Paul dealt with Israel in the past in chapter 9 and now he begins to address present day Israel and their need for Christ and the Gospel. But the problem, as we will see, is that they have rejected them.
Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
Even now in the first, better resurrection, it was Paul’s desire that they be saved now.
Jews did not see the need for spiritual salvation; Jews thought they could earn their salvation through works, but they misunderstood.
Romans 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
They had zeal like many in the world today but not according to what is right. Think of everything that they did in the name of God’s law and even added to it.
Mark 7:9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
Paul is once again emphasizing the need to follow God’s law and way, but in the right way.
Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
Self-righteous; what is our righteousness like…
The only way that we can be righteous is by and through Christ in us.
Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
“The law is done away with” Do you think that based on everything we have read and covered in this series on Romans?
To what “end” – what is the goal, aim or purpose
KJV 1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
NKJV 1 Timothy 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
So “therefore” Christ is the objective of the law, He set the perfect example of keeping the law. The purpose of the law is to show perfect holy righteous character of God and how we can conform and live our ways in the same manner.
KJV James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
Christ lived such an exemplary life that He showed us how the law of God should be manifest in us. He was the end of the law. He exemplified the end or purpose of the law. Christ is the end result of the law for righteousness
And this is where the Israelites should be looking
Romans 10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “THE MAN WHO DOES THOSE THINGS SHALL LIVE BY THEM.”
No one has ever done this except Christ, as we just read.
Romans 10:6 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)
Romans 10:7 or, ” ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
Romans 10:8 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):
The righteousness of faith does not require an Herculean effort that is beyond mortal men, but God can make it accessible
Romans 10:9 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.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Is he saying that a “death bed repentance” is sufficient? Can one scripture do away with everything else that we have read and learned and have come to understand?
We always have to let the Bible interpret the Bible
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
Matthew 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Let’s look at another necessity in addition to confession:
James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble!
James 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
James 2:22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES ON HIM WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME.”
We do what we believe
Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
We all become spiritual Israelite or Jew, so there is no spiritual distinction
Romans 10:13 For “WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.”
This one verse, numbered after the fact has to be taken in context of the following verses as well as the rest of the bible as usual. This verse cannot be taken as a stand alone thought.
The answer is in the following verses and we see that there is a process to it.
Romans 10:14 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?
Not only is this the process by which God tried to reach them as well as us, but it is a diatribe against Israel and the fact that they have rejected the Gospel at present
Romans 10:15 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!
Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?”
Sent by God to preach; preaching causes hearing; hearing begets belief or faith; belief incites calling on God;
Sums it up
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
We cannot simply “call on God” this process begins and even requires God throughout. In fact without God calling us we would never be able to truly call upon Him
Romans 10:18 But I say, have they [Israel] not heard? Yes indeed: “THEIR SOUND HAS GONE OUT TO ALL THE EARTH, AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD.”
Romans 10:19 But I say, did Israel not know? [they knew they just didn’t act upon it or write it in their hearts] 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.”
Paul begins to show how God would use the Gentiles to put Israel to shame
Romans 10:20 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.”
Romans 10:21 But to Israel he says: “ALL DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND CONTRARY PEOPLE.” [Israel]
God did this through the prophets, those few with the Holy Spirit in Old Testament times and even through Jesus Christ. The Jews refused to recognize them.
All this being said, it may seem like God is done with the Israelites and has started working with the Gentiles, so Paul to be clear, shows how God will not cast them away but will continue working with them in the future, giving them the same chance that everyone will have.
Paul uses 5 Proofs to show that this will happen
Proof 1 Paul
Romans 11:1 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.
If God had done this, how could Paul have been chosen and God worked with him?
Paul was a type and perhaps a foreshadow of the conversion of others in the future
1 Timothy 1:16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
Paul was part of this contrary crowd in the previous verse Romans 10:21
Proof 2 Elijah
Romans 11:2 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,
Romans 11:3 “LORD, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS AND TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY SEEK MY LIFE”?
Elijah’s time was a time of great spiritual harlotry and idolatry. Israel was more or less being run by the Queen of the tribes of Israel who had gotten rid of all of the prophets save one: Elijah
1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.
1 Kings 18:22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
Because of this, Jezebel vowed to kill him which caused him despair and to utter the words of :3
But God let him in on a secret:
Romans 11:4 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.”
Romans 11:5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Paul’s point is that even at this time when it seemed that all of Israel had gone astray in the past or that Israel in the present was coming to nought, God was still working with them as He promised He would.
Now it wouldn’t be all of them, but rather a remnant according to the plan of God, according to the best way He sees fit to dole out His love — according to His grace.
Romans 11:6 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.
Our calling or election (:6) is by grace; to think it is by works is to deny what God is doing. Of course this is where the Jews were off-base, in particularly the Pharisees – who thought that they could gain righteousness and salvation by works.
Romans 11:7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
Romans 11:8 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.” [Isaiah 29:10]
God does this hardening of the heart and blinding of the eyes out of mercy as we covered in chapter 9. Also as we read at that time too, the Israelites were complicit in the process.
Romans 11:9 And David says: “LET THEIR TABLE [altar Malachi 1:7] BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RECOMPENSE TO THEM.
