Sermon: Why Does Israel Stumble? Romans 11:11115

Why Does Israel Stumble?

Romans 11:11-15

Truth Taught – Gentile enjoyment of the Israel’s blessings will cause Jewish jealousy resulting in Israel’s salvation

Introduction

Why does God do the things He does? I know our answer in unison would be for His glory and all who said that would be right, of course. But why does He do the specific things He does when He could have done it a thousand different ways?

Last time we saw together that God has hardened the non-elect Israelites.

Romans 11:7–8 (ESV)

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,

       “God gave them a spirit of stupor,

eyes that would not see

and ears that would not hear,

       down to this very day.”

God has blinded the eyes of the Israelites who thought they could gain righteousness through works. This is what Paul means by hardening.

As blind people they stumble over what they do not see. He’s told us that the main thing they stumble over is Jesus Christ. We may very accurately say Jesus the Messiah.

Romans 9:32–33 (ESV)

32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written,

       “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;

and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

God has blinded their eyes in judgment and they stumble over Jesus Christ. They were searching so hard for righteousness in themselves that when true righteousness was given to them, they missed Him.

God has offered salvation by faith to the Israelites since the day of Abraham and they refuse. Throughout the OT period God had continued to send prophets to warn them and still they refused. Then when Jesus came on the scene and did everything the Messiah was supposed to do they still refused.

In Jesus’ ministry there was a shift as He predicted the removal of God’s pleading with them.

Matthew 21:33–44 (ESV)

33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. 35 And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

       “ ‘The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone;

       this was the Lord’s doing,

and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

So, Jesus very clearly tells those Israelite leaders that God will remove the Kingdom from them just as soon as He is crucified.

Then we move forward a few years to Paul’s ministry recorded in Acts. He preaches first to the Jews and when they reject the true Messiah he then moves on to the Gentiles. He does this so frequently that He is known as the Apostle to the Gentiles.

Acts 13:46–49 (ESV)

46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,

       “ ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,

that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.

(See also Acts 18:6; 28:25-28)

So, what we are to see today is that this typical reaction from the Jews is not by accident. They rejected Christ, rejected the Gospel, rejected salvation by grace through faith, they rejected God ultimately. He had the way for them to be saved and they did not accept true righteousness.

Romans 11:11–16 (ESV)

11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

  1. Why Does Israel Stumble? (11-12)

Read More

Sermon: God’s Wonderful Grace to Save His People Romans 11:1-10

God’s Wonderful Grace to Save His People

Romans 11:1-10

Truth Taught- All of God’s people are saved by faith, all the rest are hardened.

Romans 11:1–10 (ESV)

11 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,

       “God gave them a spirit of stupor,

eyes that would not see

and ears that would not hear,

       down to this very day.”

And David says,

       “Let their table become a snare and a trap,

a stumbling block and a retribution for them;

10    let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,

and bend their backs forever.”

  1. The Most Unlikely People Can Be Transformed By Grace

11 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.

Paul has been very compelling as he has defended God’s truthfulness. He has shown us through the Book of Romans that God can be trusted. He has not went back on His promise to Israel…why? Because not all who are Israel are really Israel.

Romans 9:6–8 (ESV)

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

Within the larger group known as the Israelites God has a remnant that are truly His people. So, from the larger group there are those God has foreknown before the foundation of the world.

Romans 8:29 (ESV)

29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

God can be trusted to keep His promises because ALL who are of Jewish descent that God has chosen for His own have been saved. There are no exceptions All whom God foreknew have been or will be saved without exception.

This is known as the remnant.

How does Paul prove this conclusion in space and time? In other words, what does he do to prove this is true?

For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.

Paul is living proof that God had not reject His people. The thrust of Paul’s response is something like, God has not gone back on His promises and I can prove it, just look at me!

When God told Abraham that through his descendants God would bless the nations, He had always intended to bless the nations through the elect descendants of Abraham…those whom He foreknew never the Jews as a race.

