Romans - Lesson 44

Romans 11:11-15

Lesson 44
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Romans 11:11-15

IV. The Defense of the Gospel: the Problem of Israel (9:1-11:36)

A. Introduction: The Tension Between God's Promises and Israel's Plight (9:1-5)

B. Defining the Promise (1): God's Sovereign Election (9:6-29)

C. Understanding Israel's Plight: Christ as the Climax of Salvation History (9:30-10:21)

1. Israel, the Gentiles, and the Righteousness of God (9:30-10:13)

a. The Righteousness of God and the "Law of Righteousness" (9:30-33)

b. The Righteousness of God and "Their Own Righteousness" (10:1-4)

c. Gospel and Law (10:5-13)

2. Israel's Accountability (10:14-21)

D. Summary: Israel, the "Elect," and the "Hardened" (11:1-10)

E. Defining the Promise (2): The Future of Israel (11:11-32)

1. God's Purpose in Israel's Rejection (11:11-15)

2. The Interrelationship of Jews and Gentiles: A Warning to Gentile Believers (11:16-24)

3. The Salvation of "All Israel" (11:25-32)

F. Conclusion: Praise to God in Light of His Awesome Plan (11:33-36)

Class Resources
  • This lesson offers a deep dive into Paul's Letter to the Romans, revealing its pastoral aims, Paul's intentions to visit Spain, Jerusalem, and Rome, and its relevance to early Christian dynamics and theological inquiries about the Law in Christ's time.
  • This lesson offers a fresh view of Paul's theology, focusing on Romans. It emphasizes the first-century context, highlighting Gentile inclusion and unity in Christ, challenging traditional views. Gain insights into Paul's message and its relevance today.
  • Explore the book of Romans for modern faith conflicts: balance tradition with contemporary practices, learn from history, and grasp Paul's ministry and Gospel's complexities.
  • Follow along with Dr. Moo as he begins a thorough review of Romans 1:2-5. You will learn how Paul emphasizes Jesus' earthly life, resurrection, and his appointment as the Son of God in power. This lesson examines the interconnectedness of faith and obedience, underscoring that while faith initiates salvation, genuine faith inherently entails obedience to Christ as Lord, maintaining a balanced Christian life.
  • By delving into Romans 1:16-17, you'll understand the Gospel extends beyond individual salvation, encompassing God's reign over creation and His establishment of justice. The Gospel challenges worldly powers, offering hope and transformation to all who embrace it.
  • Listen along as the class discusses questions and answers revolving around Romans 1:16-17.
  • In Romans 1:18-28, you learn that all people are held accountable by God, having knowledge of Him through natural revelation but some turn away. This passage highlights the manifestation of God's wrath against sin, the exchange of truth for falsehoods, and the absence of excuses for humanity's actions, ultimately emphasizing God's fair judgment.
  • Listen in as the class and Dr. Moo discuss aspects of Romans 1:18-28.
  • The lesson discusses Romans 2:1-11, it highlights the use of the diatribe device and the transition from focusing on Gentiles to Jews. It underscores the Jewish belief in their special status and their potential misunderstanding of God's judgment. The lesson reviews the focus of the text on key themes such as judgment, righteousness, and the relationship between faith and good deeds.
  • In this lesson, you'll review the significance of the Law, notably the Law of Moses, in God's judgment. Paul stresses that mere knowledge of the Law isn't sufficient for righteousness; obedience is key. The primary message is that salvation ultimately relies on God's grace and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as human efforts and consciences alone cannot secure salvation. This lesson highlights the importance of understanding these concepts in interactions with people of different religious beliefs.
  • The key takeaway in this lesson is that while being a Jew comes with a great heritage, it doesn't guarantee salvation. Obedience to God's law is crucial, and reliance on religious heritage or rituals won't save you. The lesson emphasizes the universal human condition of being under the power of sin, and people cannot be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the Law or by the works of the Law. Only through faith in Christ are we made righteous.
  • This lesson explores the New Perspective on Paul, emphasizing that the Law was for Jewish covenant status, not just salvation. It promotes a holistic faith view, balancing vertical and horizontal aspects, Spirit-led obedience, and 1st-century Judaism diversity, enriching Pauline teachings in the church.
