God Always Keeps His Promises

Dr. Steve Viars May 24, 2020 Romans 11:1-36
Outline

Romans 8:22 - For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 - That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun.

1 Samuel 8:7 - The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.”

Jeremiah 31:33 - “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

2 Samuel 7:16 - Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.

Isaiah 9:6-7 - For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

Matthew 6:10 - Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.

“Dedicated to Upholding the Fundamental Bible Truths”…

Verbal Inspiration of the Scriptures…

Physical Bodily Resurrection of Christ

Premillennial Coming of Jesus Christ

- Amillennial – no literal thousand year reign of Christ

- Postmillennial - Christ returns after the church has established the kingdom

- Premillennial means to us – Christ returns with His raptured church after the 7-year tribulation to literally establish His 1000-year rule and reign on this earth

Romans 10:9 - …that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…

6 principles to guide our understanding of God’s faithfulness

I. God Made Specific Promises to His Chosen People Israel

A. Genesis 12 and the call of Abraham is an important turning point in the Bible

B. The core elements of God’s covenant with Abram (later Abraham) were unconditional

Genesis 15:17-18 - It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land.”

Romans 4:3 - For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

“Although that covenant was for the benefit of Abraham and his descendants, and ultimately for the blessing of the entire earth, the terms of the covenant were unconditional, and it was sworn to and affirmed by God with Himself. He made an inviolable oath with Himself to keep His promises to Abraham. However faithful Abraham or his Israelite descendants might be, God would fulfill the covenant in every detail. This was a divine covenant founded on God’s sovereign election of Israel as His chosen people (see Heb. 6:13–20)…

God’s character and integrity, His trustworthiness and faithfulness depend on His continued preservation of Israel. God has obligated Himself to ultimately redeem the nation of Israel and to establish her as a purified and glorious kingdom above all others in the world…

God has promised to bless all the peoples of the world through Abraham and his descendants, and the fulfillment of that promise culminated in the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. He arose from Israel, but the redemption He offered was to Jew and Gentile alike…Near the opening of this epistle, Paul assures his readers that “the gospel … is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek [Gentile]” (Rom. 1:16)…

because the Jews as a nation rejected their Messiah, God temporarily set that nation aside “until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in” (Rom. 11:25). At that time, with unfailing certainty, “all Israel will be saved” (v. 26). In addition to bringing His chosen people to salvation, God will fulfill His promises to restore her own kingdom in her own land, which will become a land of eternal blessing and peace.” (John MacArthur, Romans 9-16, p. 94).

II. God’s Covenant Promises are Irrevocable

A. Samuel

1 Samuel 12:22 - For the Lord will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.

B. Nehemiah

Nehemiah 9:31 - Nevertheless, in Your great compassion You did not make an end of them or forsake them, for You are a gracious and compassionate God.

C. Psalms

Psalm 89:31-37 - If they violate My statutes and do not keep My commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes. But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, nor deal falsely in My faithfulness. My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever and his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful.

Psalm 94:14 - For the Lord will not abandon His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance.

Psalm 106:44-45 - Nevertheless He looked upon their distress when He heard their cry; and He remembered His covenant for their sake, and relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.

D. Hebrews

Hebrews 6:13-20 - For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.” And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Romans 11:1 - I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He?

May it never be…

III. God Graciously Allows His Chosen People to Believe and Act on His Promises

A. Paul himself

Romans 11:1 - I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

B. The example of Elijah

Romans 11:4 - But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”

Romans 11:5 - In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.

Romans 9:32 - Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone…

Romans 10:21 - But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

Psalm 94:14 - For the Lord will not abandon His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance.

IV. God Keeps Promises to Gentiles as Well as Jewish Persons

Genesis 12:2-3 - And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

Luke 2:27-32 - And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation, Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”

A. The salvation of Gentiles is another sign of God’s grace for His chosen nation

Romans 11:11 - I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.

B. Gentiles did not replace Jews in God’s plan and program, they were grafted in

Romans 11:17-18 - But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.

