God Is Not Hindered By Israel’s Fall

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God Is Not Hindered By Israel’s Fall

God Is Not Hindered By Israel’s Fall

Romans 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.
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?
13  For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
14  If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
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?
16  For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

Again, in verse 11, God directed Paul to ask an important question. As we mentioned in a different devotional, the Catholics have worked hard to destroy the Jews in the past. They believe they are the new Israel. They believe the promises that God made to Israel belong to them. The problem with the Catholics is that they are lost and all they are interested in is the physical and the material. They do not see the spiritual blessings from a Biblical perspective.
The question being asked in verse 11 is once again whether Israel has stumbled to the place where they are a write off. Have they lost God’s favour completely. The answer is again: “God forbid”. God made a promise to Abraham, and that promise holds because it reveals the nature of God. God is faithful. His promise is sure regardless of the response of man.
Paul has already revealed that not all Jews are of the spiritual seed of Abraham. Now he stated that through the fall of Israel, God turned His attention more to the Gentiles. The fall of Israel did not catch God by surprise. Israel was to be the object lesson through which all people were to see the goodness of God and turn to Him. Israel, as a nation, rejected that important place, and now God would work through the Gentiles to cause the Jews to become jealous and turn back to Him.
In verse 12 Paul points out that the fall of Israel would be for the riches of the world. There was a time in the history of the nation of Israel when Gentiles wanted to become Jews. During the Exodus, some Egyptians (Gentiles) chose to join Israel on their way out of Egypt. In the law, God gave clear instructions on how a Gentile could become part of the nation of Israel. As we have noted, God chose several Gentiles to be in the lineage of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The fall of Israel brought about the birth of the church. Jesus Christ made the promise in Matthew 16:18. Churches were established across the Middle East and Asia during the time of the apostles. There was a true church in Rome as we have noted in this epistle. The gospel of Christ was being proclaimed all over, and people were being saved.
The fall of Israel allowed for this new way, this mystery of the local church, made up of saved Jews and Gentiles, to be formed. It was not a mystery to God. It was not a surprise to God. It was part of His plan. The world has been blessed by the true churches that have been raised up in this dispensation. The Gospel has gone into many different countries. There are true churches in many different countries. There are an abundance of fraudulent churches on T.V. and the internet and in every major city and many towns as well. There are fewer and fewer true churches.
However, God is still in charge, and His Word is still being proclaimed. Paul reminded his readers that as much as the world is being blessed through true churches, how much more will the world be blessed when Israel finally turns to God? That time will come at the end of the Tribulation. Sadly, the stubbornness of the Jews will take awhile longer to break.
In verse 13 Paul stated that he was now speaking to Gentiles. He reminded them that he was called of God to be the apostle to the Gentiles. He was magnifying his office. Notice that he does not say he was magnifying himself. The office of an apostle was a high calling. There were only 12 of them and they were given the privilege of being the pioneers of church planting. Some of them would be used to complete the Scriptures. The 12 apostles could be trusted. They were true men of God.
In a lesser sense, the office of a pastor is also important. It is not the pastor that is important. It is the office that is important. It is important that the pastor be a faithful servant of God. No pastor is ever called upon to write Scripture. No pastor is ever called upon to rewrite Scripture. The Biblical record is complete and a true pastor is one who honours the Word of God. He guards against corrupting the Word. He needs to guard his walk with the Lord so that the office of the pastor does not become a mockery.
Some years back I was witnessing to a Catholic priest. He was offended that I would not call him “father”. I explained why I could not do that. He then asked that I would at least call him “pastor”. I told him I could not do that because he was not a true pastor. He was a lost man who was deceiving others. He did not like that either, but he needed to know the truth.
In every church I have pastored I have warned the people against false religion. If a certain group tries to elevate itself and tries to corrupt our people, I will find out all I can about that religion and expose it by contrasting it with the truth.
Back in our text, in verse 14 Paul wrote that he would use any means allowed to provoke the Jews to see the importance of true salvation. Paul did not step outside of the will of God to make a point. He honoured God in his work. The Jews needed to see that Paul, being a Jew, was spending the bulk of his time with the Gentiles. How could that be? The lost Jews despised the Gentiles. However, Gentiles were being saved and churches were being established and most of the members in the churches were Gentiles. Gentiles were going out and witnessing to others and people were getting saved, but the unbelieving Jews were being left behind.
In verse 15 Paul continued to explain God’s plan with setting aside the Jews temporarily. God’s goal is to see all people saved. The Jews were not doing what they were chosen to do. God would work through the Gentiles and His purpose would be the same. He desired to see people saved. He would use whosoever will be saved, as witnesses unto Him.
Again Paul pointed out that when Israel turns back to God, it will be such a great blessing to the world. Of course the world will be quite different at that time. The wicked will all be destroyed and only saved people will enter the Millennium. Many of those will be saved Jews. Those entering the Millennium will have children and those children will be born as lost sinners just like any other children are. Many of those will not be saved, but the environment will be much different in that time.
In verse 16 Paul used the analogy of bread. The first loaf that is baked from the lump of dough was to be holy. If the first loaf was holy, then the lump from which it came must also be holy. Then Paul used the example of the root of a tree. If the root is holy, then the branches that come from the root must also be holy. That only makes sense.
The root began with God choosing Abraham. God made Abraham holy. Abraham was not born holy. He did not always behave as the holy man he should be. He needed to be rebuked and he needed to be tested and he needed to be purified. The goal was to pass on an example for Isaac to follow after. The ultimate holiness was found in God and His Word. God continued to teach Isaac and Jacob and on down. God’s design is for a holy root and a holy plant that can draw others to the holy root.
God is still doing that today. Jesus Christ declared:

Matthew 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The Catholics like to steal the glory and give it to Peter. The “rock” in that verse is Jesus Christ, not Peter. Paul stated:

I Corinthians 10:4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

It is essential that a church be built upon the Lord Jesus Christ. The world does not need social clubs. There are too many bars and casinos already. What the world needs is true churches that will honour and glorify the true God.
On this Lord’s day, prepare yourself to go to a true local church. Ask God to prepare your heart to receive His blessing as you go. If you are not saved, go and listen to the truth. In a true church you will find what your soul is longing for. That longing is put there by the work of the Holy Spirit. Don’t keep suppressing that need. Talk to some godly person and trust in the true God for your salvation. Don’t settle for entertainment and folly. Seek the Lord while He may be found.
Pastor Bartel

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