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Romans Chapter 11

Romans Chapter 11

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Published by babaorum
The book of Romans is considered by many to be one of the most profound, and yet simply stated writings of the entire Bible. But over the years, chapter 11 has become one of the most controversial. This due in no small measure to Israel's future status being widely misinterpreted by this epistle.
The book of Romans is considered by many to be one of the most profound, and yet simply stated writings of the entire Bible. But over the years, chapter 11 has become one of the most controversial. This due in no small measure to Israel's future status being widely misinterpreted by this epistle.

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05/24/2012

 
Romans Chapter 11http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/eschatology/romans11.shtml[1/1/2009 5:25:02 PM]
 An Exposition of 
Romans Chapter Eleven
by Tony Warren
 
INTRODUCTION
The book of Romans is considered by many to be one of the most profound, and yet simply statedwritings of the entire Bible. But over the years, chapter eleven has become one of the mostcontroversial. This due in no small measure to Israel's future status being widely misinterpreted by thisepistle. Indeed the very first verse is a capsulation of why there is so much confusion concerning thefulfillment of the promises made to Israel. Paul rhetorically asks, "
Has God cast away His people? 
" Inother words, he is anticipating this objection because in the previous two chapters he has beenelucidating on how Israel is obstinate and thus has tripped upon Christ, the stumbling stone. It is areasonable expectation that many hearing these things would conclude that because Israel has rejectedher Messiah and salvation going to the Gentiles, that this must mean that the promises which weremade to Israel have been abrogated or annulled. And Paul's reply is an unequivocal [
me ginomai 
], or"forbidden to come to be." He says, God Forbid this is so! The promises to Israel will be kept.Recapping Romans chapter nine and ten, Paul had addressed the promises of God to Israel, herrebellion, and her fall. In order for anyone to have a more complete understanding of chapter eleven, itis helpful to first carefully read through chapters nine and ten. Because they are the introduction to thistopic, which allows us to understand all these things in their proper context. If we are honest withourselves, we cannot help but see that in these three chapters, God unambiguously declares that theGentile believers are on an equal footing with the Jews, and that any Jews who are in unbelief, are onan equal footing with the unbelieving Gentiles. Indeed, how could it be any plainer than what Goddeclares in chapter 10.
Romans 10:12
"
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him 
."God declares that now there is no difference between the Jewish person and the Greek. The problemthat some people have in understanding these truths is that they remove these statements from theircontext. In fact, they are often treated 'as if' they have no real significance in our understanding of thebody of Christ. Especially with relationship to the Covenant of God. It's as if some people are attemptingto 'force' God to make a difference, even when He has declared that there is no difference between Jewand Greek with relation to His Covenant plan. For He is rich over all people that call upon Him. Whatcould be said more concisely, and yet so explicitly clear as the declarations in these three chapters thataddress Israel and what constitutes the fulfillment of the promises that God has made. Clearly theseCovenant promises were to all that believe and call on Him, irrespective of their ethnicity, genealogy, ornational origin.The nature of chapter eleven is one of answering the fundamental questions arising from the rejection ofChrist by the Jews, and God's judgment upon them. It addresses how (because of this) some mightthink that the promises to Israel were made null or voided by their disobedience. Paul rejects this, anddeclares the promises are not abrogated. Instead, he illustrates how this rebellion of Israel is notuniversal, and how there is a "remnant Israel" in which the promises are fulfilled. He shows how Godhas made known that the fall of Israel is not an abrogating of the promises, but indeed a confirmation ofOld Testament scriptures concerning the promises.
 
