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Romans 11:1-36

Be Grafted into Jesus

  • Jean Marais
  • Sunday Night Messages
  • February 25, 2024

Paul has been telling us how concerned he is for his brethren, the Israelites because they do not have the surpassing victory which is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord. The entire Old Testament points to Jesus Christ and they missed it. The problem was that they were hard of heart. They wanted the Savior to come on their terms. God determined before the foundation of the world that all who come to Him must come by faith, but they insisted on being defined by their works.

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  • Scripture

Be Grafted into Jesus
Romans 11:1-36
February 25, 2024

Paul has been telling us how concerned he is for his brethren, the Israelites because they do not have the surpassing victory which is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord. His heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is for their salvation, because they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.

As we saw last time, they did not operate from correct knowledge. They missed it, they stumbled over the stumbling stone. They took offense at God’s Son, but He was God’s answer to how a sinner could have a relationship with the holy, righteous God.

What a tragedy; the entire Old Testament points to Jesus Christ and they missed it. The problem was that they were hard of heart. They wanted the Savior to come on their terms. God determined before the foundation of the world that all who come to Him must come by faith, but they insisted on being defined by their works.

 They wanted to rest on their own accomplishments. They wanted a Messiah to restore them as a nation, maybe even by military force. But God had a far greater plan that would impact all nations.

This also typifies some people today. People want to be saved or draw near on their own terms. They want God to do what they want, be the ‘genie in a bottle’ that makes their lives better on their own terms.

So what is God’s response to Israel? Does He reject them? Is He done with Israel forever?

These are very important questions especially because of the times in which we are now living. More and more Israel is in the news and as we see the events of the world unfolding before our eyes, we need to understand whether Israel is relevant any longer or if Israel has been cast aside.

One of the first places to start is in verse 21 of the last chapter, “But as for Israel He says, ‘All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.’” He wouldn’t stretch out His hands to them if He had rejected them. Once again, we see God’s grace extended.

Unfortunately, there is a certain branch of theology today that declares that God has cast away His people, and that the nation that bears the name Israel in the Middle East today has no greater significance in God’s agenda than, say, Canada, or Argentina.

Some try to spiritualize Israel and make any promises and end-time prophecies regarding Israel be applied to the church.

Then there are those who seek to identify the so-called lost 10 tribes of Israel.

Some suggest the Anglo-Saxon nations are the lost tribes of Israel and they use such arguments as the nation of Denmark is actually the tribe of Dan. The word ‘ish” in Hebrew means man, so the Danish are the people of Dan. The Finish are another tribe, and the British, etc. All of which is actually fool-ish.

Paul is making the point with a big exclamation mark that God has not rejected His people. May it never be! When we understand God’s heart toward Israel, we also understand His heart toward us.

If God is not rejecting Israel but is long-suffering towards them, we can also see God’s nature not rejecting us, but being long-suffering towards us as well.

Understanding Israel is also a key to understanding the events of the last days. So, this study is to solidify our understanding of Israel’s position and role, but also the grace that was extended to us to be grafted in.

There is an interesting verse in Luke 18. Jesus asked, “When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth?”

When you see the faithfulness of God in Romans 11 and realize that His heart is to strengthen our faith, it makes you want to open your heart to receive it. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ,” Paul said.

I. God is Committed in Advance

  • God made a promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and determined in advance that He would bless their children forever.
  • He knew they would reject His Messiah; He knew the end before there was a beginning.
  • By the way, it is the same for us as well. While we were still his enemies, the Bible says Christ died for us.
  • Concerning Israel, His word stands forever and the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.

Jeremiah 31:31, “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”

  • The new covenant, through Jesus, is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel, and although they would reject that new covenant, God’s word will not fail.

A. God always has a remnant

  • The old covenant has come to an end; Jesus is the grand finale. His blood is also the beginning of the new covenant and though most in Israel would reject it, there would be some, a few, who would receive it.
  • Paul uses himself as an example. He also brings up what happened to Elijah as an example of God keeping for Himself a remnant.
  • Remember how he pleaded with God against Israel? They killed the prophets, they tore down the altars! Elijah hid himself thinking he alone was left.
  • What was God’s response? He told him to stand on that mountain before the Lord and a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking it into pieces, but the Lord was not in the wind. And then an earthquake and then a fire, and after the fire the sound of a still small voice, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” … “I have kept for Myself 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
  • Elijah was frustrated. He saw the terrible condition of the nation and wanted God to bring some great demonstration of His power and might. “Bring a storm over this land, Lord! Shake these people with a mighty earthquake! Rain down fire from heaven and consume these hardhearted rebels!”
  • We want to write the script that God should follow. The script we would write is the one where God moves in the greatness of His power and causes everyone to stand in awe of His might!
  • But does that really cause people to believe? Was there a revival after fire fell from heaven at Mount Carmel?
  • Many think that if God starts to work miracles and start healing everyone, all people will see His power and all will turn back to Him. Although there are hearts that will be touched, many will see it and still choose against Christ.
  • The heart that does not want to follow God, will always find an excuse. The heart who wants to follow God will trust even if they do not see the signs.

Matthew 16:1-4, The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.

  • They had the sign from heaven: Jesus. He was in their midst. They saw and heard of all the miracles and wonders He performed. Still, their hearts were hardened because they did not want to believe.
  • The sign Jesus would give, would be his death and resurrection, as prophesied, which would be fulfilled and be the greatest sign to all. Those who embrace it by faith will be saved. But some will not even be persuaded by the resurrection.

