God's Redemption of the Nations

Romans 11:25-32

Posted by Brian Sayers on June 23, 2024
God's Redemption of the Nations
00:00 00:00


Big idea: Be stirred to a proper worshipful response as you see and reflect on God’s redemptive plan for the nations.

  1. Be humbled by God's sovereign plan and power (11:25-27).
    • God's power [authority] means He hardens and saves whomever He wills (11:25-26a).
    • God's plan has been unchangeably in place for a long time (11:26b-27).
  2. Be in awe of God's mercy and faithfulness (11:28-32).
    • God's faithfulness includes His rejection of faithless Israel (11:28a).
    • God's faithfulness includes remembering His own prior choice/election of Israel (11:28b).
    • God's faithfulness includes fulfilling His promises (11:29).
    • History itself is designed so that God's mercy to all would be put on display (11:30-32).
  • Automated Transcription
  • 0:13
    If you could stand with me and turn in your copy of the Scripture, so Romans chapter 11. We're going to be trying to sort of survey Romans nine through 11. A little bit. But we're gonna focus on Paul's kind of summary of this whole section, starting in Romans 11, verse 25, through 32. There Paul writes, For I do not want you brother to be uninformed of this mystery, so that you will not be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening is happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, just as it is written, the deliver WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB. This is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins, from the standpoint of the gospel, they that is Israel are enemies for your sake. But from the standpoint of God's choice, they are beloved for the sake of the fathers, for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience. So these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you, they also may now be shown mercy, For God has shut up all in disobedience, so that he may show mercy to all this is God's Word. God read ask your help this morning, as we have this grand privilege of pouring our hearts into your Word and we pray your spirit would open our eyes and minds to be able to grasp the wonders and the glories of Your Plan of Salvation, which so clearly revolves around and runs through your chosen people, Israel. So help us understand these rich trues humble us cause us to worship you in every way for your namesake. Amen. You may be seated. So we're gonna dive into this section, again, a few chapters that I've been asked to summarize. And I think the biggest challenge for me as I worked through this message was thinking about those of you here who may be younger in the faith, who maybe haven't had an opportunity yet or been in a place where you've kind of surveyed the broad scope of the Old Testament and thought through like the covenants of God and that sort of thing. So I'm going to, I'm going to try to help us get enough of an understanding of those things that we're going to be able to track with what Paul's saying, but I've found it pretty challenging to think through. I mean, it is fact that these are the very truths and the very themes that we are giving Dan, the wonderful privilege of studying while he's in England, but we gave him three months. I got a week. That's it. So let's talk about God's redemption of the nations. I think just from the reading of what we've seen here, or if you begin to read this whole section, starting in Romans, chapter nine. I think at first glance, it may look like the apostle Paul takes a very sharp turn away from redemptive gospel themes, the kind of gospel themes that we talked about last week from Romans, chapter eight, and toward a kind of historical survey of Israel's place in God's plans, past and future. And it is that in a sense, but I don't think it's as sharp a turn, as we might seem to think initially, as as Chapter Eight of Romans ends, which we saw last week, Paul is describing the Inviolable inseparable love of God for His people. In chapter eight verse 38, and 39 He says, I'm convinced the neither death or life for angels or principalities are things present or things to come or powers, or height or depth or any other created thing is able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord, nothing can separate us from God's love. Now, Paul, the apostle, as most of you know, was a Hebrew of Hebrews is one way he describes himself in Philippians. He he was a man trained as a Pharisee or religiously leader in Israel, he was a teacher of the law and a strict adherent to everything Jewish. You can read about his miraculous conversion in the book of Acts chapter nine where he sees and hears the risen Christ in a vision and he is called to be an apostle, a preacher of that very gospel which he was on his way to Damascus to persecute other people for preaching. The early church, early chapters of the book of Acts existed