Rom 11:1-5 Recall the argument being made against the gospel by those Jews who had rejected it: it can’t be true as that would mean God’s promises to Israel had failed and He had rejected His people, contrary to the clear promises of Scripture. In chapter 9 Paul began answering this charge, emphasizing that it was according to the sovereignty of God that the Jews were rejecting the gospel—for purposes which he will discuss in this chapter. In chapter 10 he continued, pointing out that the failure was not with God but with the unbelieving Jews. For in spite of the clear teaching of Scripture they would not give heed to the gospel (Rom 10:16) but, in accordance with both their stubborn rebellion and prophecy, they stumbled over the choice and precious cornerstone of the Lord Jesus Christ by seeking to establish their own righteousness rather than submit themselves to God’s. How does Paul in these verses continue to rebut the charge that God had rejected His people? See Rom 11:1-2,5. What application can we draw from these verses for the present? Should we be surprised that so few believe? See Rom 9:27, Mat 7:13-14, Luke 13:23-24.
Rom 11:5-10 What do these verses teach us about the sovereignty of God in the salvation process? In light of the balancing truth found throughout Scripture that people have free will and God’s sovereign hardening of hearts comes only upon those who persist in unbelief (see Rom 11:23), what do these verses teach us about the fear of the Lord? What if the Lord should see within our hearts the same stubborn rebellion He saw within the Jews and begin giving us over to our sinful hearts by hardening them against the truth? See Jer 17:9-10, Ps 139:23-24. What is the goal of our Christian life? See 1 Tim 1:5. Should we as Christians ever consider any sin to be so small as to be insignificant to our eternal welfare? Is there not the danger that at whatever point we refuse to believe the truth God will give us over to the depravity of our own hearts to believe what is false?
Rom 11:11-24 How do Paul’s words in Rom 11:11a and 23-24 balance his previous statements about the sovereignty of God? For what purpose in God’s sovereign plan have the majority of the Jews rejected the gospel? See Rom 11:11b, 12, and 15. What effect did salvation being extended to the Gentiles have upon the Jews, and why? See Rom 11:11b, 14. How was this a fulfillment of scripture and according to God’s sovereign plan? See Rom 10:19. What should be our Christian attitude toward the Jewish people who reject Christ? See Rom 11:18. What warning does God’s dealing with His chosen people the Jews offer us as Gentile Christians? See Rom 11:20-22, 1 Cor 10:1-12. Is it God’s sovereign will that has separated the Jews from God’s favor and that prevents them from being received back into their favored status? See Rom 11:23-24.
Rom 11:25-32 What mystery does Paul disclose in these verses? Is it significant that after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 a.d. and dispersion of the Jews throughout the world, that 2000 years later they are still a distinct people and they have not been absorbed by the nations? What does Paul mean by “all Israel” in Rom 11:26: all the Jews, or all spiritual Israel? In what ways does the Church today reflect the same unbelief and disobedience exhibited by the Jews of the first century? Note: recent statistical surveys indicate that just 9% of adults who claim to be born-again and 51% of protestant senior pastors possess a Biblical worldview defined as “believing that absolute moral truth exists, that it is based upon the Bible, and having a biblical view on six core beliefs: the accuracy of biblical teaching, the sinless nature of Jesus, the literal existence of Satan, the omnipotence and omniscience of God, salvation by grace alone, and the personal responsibility to evangelize” (Barna Update, 1/12/2004). Is this an indication that the time is approaching when the “fullness of the Gentiles” will have entered God’s kingdom? In what way might the roles of Jew and Gentile in Rom 11:30-32 be reversed in the future? Note: the second “now” in Rom 11:31 is not in the oldest manuscripts. Also, the NASB “irrevocable” in Rom 11:29 is better translated “without remorse” or “without regret” as it is in 2 Cor 7:10 (see also the KJV here): the point being that God is not sorry for having originally called the Jews seeing that most of them have rejected the gospel; rather, their rejection is part of His sovereign plan to bring salvation to all mankind. In the words of Rom 11:32, He has “shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all”.
Rom 11:33-36 What reaction does the glimpse into God’s eternal plan for the redemption of mankind stir within Paul? Do God’s sovereign dealings within the framework of man’s free will to work the greatest good in bringing about so great a salvation for all whom He foreknew would love Him stir within us the same reaction?