Classic Christianity – Book of Romans P44 (02-18-20)
The Jew and the Gentile are saved the same way. What a revelation! They are saved by belief in the message concerning Christ Jesus, by grace through faith, all of God and not of anything we do. Grace is the gift of God and grace is Jesus. Jesus died to take away the cause of death, which is sin. That was preparation in order for life to be given. Jesus then rose again, and ascended back to His Father, in order to offer life to mankind. Anyone who accepts this message is born again, having been given the right to become children of God. That which was lost in the garden of Eden, the Spirit of God, can now be placed back into mankind. The Spirit of God left mankind and all men were born without the Spirit of God. When someone is born again, the Spirit of God is placed back into him. You are born again when you simply put your faith in what Jesus alone accomplished for you by his death, burial and resurrection. That is the gospel the apostle Paul proclaimed.
Would you like to pray to receive the life of Christ and be born again and become a child of God? Now, prayer does not save you. By the time you are ready to pray, you have already come to belief in what Jesus did for you. Prayer is a way of expressing to God the attitude of your heart, proclaiming your belief in Him to Him.
The apostle Paul continues to address attitudes of the heart, what faith is, what attitudes a Gentile believer should have to the lost Jew. We too should have a heart like Christ.
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death –
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Consider the heart of Paul to the Jews when he said he longed that his own people come to faith in Christ. Sadly, there are many today who will not come to Christ. Like the Jews, they would rather follow their man-made traditions and what their leaders tell them is true. They have chosen to be proud. So the same message of the gospel that is meant to bring salvation to men hardens the hearts of those who obstinately refuse to come into the Light. Those are the proud of heart. As Bob expressed it, the same sun that softens wax hardens clay. So too with the message of the gospel. The same message concerning Christ softens the humble heart and hardens the proud heart.
Bob also took the time to address the false teaching of Reform Theology, that believe only the elect will be saved. Paul is dealing with these things, as in Romans 11:14. He is not dealing with that specific subject but it deals with that subject. In Reform Theology, people say, “Grace is irresistible.” and “You cannot resist His grace.” Those Jews who rejected Jesus resisted His grace. How can Paul be saying what he is saying that somehow I am trying to arouse my people to envy and save some of them if only the elect are saved? Why would you say that? Why would Paul waste his time ever evangelizing anybody? What good is it to evangelize if God has already selected who he is going to save and his grace is irresistible?
The people of Reform Theology say, “Man does not have a will.” Oh, really! Is that not something! How can you be alive and teach that man does not have a will. You exercise it every day, don’t you? That is why you eat too much. That is why we do things. We have a will. We do things that we know are bad for us. Why? We have a will. God did not doom me for that. Yet people teach in Reform theology that you do not have a will. They say, “God is so sovereign that you cannot rebel against Him if you wanted to.” Then how did Satan get thrown out of heaven? That is ridiculous. Paul knows that.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
It is an open proclamation. Some people will say, “Why do you have people pray?” Because what are you doing? You are speaking with your mouth. You are speaking what is gone on in your heart. A prayer does not save you. A prayer is an indicator that you have already put your faith in Jesus and you are going to express that to Him. No big deal on that. Nothing to criticize of saying a prayer. It is wonderful to say a prayer. If you say it out loud, say it out loud. If you say it in your heart, say it in your heart. The issue is it is a reflection of your heart. A prayer does not save anybody. Faith in Jesus saves you. You are just expressing that faith when you pray.
11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[Isaiah 28:16]
It does not say to anyone who prays to him, but to anyone who put their trust in him. There is a time when you put your trust in something. When you have put your trust in the finished work of Christ on a cross, and put your trust that God raised Jesus from the dead, and he came to give you life, and you put your trust in that, he says you are born again. You are saved.
12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile
He is saying this to the Gentile group. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile. Just as you are saved, they too are saved. God is saying, “I reduced the entire world to salvation the same way, by faith in My Son Jesus Christ.” So there is no difference between Jew and Gentile.
– the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[Joel 2:32]
The Jew, He blesses, who calls upon Him. The Gentile, He blesses, who calls upon Him. Gentile, slave or free, man or woman, it makes no difference. Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Now he is going to say something.