Paul is a great example of a Jew who was included in the number whom God chosen to be His. What’s amazing about what the Apostle does here is that he has in mind hope for many of the Jews because if God can save him He can save anyone.

Philippians 3:4–6 (ESV)

though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

1 Timothy 1:12–17 (ESV)

12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

I think this is the point Paul is making…He not just saying that There’s at least one true Jew; he is saying, If God can bring me, such a hostile, violent, hardened Jew to faith in Christ He can save anyone.

For us, we must see this truth for our ministry to others. There is no one so hardened by sin that they cannot be saved. Paul is the case and point proof of this.

The answer to the question is God did not reject His people. This has always been true. God will never reject His chosen, elect, foreknown people…His true people will never be forsaken by God.

Psalm 94:14 (ESV)

14    For the Lord will not forsake his people;

he will not abandon his heritage;

  1. The Remnant is Larger Than We Might Think

Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

In 1 Kings 18 Elijah stands in boldness all alone to take on the prophets of Baal. Then in a lapse of fear he runs away from Queen Jezebel thinking he’s still all alone. 1 Kings 19:9–10 (ESV)

There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”

So, Elijah’s complaint to God is that all of God’s people have forsaken Him and His covenant. For Elijah, thinking he’s all alone, believed God had gone back on His promises. He thought that everything was dependent on him and he had forgotten God was in charge. He had forgotten that if God’s promises come true its because God has the power to make them come to pass.

After God met with His servant Elijah He told him that you think you’re all alone? You think you’re the last one? Oh Elijah do you think so little of Me? What does God say in 1 Kings 19? I have 7000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

Of all of Israel God had secured and kept for Himself a remnant in which to fulfill His promises.

Paul, then tells us that in the same way, God has kept for Himself a remnant from among the Israelites in his day. It seems that what Paul is also saying is that just like Elijah thought he was the only one but really there were 7000 others, he’s not the only one either. There is still that remnant from among the Israelites.

What does he tell us about this remnant?

So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

The true Israelites are God’s people not by works of the Law but entirely by Grace. He lets us know that it cannot be both. You cannot be saved by works and grace. If works are in any way involved then, he tells us, it’s no longer by grace.

He also indicates by using the Elijah example that the remnant may, in fact, be much bigger than we think.

We must conclude that for those who have gone their own way there will be judgment coming.

  1. God’s Judgment Includes Blinding People’s Eyes to Christ

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,

       “God gave them a spirit of stupor,

eyes that would not see

and ears that would not hear,

       down to this very day.”

And David says,

       “Let their table become a snare and a trap,

a stumbling block and a retribution for them;

10    let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,

and bend their backs forever.”

Why did Israel fail to obtain righteousness? They failed because they tried to achieve it in their own power and hard work. They did not want God to give it to them and would rather die trying than acknowledge God’s righteousness given to them by grace. So, God hardened them. This is exactly like what we saw when it came to Pharaoh in Exodus. He hardened his own heart and then God finished the hardening for His own glory. The same is true here. The Israelites hardened themselves against God’s grace so much that when Jesus was sent they missed Him.

Read More

Sermon: Gospel Proclamation and Realities Romans 10:14-21

Gospel Proclamation and Realities

Romans 10:14-21

Truth Taught- The salvation of sinners depends on Gospel proclamation and response

Introduction

Throughout the Book of Romans Paul has shown us the two types of righteousness. The first is man’s righteousness (which is really no righteousness at all) that only leads to destruction. Man’s efforts and hard work in the realm of seeking to achieve his own right standing before God has always and will always fail.

The second type of righteousness comes from Jesus Christ, Himself. This is a perfect God-accepting righteousness because God Himself has accomplished it. It was achieved through an absolutely sinless life, a life that loved God the way God should be loved and a life that loved others they way they too should be loved.   Stellar perfection marks the second type of righteousness and the sinner can receive it by grace through faith.

Last time we saw that the proper type of righteousness comes from Christ through the Word of Faith.