almost exclusively of Jews, of people from the Jewish nation, Israel who had embraced Jesus Christ as their Messiah, and Savior. But those early decades of the church we see in the book of Acts and increasing hostility between those Jews who had converted to Christ and the Jews who continued to live in worship under the legalistic system of Judaism. And so in Acts chapter 18, verses five and six, it says, When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul was devoting himself completely to the word solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ, he's preaching Christ, as Jesus says, Messiah, to the Jews. But when they resisted the Jews and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said, Your blood be on your own heads, I'm clean, from now on, I will go to the Gentiles. And that was characteristic of what Paul would see and experience from his countrymen as he went about the world preaching first to the Jews, and then to the Gentiles. But that reality was a heartbreaking one for him, that his own people would reject God's plan of salvation. And him knowing that this plan of salvation that I'm preaching to you this, this is a, this is a plan that has forever, by God's goodness and grace been designed to come through Israel, and through Jesus who was the son of Abraham, the son of David, the Messiah of Israel. And he under stood that the inextricable link between salvation that we can experience and the promises to Israel of the Messiah, who would come and who is Jesus. But now he's involved in this ongoing ministry where the very chosen people of God are rejecting their Messiah, and Savior. And more than that, he knows, as we just read in chapter 11, that they're hardened. And that God Himself has played a part in that hardening and yet as it so that's why I think it's not a sharp return. He he says those words, nothing can separate us from the love of God. And I think as a Hebrew of Hebrews as a student of God's word, he asks that kind of hard question if God's love is so unchangeable and inseparable, then how can all these promises of salvation through a Jewish Messiah ended up resulting in God rejecting His chosen people, even hardening His chosen people? And what is the future then for them? Given this present, rejection by God and the hardening of their hearts, toward him that that question that concern,

    which is a doctrinal, theological, historical reality, I think that is what cause causes Paul, to take what seems like that turn in Romans chapter nine. In verse one, when he says, I'm telling the truth in Christ, I'm not lying. My conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ, for the sake of my brother and my kinsmen. according to the flesh, it broke his heart to know that his very own people were rejecting Messiah rejecting salvation. And how could that be, if nothing can separate us from the love of God? He notes that up until the arrival of of Jesus that the Jewish nation, the Hebrew people, the people of Israel, they were the recipients, recipients of all the blessings and promises of God. He describes them in chapter nine, verses four and five, the Israelites, to them belong the adoption as sons and the glory, that Shekinah glory that came down from heaven and rested over the tabernacle, and in the wilderness to them belong the covenants the covenant that God made with Adam, the covenants he made with Abraham and with the Levitical priests and with David in the, the new covenant that he spoke through Jeremiah, it's to the nation of Israel that those covenants belong and, and it's to the Israelites that belong the giving of the Law, the Mosaic Law, and the temple service, this special place where God would put His name and His very presence where people would come to worship him and offer sacrifices to him, whose are the fathers and from whom is Messiah according to the flesh. Who's overall God blessed forever, amen. Like, he's saying, Man, they were the blessed of the blessed they were Israel, the chosen people of God. So how can it be now? The poor finds himself in this situation where it appears, the Israelites have been set aside and have been cut off from the blessings and perhaps even the very love of God. He's, he's concerned about his countrymen on the one hand, but he's, I think, even more concerned that the faithfulness and the character of God, and the guaranteed nature of God's promises and that inseparable nature of God's love itself, I think he's even more concerned, thinking about the place of Israel that that those characteristics of God might be impugned or criticized or denied as a logical result of simply pointing out how God and His love never changed, because on some level, it sure looks like God's love for Israel has changed. I think it's just a simple reality that he's observing. It looks that way. It's not true. And that's what he's gonna prove to us, I believe. But