  • In exploring Romans 3:21-26, you'll gain insights into the relationship between righteousness, faith, and salvation. Paul highlights God's righteousness, which is accessible to all through faith in Jesus Christ. By weaving together themes of righteousness, faith, and inclusivity, Paul challenges conventional Jewish and Gentile perspectives, emphasizing the continuity of God's salvation plan while underscoring the centrality of faith in Christ for all believers.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insights into the potential challenge in translating Romans 3:23-24, particularly the term "all" and its connection to the debate on universalism in evangelicalism. Dr. Moo stresses the importance of coherence in biblical interpretation and explores the themes of God's righteousness, faith, and grace in justification. The lesson reviews the cultural background of redemption, drawing parallels with the Greco-Roman slave market and emphasizing the need to understand both the problem of sin and the Gospel solution.
  • Embarking on this lesson, you'll gain insight into the historical development and contemporary challenges surrounding the doctrine of justification. Through exploring classic Reformation principles and contemporary reassessments, you'll understand the tensions between Protestant and Roman Catholic perspectives, particularly regarding the infusion of righteousness and the role of grace.
  • The lesson explores the intricate connection between faith and works, justification, and sanctification in contemporary theological discourse. It delineates divergent views on justification, with scholars like Piper advocating for the preservation of biblical distinctions amidst modern theological trends. The lesson examines key questions regarding the meaning, basis, time, and means of justification.
  • Students in Dr. Moo's class ask multiple questions about justification.
  • By studying Romans 3:27-4:25, you gain insight into Paul's theology, where faith, exemplified by Abraham's righteousness, transcends works and ethnicity, emphasizing the universal scope of salvation through Christ.
  • Hear the questions the students ask regarding Romans 3:27–4:25. And discover Dr. Moo's answers to the questions posed.
  • In Romans 5 – 8, you gain insights into profound theological concepts like justification, identity in Christ, and the tension between present reality and future hope, guiding you to embrace your changed identity and hope for future transformation amidst life's trials.
  • Students as deep questions about Romans 5-8. Hear what Dr. Moo presents as answers to their questions.
  • Through Romans 5:1-11, you'll review the contrast between the Old and New Realms, understanding the essence of living in grace, finding hope amid suffering, and experiencing the assurance of eternal security rooted in Christ's sacrifice and God's love poured into believers' hearts by the Holy Spirit.
  • In Romans 5:12-21, Paul contrasts Adam's sin with Christ's redemptive grace, emphasizing humanity's hope and victory over death through union with Christ, while various interpretations of original sin underscore the universal need for redemption and Christ's pivotal role in restoring humanity to God.
  • Listen to the thorough questions the students ask regarding Romans 5:12-21.
  • The students ask excellent questions of Dr. Moo in this insightful discussion on Romans 6:1-14.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain a deeper understanding of the theological implications of Christ's death and resurrection as explained in Romans 6. You will explore different interpretations of Paul's language regarding the old self and the new self, considering the implications for the Christian life. Ultimately, you will be challenged to recognize your identity in Christ and to actively live according to that identity, rejecting the slavery of sin and embracing servitude to God.
  • Hear the questions the students ask of Dr. Moo regarding Romans 6:1-23.
  • In diving into Romans 7, you'll explore the Law's role in Christian life. Paul's discourse clarifies the distinction between law and gospel, emphasizing the Torah's significance in understanding divine commandments.

Dr. Douglas Moo, from Wheaton College Graduate School, offers an exegetical examination of the book of Romans. This course was recorded during a D.Min. seminar at the Carolina Graduate School of Divinity in May 2012.

Please note that the audio mp3 file numbers on downloaded files are two greater than each lecture number beginning with number 15.

This transcript follows the main points of the speaker but is not always word-for-word.

Romans 11:11-15

Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 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! I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?