Romans 10:6–10 (ESV)

But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

So, to acquire actual righteousness we must receive it by faith from Christ Himself. Righteousness is given to us when we believe and, as Paul says, call on the name of the Lord.

This next section shows us how this is possible. How do we receive this correct type of righteousness?

Romans 10:14–21 (ESV)

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

       “Their voice has gone out to all the earth,

and their words to the ends of the world.”

19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

       “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;

with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

       “I have been found by those who did not seek me;

I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

  1. Gospel Logic

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

Based on the proven truth that no one can be saved apart from the Gospel (the Word of Faith) it is this message that must be heard, believed and then acted on the Apostle lays out for us a logical imperative of Gospel.

If sinners must believe and call on the name of the Lord to be saved…he begins to show us the importance of evangelism.

In order for anyone to be saved, sinners must call on the name of the Lord. How will they call unless they first believe? We see how belief comes first. This belief is trusting in the facts about the person and work of Jesus Christ on behalf of the sinner.   There is, however, something that takes place before belief and calling upon the name of Christ and that is the sinner must be told the reality of their current state and the facts of the Gospel. In other words, you cannot believe something you’ve never been told about before.

Here the word preacher is a little misleading. The word is Kerysso, which more accurately and more broadly means a herald. This is not limited to preachers. We might use the word witness. This is anyone who shares the Gospel with someone else.

There is clearly a logical progression…

Christ sends proclaimers

Proclaimers proclaim

People hear

People believe

People call

Those who call are saved

What happens when no one proclaims the Gospel? No one hears, no one believes, no one calls and no one is saved.

The challenge is, are we proclaiming/heralding the Gospel? When is the last time you told the Gospel to someone? Have you ever shared the Gospel?

We have no solid excuse for not sharing the Gospel. We might say, well I really don’t know enough Scripture…

Here is an example of a church less than 4 weeks old…

1 Thessalonians 1:8 (ESV)

For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.

You might say I’m afraid to…really? So, let’s say that’s the case. You would rather a person spend eternity in hell just so you don’t have to leave your safety zone?

You may think someone else will do it. What if you’re the last opportunity they have to hear.

You might say…

The bottom line is that if we really believe that the only way the lost will be saved is by hearing the Gospel then we will be engaged in evangelism. If we are not engaged in the command of evangelism then there is something wrong somewhere.

The Thessalonian Church blew the trumpet of evangelism and the Gospel sounded forth from them in an amazing way. This imagery comes from the Book of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 33:1–9 (ESV)

33 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

“So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

Beloved, God has set us as watchmen to trumpet the truth to those who are outside the wall of safety. We are inside the wall, standing, as it were, on top. We can see the fact that sin is an enemy that will consume all who will not listen to the warning. But if we see this and do not warn then their blood will be on our hands.

Not all who hear will believe and call on the name of the Lord.

Read More

Disciple Hour: The Glory Of Christ

Disciple Hour: The Glory Of Christ
9.2.18

Sermon: The Glorious Accessibility of the Savior Romans 10:1-13

The Glorious Accessibility of the Savior

Romans 10:1-13

Truth Taught- Jesus is ready to extend His righteousness to all who believe and call on Him to save.

Introduction

We saw last time that Paul began Chapter 10 much the same way he did Chapter 9. He expresses a heartfelt desire to see the Jews come to Christ and be saved. His longing even, it seems, increases as he witnesses their zeal and commitment…he must have thought, if only that commitment could be turned to Christ, what great witnesses they could be. He was the chief example of an Israelite being turned to Christ and in Paul we see what a zealous Israelite could become.

The main issue we looked at last time was that the Jews were using the Law of God to try and establish their own righteousness. For mankind there cannot ever be acceptable self-righteousness because human beings are fallen sinners.

What the Jews didn’t understand was that in Jesus Christ mankind can receive acceptable righteousness through faith.

