A PROPHETIC- AND IN GOD’S PLAN- VERY NECESSARY STUMBLING- Rom.11

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So, as I said last time in my first message covering the first several verses in this Rom.11, once more as Paul often expresses in all of his epistles we can not, we must not allow works to persuade us that they have anything to do with salvation in any way. But, only trusting in Jesus as He trusted the Father while He lived as a man on earth. As Paul shows us justification is by the faith of Christ in Gal.2:16. And not by any works. Especially the works of the law.

 

Jesus showed us what righteousness is by submitting His will to the Father's. And by this He made us an example that we could follow assuring that the righteousness we would attain to would be the same righteousness Jesus attained.

This is how the elect of Israel were then, and still are today decided. By faith and not by their works of the law. And as those of Israelites heritage continue to be born they too have the opportunity to be the elect by faith. Or if they so choose as Paul quotes David saying, "their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway."

What does it mean that their table made a snare? It means that when they try to attain righteousness by works or by the flesh, instead of by faith apart from works. They stumble at the stumbling stone. Because they have rejected God's plan for their salvation revealed to them through Abraham. Whose salvation and righteousness was by faith without works.

And as Paul continues in this chapter he makes it very clear to Gentiles, that is nations other than Israel, that unbelief will disqualify them from salvation just as it has so many Israelites who are the elect of God only if and when they believe. No matter how blamelessly they might keep the law.

For Paul writes in vs.11,12 saying, "I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their stumbling salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Now if the stumbling of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?"

Saying also "if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree." Reminding the Gentiles that they too are saved only by grace through faith Paul says "Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee."

Here Paul is telling Gentiles that boasting as if there is anything special about them that has brought salvation to them other than the simple fact that God loves the whole world and wants all men to be saved, they need to be careful. Because their being grafted in is solely by faith. And if they too follow in Israel's path of unbelief, thinking that they are by the fleshly birth joined to God, they too will stumble at the stumbling stone. Which stone is salvation that is by grace through faith in Jesus. Apart from any works or notions regarding fleshly birth.

So this is what Paul means when he says, "Thou[Gentiles] wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.

Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell[because of unbelief], severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?"

When Paul says, "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off", you must not understand this to mean that a saved Gentile loses his salvation when they are "cut off". Because when Paul says "but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness", he is referring to all Gentiles. And not only those who have believed.

Because, while all Gentiles now have the opportunity to be grafted in because of Israel's unbelief that caused the death of their messiah. Only those Gentiles, other nations, when they believe are grafted in. And the rest, just as those Israelites who did not believe, are cut off.

So this is not a teaching about losing salvation. It is Paul teaching that only those Israelites who believe are the elect of God. And the rest are cut off.

And the same goes for Gentiles. Because they too are grafted into the olive tree by faith without works.

In John15 Jesus tells Israel they are the branches and He is the vine. Here Paul speaks of an olive tree of which Israel is the branches. So the olive tree is not Israel as so many false teachers proclaim. The olive tree is Jesus. So when Gentiles are grafted in they are not grafted into Israel as if they are to join with Israel under the law. They are grafted into Jesus. And this grafting in is by faith without the works of the law.

Here Paul is giving a more detailed explanation of what he was saying in Rom.9 wher he quoted "Jacob have I loved. But. Esau I have hated." Where he spoke of the clay that complained to the potter because he was made that way. To show that it was God's plan from before He made the world for salvation to be by grace through faith without works and apart from fleshly heritage.

And that even though the nation Israel was chosen out from other nations to be God's people. Only those which believed as Abraham did without works attained the elect status Paul speaks of here.

Because for so many Jews faith without works became a place of stumbling of such import that it would cause a great portion of Israelites to reject and kill the their messiah. As Elijah eludes to as he voiced his concern that there were none left of Israel that worshipped God. And that Israel had killed the prophets and were now seeking his life.

Now that Paul has shown us what it means for an Israelite to be of the elect. And what it means for a Gentile to be grafted in. And what the olive tree is. Paul begins to show us in vs.25 and following some things about the timing regarding when "all Israel shall be saved".

He begins says, "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."

Paul says this is a mystery about the blindness that has happened to Israel. And we know from earlier verses in this chapter that this blindness happened to many Israelites because of unbelief. The only sin Jesus said in John16:9 the Holy Spirit is here now reproving the world of.

