Classic Christianity – Book of Romans P46 (02-24-20)
Oh, the depths of the wisdom of God. The Jews are bound in disobedience for now, because they did not recognize the Messiah. The Gentiles, who did not pursue God, were found by God, and received mercy, because they believed the message of Christ Jesus. A day is coming when the last Gentile will come in. In God“s dealing with the Gentiles, the Jews, seeing how God saved us in our disobedience, and had mercy on us all, they will be those among the Jews who will turn to Christ Jesus in faith and be saved. Untold thousands have already. But there is a day when the prince of peace will come, and they shall see the one they had pierced. All eyes shall see Him on that glorious day.
So, anyone can be grafted in today, Jew or Gentile, slave or free, and are saved the same way. The hope of salvation still stands and has always been standing, while we are still alive on this earth. For God is not willing that anyone should perish, but all to come to Him by faith, and become born again. God longs for the day when He will create a new heaven and a new earth where he will always dwell with mankind. But only those who have been made holy in Christ Jesus, who have become born again, with the Spirit of God placed in them, will enter that glorious place. Jesus Christ will again one day dwell with man forever.
So hear the heart cry of God to you. Anyone has the capacity to understand that Jesus died for you, a sinner, to take your sins away from the eyes of God, never to be seen again, and to know the mighty power that raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus, who is God, is seated at the right hand of God, compelling you to accept His offer of eternal life. Eternal life is knowing God and His Son, Christ Jesus, accepting the only provision of life for you, His resurrected life to be placed in you, so that the same power that raised Him from the dead, will raise you also from the dead. So the choice is yours, to either remain dead to God or invite Him to be your Lord, Savior and best friend.
Consider the parable of the sower of the seed that Jesus told in Matthew 13. So we, who in Christ Jesus, let us sow good seed, the message of new life in Christ Jesus, the gospel, the good news, to people. Such seed will fall on different soils, but there will be seed that will take root, so a person will believe and understand the message and be saved.
But consider also the parable of the weeds that Jesus told in Matthew 13. Sadly, Satan sows seed also. Let us be careful not to tear down ministries, made up of people that are telling error, lest we tear up the wheat, the believers, who are among them. Wait until the harvest, for God to sort that out. If error is told, certainly confront the error, so someone can be set free to walk in the newness of life, but just be wise in how you go about doing so.
Somebody called one time. The pastor got up in the pulpit and said, “Do not read this book “Classic Christianity”. It sold out. That is all you had to do to get people to buy it is just tell people not to read it. That will cause people to want to go buy it. So basically, the rejection of the Jew caused the acceptance of the Gentile.
13 I am talking to you Gentiles.
He wants to clarify who he is talking to.
Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.
Paul’s desire above all things is that his people would come to know this Christ as their Messiah.
15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy [the apostles], then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
In other words, if they are set apart, the whole batch is going to be set apart. The root is set apart and so are the branches.
17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot,
How many of you are Gentiles? As a Gentile, what does God call us, affectionately? Wild olive shoot. That is a little better than calling us dogs. But that is a designation of our heritage. If we want to go back to our roots, it is not very pleasant, idol worshiping Gentiles.
have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches.
Do not boast over those branches. Why does he say that? What were the Gentiles doing? Boasting. You will see, in verse 20, where he tells them, “do not be arrogant”. You will see in other passages, where he says to them not to be conceited. Why? That is what we were becoming. We were all puffed up over the fact that we are accepting and they are not. He was trying to negate that attitude.
If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20/sup> Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
Some people read that as being a loss of salvation. He is merely saying to the Gentile world, “Do not get all puffed up on being a Gentile because he could get rid of you the same way”. Did he get rid of the Jews beyond repair? No. He is just saying I could do the same with you. He did not say he will. He just said he could.
Let us turn now to the 13th chapter of Matthew. Here again is Jesus talking to the Jewish crowd he was talking to.
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
You hear what someone is saying but you do not understand what it means? Why? Because you do not allow the Spirit to reveal it to you.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
Here is the root cause of that.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[Isaiah 6:9,10]
We can get our hearts calloused. We can get it calloused by rejecting truth. We can get it calloused by saying, “I am going to walk with both feet, a double-minded man. I will have one foot in the Lord and one foot in the world. Please do not tell me to get my foot out of the world.” People bring things into their churches and say, “we are being politically correct”. A church should be a set apart group. They should be set apart from the world, not looking or sounding like the world, but set apart and to be people who are there for the purpose of communicating the good news of the gospel.
A born again believer does not belong in the bars. A born again believer does not belong drunken, being in a drunken state. A born again believer is separate from that. Those are just two things I am talking about. You are separate from that. A born again believer should be honest. That separates you from the world. Yet many times we have one foot in the world, and one foot here in Christ, and we wonder why we are a double minded man who is unstable in all ways.