on some level, it looked that way. So to clear up that confusion, Paul gives a little history lesson on the nation of Israel and the people of God. And as we think about the people of Israel in this little history lesson on the people of God, I think it's helpful, I hope, to point out that there are a couple of views on how these questions need to be considered a couple of views on these questions that we just need to recognize exist, so that we're understanding where we're coming from. As a as a church, perhaps one view is that there there is always in forever in the past, present, and future, some kind of blessing that rests on Israel as a result of their being God's chosen people, and that that's so consistent through the ages. Some might even take that view so far as to conclude that if you're going to be a follower of God, then you also need to become something like a Jew. Perhaps, live in some ways that the Old Testament prescribes, perhaps keeping Sabbath, celebrating Old Testament feasts, like Passover or the Day of Atonement. I think it would be an error to say that we've been redeemed from the law and, and the standards and the punishments that it it prescribes. We saw that last week in Romans eight, there's no condemnation, the law, the law, the Spirit of Life has set us free from the law of sin and death. Another error might arise from believing that God's blessing rests on the nation of Israel. And therefore, we as Christians, or or maybe Americans, maybe there's a conflagration, I don't know, confusion of the two. Right? We should unequivocally support Israel in any way. And of course, there's a lot going on over there right now, politically, militarily, how should we think about that? Those are legitimate worldview questions. Don't get me wrong, but what's happening over there right now is, is not a religious fight. Actually, it's a it's a political one. And so I think it's, it would serve us well to just be careful to not wholesale support everything that might be happening, or everything that they might be asking us to do. In fact, I would say it would be a mistake of significant portions, proportions to believe and operate under the assumption that the favor and blessing of God on the nation of Israel in in ancient times, literally over 2000 years ago that that God's blessing and favor toward them is the same right now as it was then it would be a significant error to think that, in fact, we're going to see God tells us directly here that His plan and His purposes and His mercy and His faithfulness even to Israel and to his plan of redemption includes A different assumption altogether, that there are enemies of God right now, for the sake of the gospel. And so we need to be careful. We need to be very, very careful, Paul is going to clearly teach the God's not done with Israel forever. But he's also teaching us that presently, God's redemptive plan for the nation's finds its focus and its launching pad in the nations of the Gentiles, not Israel. And that kind of points us to another error that might be tempting to make. And it's actually quite common. Some would see the present rejection of Israel that Paul's describing in these chapters, the fact that God has set them aside in some sense, some would see that as an indication that God is done with them forever. In fact, while while he called and bless them as a people and as a nation, some would assert that his plan all along, was to just kind of use those blessings and use his involvement and relationship and promises with them, to call a people to Himself from every tribe and nation, that they were really secondary, in his grander purposes. And I would say, well, there's some truth in there. And I think there's actually some, some error in there, some would go so far as to say the Church has replaced Israel, that the gathered people of God today has replaced forever, Israel as God's chosen people, and that all the promises and all the covenants that God made to them, now just kind of get transferred to us, as quote, unquote, spiritual Israel, that we become sort of a spiritual representation of the people of God. And so we get the promises and the blessings, and not them as a national people. No, I think those that embrace that view, they have differing ways in which they see a future for the National people of Israel. But generally speaking, they're agreed on that premise that the promises and the Old Testament covenants with Abraham and David, and the New Covenant given through Jeremiah, that all of those promises, and their blessings are for the church, for us in this age, and not for a national people. Now, this topic is a rich study. And I think it's an important one. So much so that, that we've given Pastor Dan three months to try to figure it out for us. So I hope when he gets back, he's just going to tell us what he learns and not have to clean up in your mind messes.

