Romans, Lesson 25

Lesson 25

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omans 11: 1- 36, God’s plan for Israel, Part 3.

VV 1-6, 1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? 4 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

V1, Has God cast away His people?

Certainly not! Paul himself was an Israelite, a biological descendent of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God had not given up on Israel whom He foreknew. When Elijah pleads his case to God, He said that He had preserved a remnant of Jews who had not bowed down to Baal. Even now, God had preserved a remnant of messianic Jews in Israel and in the world who believed in Christ. Salvation is by grace and divine election, not by good works.

1 Kings 19: 14, 18, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they seek to take my life…….Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

VV 7-10, 7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks, but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written: ‘’God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see, And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.” 9 And David says: ‘’Let their table become a snare and a trap, recompense to them. 10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, And bow down their back always.”

V 7, Why is Israel not saved?

Because God had given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that are spiritually blind, and ears that are spiritually deaf.

Paul quoted Deut 29:8, ”God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day”

Psalm 69:22-23, “Let their table become a snare before them, And their well-being a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, and make their loins shake continually”.

VV 11-15, 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

V 11, Did Israel stumble in vain?

Certainly not! Israel’s unbelief resulted in salvation of the Gentiles. Their unbelief benefited the Gentiles. God saved the Gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy so that some will repent and be saved. If the Jew’s unbelief reconciled the world, wouldn’t their belief benefit the world even more.

VV 16-21, 16 For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief, they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.

If the fruit is Holy, the tree will be holy. If the root us holy, the branches will also be holy. Israel is the natural olive tree. Jews are its natural branches. When the Jews broke off, we, the Gentiles are grafted into the natural olive tree and grew as wild olive branches. Since we benefited from the Jews, we are not to boast or despise the Jews. If God can cut off the Jews, God can also cut us off.

VV 22-24, 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

We, the Gentiles need to consider the goodness and grace of God for grafting us into the natural olive tree. We, the Gentiles are grafted in due to faith but if we do not continue in faith, God will cut us off. Jews are cut off due to unbelief but if they believe, God will graft them back into the natural olive tree.

VV 25-27, 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘’The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Paul speaks about a mystery. Blindness happened to the Jews until the fullness of the Gentiles is complete. During the tribulation, God will divinely remove the Jew’s blindness and save a remnant of them.

Paul quoted Isaiah 59:20-21, “the redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” says the Lord.”As for me, this is my covenant with them”.

VV 28-32, 28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election, they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31, even so, these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

The Jews were enemies of the gospel for us, the Gentile’s sake. The Jews were divinely elected for the sake of the Patriarchs. Divine election and God’s calling are irrevocable. We, the Gentiles, were once disobedient, but received grace through the Jews disobedience. One day, God will also have mercy on the Jews and remove their spiritual blindness to believe.

VV 33-36, 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 34 ‘’For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” 35 ‘’Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” 36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

V 33, Who can understand the depth, riches, wisdom, knowledge, and judgments of God? V 34, for who has known the mind of God? Or who has become His counselor?

No one! God is unsearchable and unknowable except through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You that You have a plan for Israel’s salvation during the tribulation. Thank you for giving us who are Gentiles, mercy and grace to believe in Christ. Thank You for the gift of salvation, justification, sanctification, and eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Romans, Lesson 24

Lesson 24

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omans 10: 1-21, God’s plan for the Jews, Part 2.

VV 1-8, 1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

Paul’s desire and prayer was for the salvation of Israel. The Jews were zealous of God but ignorant and self righteousness. The coming of Christ brought an end to the dispensation of the Mosaic law. Moses preached righteousness by law keeping. Christ preached righteousness by faith.

VV 9-14, 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘’How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?

Salvation is through confession of Christ with the mouth and believing that God raised Him from the dead with the heart. Salvation is universal to the Jews and to the Gentiles on the same condition. Whoever calls on the name of Christ will be saved. To call requires believe, to believe requires hearing, to hear requires a preacher. To preach requires God sending preachers to the mission field. Preaching the Gospel is a beautiful profession. The preacher needs to go out and preach the gospel. The listeners need to confess, believe, call and invite Jesus into the heart.

Romans 10:17. “Faith comes by hearing the word of God”.

Ephesians 2:8-9, ”For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast”.

John 3:16, ”For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.

Revelation 3:20, ”Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me”.

VV 16-21, 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: ‘’Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” 19 But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: ‘’I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.” 20 But Isaiah is very bold and says: ‘’I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” 21 But to Israel he says: ‘’All day long I have stretched out My hands, To a disobedient and contrary people.”

V 17, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The gospel had been preached by Paul and the other apostles. The news had heard the gospel but they did not obey and did not believe.

V 19, Did Israel not know (the gospel)?

Israel knew the gospel but they were stubborn and their hearts were hardened. God saved the Gentiles, who were not a nation, who did not seek after God, and who were foolish, to provoke the Jews to jealousy and anger. God continued to stretched His hands out patiently to the Jews waiting for them to repent.

Isaiah 53:1, ”Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

Deut 32:21, ”They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols. But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation; I will move them to anger by a foolish nation”.

Isaiah 65:1-2, ”I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name. All-day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations”.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for explaining to us the practical steps of evangelism and we can win souls for the kingdom through preaching the word. Help us fulfil Your great commission by preaching the gospel of peace to all nations, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Romans, Lesson 23

Lesson 23

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omans 9: 1-26, God’s plan for Israel, Part 1.