There comes a point when you come to Christ and you say, “I am going to put that stuff aside. That is of the world and I will put that aside and start walking in the newness of life. My main thrust and obligation is to know Christ and to be growing in Christ. I am going to stop seeing those buddies that all they want to do is drink and play, and I will get some new friends. I did not have to do that when I came to Christ. I automatically lost my friends when I became a Christian. I did not get rid of them. They got rid of me. If they wanted to be around me, then I would say there is something wrong with me. I had no place in the bars again. I say again because I spent a lot of time in the bars then. I did not know there was a coffee shop in California until I became a Christian. I know what that is. I know when I came into relationship with Christ Jesus, He was saying to me, “You do not belong there any more.”
I thought many times prior to that that I did. I used to work with Santa Monica freeway in California. You come down one freeway then the Santa Monica freeway splits. One way was going home. I always remember the struggle I had on St. Patrick’s day. One way took me home. The other way took me to O’Malleys. That was no struggle before coming to Christ. I just went to O’Malleys. It did not matter what Amy thought or if it hurt her. That is where I went. I remember coming to Christ. It never entered my mind to go to O’Maleys any more. I am going home where I belong. That is a sign of a born again believer. You cannot live totally infatuated with the world and infatuated with Jesus at the same time. You can, but you will be a double-minded man who is unstable in all ways.
That is the same way with church. You cannot blend in all of the stuff that everyone says the children like. The issue is that is not what church is. The church does not exist to entertain children or adults. The church is for proclaiming the good news of Christ Jesus. You can get all the entertainment you need in school. That is one reason why we never got into all of the programs that you have to build a big church with. My feeling is you come and learn. It is not the responsibility to teach your children but to teach the word of God. That is the parent’s responsibility. It is my responsibility to teach you. Then it is your, the parent’s, responsibility to teach children and then demonstrate that in your life in front of them.
When I came to Dallas, Texas, I lost, to a degree, my children in regard to educating because the church took over. They were so engrossed and busy and busy that you hardly had time to talk to each other. I swore if we ever had a church we will never do that. We will keep it simple but we will, as Richard said, we will develop programs to equip you for work of ministry but we will not work you to death. You have enough to do with families and school to be tied up every day of the week in a church function. As a matter of fact, when you are out in the marketplace that is church. That is where you are supposed to be. That is where you reach people for Christ, not in here, but out there.
With this movie, this movie certainly is not for the purpose of leading people to Christ, necessarily. Certainly somebody can see what Jesus did, but the resurrection was hardly mentioned. Rightly so. He did not intend to do that. The greatest opportunity you and I have, though, is to take advantage of the movie to talk about Christ. I do not know a single person who has not heard of Jesus because of this movie. You cannot turn on the television and hear someone not talking about his movie. Every where you turn, someone is talking about Jesus. We went into a Jewish delicatessen and guess what was on television? You cannot even get him out of a Jewish delicatessen. You are going to find people at a water fountain talking about Jesus, talking at a desk about Jesus, at a grocery store talking about this.
What an opportunity we have as Christians to be able to say, “Are you interested in learning more about the fullness of his gospel? And to hand out “Be Born Free” books or make an appointment to have lunch with someone and talk to him about Jesus. Or invite him to your home to talk about Jesus. The opportunities are out there. This opened up a terrific opportunity to get involved. People are talking about Jesus so why not tell people what you know about him. The film does not depict the fullness of the gospel. That is what we are for. But what a wonderful opportunity to talk to people about this wonderful Jesus that we know.
What is he talking about in this passage is what the parable of the sower means. He is showing us the different kinds of people in the world you and I are going to be dealing with.
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it
See, there again, I hear it, but I do not understand it. Have you ever talked to someone, who replied, “I do not know what you are talking about?” Have you ever shared the gospel with someone, and they stare at you as if you are from a different planet. So they hear it, but they do not understand it.
the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.
It never gets rooted. There are a lot of people like this. There are people you share the gospel with, and they do not understand what is being said, and Satan just comes along and steals the seed. Are those people saved? No. There are people who hear the word, and have no problem understanding what is said, but I am not going to talk what is being said. A lot of our Jewish friends are like this. “If it is good for you, then thank goodness. If it makes you happy, then I am glad. It is good for you, but it is not for me.” How many of you ran into people like that? But it does not take root. Such a person is saying, “I like what I am hearing.” yet they have no understanding.
