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Romans Lesson Manuscript Pages Sample 1 of 7 XXXX XXX OCC Box xxxx Romans Lesson #2 Text: Romans 11:25-32 Title: “Salvation for Israel” D.T.: Salvation for all people, even the Jews, is through Jesus Christ alone. Audience: xxxxx Christian Church; college students, young families, some older families Objectives: • (Head) To show that salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone, even for the Jews. • (Heart) To feel a need for evangelism, even of the Jews. • (Hands) To share the news of salvation through Jesus What do you think of when you hear the word “Jews?” What comes to your mind? When someone is talking about “Jewish people,” what thoughts and images come to mind? You may think of Bible times. Throughout the Old Testament there is story after story about the Jewish people. You may think of history and the destruction of the Jews during World War II. The Holocaust is among the worst crimes committed against mankind and the Jewish people were among those specifically targeted. You may think of modern times and the nation of Israel. With conflicts in the Middle East on a weekly basis, if not every day, it seems like Israel is always in the news. Or you may even think of Jews on an individual basis, stereotypically connected with banking or other business ventures. These could be the Jewish communities in New York City or the neighbors just down the street from your house. Would you be surprised to learn that some Jews don't want Christians to try to evangelize them? Some Jews consider efforts of evangelism to be anti-Semitic and some Christians are trying to help the Jews justify this. They figure that since the Jews are under the covenant of Abraham they can be saved under that agreement with God instead of the New Covenant with Jesus (Stott 304). What do you think about this? We know God's covenant in the Old Testament was with the nation of Israel. But now, with the coming of Jesus, we live under a new covenant. The Bible tells us that Jesus did not


Romans Lesson Manuscript Pages Sample 2 of 7 You may be wondering, “what is the meaning of this verse?” I don't claim to have all the “nuts and bolts” of this verse figured out, but I know that we can at least conclude this: “God will bring good consequences out of all adverse circumstances” (Cottrell, 500). This may need some clarification. God does not cause all things to happen, but can cause good to come out of situations. Maybe you're thinking, “when will He cause good to come out of situations?” I don't know for sure. It could be in your lifetime or not. It could be for you personally or for someone else. But ultimately, God produces good out of adverse circumstances (500). What else can we know about this verse? We know, as stated before, that Christians will experience suffering at some time or another. But no matter what we go through, nothing need separate us from the love of Jesus Christ (Osburn, 109). The proverbial walls could be falling down on your head, and still you are in the control of the ever loving God. We need not turn and run from God because of our hardships, but rather turn to Him because He alone can bring good out of those same hardships. Now let's turn to our verse again: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” “And we know” John Stott lays out several things which we can know from this passage. I'm only going to mention a couple, because I think he gets a little redundant. First, we know that God works. Better yet, God is at work in our lives. Anyone who knows anything about God, knows that He is a God of action. Second, God works for the good in all things. God not only is working, but He is working for the good. He is God for goodness sake; we probably don't need a whole lot of convincing that He is able


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And we see this concept pointed at clearly by Paul is this passage. He does so specifically in verse 21 and 22. But then Paul seems to go deeper in his explanation. He not only talks about our right standing before God, but he also talks about the source of that right standing, which is God’s justification. Now wait a minute, don’t tune me out because I am using these new terms. To be justified is also a very simple concept. If God justifies me, that means that he declares me to be righteous. In this way, God fills the role of a judge and he declares that there is no punishment for me. (Cottrell 147) But wait!!! Don’t let this fly by you without grasping wait I am saying, and more importantly, what Paul is saying. Illustration Imagine yourself in the audience of a courtroom trial. The defendant is clearly guilty of the crimes they are being accused of. The evidence is so strong that a defense is not even worth the time. The judge is about to declare the verdict, but there is little question about his decision. The defendant is obviously guilty. There is no doubt. However, the judge comes out from his chambers and announces to the courtroom that the defendant is right with the law, and that they will receive no punishment. Do you understand the magnitude of this declaration? Maybe you have heard an illustration similar to that one. Maybe you even knew that was coming when I started telling the story. But do you hear what I am saying? The foundation of justification is that a perfect Judge declares a guilty wretch to be right with the law. (Cottrell 147) If this is not somewhat startling to you, you have grown cold to the gospel. When God justifies you, it is as if God walks up to you, knowing that you are horribly guilty of sin, and still tells you that you are right with Him, and that you will not be punished. This is such a radical concept, but this is what happened when God took the initiative to justify us. And this is why Paul’s message is such radically good news! But Paul still does not leave it at that. He writes that we “are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Well great, we have yet another term to define. Redemption. What does that mean? Well again, this is quite a simple term, and I’ll define it by what it would have meant to Paul’s readers. Illustration When they read about this concept of redemption, they would have thought of paying a price to get something back. Most likely, they would have thought in terms of slavery. If a person was a prisoner or war, for example, they could be redeemed from their slavery. This brings to mind someone paying a ransom price. (Dunn 169) Illustration When I was studying this, the first modern example that came to mind was someone going to redeem their car that was impounded. But honestly, this is a horrible example. A car is a material possession that can be replaced. And in terms of God redeeming us, this analogy does not match up. God’s love for us was so great that in His mind, we could not be replaced. His desire to justify us, and to bring us back into a right relationship with Him was so intense that he redeemed us. (Osborne 92)