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
How are you going to call on God if you do not believe you are a sinner? Why would you call on the name of Jesus for forgiveness? Do you think Jesus died for some of your sins or all of them? So if you come to Jesus, thinking you are 80% okay, that just a little dab of You will do it, that is not Jesus. Jesus did not come to give you a little dab of something. He came to take away all of your sins. So until you see your depravity, as Paul did, you will not come to Christ, for you will see no reason to.
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Until you see your wretchedness, you are not prepared for Jesus. Until, many times, you are flat on your face, until all you can do is look up, you are not prepared for Jesus. Until you come to grips with your total inability to ever stand in the presence of God apart from Jesus, you are not ready for Jesus.
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
In order to come to God, you must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. So whoever comes to God must believe that he is God, and that he will be a rewarder if I diligently seek him. What does he reward you with? Gifts? Tinted cars? No, he rewards you with his Son. “That when you come to Me, and you want to know Me, I will give you the gift of My Son.”
And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
How are you going to hear the word? They did not have the New Testament written down back then. They did not have printing presses all over the place in those days. The word was spread verbally, people to people, man to man, woman to woman, people to children. That is how it was spread.
15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?
So you are going to have to send some preacher out there. He is saying to the Romans, to people, “You are sitting in your bible studies, but how are your neighbors going to hear unless you send somebody to them?” The Jehovah Witnesses do not have any problem with that, do they? They will just bug the daylights right out of you and they do not know the Lord from a lamp post. They sure know how to go door to door and they are trained in their heresy. They are better trained than most of us. That is why training is important. If you went into the service gym as a helicopter pilot, I guarantee they did not put you in a helicopter until you were trained to fly it. We need to be trained to be available to reach out, to be sensitive. We have neighbors who need Jesus, and co-workers who need Jesus. You do not have to chase people around and make yourself obnoxious. You make yourself available, to be willing and able to give an account of that hope that is within you.
2 Timothy 4:1-3
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
1 Peter 3:15-16
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
How do you find out if somebody needs help? You ask questions and you talk. If you talk long enough, you will hear somebody hurting, won’t you? When they are hurting, you got a solution. You are not telling people to come to Jesus so “you can be wonderful like me”, because we are not wonderful. We are telling people to come to Jesus so “you can be wonderful like Him”, to know the wonder of Him. We will not be wonderful until we die and see Him face to face. In the meantime, our focus is not on me and what I am doing. It never has been. It is on Him, on what He has done and what He is continually doing, as He has given us everything for life and godliness.
2 Peter 1:3
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”[Isaiah 52:7]
There is a beauty to people who bring good news to you. We need good news, don’t we? We do not need positive thinking. We need good news. We need the good news of the gospel. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news to us.
16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news.
The good news, saying again to the Romans, that the good news went to our brothers in Israel. Jesus and the apostles were there. But not everybody accepted it.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
Jesus came to his own, the Jews, and his own received him not. The Jews received him not, but to all who did receive him, he gave the right to become a child of God. So they did not all accept the message.
For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”[Isaiah 53:1] 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Some people think that faith comes because God gives it to you, or gives it to the elect. The rest of you did not get it. The bible says that faith comes by hearing. In other words, if you hear the good news, everyone has been given the capacity to exercise faith in the good news. Everybody on the face of the earth has. God did not elect you and not elect somebody else. It was God’s will that none should perish, but all should come to repentance.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
God has enabled every person on the face of this earth to have enough faith to receive the good news. Faith comes by hearing the good news, and the message of the word of Christ.
18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
I do not think there was not anyone who did not hear when Israel was here. He was spread all over the place. So when he raised Lazarus, this was spread all over the place. It came in ceremony. It came in passover. Everybody has heard about him. They came from everywhere to see him. Did they not hear? The bible says all of them heard.
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”[Psalm 19:4]
19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand?
The answer to that is, “No, they did not understand.”
First, Moses says,
“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
Who is he talking about? The Gentile nations. I will make you, Jews, through whom the Messiah came, through whom the prophets were, through whom were given the word of God, through whom you were given everything you needed, yet you turned your back on the Messiah, one of your own. You knew about him but you would not accept him. So he says because of that I will make you envious.
“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
That is the Gentiles.
I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”[Deuteronomy 32:21]
That is us, dumb as mules.
20 And Isaiah boldly says,
“I was found by those who did not seek me;
Who was that? Who did not seek him? Gentiles. “They found me. I appeared to them. They found me.”
