Israel

Romans 11:1-15 Roland v N Our response to Israel

Roland teaches us today from Romans 11:1-15. Firstly, he recaps where we have been in chapters 9 and 10, looking at how chapter 9 reveals how God’s word hasn’t failed. Chapter 10 then shows us how Israel has failed to receive salvation through faith and is still trying to use works.

Chapter 11 then moves into talk of the remnant of Israel. Paul claims that as a descendant of the clan of Benjamin he is part of the remnant of Israel. He links back to Elijah to show that God has always kept a remnant for himself within Israel. This refers to the 7000 mentioned in 1 Kings 19:18 that God had kept from worshiping Baal. All of this is to show that God hasn’t forgotten Israel and still has a plan for them.

Roland then moved on to Romans 11:7 which talks of those not chosen as the remnant of Israel having their hearts hardened. He linked this back to promises in the Old Testament. Jews generally split the Old Testament into 3 parts. The law, the writings and the prophets. Paul makes reference to all 3 of these in verses 8-10. One from Deuteronomy, one from Psalms and one from Isaiah. All of this is to show that there is no works based salvation for Israel.

Romans 11 then goes on to focus on how the act of hardening Israel has paved the way for the salvation of the gentiles. This highlights the fact that without God hardening the hearts of Israel, we wouldn’t have salvation now. It also tells us in verse 14 that the salvation of the gentiles is to make Jews jealous so that some might be saved. We owe our salvation to Israel so we need to repay that favour by bringing them back to Christ.

Roland finished his talk with some application for us. The first of these is to come to Jews with humility as they have paved the way for our salvation. The second is to provoke them to jealousy that they might be saved. This is done through showing the love of Christ to them. Finally we need to respectfully ‘prod’ Jews towards Jesus.

Romans 9:19-33 God's faithfulness to Israel - Zohar Gonen

Zohar speaks to us today as a Jewish Christian with a ministry to share Jesus Christ with Jewish people through the work of Celebrate Messiah.

Some say that we do not have to share the gospel with Jewish people because they can be saved by obedience to the Law, even within evangelical circles. At the other extreme people think that there is no need to evangelise the Jewish people because God is through with Jewish people. They had their chances. They did not recognise the Messiah when he came so there is no need to share the gospel. But Paul did not do this. His first priority was to reach the Jewish people first.

The Church lost the vision to reaching out to the Jewish people. They became an unreached people group. There has been a lack of outreach that was loving and longing for the Jewish people to recognise the Messiah.

Many people do not connect chapter 8 with chapters 9 and 11. The don't see that Paul's description of believers’ glorification also applying to Israel. Chapters 9-11 can only be understood in the context of chapter 8. By appealing to how God was faithful to the Jewish people only then we can be confident that he will be faithful to us. Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe, to the Jew first and then to the Gentiles.

Zohar reflects on the promises of God being still reliable because this is God's character. God keeps his promises. He reviews the instruction of honourable vessels and dishonourable vessels, and the remnant that will be saved. A small group within a large group of people, a small people group who remain faithful to God. In Rom 11, Elijah thought he was the only faithful person alive. God was the one who kept 7000 men who did not bend the knee to Baal. God is the one who is faithful to keep a remnant, chosen by grace. God's faithfulness is not at stake even though the whole nation of Israel turned their back on God. Paul appeals to this faithfulness to demonstrate God's character.

Rom 1:16,17 is not a geographic, time bound order that the describes gospel going to the Jews first and then to the world so that this is no longer the case to reach the Jewish people because the gospel continues to be the power of God. It is not a past finished outpouring.

God is just. He is a righteous and just God and we don’t even have the tools to even measure whether God is just or not. He sees everything and knows everything where as we cannot. God is just. You cannot argue with God. One pot of clay cannot argue with the potter as to why it is not for honourable use. God's election of the Jewish people is absolutely right and fair. There is room for every type of pot. In God's plan there is a need for all people types and skills. No matter how we serve God we can all bring glory to God. Whether he made us a Jew or Gentile God will use us.

Why is God long suffering with vessels of destruction? We were all vessels of destruction at some point in our life. God was patient with us to turn to Him. We became vessels of mercy. He will demonstrate is glory out vessels of mercy.

If our relationship was based upon our faithfulness, then we would fail every time. We would be in trouble. It is only God's faithfulness that maintains the relationship with Him.

In every generation God left a remnant of a faithful Jewish people for himself and for this reason God did not pour out his wrath just as he would have withheld destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. For this reason, we can know that God has a future for his people. This people group is who he will show himself faithful to. Today's Jewish remnant are those who believe in Jesus Messiah. God has a future for the Jewish people. God will reveal himself and revive the Jewish people. God is not through with them and God will pour out his spirit on them.

How is it that the Jewish people who pursued righteousness did not attain it and yet the Gentiles attained righteousness while not seeking it. The answer is that the Jewish people put their faith in their own efforts whereas the Gentiles placed their faith in God. They put their faith in the right source.

True faith must be in God's perfect work, the atonement on the cross.

God's atonement must be the object of our faith. We must put of faith and trust in the Rock, the Messiah. The best thing we can ever do. Stop trying to impress God with your ability to perform. Trying to obtain righteousness in our own merit then we will stumble and trip every time.

Trust in God

Remember that God is fair, we do not have the tools to measure God's fairness

If God choses us to be a Jew or Gentile, he has the right as creator to do so.

God is a faithful God in his wisdom and his timing to save us and the Jewish people.

 

 

 

 

Romans 9:1-18 To the Jew First - Ross P

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Ross teaches from chapter 9 and this marks a shift from the first 8 chapters of doctrine regarding the sin of all men, and God's provision of Christ's righteousness through faith. He reminds us of the key verse of Romans being Rom 1:16-17 regarding the Gospel but today looks at the significance of the reference to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles.

Is there any future for Jewish people in the church if Gentiles are now included in the kingdom? Tension arose between the Jews and Gentiles of Rome. Paul writes to explain the promises of God to Israel and God's sovereign right to choose a people group for blessing. The heritage of the people of Israel was of great advantage. Covenants, promises, patriarchs, and the human ancestry of Christ.

Ross considers whether there is a future for Israel or are the Church and Israel one entity. This matter has divided the church over the centuries where the church is a replacement for Israel. Is Israel still important in God's plans? Will God ever abandon Israel? Scripture tells us that God will never abandon Israel. Jer 31:35-37. God's word will never fail. God's mercy is relentless.

God is is always absolutely right and fair and just, and because of this we can trust Him for His promise of forgiveness, justification and eternal life for all who believe, both Jew and Gentile. Everyone who calls on the Lord shall be saved.