Today, we’re going to see Paul’s thesis statement. It’s his reason behind all that he taught us last time. The reason mankind cannot achieve through works of the law an acceptable righteousness is because that was never God’s intended use of the Law.

Abraham saw clearly the purpose of the Law was not to obey it in hopes that through trying hard he could acquire righteousness, no he saw that the Law was who God is as it shows His character and perfection and that by turning to God in faith and repentance God’s righteousness would be given to the worshipper.

Romans 10:1–13 (ESV)

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

  1. Christ is the End of the Law to All Who Believe

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Here, Paul’s statement of the Law’s purpose sounds much like what Jesus said…

Matthew 5:17–20 (ESV)

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

God’s Law is the totality of His commands. For a person to be justified by the Law he must adhere perfectly to all God’s commands. Here’s the problem we face.

Beloved let’s say we are at a state park on a nature hike. We see a bench sitting there that has been freshly painted and there’s a sign that says keep off wet paint

Here’s the issue when we read the sign we are already sitting on the bench. Or let’s say there is a sign that says newly planted grass keep off. The problem when we read the sign we’re standing in the middle of the newly planted grass. It’s not that God gives us a command from His Law and then we can decide to obey it. As we read the command we are, as sinners, in the very process of breaking that command.

Matthew 22:36–40 (ESV)

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Since we woke up this morning, if we’re honest, we’ve broken both these commands. We’ve not loved God or our neighbors like we should.

 

Read More

Sermon: The Complete Failure of Man’s Righteousness Romans 10:1-3

The Complete Failure of Man’s Righteousness

Romans 10:1-3

Truth Taught-Human righteousness even when it is zealous still leads to utter destruction

Introduction

I can remember a conversation I had with someone many years ago about the issue of Jesus Christ being the only way a sinner can be made right with God. As this person made their case for God being inclusive of all religions because, according to him, even though they don’t realize it, all religions actually worship the same God. I asked him where did he get his view from? His response was that to see if someone’s religion is real we should just look to the worshipper’s commitment and zeal for God.

No matter what you say, people most often have their minds made up already. So when I took them to Romans 10 and showed him what Paul said about the Israelites…Judaism (one of the religions he felt was acceptable to God) when it came to their zeal and to their commitment they still felt that other religions were as good as Christianity. The fact is regardless of how hard someone believes a lie is not relevant.

Paul began to show us in Romans 9 that the Jews are missing the most important and vital piece Jesus, Himself. They were a group who tried to work their way to God. When shown the truth they stumbled over Jesus.

Romans 9:30–33 (ESV)

30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written,

       “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;

and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

When a person is using the Law of God as a means of finding God’s favor what they are doing is seeking righteousness by their own efforts.

Human righteousness even when it is zealous still leads to utter destruction

Human Need

We must realize that there is salvation only in Jesus Christ. We also have the need to live accordingly.

Father, You have Gathered Your people that You may let us hear Your words, so that we may learn to fear You all the days that we live on the earth, and that we may also teach our children…amen

Romans 10:1–3 (ESV)

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

So, what did Paul do? What was his strategy when it came to the salvation of his Jewish kinsmen?

  1. Paul Prayed

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

While the Israelites had zeal without knowledge, Paul had a zeal with knowledge. He knew God is sovereign. He had just taught us in Romans 9 about God saving some and hardening others. He taught us Jacob I loved and Esau Ive hated. He taught us about election and God’s foreknowledge. While all that is true, now he’s going to show us how it is the elect are saved and how prayer plays a wonderful part in the equation.

There are hyper-Calvinists, those who do not see a need for prayer and evangelism because they say, Since God is sovereign and has elected those to save then we play no part in that at all.

Paul was not a hyper-Calvinist and we are NOT hyper-Calvinists.

God wants us to pray is that in prayer God allows us as creatures to be involved in activities that are eternally important. When we pray, the work of the kingdom is advanced. In this way, prayer gives us opportunity to be involved in a significant way in the work of the kingdom and thus gives expression to our greatness as creatures made in God’s image.[1]

Read More