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Romans Chapter 11:1-36

Memory verses for this week: 1 Pet 1:13  Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Introduction:     Last week, in  chapter 10, Paul loved his nation so much and desired to see them turn to Christ for salvation.   He taught how that righteousness through the grace of Christ is the end of the law for those who believe and know Jesus as Lord and Savior. 

I.                    Can no Jew be Saved today? 

Rom 11:1  I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 

Paul answers this question adamantly and clearly.  “God forbid.”  The nation of Israel has been turned away during this time period due to their rejection of Christ, but there still is a remnant who will believe.   Paul was one of those who was born of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.  He called himself one “born out of due time.”   Today, we are living in the period of the Gentiles, when most people who believe in Christ are “non-Jews.”  But I know a few who know Christ as Savior, one of the more notable ones that I personally know is Mrs. Isaacs of the Southern Gospel Singing family known simply as the “Isaacs.”  She has expressed how that when she came to know the Lord Jesus as her Savior, many of her family rejected and turned from her.  But she and her husband have been blessed in raising a family of children who all know Jesus as their Savior, and God is really blessing the effort they exhort to honor God with their music. 

Rom 11:2  God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,

Rom 11:3  Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

Rom 11:4  But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 

If you remember the story of Elijah in I Kings, you know that Elijah thought that all of Israel had turned their back on God and had totally rejected him.  But God had not cast them off, and He told Elijah that he still had 7,000 of His children who had not bowed their knee to Baal. 

1 Ki 19:9  And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

1 Ki 19:10  And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

1 Ki 19:11  And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

1 Ki 19:12  And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

1 Ki 19:13  And it was so, when Elijah heard it that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

1 Ki 19:14  And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away………

1 Ki 19:18  Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

 Even though the Jews were guilty of killing the prophets, God said there was a remnant that would hear His word and be saved. 

Rom 11:5  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 

In Paul’s day, there was a remnant of the Jews who came to know Christ as Savior.  Remnant refers to a portion or a part.   This remnant was chosen by grace and not by the works of the law. 

Rom 11:6  And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. 

If election is by grace, then it can not be of works.  This election either came all of grace or all of works.   Paul explains that if it is all of works, then it is none of grace.  But when we see it for what it truly is, it is totally all of grace and no more of works.   Just like election if by grace, so is salvation.  It is not a mixture.  We work for the cause of Christ because we are saved, not in order to obtain salvation.  There is no such thing as a mixture of grace and works for salvation.  God does all the saving, or there is no salvation. 

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


II.                  Israel’s Blindness 

Rom 11:7  What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

Rom 11:8  (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

Rom 11:9  And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them:

Rom 11:10  Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. 

The reason Israel could not obtain the righteousness they sought was because they thought it came from keeping the law rather than turning to Christ.  The elect obtain their righteousness of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The rest of Israel was blinded because of their unbelief. 

Rom 11:11  I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Rom 11:12  Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 

Israel did not stumble that they should be cut off forever.  One day, and it may be very soon, they will be grafted in again. 

Rom 11:23  And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

Rom 11:24  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? 

I don’t know if we realize the great blessing we have received due to the Jews rejecting Christ.  We profited in a great way when the apostles and Paul turned to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, those who readily believed and accepted Jesus Christ.   Through the Jews fall, salvation has come unto the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy.  The fulness of Israel will come at the close of the tribulation period when the nation is reborn in a day. 

III.                Paul, the Missionary to the Gentiles 

Rom 11:13  For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

Rom 11:14  If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 

Paul was known as the missionary to the Gentiles, and he counted it a great privilege to have this honor.   Being this missionary was a great office and it was a great responsibility.   But Paul was thankful to have been counted worthy to be called into the ministry and used his every opportunity to reach both his countrymen and the Gentiles. 

Rom 11:15  For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 

From verse 15, we can conclude that world wide missions came as a result of the downfall of Israel.  Their restoration will be a national resurrection when God gathers them from among all the nations from which they were scattered. 

Acts 13:46  Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Acts 13:47  For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

Acts 13:48  And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

Acts 13:49  And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. 

Ezek 37:1  The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,

Ezek 37:2  And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

Ezek 37:3  And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

Ezek 37:4  Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

Ezek 37:5  Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

Ezek 37:6  And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.


Ezek 37:9  Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

Ezek 37:10  So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

Ezek 37:11  Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

Ezek 37:12  Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

Ezek 37:13  And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,

Ezek 37:14  And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.


Rom 11:16  For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.


The firstfruit refers to Abraham and his early descendants.   The lump refers to Israel, the Root to Abraham, and the branches to the Jews who first partook of the trees fatness… many of those branches were broken off because of unbelief. 

In his commentary on Romans, J. Vernon McGee had this to say about verse 16. 

“You may recall that in the Book of Numbers, God said, “Of the first of your dough ye shall give unto the Lord an heave offering in your generations. (Num 15:21)  “Dough” of course is bread dough.  A part of the dough was offered to God as a token that all of it was acceptable.  The “firstfruit” evidently refers to the origin of the nation: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  “Holy” has no reference to moral quality, but to the fact that it was set apart for God.  Now if the firstfruit, or the first dough—that little bit of dough—was set apart for God, what about the whole harvest?  Since Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were set apart for God, what about the nation?  It all belongs to God, you see.  God is not through with the nation of Israel.”

 Rom 11:17  And 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;

Rom 11:18  Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Rom 11:19  Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.

Rom 11:20  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 

The “Wild Olive Tree” is the Gentiles that have been grafted in among the Jews and are partakers of the spiritual blessings that God promised all who are saved.  But being a partaker of the fatness with them does not mean national blessings.  We are not to boast against the Jews.  We need to realize that we are not the ones who support the root (Abraham) but rather it is the root that supports us.  The Jews were broken off due to their unbelief. 

Rom 11:21  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 

Paul warns us to realize our predicament.  If God spared not Israel, then he surely would not spare the Gentile who turns away from Him.  Every man, woman, boy, and girl who are of the age of accountability must turn to Jesus to be saved.  And there is one and only one sin that can not be forgiven, that being the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit.  This is not taking God’s name in vain, but rather rejecting the call of the Holy Spirit when we are called to God by the gospel. 

Mat 12:31  Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

Mat 12:32  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.


Rom 11:22  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.

Rom 11:23  And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.


If the Gentiles continue in the goodness of God they will not be cut off and if the Jews turn back to God and truly believe in Jesus Christ for salvation, they can be grafted back in.  God is able to graft them in again. 

Rom 11:24  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?

Rom 11:25  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.

 It seems unusual to graft back in branches that were of the olive tree to begin with.  But this will happen when the nation turns back to God and turns to Christ for salvation.  They  today are blind, but one day their eyes of understanding will be opened. 

IV.               Israel is yet to be Saved Nationally 

Rom 11:26  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Rom 11:27  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Rom 11:28  As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.

Rom 11:29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Rom 11:30  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Rom 11:31  Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Rom 11:32  For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

 Verse 26 does not imply that every individual Jew will be saved, but as a nation they shall be delivered.   And the Deliverer from Sion is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Sion is another word for Jerusalem.  God shall gather Israel back together again, and in our last 20 years, we have seen this happening.   Jews from all around the world are returning to their homeland. 

Isa 59:20  And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.

Isa 59:21  As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever. 

Isa 66:8  Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

 Rom 11:33  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!

Rom 11:34  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

Rom 11:35  Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

Rom 11:36  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.


It is impossible to measure the depths of the wisdom and knowledge of God.  His judgments are perfect and unsearchable.  His ways are past finding out.   We serve a great and wonderful God. 


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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