    That would be my hope. So let's, let's dig back into this turn. Let's turn back to Romans chapter 11. And we're going to kind of bounce through nine through 11. Using the text 25 through 32 is sort of a springboard to pick up the pieces, the text we read and 25 to 32, which describes this shifting of emphasis from the nation to the Gentiles. It's followed up by the statement we read in our call of worship. So let's not miss this because it helps us see the very purpose that this is all here for. When he says Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgments, how unfathomable are his ways he is he is considering God's outworking of the plan of redemption. And how he has done that he's spent three chapters talking about it. And he is literally inspired, to worship flee, gush out his admiration, and thanks and humbled response to the incomparable wisdom and knowledge of God, the wise all knowing God who has ordered the universe, so that from him and through him and to him are all things to Him, be the glory forever. And so I know that that is supposed to be a her response to if we think as carefully and as truly about these things as Paul we also should worship flee, gush out our own admiration, and be humbled by the goodness and the wisdom and the mercy of God. Now, as a preacher, that's pretty intimidating. Can't Can we do that? Man? I hope so. I'm trusting the Lord to do it, because I know I can't. So, here we go. I think that's an intimidating purpose, but it is the one that's in front of us in the texts. I've talked a little about a little bit about Old Testament history. God's purposes for the nations, we've made reference to the covenant promises of God. And I know this isn't easy. easy to understand, put on your thinking caps. And here's how I know it's not easy to understand because right away in verse 25, Paul calls this whole deal, a mystery, perfect mystery, which necessarily means it's something that's hard to see, it's something that's hard to understand. So let's, let's work at it together, we're going to look at Paul's summary of God's plan for Israel, and how this relates to God's plan for the redemption of the nations. And Lord willing, we're going to be stirred to that proper worshipful response of being humbled and being in awe of it all. First, we should be humbled by God's sovereign plan. And power. Verse 25, again, I don't want your brethren to be uninformed of this mystery, so that you will not be wise in your own estimation, there's the need for us to be humbled by it all. How does it begin? There's a partial hardening that's happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved as it is written, the deliver WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS, from Jacob. This is my covenant with them when I take away their sins, this idea of mystery, it's actually a technical term in the New Testament, that essentially means something that could only be made known by divine revelation, you might see slightly different nuances and how Paul uses it. But basically, he means this is something that if God hadn't told you, it was, so you're, you're not really going to be able to figure it out. And so the truth is, Paul's going to explain they weren't completely unknown. It wasn't that God hadn't said anything about it. But it wasn't clear. And it really wouldn't be fully understood. Until God reveals it. And it's recorded here for us what was at the heart of this mystery? Was this how God uses his relationship and covenant promises with the nation of Israel. what's at the heart of this mystery is how God uses his promises to Israel, to bring about redemption and salvation for all the peoples of the earth. That was at the heart of the mystery, not a totally foreign concept, even from the very beginnings of God's promises to the nation. When God was giving these promises to Abraham, he indicated that his blessing and salvation would extend to the nation's Genesis chapter 12, God giving these promises to Abraham, to the people and his descendants. He says, Genesis 12, one go from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house to the land, I will show you, and I will make you Abraham, a great nation, you and your descendants are going to turn into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great. And and so you shall be a blessing. And I will bless those who curse you. Or bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And here's here it is. And in you, all the families of the earth will be blessed all the families of the earth, not all the families of Israel, all the families everywhere. Over time, has Abraham and his descendants multiplied and as the national history of what would become a nation of Israel unfolded. There were many, if not most, of the Jews who had embraced what is very clearly by the time of the New Testament, a, a self centered, entitled, we deserve God's blessing, kind of attitude. And in the time of Jesus, this, I'm a favored child of Abraham mindset was so powerful. It was so fully embraced as the cultural mindset of the day that John the Baptist, called it out in the very first sermon we ever recorded in the New Testament. He began saying to the crowds, Luke chapter three, verse seven, who are going out to be baptized, this is what John the Baptist said, You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourself, so here's that arrogant entitled attitude. Don't say this. John the Baptist says, We have Abraham for our father. For I say to you, that from these stones, God is able to raise up children to Abraham. There it is first recorded instance of you are dumb as rocks. Yeah, they're thinking that their heritage, their descent from Abraham was all they needed. And he said, I'm telling you don't go there. It's not true. It's not right. Jesus addressed that same privileged mindset early in His ministry in John chapter eight. He's calling the Jews to hear Him and to believe on him. He says, listen to what I'm teaching you, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. And then in response, they basically say, we're children of Abraham. We're God's chosen people, we have all the blessing and freedom we need. In fact, they actually say we've never been in bondage to anyone kind of like Egypt. Remember that one? Babylon? Can I go on? Yet? This is all they put, they answered and said, Abraham is our father. Like, that's all I need to say. I'm in the privileged position. And Jesus said, If you're Abraham's children do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you're seeking to kill me a man whose told you the truth, which I heard from God, this, Abraham did not do. Jesus basically saying, you're not. Your hearts are far from God. Your hearts are far from God. Interestingly, I think Jesus is making the same point that Paul then makes in Romans chapter nine, if you turn back a couple chapters, to verse six, where Paul says, they are not all Israel, who are descended from Israel, nor are they all children, because they're Abraham's descendants. He's saying, Look, not not every descendant of Abraham, every national citizen of Israel is real. Is Qin un, in their heart and faith just because you're Jewish by Heritage doesn't mean you're a child of faith. But that was their mindset. Were the blessed ones were the privileged, chosen people of God, but this mystery,