Romans Lesson Manuscript Pages Sample 4 of 7 and that we will be escaping the lonely place of Hell where our sovereign Lord is forever absent. It is amazing to think that God would send His Son to wash our sins clean in order to make us righteous in His sight. If you will take a look with me at verses 22, 23 and 24 we can see what Paul has written about the topic of righteousness: “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”1 Righteousness comes from the Greek word, dikaiosunē, which means “uprightness”. To put it more clearly, “the righteous judgment of God as well as his saving grace are described by dikaiosunē.”2 The phrase, “righteousness from God” in Romans 3:21 may be understood as the regained righteousness we have obtained because of the selfless act Christ performed on the cross.3 To be considered an upright person or someone who behaves in a moral fashion, this person must never have disobeyed the Law. As mentioned before, it is impossible for all humans to be sinless, except one. Jesus was the only person to ever have achieved a blameless life and this is why his blood was worthy enough to be “a sacrifice of atonement” as stated in verse 25. Through His blood, all people can be justified, or freed from their sins, solely through their belief in Jesus Christ as Savior.4 How amazing is this, to know that we are loved so much that our God would come down in human form, suffer through the same temptations and turmoil we

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NIV Gilbrant, vol. 12, 137 3 Gilbrant, vol. 12, 138 4 Cottrell, 146 2


Romans Lesson Manuscript Pages Sample 5 of 7 like Paul has the whole nation in mind when he speaks of Israel being hardened and turning away from God. The weakness of this argument is that it doesn't seem to fit in nicely with other things taught in Scripture about salvation – that the Jews, just like anyone else, must accept Jesus in order to be saved. One commentator emphasized this point by writing, “Let it be said once more, there is no such thing as national salvation in the spiritual realm, salvation by virtue of the fact that one belongs by birth to any nation, not even if one is the physical seed of Abraham and Jacob” (Ellison 93). Although it could be that Paul is saying there will come a time, after the Gentiles have become a part of God's kingdom, or at least all the Gentiles who will believe, when the nation of Israel will come to believe in Christ and will therefore be saved through him, just like everyone else who believes and is saved. The second option is that Paul is saying just the remnant, those in Israel who believe, will be saved. Paul is showing the contrast between Jews and Gentiles throughout this chapter. He is reminding the Gentiles that some Jews will be saved, even though many have been hardened against God. Some Jews can return to faith, and if they do they will be grafted back into the tree of God's salvation. They were cut off previously because of unbelief, but they belong to the tree naturally whereas the Gentiles were grafted in from a different tree. So Paul is then using this argument to encourage the Gentiles to get along with Jews who believe. This seems to be a strong argument given the context of the chapter and what Paul is trying to prove here through these words. One scholar had a nice summary of this position, saying, “Israel's salvation would be on the same basis as anyone else's, that is, by responding in faith to the forgiveness made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ” (Mounce 224). The other option we briefly mentioned was that Paul just means people who believe, the church, when he says “Israel” but this seems inconsistent with his use of the term in the rest of


Romans Lesson Manuscript Pages Sample 6 of 7 us to be” (Mounce 187-88). Again, however, it would be incorrect to say that “good” only refers to “our completed salvation.” Jack Cottrell says that “it certainly includes this, and some adversities may produce their benefits only at this final stage. But we should include a whole host of present or intermediate goods, spiritual in nature, that contribute to our sanctification and our ability to serve God and others more effectively” (500). Therefore, overall, “good” in this verse is not referring to material things or immediate benefits from a situation. Rather, it’s referring to the ultimate good that comes out of the situation. We must remember that this ultimate good may not affect us personally, and it may not even occur within our own lifetimes, but that doesn’t mean that God isn’t still using it to accomplish his purpose (Cottrell 500). Question 3 Now, the next question we must answer in order to better understand this text is “Who does this apply to?” This question is somewhat simple to answer because Paul gives two descriptions of who this promise is for. The first description is “those who love him,” or, “those who love God,” as the New American Standard Bible says. It’s important not to interpret this as making a “distinction among Christians, as if some love God and some do not.” Rather, it is making a distinction between Christians and unbelievers. Christians love God, while non-Christians do not (Cottrell 500). Furthermore, this love is an abiding love. One commentator says that the verb for “love” that is used here is the word for the “highest type of love, that of comprehension coupled with corresponding purpose” (Lenski 550). It isn’t just a simple love of emotion but is a “purposeful” love. In fact, this kind of love that we believers should have toward God is a reflection of the love God has for us (Hiebert 178). It would be a mistake, however, to interpret this to mean that because of our love for God, he will work everything out


Romans Lesson Manuscript Pages Sample 7 of 7 Bibliography Cottrell, Jack. Romans. The College Press NIV Commentary. Joplin: College Press, 2005. Ellison, H.L. The Mystery of Israel. Greenwood, SC: The Attic Press, Inc., 1978. Esler, Philip F. “Ancient Oleiculture and Ethnic Differentiation: The Meaning of the Olive-Tree Image in Romans 11.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 26.1 (2003) 103-124. Gutbrod, Walter. “ jIsrahvl.” Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Ed. Gerhard Kittel. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965. 356-391. Moo, Douglas. The Epistle to the Romans. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996. Morris, Leon. The Epistle to the Romans. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988. Mounce, Robert H. Romans. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995. Stott, John. Romans: God's Good News for the World. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1994.


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