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”[Isaiah 65:1]
Were the Gentiles seeking God? No. They were seeking pleasure. Were the Jews seeking God? They said they were. But he says, “No, you are not. You are seeking your own traditions. You are worshiping at the foot of your traditions and have missed God.”
21 But concerning Israel he says,
“All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people.”[Isaiah 65:2]
Now, I will ask you a question? Was it that all of the Jews were obstinate and disobedient? Was that all Jews? No. How many people came to Christ on the day of
Pentecost? Thousands. Who were they? Jews. But the leadership, the people in positions of authority, whose job security was more important than truth. Why did they kill Jesus? Job security.
47 “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
“If we let this man continue, then before long the whole world will follow him and we will lose our place and our position. We will lose our jobs and get kicked out of the convention.” Job security. You have people today who will not stand up for truth, knowing it, because of job security, because it does not fit in with theology of my denomination. Folks, Jesus did not come to form theology. He came to form a relationship. It is not theology. It is truth. It is not hard to interpret if you let God do the interpreting. Have you found that out before? It is not hard to understand truth if you let God be the understander.
So he is saying to us that not all people are disobedient and obstinate. There are many, many Jews who will come to Christ by faith. But the leadership. Who were the instigators to get the same crowds that were shouting “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed be the one who comes in the name of the Lord” and three days later were saying “crucify him“. They stirred up the crowds. We see a phenomenal observation today, as to what goes on in that part of the country, when riots take place. These people are angry and mad, demonic looking. That is what you saw. They were adamant toward him. They said, “He is the enemy.” They lied about Him. The crowds were stirred up against Him.
1 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means!
Have you ever been disobedient? Or obstinate? Did He reject you, or me? No. By no means.
Paul is saying to the Gentiles about the Jews.
I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.
Who did he foreknow? What is this foreknowledge? Foreknowledge of the Jews. Foreknowledge of the Jews just like the foreknowledge of the Gentiles. He did not reject them.
Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah
He would not be writing this unless the Gentiles were all messed up in their heads about the Jews. Don’t you know what the scripture says? He is trying to get back to the Gentiles, saying this is what the scriptures say in this regard.
how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”[1 Kings 19:10,14]?
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever thought or said, “No one knows this except me. I am the only Christian in my community.”
4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[1 Kings 19:18] 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
What does it mean to be chosen by grace? God chose to save you by what? Grace.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
Faith is not the it. Grace is the gift of God.
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
So there is a remnant. How did there get to be a remnant? Well, out of the masses of people, they were the ones who chose Jesus. They were the ones who heard the message and put their faith in the message. They put their faith in the Messenger. They were chosen by grace.
6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
People will say “cheap grace”. I say to such people, “you are nuts”. If grace were to cost a penny it would cease to be cheap grace. So there is no such thing as limited grace. Some people will say God’s grace will only last so long, kind of like at the end of the journey. God’s grace is overwhelming. God’s grace is everlasting to everlasting (Isaiah 45:17). God said he is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end (Revelation 22:13). There is no limit to the grace of God (2 Corinthians 9:14). You cannot destroy the grace of God, and neither can I. So he said it would no longer be grace.
17 But Israel will be saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation; you will never be put to shame or disgraced, to ages everlasting.
13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
2 Corinthians 9:14
14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain.
The same thing we read earlier (Romans 9:30).
The elect among them did,
In other words, the Gentiles. So who is he talking about the elect? The Gentiles. We read about that earlier.
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith
The Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness obtained it. So who is he talking about here? The Gentiles. He is talking about the Jew and the Gentile.
but the others [the Jews] were hardened, 8 as it is written:
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that could not see
and ears that could not hear,
to this very day.”[Deuteronomy 29:4; Isaiah 29:10]
Folks, as we discussed before, the same sun that melts wax hardens clay. The identical sun. It is not the fault of the sun. It is what does the sun fall on. If it falls on clay, it hardens it. If it falls on wax, it melts it. The same message that fell on the heart of Moses, melted his heart. The same message that fell on the heart of Pharaoh, hardened his heart. It is not the fault of the message. It depends on what soil it falls on. Remember that Jesus spoke on a parable of the soils.
2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! 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, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
Read more in Mark here as Jesus explains to his disciples what this parable means.