There was a gentleman and his wife in California when Amy and I were brand new Christians. He was the owner of a large dairy in California. She was very active in Christian things, and when I was out at the Campus Crusade one time, she was out there at the same time. She had heard I had done some speaking. She was head of a Christian woman’s club. She had asked me if I would speak at that club. “Sure I will.” Then she thought about it: “I never heard this guy. He may be horrible.” She called a lady who ran the bookstore at Campus Crusade. She said to him, “I asked this guy to come and speak and I do not even know if he can speak or not.” So the lady assured him that I was okay. “But I will send you a tape of one of his messages.” “No, you do not need to do that.” Her husband, a sweet guy, he had been at a dinner with Billy Graham and Bill Bright. They were contributors, but he never accepted the Lord. He was thrilled to death that she did. He was so proud of her. He loved that she was out teaching bible studies, but said “not for me”. But he is around all these people. He heard, but nothing took root. Well, she left one day to go out shopping. She had bought him a tape recorder. He had this tape recorder this one day. He was looking around if there was a tape he could put in to test out his tape recorder. He could not find any tapes. Then, the door bell rang, and it was the door man. The mailman was delivering his tape, that the bookstore lady had mailed with my testimony. This is unusual. He stuck the tape in the deal. An hour later, she comes home, and he was sitting there with tears down his face. She said, “What is wrong?” “Nothing is wrong”, he said. “I just accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.” That is how God can work. Prior to that time, he heard, he accepted, but it took no root. But one day it did take root.
21 But since they have no root they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
People became more occupied with gaining wealth and position than becoming a child of the living God.
23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it.
If he understands it, who gave him the understanding? The Spirit of God. Now folks, we are told in the scripture, that anybody has enough faith to understand the gospel. The natural man cannot understand spiritual things, it is foolishness to him.
1 Corinthians 2:14
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
Talking about theological issues to a lost man is an exercise in futility. But he has enough faith to understand Jesus died to take away our sins, and he was raised again to bring life to the dead. He can understand that.
23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
You hear, you receive, but no understanding. You hear, receive, and you put faith in Jesus, and you are saved. The only group in here that are saved is the ones he is talking about who understands the word of God.
So Jesus told him another parable.
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
Now folks, that is why we do not go and try to tear down ministries. You can certainly identify the error of the teaching. You are not there to tear down. Leave that for the harvest.
With that parable of the soils, you can get a better understanding of Paul’s dealing with the Jews. There were people who would hear the same message, and the message would never take root. Other people will reject the message. You hear all kinds of responses to the gospel just like you do today.
Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
If the Jews do not persist in their unbelief, and turn by faith, they will be grafted in. So, he has not stopped grafting. God is saying, “I will graft in anybody who comes to Me by faith, either Jew or Gentile, slave or free.”
24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
So, is there a time when Israel is going to come back to Jesus in mass? One of these days, they will look on the one they have pierced, and every eye will see, and every knee will bend, and they will confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”[Daniel 7:13]
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”[Zechariah 12:10]
So shall it be! Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
25 I do not want you to be ignorant
He told us not to be boastful. He told us not to be arrogant. Now, he is telling us not to to be ignorant.
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery,
The mystery is that the Gentiles will come to Christ identically the same way as the Jews. God is saying, “I will make one new body out of the two”. We will explain that in detail in chapter 12.
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited:
So he is now telling us not to be conceited.
Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,
What is the only thing necessary for Israel to turn to Jesus? When the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. When is that going to occur? We do not have a clue. There sure is a lot of exposure to Jesus all over the world. This is not accidental, to be honest with you. When the last Gentile has come in, all of Israel will be saved.
26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27 And this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”[Isaiah 59:20,21; 27:9; Jeremiah 31:33,34]
28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.
He called them then. He will call them now. He will call them again.
30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you.
They are going to see the mercy of God through the Gentile world. They will say we missed something, and then they will turn to Christ.
32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
There was no one who has ever come to Christ who has not been disobedient. We have all fallen short of the glory of God.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Now here is the doxology.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”[Isaiah 40:13]
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”[Job 41:11]
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Folks, that is a phenomenal chapter, misunderstood, unbelievably in the scriptures, in regard to what our attitude should be toward our Jewish counterparts. Again, to be available to talk to the Jewish people just like we talk to the Gentiles, and to not be afraid. The average Jewish person has much less knowledge of even their own Old Testament scriptures that even you know as a born again believer. Talk to them, and read to them Isaiah 53, and ask them, “What do you think that means?” All of that can be used when talking to Jewish people, or Gentiles alike. In the scriptures, it says at the end of time, the gospel is going to go to Israel. There will finally be peace, but it will only be when the prince of peace returns. He will return to Israel and every knee will bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord. Then we will have a brand new era ushered in. What will that be like? I do not have a clue. But it will be good for Jesus will be at the helm. When we have Jesus Christ at the helm, we will see a wonderful existence. Those are the things we have to look forward to.
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[Isaiah 65:17] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”