Romans 9-11 Recap

With the previous post, we have completed the fourth main section of Romans, the proposition of which was that God is faithful in all of His dealings with Israel. If you have joined us in our study recently, then you might be interested to know that Romans is a persuasive essay on Christian doctrine, and I have recapped the prior main sections so that you can easily see Paul’s persuasive structure in making his case for Christ. As I mentioned when we began this section, Paul makes four points in support of his proposition; here is his supporting evidence, point by point:

 

Proposition: God is faithful in all of His dealings with Israel

1. Israel has become a paradox (9:1-5)

A. Israel is accursed (9:1-3)

B. Israel is blessed (9:4-5)

 

2. There is a distinction between ethnic Israel and Spiritual Israel (9:6-29)

A. God has always been faithful (9:6-13)

1. God’s Word concerning Israel has not failed (9:6a)

2. There are two Israels (9:6b)

3. Ethnic Israel exists by God’s choice (9:7-13)

a. The choice of Isaac (9:7-9)

b. The choice of Jacob (9:10-13)

B. God has every right to choose who will serve His purpose (9:14-18)

1. God’s righteousness challenged (9:14)

2. God’s sovereignty in election for service (9:15-16)

3. God’s purpose can be served by people who are not “saved” (9:17-18)

C. God used ethnic Israel to produce spiritual Israel (9:19-29)

1. The objection (9:19)

2. The attitude that produces the objection is rebuked (9:20-21)

3. Spiritual Israel has been God’s purpose all along (9:22-24)

4. Prophetic confirmation of God’s purpose (9:25-29)

With these first two points, Paul has established that Israel is a paradox because it is both cursed and blessed, and then shown that this seeming paradox is caused by the fact that all along there have been two groups within the Israelites, those who serve God by Law and those who serve God by faith; Then Paul goes on to demonstrate that all descendants of Abraham were called to God’s service, but this does not mean, as many assume, that they were “saved” in the sense that they had the gift of salvation and eternal life, for that did not come into the picture until Christ came upon the scene. Some among the Israelites ad faith in God, but most made the choice to depend upon their own ability to be righteous by following the Law, something no one could quite manage. In spite of this, the Nation saw the coming of Christ, and produced the nucleus of the church (“spiritual Israel”), which was the service to which all had been called, and all of this had been foretold of by the prophets God has sent to them.

 

Proposition: God is faithful in all of His dealings with Israel

3. Israel chose Law over grace (9:30-10:21)

A. Personal righteousness versus the righteousness of God (9:30-10:3)

1. Why the Gentiles accepted God’s righteousness (9:30)

2. The Jews lost their way (9:31-33)

3. The Jews’ rejection of God’s righteousness (10:1-3)

B. Christ alone is the source of saving righteousness (10:4-133)

1. All must choose between righteousness by works and righteousness by faith in Christ (10:4)

2. The futility of righteousness by action of Law (10:5)

3. Saving righteousness comes by trusting Christ’s work on the cross, not our own righteousness in following the Law (10:6-10)

4. God’s righteousness is available to Jew and Gentile alike (10:11-13)

C. The Jews have not believed in Christ, and their unbelief is without excuse (10:14-21)

1. The necessary prerequisites of saving faith (10:14-15)

2. Most Jews have not believed the Gospel (10:16)

3. The Jews’ problem is not ignorance but stubbornness of will (10:17-21)

As you can see, Paul has clearly shown that none of us can achieve righteousness in God’s sight by our own strength and will, but if we will accept His grace by faith in Jesus Christ, all can be saved at any time.

 

Proposition: God is faithful in all of His dealings with Israel

4. The salvation of “spiritual” Israel is assured (11:1-32)

A. God’s true Israel is the remnant chosen by his grace (11:1-6)

1. God has not rejected His people (11:1-2a)

2. God had a remnant of believers in the Old Testament (11:2b-4)

3. Those under grace are God’s New Covenant Israel (11:5-6)

B. Unbelieving Israel has been hardened (11:7-10)

C. The hardening of unbelieving Israel becomes a blessing for Gentile and Jew alike (11:11-16)

D. The olive tree as a metaphor of judgment and hope (11:17-24)

1. Warning to Gentiles (11:17-22)

2. Hope for hardened Jews (11:23-24)

E. God’s plan for Israel’s salvation (11:25-32)

1. The mystery of Israel’s salvation (11:25-27)

2. God’s continuing love for Israel (11:28-29)

3. God’s ultimate purpose is mercy (11:30-32)

The overriding theme in this section is the assurance of the salvation of those who will choose to accept God’s mercy and grace. Even though God has hardened those Jews who have thus far refused to accept His grace, the way is open to them to come back into His arms, and as a result of God’s actions, many over the centuries have chosen to do so. Thus, Paul has demonstrated his point in support of his proposition that God has always been faithful to Israel.

 

Proposition: God is faithful in all of His dealings with Israel

5. Paul’s hymn of praise to God for His faithfulness (11:33-36)

 

In this section, Paul has clearly made a powerful case that god has always been faithful in His dealings with Israel in spite of the fact that Israel has not always been faithful to God.

In the next section, Paul will turn to living the Christian life with a series of arguments that confound many; not for their complexity, but for their simplicity, not for their difficulty, but because they are counter-intuitive. See you then!

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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