Romans 11:25 - For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in…

V. God Will Fulfill His Eternal Plan for His People

A. They will be grafted back in

Romans 11:23 - And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

Romans 11:26-27 - …and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” “This is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”

Revelation 7:4-10 - And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel…After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

Revelation 20:6 - Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

B. Mercy is on its way

Romans 11:32 - For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

Romans 10:9-10 - …that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

VI. God’s Glory is Especially on Display Because of His Faithfulness

Romans 11:33-36 - Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

- I appreciate those who worked to make our Memorial Day services special even during this pandemic…

- I hope each of us will pray for Mrs. Lisa Hershman and those in our armed forces and the enormous weight they are carrying here and around our world…

- it is also fitting for us this weekend to honor and remember those who have given their lives in protection of our country…

- last week I finished reading The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-45

- it’s a book about some of the pilots in WW II…many of whom were still in their teens when they flew and manned these massive planes into enemy territory…

- I love reading about that period in our nation’s history…but it is sobering to think about the horrors of war and young men and women going off to fight and sacrifice--and in too many cases to die--so that we could be free…

- speaking of those freedoms, we’re looking forward to resuming live public worship services next Sunday, May 31st, for those who are ready to take that step…

- hopefully you received a final draft of our re-opening plan, and the instruction sheet, and a special video that outlines our plans…

- remember there’s no pressure whatsoever…

- we are asking you to go on-line and reserve tickets so we’re sure we’re ready for those who are coming…

- and we hope to do everything we can to serve those worshipping with us on-line with creativity and excellence

- please also keep in mind that next week we are beginning a brand-new series that will carry us through the summer on the topic of Handling Fear and Worry…we’re looking forward to unpacking a number of passages from God’s Word on that relevant and important subject…

- but first we have the delightful privilege of completing our study of the third major section of the book of Romans…that’s Romans 9-11…

- I think all of us would say that COVID-19 has taught or reminded us of many important lessons…

- one is the brokenness of the sin-cursed world in which we live…

1. Using Romans 8 terminology…Romans 8:22 - For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

- that’s not just a distant theological statement – we see evidence of it in living technicolor…from exhausted health care workers to bankrupt businesses to daily updates about the number of virus deaths here and around the world…

- without a doubt, the whole creation is groaning and suffering like the pains of childbirth

2. There’s also the brokenness of human government in our country and around the world…

- Regardless of your political persuasion…the endless attacks and accusations can be exhausting…

- Even our very best leaders fall short or acknowledge they simply don’t know…

- if God truly created His world to be a place of Shalom, or peace we enjoy with one another and with Him…what we are currently experiencing isn’t even close to the way things are supposed to be…

- however, there’s a sense in which that’s as old as the Garden of Eden…like King Solomon said in the book of Ecclesiastes…Ecclesiastes 1:9 - That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun.

- whenever human beings try to govern themselves…our failures and weaknesses will be on display…it’s an exercise in futility and brokenness…

- the Bible tells the same story in the Old Testament when God’s own people demand a king for themselves so they can be like other nations…

- the Lord explains to the prophet Samuel that ultimately the people…1 Samuel 8:7 - The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.

- To say the least, over the next several hundred years--which is the period of time that a significant percentage of our Bibles is about -- that experiment did not go well…

- there’s the brokenness of injustice and the brokenness of rebellion and the brokenness of war…

- but in the midst of that…God begins making promises…and continues developing those promises…about a coming kingdom led by a very unique king…

- it will be the complete and perfect fulfillment of the covenants made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph--concerning a specific nation with the divine provision of land, seed, and blessing…

- the citizens will be bound with a new covenant where God will… Jeremiah 31:33 - “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

- creation will be restored and shalom will be returned

- but the most unique aspect of this unbroken kingdom will be the majesty of its king…

- He will sit on the throne of David 2 Samuel 7:16 - Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.

- His will be a servant-king whose character is filled with humility, and righteousness, and justice, and power…

- This Messiah will deliver His subjects from the curse and brokenness of sin by dying in their place so the power of sin will be removed…

- as the prophet Isaiah so eloquently predicted… Isaiah 9:6–7 - For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

- this is no typical kingdom or ordinary king…

- This is why Jesus taught His disciples to pray the same words that should be the longing of each of our hearts today…Matthew 6:10 – Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.