The same message goes out but it falls on different kinds of soil. That message will harden the heart of the proud. That is why you have people adamant and rebellious against Jesus. They do not even like to hear his name. They are mad. They are angered. Why? Their hearts are hardened. Did God just say I will harden your heart so you will not accept Jesus? No. They hardened their own heart through pride. Pride hardens you, doesn’t it? Grace melts you. So the same message that melted the heart of some groups of people, there is a remnant. It hardene the heart of the proud, but the humble believed the message and were saved.
9 And David says:
“May their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.”[Psalm 69:22,23]
In other words, do you want to be rebellious against God? There is a consequence, isn’t there?
11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery?
What is the answer to that?
Not at all!
Did they stumble? Yes. Did they stumble beyond recovery? No. Have you ever stumbled? Have you ever done anything inconsistent as to who you are as a child of God? Did you stumble beyond recovery? No. Not at all.
Rather, because of their transgression [of the Jew],
He is talking about the rebellion of the Jew against salvation.
salvation has come to the Gentiles
Do you know about some Jewish rebellion, when people started saying this movie will bring about anti-Semitism? Do you know what it did? It made Mel Gibson rich. That is what it did. Everybody will see the movie that probably would not have gone to see it before all this controversy comes up.
1 Corinthinas 15:56
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
The power of sin is in the law. All you have to do is say to someone, “Do not go see that?” You have got a ticket buyer immediately in line. So the same thing. Because of the transgression, because of rebellion, it will bring salvation to the Gentiles. That may be true today with this movie. The rebellion against some of the Jewish leaders. They are not just Jewish leaders. There are Gentile leaders in rebellion with Jesus as well. That rebellion, and that open rebellion, will bring salvation to a bunch of Gentiles, and I hope the Jews as well. What did he do that for?
to make Israel envious.
What do you mean to make them envious? I believe there is a fascination to many Jews in regard to Christianity. They know this Jesus existed. In schools in Israel they teach Jesus. They do not teach him as God. They teach him as a prophet. They certainly do not deny him. The Muslims try to make Jesus as a worshiper of Allah. That is true that they say that. They say Jesus was a Muslim. They are not denying him. They just do not know anything about him. So this brings envy. Here is the argument Paul makes.
12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!
In other words, if their rebellion is causing all this good, is there any good going to come out of their rebellion? Now, in case you are confused as to who he is talking to, he spells it out.
13 I am talking to you Gentiles. 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.
They see the joy of a Christian heart. In many cases, they see a lifestyle they look at somewhat envious. You realize, today, what is the thinking of the average Jewish person. Amy and I have a lot of Jewish friends. The average Jewish person is more of an agnostic than anything else. They are not an atheist. They are an agnostic. They do not know if there is a God. They really don’t. They have never studied the scripture. We have evangelicals who know ten times more about the Old Testament than the average Jew ever thought of knowing. They do not know. They are envious of that. They like knowledge. Jewish people like to know things. That bugs them that I know more about the bible than they do. Amy had a great evangelical experience with one of her friends that really took to Amy and her faith, and so much so that she joined the Jewish synagogue. (Laughter) But she got her interest, and if that interest continues, she knows where Amy stands. But she got her interest for sure.
how much greater riches will their full inclusion be! I am talking to you Gentiles. 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.
Now folks, think about this for a minute. The reason I am saying this is because of this theology that is out there. Two things that have recently come up, two extremes of faulty thinking. One false thinking is that everyone is going to be saved. The other is that only the elect will be saved. That comes out of the Reformed theology that only the elect will be saved.
How can Paul be saying what he is saying that somehow I am trying to arouse my people to envy and save some of them if only the elect are saved? Why would you say that? Why would Paul waste his time ever evangelizing anybody? What good is it to evangelize if God has already selected who he is going to save and his grace is irresistible? They say, “Grace is irresistible.” and “You cannot resist His grace.” Those Jews who rejected Jesus resisted His grace. They say, “Man does not have a will.” Oh, really! Is that not something! How can you be alive and teach that man does not have a will. You exercise it every day, don’t you? That is why you eat too much. That is why we do things. We have a will. We do things that we know are bad for us. Why? We have a will. God did not doom me for that. Yet people teach in Reform theology that you do not have a will. They say, “God is so sovereign that you cannot rebel against Him if you wanted to.” Then how did Satan get thrown out of heaven? That is ridiculous. Paul knows that. He is dealing with these things. He is not dealing with that specific subject but it deals with that subject.
that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.
I want them to come to Jesus.
15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
That is true. When they accept him, they will have life from the dead.
16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
We know that.