But, here Paul says their blindness is only "in part". And that this blindness has an expiration date. Because he says it only lasts "until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in".

This means that until the door closes on this dispensation of the grace of God, the work God is doing with Israel described in the 70 weeks prophecy in Dan.9 will not resume. And only when it does resume will "all Israel shall be saved".

This is why we know that God has put a hold on the completion of the 70th week of Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy. And we know that this hold began when Jesus was crucified because Dan.9:27 says, "And he[messiah] shall confirm the covenant with many(Israel) for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease."

So because in the midst of the 70th week Jesus was "cut off, but not for Himself", as vs.26 and 27 says. It was then that the sacrifices and oblations were caused to cease. Because Jesus being the final once for all sacrifice for sin, makes any sacrifices done subsequent to His sacrifice an "abomination". Which is why the prophecy states "for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate".

And since this "overspreading of abominations" was happening in the Jewish temple we know that the "it" that is made desolate is the Jewish temple. This part of the prophecy was fulfilled then in 70AD.

And the prophecy gives a timeline for the end of this desolation saying it will remain desolate "even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

So the question is, the consummation of what? Why, the 70th week of this prophecy of course. The time when Paul says comes "after the fullness of the Gentiles has come in". So it is after this dispensation of the grace of God wherein God is saving all men by grace through faith in Jesus that God resumes the 70th week of Daniel's prophecy so that all Israel who will trust in Jesus apart from works will be saved.

What happens to those who have been saved in this dispensation after the fulness of the Gentiles has come in? Jesus gives us a stark picture of this in Mt.24 and 25. Where He says what will happen after will be a time worse than any other time the earth has ever seen or ever will see.

In ch 25 He tells Israel for whom it will happen in the parable of the 10 virgins. Here Jesus shows Israel that during the times of the Gentiles, what Paul also refers to as the dispensation of the grace of God, who are the elect because they have come to faith in Jesus. And that these elect will go with the bridegroom when He comes to take them with Him to the wedding feast.

And Jesus says that those who did not have oil in their lamps will be left behind. These are those Israelites for whom the great tribulation comes. So that during this time they will have one last chance to choose the righteousness that is by faith. Rather than the righteousness that is by works. Doing this for them because "the gifts and callings of God are without repentance."

All this is woven through Paul's statement in Rom.11:25 about Israel's blindness and the fulness of the Gentiles. It is then that "there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins."

This deliverer is Jesus. Their messiah whom they have pierced. Who when He comes to them at the end of the great tribulation they will bow their knee realizing that He is their messiah. And so all believing Israel shall be saved.

Why has God chosen to accomplish this in this way? Why are the gifts and callings of God without repentance? Because God's love requires that men choose of their own free will to love Him in return for the love He has shown to them.

This is why Paul then says, "As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

For as ye[Gentiles] in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their[Israel's] unbelief:

Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."

When Paul says, "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." He said exactly this same thing when he wrote in Gal.3:22, "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe."

So Paul's teaching is consistently filled with the admonishment that salvation is by faith without works. And that all that have been concluded under sin are in sin if they have not believed. So that unbelief becomes the measure by which righteousness is determined. And not the works of the law as so many who have butchered the meaning of Rom.3:23 falsely proclaim.

Therefore, a man does not "fall short of the glory of God" by violating the law. If a man does "fall short of the glory of God" it is because he has not believed in Jesus. This is so that it is not by the works of the law that a man is justified or reckoned righteous by God. But, because unbelief.

This is the sin of the world the Holy Spirit is here reproving the world of now and since Jesus went to be seated at the right hand of the Father. So it is not a matter of how blamelessly a man keeps the law. Nor is it based on a person's lineage. It is by faith so that all Israel will be saved.

This is why John1:12,13 says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

So the question is have you believed in Jesus? Have you confessed Jesus is Lord? And do you believe He has raised from the dead? If you are in unbelief God has provided mercy for you in Jesus' sacrifice. So if you will believe Jesus has raised from the dead. And confess Him as Lord. You too will be saved.

If you will do this then you will have eternal life. If you will do this then you will be a child of God by birth of a spirit in you that no man has until he is born from above. Born of God's Spirit. If you will do this then the immortality that Adam lacked when he was made will be yours. If you will do this then you will be a child of God by spiritual birth and heir to His kingdom. If you will do this... then I will see you there or in the air!

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