- here’s the question before the house this morning…whatever happened to all those promises…about a specific kingdom in a specific land with an eternal king who would sit on the specific throne of David forever…

- our answer to that question would be – we believe it is coming…perhaps, as one hymnwriter said…soon and very soon [at least in God’s way of reckoning time]…soon and very soon, we are going to see the king…

- with that in mind, please open your Bible this am to Romans chapter 11…

- this morning we’re continuing our study of the third major section of the book of Romans…chapters 9-11…

- Lord willing this fall, after completing the summer series I mentioned earlier…we’ll jump back into Romans 12 and complete the practical applications section of this great book…

- I should tell you that not all of God’s people agree on the subject of whether there will be a literal future kingdom that includes both redeemed Jews and Gentiles in fulfillment of the OT promises and prophecies I’ve mentioned…

- but it is interesting and instructive that there has never been any question about what our church believes…I’ve always found it fascinating to read from the Dedication Program on January 8, 1967 on the day our church’s first auditorium on S. 18th Street was dedicated…

- They have the order service, which included a responsive reading titled “Act of Dedication”…

- then on that same page they have a series of doctrinal beliefs with the heading…”Dedicated to Upholding the Fundamental Bible Truths”

- Their first is the Verbal Inspiration of the Scriptures…

- the second is the Physical Bodily Resurrection of Christ

- here’s the third Premillennial Coming of Jesus Christ

- then there’s a series of 11 more doctrinal distinctives, including the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the Genesis account of creation, eternal security, and substitutionary atonement…

- it’s amazing that not only did they list their belief in premillennialism in this dedication document, but they listed it as high as they did…

- and I realize you might say – premillennial…what does that even mean?...

- millennial means “thousand”…in this case it is referring to Christ’s 1000 year rule and reign on this earth…and there is no doubt that good people differ on this…

- the three primary positions are…

- Amillennial – no literal thousand year reign of Christ

- Post-millennial means – Christ returns after the church has established the kingdom

- Premillennial means to us – Christ returns with His raptured church after the 7-year tribulation to literally establish His 1000-year rule and reign on this earth

- we are premillennial, and Romans 11 is one of the chapters why…

- [if you would like more information on this than our time allows this am, feel free to send me an e-mail and I’ll send you a position paper our staff wrote on this subject]…

- let’s celebrate the emphasis here that…God Always Keeps His Promises…and if there is a literal future kingdom for the nation of Israel…that is good news for us as well…because in the gracious, merciful, sovereign plan of God…for Christians, Jesus Christ is our king too…because we made the profession outlined in our verses last week…Romans 10:9 - that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…

- that’s why we can pray with integrity and hope for the day when His kingdom comes, and His will is done, on earth, as it is in heaven…

- Read Romans 11:1-36

- We are talking this am about how God Always Keeps His Promises…and with the time we have remaining…let’s break these verses down into Six principles to guide our understanding of God’s faithfulness.

- I realize this chapter may be a bit challenging to understand, but here’s what I believe…if we’ll concentrate hard, and ask the Holy Spirit of God to guide us, there are valuable nuggets of truth here that can strengthen us greatly…

- these first two points are going to start from parallel passages in God’s Word to help us have more of a broader understanding of what Paul’s saying here…

I. God Made Specific Promises to His Chosen People Israel

- that all began in many ways…

A. Genesis 12 and the call of Abraham is an important turning point in the Bible.

- up until that point, we have 4 major events…what is Genesis 1-11 about?...

