Putting God's Word into Practice…

Romans 11

on August 27, 2012

Consistent rebellion and rejection results in a hard heart!  God allows hardened hearts and uses them for His purposes.  God offered salvation to the Jews first, their rejection opened up a means for the non-Jews to receive salvation.  And God is using the salvation of many Gentiles to cause jealousy among His chosen people so they will be drawn back to Him for salvation.  Everything is working together for His perfect plan.

What separates/cuts off people from God? UNBELIEF

What connects people to God? FAITH

God also has the power to graft people back into fellowship with Him–He opens eyes and evokes belief in His people.  This should not cause pride in those of us who believe, but fear of the Lord.  My study notes say that “fear here does not refer to a paralyzing fear.  Rather, it is the kind of humble fear that does not take God or salvation for granted, or think lightly of His displeasure.”  When we realize that our salvation is completely a work of God’s mercy, grace and call we have no room for pride.

The next verse gave me pause.  Romans 11:21 “Note then the kindness and the severity of God…”  As humans, we tend to fixate too easily on one aspect of God’s character or the other.  God is always perfectly balanced.  When we focus solely on His kindness, we can cheapen His mercy.  When we lean to heavily on His severity, we may tend toward unhealthy fear and productivity-driven “faith.”  

In 11:32 we learn that God decisively turned ALL people over to disobedience to reveal and shower His mercy on ALL.  Most people don’t recognize their disobedience anymore.  We have lost this truth in our society–we live in a culture that is “wise in our own sight.”   This is a dangerous place to be.  Therefore, those of us who have recognized our disobedience and received God’s mercy must live in such a way as to expose sin and magnify mercy.

I just want to close this post by fixing our minds on Romans 11:33-36:

Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”  For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be glory forever. Amen.

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