Romans Chapter 11http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/eschatology/romans11.shtml[1/1/2009 5:25:02 PM]
Dispersed throughout this chapter is God's reiteration that justification before Him is all of grace throughfaith in the righteousness of Christ. He illustrates that it is without distinction by nationality or physicalheritage. And the chapter concludes with an encouragement that even though the judgment on thenation of Israel is sure, there is a remnant Israel coming in, and that the Jewish people can take heartthat they can be grafted back into the heritage of the Covenant tree. Likewise, a warning is issued tothe Gentiles that in light of what has happened to national Israel, they should be cautious not to have aboastful heart in vain pride and unbelief. Because in like fashion as Israel, they too can be branchescast off from Covenant Israel.Many teachers over the years have used this chapter to argue for a 'future' restoration or redemptionfor the whole nation of Israel. Even though there is clearly only one time in history when Christredeemed and restored Israel (His death and resurrection, which occurred over 2000 years ago), manyhave come to the conclusion that there is a future redeeming of the nation of Israel by Christ. This isbased more on wishful thinking and Church tradition than upon what scripture says. For God's Word isclear that the Lamb of God that "has" redeemed Israel (not "will" redeem), was Christ, and it was a onetime action. The Holy Temple of God that is to be rebuilt is the Church, with Christ the chief cornerstone of that building. And the people of the Church are "living" stones in that rebuilding of the HolyTemple. Again, it is being built, not will be built. It is being built up a spiritual house, not a literal housein the middle east.Many theologians argue that the term 'Israel' in this chapter always refers to the nation. Others arguethat it refers to the elect of Israel only, and still others argue that it refers only to the Church consistingof both Jews and Gentiles. We would contend that it is impossible (in light of this chapter) that any ofthese views are correct. For depending upon context, clearly Israel refers to the elect ethnic Israelites,the unsaved nation, or the Jew and Gentile grafted together. How Israel is viewed and to what it refers,is governed by what God is talking about in the immediate context. We see an example of this whenGod said that, "
they are not all Israel, which are of Israel 
-Romans 9:6." Is this Israel the nation ofIsrael, or is it an Israel within the nation? We would have to honestly conclude 'both.' God is clearlysaying in that verse that one Israel is not Israel. So we see here that God refers to Israel, the nation,and yet says that all are not Israel because they are not all the "Israel of God." So God is addressingtwo distinct bodies called Israel. One that is the election, and one that is blinded and in unbelief. Sothen, we have to define what Israel is, in the light of the scriptures, not in the darkness of our ownbiased theological presuppositions.In this study we will attempt to address these questions and understand the scriptures in a clear, well-ordered, and hermeneutically sound fashion. We will examine this epistle verse by verse, in the light ofthe pertinent scriptures so that we not only get a general doctrinal overview, but a view in its propercontext. We believe that doing a verse by verse study allows Christians to see more clearly thecontinuity of scripture, and this usually promotes addressing all the basic particulars of what God hassaid in each verse.We will see in this study that God is explaining that the fall of the major portion of the children of Israelwas because of their unbelief, and that this fall does not preclude Israel (the remnant) from fulfilling thePromises. Nor does this remnant Israel make God's promise to Israel void. Indeed, we will see that itfulfills those promises. Shall the Gentiles in arrogance and pride then boast because the Jews lie inunbelief? No, because they are merely a remnant themselves. Only a small portion of the worldbecome professing Christians, and only a portion of those professing Christians are 'truly' saved.Moreover, the caveat is that the Church today can also fall away (2nd Thessalonians 2) and be judgedof God for their sins, just as Israel did. For we all have feet of clay, and there is no difference, and mustunderstand that we all have stood on the very same ground. To the Jew first, and then the Gentile.Let us pray that in this study of God's Word, He may grant us the knowledge of His revealed truth. Godgrant us the wisdom to know the difference between false teachings that are inconsistent with the Wordat every turn, and sound scriptural testimonies which are in agreement with the 'whole' Bible. Our prayeris that we come to understand and accept what is God's truth, rather than our own. We pray that we willnot either willfully, unknowingly, nor by neglect, ignore or trample under foot one word of His Holytestimony. And we pray for an open mind to scripture, and an understanding that Christ alone can give.And by Grace, He gives this through His Holy Spirit, by our 'careful' study of the Word.AMEN!
 
Romans Chapter 11http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/eschatology/romans11.shtml[1/1/2009 5:25:02 PM]
 
Romans Chapter 11
---------------
VERSE ONE
"I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin". 
P
aul says, 'I say
 then'
[
oun
], meaning accordingly or consequently. This because in chapters nine andten, he had many things to say which are disturbing about the nation of Israel, their disobedience, the Jewsobstinacy, and their standing with God. The phrase, I say then, or I say subsequently, is in reference tothese preceding chapters where Paul was explaining how God called not only the Jews, but also theGentiles (9:24). He is explaining how these who were not His people, are now called His people, and howIsaiah also cried concerning Israel, that though their number be as the sand of the sea, yet only a 'remnant'should be Saved (9:27). He spoke of how the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, haveattained righteousness, but how that Israel, which followed after the law, have not attained torighteousness (9:30-31). And in chapter 10 he continued in the same vein explaining how his prayer wasthat Israel might be saved, but how they are ignorant of the righteousness of Christ (10:1-4), and howthere is 'no difference' between the Jew and the Greek (10:12). He writes how whosoever should call uponthe name of God will be Saved, regardless. Chapter ten concludes with Isaiah's prophesy which spoke of this, saying, '
 I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me, but to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people (10:20-21)
.' So the truth is that God is a light found of the Gentiles, while the nation Israel, havingbeen judged of God, lies in darkness.After addressing Israel's fall in chapters nine and ten, Paul turns to the subject of what this means withregards to the promises made. It is in this context that the rhetorical question is asked, '
so consequently,has God cast off His people
?' And Paul answers clearly, No, God hasn't cast off Israel, because he himself is an Israelite and God has not cast him off. By saying this he proves by his own example howunreasonable it would be to conclude the nation Israel was cast off. For he himself is an Israelite, thus theconclusion is proven false.Not only an Israelite, but Paul gets right down to his very tribe declaring that he is of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. The Hebrew word Benjamin [
binyamiyn
] means, "son of the righthand." And the families of God, through Christ, are sons of the right hand, even as Christ ascended to theright hand of the Father.
Deuteronomy 33:12
"And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORDshall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders."The beloved of the lord dwells in safety by Him because Christ dwells at the right hand of the father, andthey in Christ. It is in the true Son of the right hand, that the promises to the Children of God are fulfilled.The right hand is the favored one. Just as today, most people are right-handed, or favor their right hand.We are the sons of favor, through Christ. By Paul mentioning He is of the tribe of Benjamin, He isproving that he is one of the children of Israel, the chosen of God, and yet he has not been cast off.Therefore, this proves that the promise was not abrogated. This is an important declaration, because it isdeclaring that the promise is sure and Israel is being saved in the prophesied remnant, of which he himself 

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