Romans 11:1-36: Overview of Romans 11
- Overview of Romans
- Overview of chapter 11
- Overview of views and goals
As I have come to preach on Romans 11 I have come with two competing emotions. The first is fear. If you want to get Christians to be at each other’s throats get them to say disagreeing things about the nation of Israel. If you want to kick a hornet’s nest say, ‘I don’t think that Israel has a right to demand that the Palestinians leave the land.’ The second emotion I am feeling is excitement because this chapter has new wonders for us with regards to how God works His grace to save us. There are a number of important and controversial questions that arise when we get into the issues of this chapter. Are the Jews as a nation still a distinct people of God? Can Jews still be saved apart from faith in Christ through a faithful practice of Judaism? Is the establishing of the present state of Israel God’s fulfilling of the Abrahamic covenant and promises of the prophets? Was 1948 the budding of the fig tree so that this generation will see the coming of Christ? Are the atrocities committed by the Israeli army justified in the name of holy war like Joshua’s purging of Canaan in the OT, do we view these wars religiously or politically? Will there be a large scale conversion of the Jews to Christ as a sign of the end before He comes again? Or will that only be after the Rapture and part of what Dispensationalists call the Great Tribulation? Was the Holocaust God’s judgement on the Jews for crucifying Jesus Christ? Will the temple be rebuilt and should Christians give of their money to such a project? Are we to prioritise Jewish evangelism above every other form of missions? What are we to think of Messianic congregations that are deliberately OT Jewish in culture and even worship? How are Jewish believers to be viewed in relation to Gentile believers? Should we be offended that our Jewish brothers and sisters in Christ call us Gentiles when this was a theological term that meant someone outside of the covenant? Are we children of Abraham with the Jews, do we have a joint inheritance with them, or are we still aliens to some promises and covenants? I am hoping that our studies in this chapter will illuminate many of these questions.
We have been away from Romans for just over a year and we will be picking up our exposition again. So let me use this morning to reorient us to the book of Romans and in particular to the line of thought in chapters 9-11 and then raise 3 important things that should help us as we proceed to investigate this chapter. First lets remind ourselves of the overall argument of the book of Romans.