jews who follow in the unbelief of their Jewish ancestors. They’ll be cut off, but if they come to faith in Christ, they’ll be grafted in. The same truth goes for Gentiles. The faithful will be grafted in, but the unbelieving are cut off. Psalm 52:8.

The new covenant is the turning point (vss 25-32)

  • Not all are Israel who are of Israel. Look back at Romans 9:6-8.
    • Paul also calls the faithful Jews and Gentiles the Israel of God in Galatians 6:16
    • There have always been faithful people.
    • Paul defined 3 groups of people and only three in God’s economy in 1 Corinthians 10:32: Jews, Gentiles, and church of God. The Jews are lost. The Gentiles are lost. But the Church of God consists of faithful people from the time of Abel up to now. This is the cloud of witnesses.
  • The thing that replaces the old covenant is the new covenant.
    • Jesus Christ takes away sins on the cross because his death is acceptable to the Father.
      • Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world said John the Baptist in John 1:29
      • Paul said Jesus Christ took the handwriting of ordinance in Colossians 2:13-14
      • 1 John 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
      • Hebrews 10:1-4, 8-14. Praise the LORD, sins are taken away! It’s not going to happen in the future. It already happened!
    • Some of the Jews are enemies of the gospel, but others became elect through their faith.
    • Verse 32 says the LORD fulfilled the old covenant to establish the new. All the glory and spiritual blessings are wrapped up in Jesus Christ!

Paul is overwhelmed by God’s plan! (vss 33-36)

  • He’s beside himself how the Creator made a nation that was disobedient to him, yet God managed to use the nation to bring about his only begotten Son who would die for the wages of sin. and thus take away sin forever!
  • That fact that all this was accomplished in the face of opposition, in the face of betrayal, but it was carried out for centuries. Paul is just in awe of how this whole new covenant in Jesus Christ has worked out and turned many sinners into children of God!