9/11/11 Romans 11:13-15, 28-32
Leader: Pastor Biebert
Meeting Time: 8:00 AM & 10:15 AM
OUT OF LEMONS: LEMONADE
Romans 11:13-15, 28-32
It would be hard to make a case that God is through with Jewish people. After all, Paul was a Jew, and he was a believer. For its first decade Christianity was mostly Jewish. Thousands of Jewish men and women in Paul’s day were Christians—and thousands of Jewish men and women today are Christians as well. Paul’s job description was missionary to non-Jewish people (11:13). Still, he has a heart for Jewish people. He regularly works with them as part of his outreach strategy to non-Jews. Paul devotes the middle section of this letter to Jewish/non-Jewish relations.
How does Paul’s statement at the end of verse 11 relate to 11:1?
Paul was writing to integrated groups of Christians in Rome. Jewish people and non-Jewish worked and worshiped together. Paul had not been to Rome in person, but he still knew enough about who the Christians in Rome where to make some personal applications. He explains that God’s plan included Jewish people even though they didn’t deserve the honor. He’s concerned about the Jewish Christians’ attitude toward non-Jewish people. Then he addresses the non-Jews. He wants to make sure they maintain a concerned, Christian relationship with Jews, those who were Christian and those who weren’t.
2. How will Paul’s making the most of his work with non-Jews help Jewish people (11:13-14)?
Because the majority of Jews in Bible times rejected Jesus, missionaries had no other choice than to bring the message to non-Jews everywhere. Paul hopes to “save some Jewish people” (11:14). He knows only Jesus can rescue people. Paul just wants to be the tool the Holy Spirit uses. The word “some” is important. He knows there won’t ever be a magical, mass conversion of all Jews in the future, as many people believe. That helps us understand what he means by “all Israel will be saved” (11:26).
Who’s doing the rejecting and accepting in 11:15? And what is this “life from the dead” (11:15)?
If God didn’t choose Jewish people because they are so good, can He reject them because of their sins? “Election” means grace, not merit. The Jewish people are “enemies” to believing non-Jews because of their hostile attitude toward the Gospel.
What difference, if any, does God see between Jewish people and non-Jewish people (11:28,32)?
The Holy Spirit doesn’t want non-Jewish believers to think they deserve a place in God’s heart and home – but Jewish people don’t. The “gifts” (11:29) God gave Jews are the special privileges Paul mentions in 9:4,5. God has made an open invitation to Jews, but they can still refuse it.
Are Jews still the people God has chosen (11:29)?
God doesn’t have one set of standards for one nationality or culture and a different one for others. No matter what language you speak, Jesus is the only way to escape God’s rage over sin. God’s plans include all the Jewish and non-Jewish people who will end up believers.
How would you paraphrase God’s strategy in 11:30-31?
God’s strategy includes two cause-and-effect equations. Israel’s disobedience (rejecting Jesus) = God’s merciful outreach to non-Jews. God’s mercy to non-Jews = disobedient Israel turns again to God’s mercy.
How does God want Jewish people to feed off God’s goodness to non-Jews (11:31)? How does God want non-Jewish people to feed off God’s goodness to Jews (11:30)?
It may be true that the same percentage of Jews reject Jesus as in society as a whole. It was true in Bible times (Matthew 7:13-14). It’s probably the same percentage today. They, as a race, are no more stubborn than any other people.
What makes Paul so sure that people who have abandoned God are people God can accept again (11:32)?
The Good News is so good God wants everyone to hear. God has an amazing plan for reaching out to Jewish people. He hasn’t neglected this mission field. God lets Jews see the benefits that come to non-Jews who believe. This attracts them to Jesus and makes them part of God’s real Israel.
1. What does this Bible section say about anti-Semitism?
2. How has God’s placing you “in the prison of your own disobedience” made you more appreciative of His mercy?
3. How does this section connect to Matthew 15:21-28? What’s the connection to Joshua 2:8-21?