A. Israel Will Become Jealous of the Gentiles: In our last lecture, we looked at Romans 11:1-10 where Paul focuses on the present status of Israel and then with Romans 11 in general Paul explains why so many Jews are not entering the kingdom. But he says that God hasn’t rejected his people whom he foreknew. God had entered into a certain relationship with Israel, Paul is saying, which is still valid. God is not going to forget about those commitments. So, in Romans 11:1-10, you have this idea of a remnant that Paul develops. God, even now, is bringing Jews into a saving relationship with Christ. They are becoming part of this new people of God. So, God is now working in Israel. Let’s look at that summary verse in 11:7. What the people of Israel sought so earnestly, they didn’t obtain. This is that generalization we see Paul is using in Romans 9-11 and so looking at this generalization, there still has not been any great movement of the Jews to embrace Jesus as their savior. But Paul breaks this down almost correcting it somewhat, saying that the elect among them did. Some of those Jewish people whom God has chosen are part of the remnant by grace and by faith, but others were hardened. This leads to the question that brings us into the next section of the letter. Have they stumbled so as to fall beyond recovery? (Verse 11) A hardening has taken place. Many Jewish people seem to be excluded and is this situation a permanent one? Not at all, Paul says; rather because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. It was back at the end of chapter 10 that Paul introduces the idea of envy or jealousy? Paul quoted from Deuteronomy, in verse 19, I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a people that has no understanding. So Paul picks up the Deuteronomy concept, this idea that Moses talks about in regards to how God is going to use those who are not part of the people of God to make Israel envious. Paul says that this has now become true in his day.


B. There Are Greater Riches to Come for the Gentiles and the World: That is the fulfilment here.  But if their lost means riches for the Gentiles, how much more riches will their (the Jews) full inclusion bring?  So Paul introduces the key sequence; that he is going to play with and repeat, varying it but remaining faithful to it through verse 32. This is kind of the key building block of what Paul is teaching in this whole section. First, there is the Jewish rejection of Christ; look at verse 11; it was because of their transgression. The word ‘their’ refers to the people of Israel in the context. So, because of their transgression, salvation comes to the Gentiles. But that salvation in turn will bounce back to Israel. It has the purpose in God’s providential plan to make Jews envious. In verse 12, Paul repeats the same thing; if their transgression means riches for the world and their lost means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring? You see how this is grounded in the text? So, Paul is clearly talking about what is happening in his day. As he and the other apostles have preached the Gospel, there has been wise spread Jewish rejection of Christ. Their transgression or lost as he describes it later on; this rejection has led to salvation for the Gentiles. Remember in the Book of Acts how this happens again and again. I think Paul is reflecting on his experience of preaching the Gospel. Remember how he would go to a town and usually try to find a synagogue; he would talk about Jesus the Messiah for several weeks where a few Jews would respond and eventually the Jewish leaders pushed him out the door. So Paul would then turn to the Gentiles. Then he would begin proclaiming the Gospel among the Gentile population with a much greater reception. So, Paul’s history in preaching the Gospel has been with some Jewish response but with a much great Gentile response. He has seen this sequence himself in his own experience. Jews reject Christ and then salvation comes to the Gentiles.


C. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles Doesn’t Exclude his Concern for the Jews: So, this is where Paul is, it seems. He says that this has the design to make Jews envious and then ultimately have Jews included in the Kingdom. Verse 12; their lost means riches for the Gentiles; how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring? Their full inclusion and the greater riches, this is language of life and death as we will see this used in a moment. He uses various things to talk about that. We will see this sequence again and again and so we need to understand what it is doing and appreciate where Paul is going with this. In verses 13 and 14, you have Paul doing something that is pretty rare in Romans. Paul develops his argument with very little direct application. He sort of puts the burden on us to see what the application is. He is developing his teaching and his theology as he talks about the Gospel and its significance where he doesn’t usually pause to explain how a person need to respond to this. But here we have one of those places where Paul does in fact stop and provide more explanation. He sort of steps aside saying that he was talking to the Gentiles; in as much I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take  pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. We touched on this in the last few lessons. Paul is known in the early church as the apostle to the Gentiles. Even in his call back on the Damascus Road, he is clearly willing to preach to his fellow Jews, but the focus is on his preaching to the Gentiles. The Book of Acts shows over and over again how Paul was used by God to bring the Gospel to the Gentile population. He writes to the Roman Christians; they are going to know that this is his reputation. You could imagine some of those Gentile Christians in Romans saying, ‘Oh! Paul is one of our Guys!’ He knows that history has moved on and that God is no longer concerned about the Jews. Israel is past history. Look at Paul, who is focusing on the Gentiles, the new thing that God is doing. We are the center now of what God is doing in the world. It is we Gentiles, not you Jews!