    that, in part in response to that attitude, that God is going to set Israel aside and save people out of Gentile nations that mystery hinted at was one that they did not get. Let me show you another place where that reality, the setting aside of the people of Israel, and the saving of Gentile nations was hinted at in the Old Testament Malikai, the last prophet some 400 years before the time of Jesus, by them this attitude of we deserve it. We deserve God's blessing and forgiveness had had really come to a head. It this is a passage actually quoted by Paul earlier in Romans nine. I wish I could unfold some of that for you. But it's outlining this pompous privileged, hypocritical worship. But we don't offer animal sacrifices like they did in the time of Molokai. But when they were offering those animal sacrifices under the Old Testament law, they were supposed to bring to the temple to the altar, the best of their flocks to God, they're, they're supposed to bring the healthy ones, the firstborn, the strong ones, but the people there the malkos day, were selfishly bringing the blind animals and the lame animals and the sick animals to give to God. And God basically says to them through Malikai, do you expect me to respond to that selfish, cheap expression of worship, and give you my grace and my favor? Is that really what you expect? And in Malikai, chapter one, verse 10, thinking about that worship in the temple and the bringing in the sacrifices, God says through Malikai Oh, there were one among you, who would shut the gates, shut the gates of the temple. I rather someone would shut the gates and there'll be no worship at all, then to take and try to receive this selfish, cheap expression of worship that you're giving me. I am not pleased with you, says the Lord of hosts, nor will I accept an offering from you. But here's, here's where he hints at the mystery. Listen, verse 11. This is how he's going to respond to them, the last prophet for from the rising of the sun, even to the setting of the sun, man I name will be great among the nations. And in every place incense is going to be offered to my name. And a grain offering that's pure, for my name will be great among the nations, says, the Lord of hosts in response to that pompous, privileged, selfish, cheap worship. He's like, I don't need your worship. I will call the people to myself from all the other nations. Watch me. That's kind of the last thing God says to the people of Israel before Messiah comes not insignificant. And friends, where are we worshiping God now? Not in Jerusalem. Not at a temple, right here in the Gentile nation that we live in. Right? Somewhere between the rising of the sun and the setting somewhere from one end of the earth, to the other, not from Dan to Beersheba, or even in Jerusalem. But here, now the mystery hidden but now revealed, right, that that's what he's hinting at it in the Old Testament. Now Paul's making it crystal clear to us by revelation from God, that he has shifted his redemptive grace, away from Israel and toward the Gentiles. But, but how? How does that all work? First, I just want to say, This is why the point in the sermon is, we should be humbled by his sovereign plan and power, right. I mean, we were formerly alienated from God separated from the covenants that wasn't even something we could connect ourselves to. We had to be Jewish, we had to become Jewish to worship before Christ came. I think all of this is why Paul saying, understand this, don't be wise, be humbled by it. Let it let it motivate you, energize you, to worship Him, because God can save whoever he wants. God can reject whoever he wants. And if you're here today, saved by His grace, it's because he said his love upon you. Right? It's not because anything, you are anything, you've done that so humbling, and it ought to energize our worship, and thanks to him, because he's kind of outline and we're gonna have a cover at all. But how he, he set aside the people of Israel for are sick. We see it put on display and what Paul says here in this reality that his power, God's power, His authority, means that he can harden and save whomever he wills, verse 25. No, this mystery, a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in chapter 11, verse 25. Now, that is God's present disposition toward the people of Israel as a nation, rejection, and a hardening of their heart toward him. He has given them over to those hard hearts that they were displaying, and Maltais day, even 400 years before he came, that they were still displaying, when he did come. And we know, of course, as a nation, not every single individual Jew, but as a whole, as a nation, there is a rejection of Jesus as Messiah. So for our purposes this morning, notice that that rejection and hardening of the people of Israel, Paul does say is both partial, and it is temporary. It's not complete, and it's not forever. It's partial, and it's temporary. You see in verse 25, that is temporary, because he says that hardening is happening until the fullness, or the full number of the Gentiles has come in until God's saving plans and purposes for Gentile nations is complete. The hearts of most Jews will remain hardened toward Christ, as their Messiah. Paul had described earlier in chapter 11, that God's grace does fall on some. So I said not every single individual Jew because his grace does fall on some of those who were ethnically Jews, himself included, right? Look at chapter 11 verse one. Again, he's concerned about God's reputation being impugned. He's like God has not rejected his people, has he? I mean, the answer to that is yes and no. Right? So as he covers the no, he says, may never be for I too, am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, but the tribe of Benjamin and I'm saved. So he hasn't rejected all of us and it's not just me. He goes on to describe in the following verses, like verse five there is a remnant there has also been have to be at the present time a remnant of saved Jews according to God's gracious choice. But it's by grace, not on the basis of works in order to be a saved Jew, a Jew saved by God's grace, you've got to reject their pompous attitude that says, I deserve it, or I can work my way to it.