Romans 11:10 LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED, SO THAT THEY DO NOT SEE, AND BOW DOWN THEIR BACK ALWAYS.” [Psalm 69:22-23]
This zeal that they developed self-righteously, led them into the snare that they were in.
They burdened their own backs.
Proof 3 Gentiles
Romans 11:11 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.
Have the things that they have done, the stumbling blocks that they have put in front of themselves, have they caused the Israelites to fall away from God and His grace permanently?
NO, BUT… since the Israelites came up short, the calling and election was now going out to the Gentiles
AND through the Gentiles the Israelites would be stirred to action [provoke them to jealousy]
Jew first then the Gentiles [Romans 2:10]
Romans 11:12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!
Now salvation is offered to everyone else
If the world is helped this much by their failure, then think of how much more they will be helped when they are complete [fullness: plērōma], when they do not lack what lack now but are all with the program.
Zechariah 8:22-23 Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the LORD.’ “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ‘ “
Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
Romans 11:14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.
Even Paul employed this method of trying to light a fire under the Israelites by saying, “Look at the Gentiles, they are responding!” This had to be a slap in the face to the people who thought that they were the only chosen ones. But now they see God beginning to work with the people that they had looked down their noses at.
Romans 11:15 For if their [Israelites] being cast away is the reconciling of the [rest of the] world [Gentiles] , what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
The Israelites will indeed have their chance in the future resurrection from physical death to physical life, but they will no longer be blinded and hardened and will be brought from spiritual death to spiritual life
Proof 4 Patriarchs [Romans 11:28 cites the fathers]
Romans 11:16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Reference to Numbers 15:17-21 If God accepted the one part of the lump, He accepted the whole/rest part
Paul is making an analogy that if you pull a piece of dough from the lump of dough and the piece is good then it stands to reason that the lump is good.
In the same way he begins to make the analogy of the root and branches of the olive tree which is Israel:
Romans 11:17 And if some of the branches [Israelites] were broken off, and you [Gentiles], 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, [the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who are the roots or foundation/beginning of the nation of Israel]
Romans 11:18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
Don’t think more highly of yourself than you should. God started out with Abraham specifically and is built upon that, not upon you who are now being grafted in.
Romans 11:19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”
Romans 11:20 Well said. [Paul confirms that this is undeniably what God is doing] Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.
Reiterating the fact that they should not boast as he previously said in :18 and issuing this warning:
Romans 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
Romans 11:22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God [chapter 9]: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
Israelites were broken off for rejecting God and Christ. If the Gentiles were to do the same then they would not be allowed to remain on the tree. The bottom line here is that everyone needs to watch their attitude
Romans 11:23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
God is not unmerciful to give them this opportunity in the future when it is their time. Physical Israel will have the chance to become spiritual Israel
Romans 11:24 For if you [Gentiles] 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?
contrary to nature… You don’t normally put the wild on the “domesticated or improved one, but vice versa
But in this instant, which is why it is contrary to nature, the wild olive [Gentiles] produce good fruit when they become spiritual Israel
Paul goes on to say that isn’t it then according to nature that the Israelites that were previously broken off be grafted back in?
Of course God wants to regraft Israel into spiritual Israel
Romans 11:25 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 [fullness: plērōma; :12] of the Gentiles has come in.
Mystery… for the world today, even though Paul is expounding upon it in the most read but least understood book on earth, but now we know why…because of the blindness that will remain intact until the completion of the time of the Gentiles, that will last until the return of Christ and the time that He will gather the Israelites from the four corners of the earth and make the holy spirit readily available to them.
All according to God’s timing
Romans 11:26 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;
Romans 11:27 FOR THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.”
MY COVENANT … New covenant
I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS … They will have the same opportunity for forgiveness and justification that those who have been called now have had.
Romans 11:28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.
Same theme that because of the Israelites disbelief, their carnality and enmity towards God, the Gentiles now had the chance to be grafted into Israel thus perpetuating the promise God made toward Abraham and his ancestors.
Proof 5 God
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
2 Corinthians 1:18 But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No.
2 Corinthians 1:19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes.
2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
God will be faithful and diligent to do what He says that He is going to do.
Romans 11:30 For as you [Gentiles] were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience [Israelites],
Romans 11:31 even so these [Israelites],also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you [Gentiles] they [Israelites], also may obtain mercy.
Israel will be shown mercy by the same mercy shown to the Gentiles
Romans 11:32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
This has always been God’s plan. Salvation for all, each in his own time.
Romans 11:33 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!
He is thinking of Job here. How many times does Job say something similar?
Job 5:9 Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number.
Job 9:10 He does great things past finding out, Yes, wonders without number.
Job 11:7 “Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?
Job 11:8 They are higher than heaven— what can you do? Deeper than Sheol— what can you know?
Job 11:9 Their measure is longer than the earth And broader than the sea.
And then he goes on to quote two passages in Job.
Romans 11:34 “FOR WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD? OR WHO HAS BECOME HIS COUNSELOR?”
Romans 11:35 “OR WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM AND IT SHALL BE REPAID TO HIM?”
Romans 11:36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
We cannot fully comprehend why God makes the decisions that He does…though we are being given a glimpse of it here in chapters 9-11. But what we do know is that God is doing it all in a fair, just, merciful and compassionate way in which ALL MANKIND will have the best hope of making it into the Family of God.