VV 1-5, 1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

Paul felt sorry in his conscience for the unbelieving Jews, his country men in the flesh. The Jews had the adoption of sonship, God’s glory, God’s covenant, God’s laws, God’s temple service, the Patriarchs, and from them the Christ came, yet they the majority of them were not saved due to unbelief. Messianic Jews in the world today are few in numbers.

VV 6-12, 6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

The problem is not the word of God. Physical and biological descendants of Abraham are not his true descendants. The true spiritual descendants of Abraham are those who are justified by faith in Christ. God is sovereign in his choice. He chose Israel over Ishmael, He chose Jacob over Esau, He chose the Gentiles over the Jews.

Paul quoted Genesis 21:12b, ”for in Isaac your seed shall be called”, Genesis 25: 23, “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body, one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger”, and Malachi 1: 2-3, ”Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated”. God chose Jacob over Esau.

VV 14-18, 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

V 14, Is there unrighteousness with God?

No, because God’s choice is sovereign. Paul quoted Exodus 33: 19 b, ”I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion”. Paul quoted Exodus 9:35, ”So the heart of Pharaoh was hard, neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the Lord had spoken by Moses”.

VV 19-24, 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

V 19, Why does He still find fault (with own people, the Jews)?

God’s choice is sovereign because He is the creator. A creature cannot argue with his creator who created him and formed him. God’s sovereign choice is based on grace and divine election. We cannot argue with God over His plan and His purpose.

VV 25-29, 25 As He says also in Hosea: ‘’I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.” 26 ‘’And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: ‘’Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. 28 For, He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.” 29 And as Isaiah said before: ‘’Unless the Lord of Sabbath had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah.”

Paul quoted Hosea 2:23b, ”Then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’ ” Paul quoted Isaiah 10:22, ”For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, A remnant of them will return; The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness”. Paul quoted Isaiah 1: 9, ”Unless the LORD of hosts Had left to us a very small remnant, We would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah”.

God chose the Gentiles who are not His covenant people to be His people, who are not His beloved, to be His beloved, and to be called sons of the living God. But God had not given up on the Jews. He has a plan to save a remnant of the Jews during the tribulation.

VV 30-33, 30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: ‘’Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Why are the Gentiles saved but not the Jews?

The Gentiles are saved because they pursue righteousness by faith in Christ. The Jews are not saved because they pursue righteousness by the law and did not believe in Jesus Christ.

Paul quoted Isaiah 28:16, ”Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily”.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we claim the promise that You have a plan for Israel. We claim the promise that You will preserve and save a remnant of the Israelites during the tribulation, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Romans, lesson 23

Lesson 23

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omans 9: 1-26, God’s plan for Israel, Part 1.

VV 1-5, 1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

Paul felt sorry in his conscience for the unbelieving Jews, his country men in the flesh. The Jews had the adoption of sonship, God’s glory, God’s covenant, God’s laws, God’s temple service, the Patriarchs, and from them the Christ came, yet they the majority of them were not saved due to unbelief. Messianic Jews in the world today are few in numbers.

VV 6-12, 6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

The problem is not the word of God. Physical and biological descendants of Abraham are not his true descendants. The true spiritual descendants of Abraham are those who are justified by faith in Christ. God is sovereign in his choice. He chose Israel over Ishmael, He chose Jacob over Esau, He chose the Gentiles over the Jews.

Paul quoted Genesis 21:12b, ”for in Isaac your seed shall be called”, Genesis 25: 23, “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body, one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger”, and Malachi 1: 2-3, ”Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated”. God chose Jacob over Esau.

VV 14-18, 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

V 14, Is there unrighteousness with God?

No, because God’s choice is sovereign. Paul quoted Exodus 33: 19 b, ”I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion”. Paul quoted Exodus 9:35, ”So the heart of Pharaoh was hard, neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the Lord had spoken by Moses”.

VV 19-24, 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

V 19, Why does He still find fault (with own people, the Jews)?

God’s choice is sovereign because He is the creator. A creature cannot argue with his creator who created him and formed him. God’s sovereign choice is based on grace and divine election. We cannot argue with God over His plan and His purpose.

VV 25-29, 25 As He says also in Hosea: ‘’I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.” 26 ‘’And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: ‘’Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. 28 For, He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.” 29 And as Isaiah said before: ‘’Unless the Lord of Sabbath had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah.”

Paul quoted Hosea 2:23b, ”Then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’ ” Paul quoted Isaiah 10:22, ”For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, A remnant of them will return; The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness”. Paul quoted Isaiah 1: 9, ”Unless the LORD of hosts Had left to us a very small remnant, We would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah”.

God chose the Gentiles who are not His covenant people to be His people, who are not His beloved, to be His beloved, and to be called sons of the living God. But God had not given up on the Jews. He has a plan to save a remnant of the Jews during the tribulation.

VV 30-33, 30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: ‘’Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Why are the Gentiles saved but not the Jews?

The Gentiles are saved because they pursue righteousness by faith in Christ. The Jews are not saved because they pursue righteousness by the law and did not believe in Jesus Christ.

Paul quoted Isaiah 28:16, ”Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily”.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we claim the promise that You have a plan for Israel. We claim the promise that You will preserve and save a remnant of the Israelites during the tribulation, in Jesus’ name, Amen.