    But he is reiterating that most, most are hardened, except for this small remnant, most are hardened to Christ, and the Gospel. And that those who are saved are saved simply on the basis of God's gracious choice, this humbling reality. It's not only partial, it's also temporary, the temporary being indicated by that term until until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. When the the number of Gentiles that God has chosen to save, believe, then there will again be a day. That's what he's saying, There will again be a day when the nation of Israel as a whole will be the objects of God's saving grace. How does that happen? Why does that happen? Though, it isn't super easy to see that phrase. And so in verse 26, likely refers back to something Paul says about God saving Gentiles in this age. And that one of the results, one of the results of God saving Gentiles in this age is that some Jews will see the error of their way though, they'll see their own rejection of Christ and our reception of him and the manner in means and degree to which we are blessed by God. By the end there'll be provoked to jealousy, provoked to turn to their Messiah and saving faith. That's what he says back in verses 13 and 14. I'm writing to you Gentiles, verse 13. And as much then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow, through my preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles, he says, I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen, and save some of them. And he goes on to use the illustration of gentiles be being saved in the same way that a wild olive branch can be grafted into an olive tree and how God can break off natural branches and graft in unnatural branches. And you know what he can, he can do it the other way too. So, again, be humbled by the reality that you're saved by God's grace. The point is that we should be humbled by it because nobody deserves salvation. God's going to save whom He will, in fact, one day, one day Israel will be provoked to that jealousy and mass, when they, when they see and understand Jesus for who He truly is their Messiah, and King. Listen to the words of Zachariah Zechariah, chapter 12, verse 10, he says, I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of 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, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. Chapter 13, verse one, on that day, there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin, and uncleanness. That's the nature and the uncertain timing of Paul's phrase, all Israel will be saved. They're finally going to see Jesus for who he is. And then they're going to realize we crucified our Messiah, we crucified our Messiah, and they're going to mourn that reality. And they're going to turn to Him and worship Him for who He is. That is, that's the word of the Lord through the prophet Zechariah. It's gonna, it's gonna happen. It's part of God's redemptive plan for the ages, and for the nations. Now we're using Zechariah. That's an ancient texts written centuries before Paul, and yet describing the same reality, the same events of mournful repentance and turning to their Messiah when they, when they finally see him for for who he is, and that happens because God's plan has been unchangeably in place from before time, long ages. past before the earth existed. The other way we see that indicated is Paul's understanding and justification for seeing this redemption and salvation of the nation. He says it is written, right verse 26, verse 27, all Israel be saved just as it is written. These promises say so the deliver WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS. From Jacob, this is my covenant with them. When I take away their sin, this Old Testament quotations the first two lines are from Isaiah speaking about the servant, the suffering servant, who is the Messiah who will come and then the last one is from Jeremiah, the text that is promising a New Covenant, a new covenant in which God would take away the sins of the people. Listen, Jeremiah 31, starting in verse 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. Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day, I took them by the hand and let them out of Egypt. The covenant which they broke, although I was a husband, to them, declares the Lord, but but this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days declares the Lord, I will put my law within them, and on their heart, I will write it, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. They will not teach again, each man, his neighbor, and each his brother saying, know the Lord, for they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, declares the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin, I'll remember, no more. No notice. The new covenant that he's talking about here, is made with the house of Israel. He doesn't make a new covenant with the nations of the Gentiles. He doesn't say that. Yet. Here we are, right? Here we are worshipping Jesus, who said this is the new covenant in my blood, the night before his crucifixion, saying this is what