- creation, fall, flood, tower of babel…all of which illustrate various aspects of the sinfulness of man…

- left on our own, we will always rebel…that point is undeniable…but then God comes to a man named Abram and he makes a series of promises to him…and it is very important to understand that…

B. The core elements of God’s covenant with Abram (later Abraham) were unconditional.

- that is why when the covenant was formalized in Genesis 15, God instructed Abram to take several animals and cut them in half and lay them on the ground with a path in-between…

- Abram would have known exactly what that meant…in their culture that’s how a formal covenant was made…then the two parties would walk side by side between the animals signifying it’s conditional nature…if either breaks the covenant, what happened to the animals will happen to you…

- but that’s not what happened… Genesis 15:17–18 - It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land…”…

- God was making this promise on the basis of His own character…He chose Abram…Abram’s only role was to believe what God was promising…

- that’s why Romans 4:3 affirmed -- Romans 4:3 - For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

- now there is no question that as we read Scripture…some of God’s promises have conditions – if you do such and such, here’s the blessings…if you don’t do such and such, here are the cursings…

- but as John MacArthur explains… Although that covenant was for the benefit of Abraham and his descendants, and ultimately for the blessing of the entire earth, the terms of the covenant were unconditional, and it was sworn to and affirmed by God with Himself. He made an inviolable oath with Himself to keep His promises to Abraham. However faithful Abraham or his Israelite descendants might be, God would fulfill the covenant in every detail. This was a divine covenant founded on God’s sovereign election of Israel as His chosen people (see Heb. 6:13–20)…

- God’s character and integrity, His trustworthiness and faithfulness depend on His continued preservation of Israel. God has obligated Himself to ultimately redeem the nation of Israel and to establish her as a purified and glorious kingdom above all others in the world…

- God has promised to bless all the peoples of the world through Abraham and his descendants, and the fulfillment of that promise culminated in the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. He arose from Israel, but the redemption He offered was to Jew and Gentile alike…Near the opening of this epistle, Paul assures his readers that “the gospel … is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek [Gentile]” (Rom. 1:16)…

- because the Jews as a nation rejected their Messiah, God temporarily set that nation aside “until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in” (Rom. 11:25). At that time, with unfailing certainty, “all Israel will be saved” (v. 26). In addition to bringing His chosen people to salvation, God will fulfill His promises to restore her own kingdom in her own land, which will become a land of eternal blessing and peace (John MacArthur, Romans 9-16, p. 94).

- friends, this is the kind of king we need during a pandemic or any other condition you can envision…one who has the wisdom and the power and the faithfulness to always keep His promises…

- Now, another important piece of this puzzle throughout the sweep of Scripture is that…

II. God’s Covenant Promises are Irrevocable

- here is just a brief sampler…

A. Samuel

- 1 Samuel 12:22 - For the Lord will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.

B. Nehemiah

- Nehemiah 9:31 - Nevertheless, in Your great compassion You did not make an end of them or forsake them, for You are a gracious and compassionate God.

C. Psalms

- Psalm 89:31–37 - If they violate My statutes and do not keep My commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes. But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, nor deal falsely in My faithfulness. My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever and his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful.

- Psalm 94:14 - For the Lord will not abandon His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance.

- Psalm 106:44–45 - Nevertheless He looked upon their distress when He heard their cry; and He remembered His covenant for their sake, and relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.

D. Hebrews

- Hebrews 6:13–20 - For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.” And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

- so, that is the understanding that Paul brings into Romans 11…

- and you saw the question Paul anticipates in verse 1… Romans 11:1 - I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He?

- Think about chapter 10 from last week…if anyone, Jew or Gentile, can confess with His mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in his heart that God has raised him from the dead, and be saved…become part of Jesus’ NT church…does that mean all those promises to OT Israel are null and void?...that’s the question…and what’s the answer in the middle of verse 1?...May it never be

- by now you ought to know that Greek construction because Paul uses it 10 times in this book…ma ginataw – absolutely not…no, no, a thousand times no…and you can summarize these next 10 verses like this…

III. God Graciously Allows His Chosen People to Believe and Act of His Promises – 11:1-10

- and who is the first example of that?...a Jewish person who has repented and come to God in faith in Jesus Christ?...please say it with me?...

A. Paul himself

- Romans 11:1 - …I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

- living proof that God is not done with His people…

- then he reminds us of a marvelous OT example…who is it?...

B. The example of Elijah

- do you remember that story…after he had fled from wicked Queen Jezebel and complained because he was the only one left who loved and served God…

- what was the Lord’s response?...we have it right in the text…

- Romans 11:4 - But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”

- And do you see Paulk’s point in the next verse…

- Romans 11:5 - In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.