D. The More He Preaches to the Gentiles, the More He Hopes the Jews Will Come to Christ: Yeah, Paul is saying that he is proud that he is the apostle to the Gentiles. I glory in the ministry but in light of what Paul has said, my ministry to Gentiles ultimately has the goal of dealing with the Jews as well. The more I preach salvation to the Gentiles, the more Israel will become envious and some of them are going to be saved through my ministry. (One student says that this seems to be a personal reflection by Paul.) Paul obviously as a person even though inspired by God as he wrote the letters that we have, he has developed in his thinking and theology. It wasn’t all given to him in one moment on the Damascus Road. His theology evolved and developed over the years as he had to think about the different pastoral situations he was faced with. He tries to understand what God was doing now.  How is he using me now? However, I don’t think Paul ever saw himself as someone who left his Israelite roots. I think that there is evident in all of his letters he never stopped thinking of himself as a Jew and having a concern for his Jewish brothers and sisters. Partly again, this is because of his roots in the Old Testament itself. Paul is dealing with Scripture which talks a lot about Israel. He knows this as he tries to work out the implications of the Gospel. Yes, Gentiles are obviously being brought in and God is using me to do that, but that can never mean the abandoning of Israel because that would mean abandoning the Old Testament. (One student comments on the use of words like jealousy and envy in reference to the Jews) But Paul does use these words and so I don’t think we can get around the idea that Paul thinks that some Jews are going to see Gentiles join the blessings of God as a new covenant people of God and are going to want that for themselves. They will be jealous of the fact that Gentiles are enjoying it and they aren’t. But, in looking around, we perhaps think that there isn’t a whole lot of Jews that think that way today. There is, however, a significant Messianic Jewish movement that we are all familiar with, but there isn’t a lot of that going on. But this seems to be the idea.


E. The Gospel is Life from the Dead: In Scripture the idea of zeal and jealousy are closely related; sometimes the same vocabulary is used for both. Sometimes, there’s a challenge to know what it is in any given text; is it talking about zeal for God or jealousy. But as Paul uses the language here, it does seem to be jealousy or an envy idea that he is talking about. So, you have Paul’s person reflection and also you begin to sense Paul’s concern in his theology here. At this point he is writing to the Gentiles, not the Jews. My concern is that you Gentile Christians are getting the wrong idea about what God is doing. We will see him coming back to this point. Meanwhile in verse 15, we have another repetition of a sequence. If their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? This phrase ‘life from the dead,’ is a kind of critical linchpin in what Romans 11 ultimately is teaching. The phrase can have two different senses: it can refer to present spiritual life or it can refer to future resurrection life. So, is Paul saying that Jews being included in the kingdom, a sign that there is a new spiritual life and vibrancy happening? Or, is he saying that Jews being included in the kingdom is a signal for the end time resurrection of the dead? You see that in the second view, the inclusion of Jews again would be something future and eschatological, rather than something present in our own day. Life from the dead can go either way. You could make good arguments on both sides of this. Clearly this is language that is used in Scripture and in Jewish writings that talk about the resurrection. However, it is also language that is very similar to the language Paul used in chapter 6. Verse 13 says not to offer any part of your-self to sin as an instrument of wickedness; instead offer yourself as those who have been brought from death to life. That phrase is close to the phrase we have in Romans 11, in being brought from death to life in Romans 6 clearly is talking about our present spiritual having come to life in Christ.