I'm about to accomplish. And now we are ourselves living under, and in those very same blessings that are described in that new covenant promise to Israel. And I think that's another aspect of this mystery that Paul's referring to, that God can make promises of salvation and of cleansing and of forgiveness to one people, his chosen nation, the people of Israel, and because he is a sovereign God, with authority over all the nations, he can, at one and the same time, accomplish salvation, and bring about blessing for the Gentiles, as well. And so here we sit, I say participating in all the spiritual blessings of the New Covenant ratified in Christ through his blood. And yet, knowing that one day, God will fully accomplish those same promises on behalf of the nation. And that was the plan and promise all along, it's not like, dang it, they rejected me, I'm gonna, I'm gonna save some other people and then later I'm gonna come back. It was not Plan B, it was the plan. All along. It was the promise just as Malikai said. That's why when Paul was preaching to the Jews, again, x 13, we saw one and X 18 with the Jews are rejecting him. They're, they're jealous with the wrong kind of jealousy and they start to blaspheme the Lord and blaspheme Paul and Barnabas. And Paul says, and acts 1346, it's necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, because the promises were made to you first. But since you repudiate it and judge yourself unworthy of eternal life, behold, we're turning to the Gentiles for the Lord has commanded us, I have placed you as a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the end of the earth, that that has been God's unchangeable plan from the beginning. But as regards the nation of Israel, God isn't done. God has not done with them. And that's the second broadly the second worshipful response we need to have as we see all this is be in awe of His mercy and faithfulness. And I say mercy because that's the focus on this whole text is God's saving mercy, especially starting in verse 30. I think the word mercy is used like five or six times. But but we should know the ways As Paul goes on, that he both positively and negatively, that God proves Himself faithful and trustworthy to His promises. The first one is, is the negative way he proves himself trust worthy. God's faithfulness actually includes this fact that he has rejected the nation.

    That's why he says, from the standpoint of the gospel, they are enemies, enemies of God, for your sake, so that the gospel has been freed to be preached to the nations. But presently they are enemies. But do you realize it's actually the faithfulness of God, that makes it so in this age, when God gave the law to the nation of Israel through Moses, he said, If you keep my law and walk in my ways, I will bless you. Let, let me count the ways how I will bless you. But if you reject me, and you walk away from my law, then then I'll curse you the very plagues you see in Egypt, I'm going to bring them on you. That's what's gonna happen. And God is faithful to his promise, whether it's a promise of blessing or a promise of cursing, he has to be true to himself. He can't say he's going to do something and then not do it. And so even in these painful words, that from the standpoint of the gospel, they're enemies of God for your sake, we see the faithfulness of God in fulfilling the warning wasn't a promise, it was a warning, fulfilling the warning. But that doesn't mean he's rejected them forever. His faithfulness also includes the fact that he will remember his choice of them, he will remember his loving election of Israel from the standpoint of God's choice, because Because God's electing his own because God's setting his love on some from eternity past, and because he didn't choose Israel, because they were some great nation. But he chose him because he loved them. From the standpoint of God's choice, they are still beloved, for the sake of the fathers, for the gifts and calling of God, are irrevocably pulsing in no uncertain terms. God never sets aside His promises. The gifts and the calling of God are forever and to believe that God can promise a gift and a calling, but then go back on his promises. That's a dangerous belief. That's a dangerous belief. God does not do that. And even though we now are participating in all those blessings and privileges of the New Covenant promise that was made to that nation, it does not mean that somehow that was really for us. And that now they're just cast aside forever. It just simply means God had something bigger than he was accomplishing simultaneously. But those promises were made to a national people and one day all Israel will be saved, they will look on him whom they have pierced, and they'll mourn. Like Zachariah says, Those promises were made, certainly to a national people. And here's where I would see it right after he makes that New Covenant promise in Jeremiah 31, verses 31 through 34. Listen to what he says, starting in verse 35. So again, the context of his new covenant promise to the nation of Israel, he says, Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day, and the fixed order of the moon, and the stars for light by night, and who stirs up the sea so that its waves. Roar, the Lord of hosts is his name. If this fixed order, departs from before me, declares the Lord, then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before me, forever. That's what he's saying. As this is the sun still coming up? Check. Israel is still a nation in his sight. Is the moon still in its fixed order? It was beautiful last night. Check. Are the stars still giving light at night? Check? Are the waves of the sea still rolling in again and again? Check. So that fixed order has not departed. And so God is saying that nation somehow some way is Still a nation before me forever in the context of my new covenant, His new covenant promises to them of salvation, and forgiveness. And he reiterates in verse 37, if the heavens above can be measured, know, if the foundations of the earth searched out below, know, only then will I cast off the offspring of Israel, for all that they have done, declares the Lord. So that's when I say a temporary partial hardening. Right, not a permanent and complete hardening, temporary and partial because God is faithful to His promises. The gifts and the calling of God, are ear revocable, he can't go back on them. His faithfulness includes fulfilling all of those promises and fulfilling those promises on behalf of for the blessing of those to whom he gave them, a national people. Israel. Another aspect of this, right, that that history itself is designed so that God's mercy to all would be put on display. Here's the tension that he's describing in these last few verses. Right? He's, I mean, he's described a lot and we haven't touched on everything in these chapters. But there is the tension starting in verse 34, just as you once Gentiles were disobedient to God, were alienated from the life of God, not participants in the covenants or the promises. You were once disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience because of their rejection, because God is hard on them and set them aside. Now you have been shown mercy. And so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you, they also may be shown mercy, as they see God saving you as they see you worshiping their Messiah, you participating in their promised blessing of new life, and forgiveness, they'll be stirred to jealousy so that they also may now be shown mercy. And then a somewhat enigmatic statement, right? God has shut up all in disobedience, so that he may show mercy to all all of this choice and plan and purposes through disobedience and mercy. It's all exactly what God has planned in order to put the glory of His grace on display. And that's why Paul says, Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God, How unsearchable, how unfathomable, who has known the mind of the Lord who has become his counselor, For from him and through him and to him. To Him be the glory forever, because he is the sovereign Redeemer, the one who has planned all of this himself. That is a so great salvation. That's what Paul's saying, that is a so great salvation, and that we can be, and I hope, humbly, recognizing. We can be recipients of that glorious grace is a gift. It is such a gift. I'm praying, I'm hoping and I'm encouraging you to meditate on all this, all this stuff in the text over the coming week, so that you can see the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God. I feel like I'm scratching the surface. But God is good, and His mercy is great. And He will be faithful to His promises to us and to Israel, his chosen people. Let's pray.

    God, we thank you for your faithfulness, Your faithfulness to redeem those that you've sent your love on from eternity past. Redeem your chosen people Israel, who will look on you whom they pierced. Who will mourn. God thank you that you will grant them that life at heart changing life and the forgiveness of sins, that cleansing from sin. Thank You that we, as almost bystanders are also the recipients of your electing love and can by Your grace receive those blessings and privileges of salvation and cleansing and forgiveness. We're thankful that your plan and purposes are bigger More than we could understand and stomach all at once. God we thank you that your purposes have truly and surely been worked out. When Christ came and offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sin, his body bruised for our iniquity, his blood shed for the remission of sins and as we gather together here as your people to, to remember and to worship you with thanksgiving to celebrate that work on our behalf. God we pray that you'd be pleased with our thoughts, their meditations. Amen.

Brian Sayers

Brian is the Pastor of Counseling & Equipping at Faith Bible Church. He is passionate about the local church, and equipping the saints to effectively serve one another. Before coming to Spokane, he spent 14 years serving God's people as a pastor in rural New England (Vermont & New Hampshire).

View Resources by Brian Sayers
Resource Tags
More From This Series