- now, please tie chapters 9, 10, and 11 together…God’s marvelous plan has always included Jewish men and women who would chose to place their faith and trust in Christ…

- it is true that many in their nation rejected Jesus…and chapter 9 and chapter 10 both sadly end with that affirmation…

- Romans 9:32 - Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,

- Romans 10:21 - But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

- but what did Psalms promise?... Psalm 94:14 - For the Lord will not abandon His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance.

- friend, isn’t that the kind of gracious king we all desperately long for?...thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven…

- so why did God allow Jewish unbelief…and why is He allowing all these Gentiles to come to faith in Christ?...because that was always part of His sovereign plan…

IV. God Keeps Promises to Gentiles as Well as Jewish Persons – 11:11-22

- there’s a very important point in the very beginning of God’s covenant with Abram… Genesis 12:2–3 - And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

- this is a theme throughout the Bible and it even came up when Jesus was born…do you remember what elderly Simeon said… Luke 2:27–32 - And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation, Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”

- if your schedule allows, I would encourage you to read Isaiah 42…one of the passages Simeon is quoting…and marvel at the way God makes promises and then miraculously keeps them…so how is Paul using this information?...

A. The salvation of Gentiles is another sign of God’s grace for His chosen nation

- please tell me, what impact did the Lord design the salvation of Gentiles to have on His chosen nation?...

- Romans 11:11 - I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.

- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that happen as a pastor…where someone acts like, well, If I won’t believe in or serve the Lord, He’s really stuck because if I won’t nobody will…

- and invariably, the Lord will raise someone up who may not be as smart, as well trained, as articulate…and use that person in incredible ways…

- for all sorts of reasons…including graciously drawing the original person back to his senses…Paul says – that’s what God is doing with His own chosen people…

- now, this next piece is crucial…

B. Gentiles did not replace Jews in God’s plan and program, they were grafted in.

- you saw that metaphor throughout the passage, right?...

- Romans 11:17–18 - But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.

- now we see these themes of God’s sovereignty, and man’s responsibility come together in ways that take our breathe away…

- this is why we don’t believe in replacement theology – the church is replacing Israel…

- that is clearly not what this passage teaches…

- Romans 11:25 - For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;

- can I ask you a question…could you have planned all of this?...many of us in business and certainly in the church are doing everything we can right now to make plans…and we would all acknowledge – we do so with fear and trepidation because they are fallible at best…

- the beauty and comprehensiveness of this eternal plan demonstrates why God and God alone is worthy to be the Potter…and we are more than willing to joyfully be…the clay…

- so is the church age – the period of time we’re current in, the end of the story?...

V. God Will Fulfill His Eternal Plan for His People.

A. They will be grafted back in

- Romans 11:23 - And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

- Romans 11:26–27 - and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” “This is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”

- this is where the books of Daniel and Revelation fit into the story…so for example we read.. Revelation 7:4-10 - And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel…After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

- and then we have the return of Christ where this kingdom is established consisting of both redeemed Gentiles and Jews… Revelation 20:6 - Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

- do you know what that means friends?...

B. Mercy is on its way

- Romans 11:32 - For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

- you might look at all this brokenness and ask, why has God allowed all of this unbelief…

- the network news is exhausting and the leaders often warring for power and prestige are do distasteful and disappointing…

- all of that is intended to draw us to the divine contrast…

- you can complete that process by making the affirmation of Romans 10:9–10 - that if you confess with your mouth …[not the democrats, not the republicans, the World Health Organization, the CDC] Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

- I would invite you to make that decision today…

- Christian friend – are you hungry?...for a divine kingdom and a perfect King?...Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven…

- you can satisfy that thirst even now as you joyfully submit yourself to His Lordship in your life as you follow Him through this pandemic…because it will be over, in just a little while…and in the meantime, rejoice because…

VI. God’s Glory is Especially on Display Because of His Faithfulness.

- Romans 11:33–36 - Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Dr. Steve Viars

Roles

Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation

Bio

B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video