Luke 16:31, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.”

  • God told Elijah that He had 7,000 in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal. God was speaking to their hearts in a still small voice, and some were listening.

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 are preaching.

B. God has chosen grace

  • The remnant of Israel was saved according to God graciously calling them out, and if by grace, then no longer is it on the basis of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.
  • In other words, grace and works are mutually exclusive. If a person is trying to earn God’s acceptance by their works, then grace has no effect.
  • Verse 7 – that which Israel is seeking it has not obtained.

Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

C. Hard hearts get hardened

  • Jesus draws all men; He knocks on the door of their hearts. But for some, it only makes their heart harder. What hardens their heart? That He continues to knock, that He continues to speak to them about His love.
  • Romans 10:21 – “All day long I have stretched out My hands…to an obstinate people” You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

Illus – Have you ever tried an intervention with someone who doesn’t want to get help? I have seen it many times in ministry. Parents asking a pastor or leader to help with their kids that want nothing to do with God. People phoning in wanting someone to talk to their sister, or brother, or spouse, “but please don’t tell them I told you, because they are resisting all help.”

  • God speaks to hearts with a still small voice, but many people plug up their ears and become dull of hearing.
  • A person must have their own “aha!’ moment like the Prodigal son.
  • Thank God that His Spirit never stops knocking at the door.

Hebrews 3:15, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”

II. Israel will be Grafted in Again

  • In this last set of verses, Paul takes us to the end of the age and informs us that Israel will be restored.
  • In fact, we find an amazing verse here, “Therefore all Israel will be saved.” What does this mean?
  • When you see God’s heart for Israel that extends His grace to the end of the age, it completely strengthens faith. This world is going crazy, but God has declared the end before the beginning and His sovereignty is over all the nations.

A. Be grafted in by faith

  • Verses 17-24 – Here Paul compares the natural branches that were broken off, that’s Israel, and the wild olive branches that were grafted in, that’s us, the Gentile followers of Jesus Christ.
  • They were broken off for their unbelief, we were grafted in by our faith. Paul wants us to understand this so that we appreciate what we have, stay humble of heart, and don’t have the wrong attitude toward Israel. We should guard our hearts against pride and entitlement.
  • That is especially important to understand because unfortunately throughout the history of the church, there’s been a very unfortunate relationship between the church and the Jews. I think you would be surprised how many pastors today are against Israel. At the same time, there is a growing trend against Israel throughout our country.
  • Verse 25 – “I do not want you to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved.”
  • The hardening of Israel; their being cut off from the tree, is only temporary, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Matthew 22:8-9, “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main highways and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’”

  • God knows exactly how many Gentiles will come to the wedding feast. This is the dispensation of grace. And when the last Gentile has come in, God will move to restore Israel.

Illus – It’s like being the 5 millionth visitor to Disneyland. They’re counting the people as they’re coming through.

  • There will be a day when the fullness of that number will come, and Christ will rapture and claim His bride. Then the prophetic 70th week of Daniel will come into play leading in the 7 years of tribulation where God will again deal with Israel, beginning the process of restoring them to Him.

B. The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable

  • It is unchangeable. God does not go back on His plan. I don’t know how much clearer Paul can be than this. God is not finished with Israel.
  • God has shut up all in disobedience so that He might show mercy to all. Everyone was disobedient. Everyone needs mercy.
  • But when God restores Israel, they will open their eyes from their blindness and receive their Messiah.

Zechariah 12:10, “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son.”

  • In other words, they are restored only when they receive their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ; and then they will be grafted again into that tree.
  • Verse 33 – when you see the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God and how unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways, your faith is strengthened.
  • How? By seeing that nothing catches God off guard. The master plan for salvation is threaded through history like an intricate design where each one plays its part.
  • We see the thin red line of salvation threaded all the way from Adam and Eve to us, and beyond to the glorious restoration of Israel and Christ’s triumphant return.
  • This is why Paul just breaks into worshipping God.

C. Continue in His kindness

  • But the question is this, when Christ returns, will He find faith on the earth?
  • We are entering into very dangerous days and in all the craziness and turbulence, we need a rock on which to stand and anchor for our soul.
  • We need to, with thankful hearts, and humility, be grounded in the fact that by faith and grace, we are grafted into Jesus.
  • He is our source of life through His Spirit living in us, directing us, and flowing through us. He is also our security in eternity.
  • It is by His kindness, by His grace.
  • We are still in the dispensation of grace open for the Gentiles. It is a time to make sure one has been grafted into the vine, Jesus, before His return.
  • I do not choose Him out of fear though, I choose Him because He first loved me, because His thoughts towards me are good, and because relationship with Him fulfills the deepest longing of the soul.
  • Just like God is stretching out His hand to Israel, He is stretching out His hand to you and every other person that needs a Savior. Do not harden your heart.

Romans 11:1-36    NASB 1995

1I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; just as it is written,

God gave them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
Down to this very day.”

And David says,

Let their table become a snare and a trap,
And a stumbling block and a retribution to them.
10 Let their eyes be darkened to see not,
And bend their backs forever.”

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. 12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! 13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.

17 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, 18 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. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. 22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 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. 24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

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; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
27 This is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.


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