Read Romans 11:1-10
We are shown that God perseveres us with His love! The Jew's failed just as many of us Christians do, God still has you in His hands. Even in the darkest days of Israel's past, there always was a remnant who Loved and trusted God. Thus we are warned not to be prideful in our faith, thinking we are entitled or that we deserved it or think we are better than others. We are not! We are saved because of His grace and choosing only, nothing of what we earned, so we have no reason to boast or brag. Being prideful and arrogant is a slap in the face of our good and great God! We are to exercise humbleness and reset ourselves to the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, to His example of goodness. We my not understand God's plans and purposes, but we can rest assured in His love, that He is there loving us even when we do not feel it or see it; He is there! Glorious times will come if not in this life, then in the life to come. Paul even in his sufferings adores the depths of God's wisdom, and the glory of His persevering love. God's judgments are pure and perfect, He is sovereign, so we have firm reason to trust Christ and cast away our anxieties and fears.
· God does not reject us; rather, it is us who reject Him, He goes out of His way to give us the grace we do not deserve. He gives us His Way, even though we continue to fight against Him by hardening our hearts and rejecting His Truth and precepts. His people have killed His messengers and prophets, rejected His teachings and refused to accept His love and grace. Wow, what a great comfort!
· Wow, what a Great God we do indeed have! Just as God gave comfort to Elijah who has felt he was the only one of God left, God tells him there are still seven thousand who remained faithful in Israel's darkest hour (1 Kings 19). The darkness they created for themselves by rejecting Him. God was still there with His loving kindness for them, with His patience while the people throw their contempt and disrepute in His face.
· God has not cast away, this means God does not reject us; rather we reject Him! Never lose sight of who you are in Christ, and the magnitude and wonder of the gift of your salvation!
· He foreknew, God is all knowing, all loving and has a purpose for you; He knows you more deeply than you can ever imagine (Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9). Do not fear this; rather thank God who is the One to go to in times of stress and times of success! Never lose the promises of God, and that He is God and you are not!
· God is omniscient, omnipotent, that is all knowing and all powerful; His incredible greatness. This applies to us. No matter what we are going through, God is there through the valleys and the mountain tops, and the roads between. When we have a healthy grasp on God's power and authority, it gives us a correct confidence to persevere through battles and difficulties, as well as to stay firm in Him when things are going great.
· God is our strength, and heartbeat, and vision for life, regardless of our understanding. This all translates into our testimonies, always know of their incredible impact, as Paul used, as non-Christians need. Personal evidence is what ways juror's use the most in court, as what Paul used, as what God uses in each other's lives. Testimonies are the proof text to God's power working in people!
· Even Israel has a future, God has not rejected them, even though they rejected Christ, and Paul uses himself as the proof (Isa. 29:10; 1 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 3:5-6; 1 Tim. 1:16). God always had Israel in His plan, even in their darkest hour of rejecting Him (Gen. 12:1-3; Duet. 29:3; 32:21; Isa. 1:9; 6:9-13; 7:3; 10:20-22; 11:11-16; 42:6).
· The election of grace, this tells us that God will accept us by works or by faith, not by both! However; no one has or ever will be able to do it by works. Try if you must, but it will fail! We reject God, He does not reject us. He elects us, we do not elect Him; and these two seemingly contradictory philosophies go together like peanut butter and jelly. Remember God transcends the universe and time, our extremely limited intellect cannot fathom God, we only know what He has reveled. God has blinded people who have rejected His grace, not visa versa (Rom. 9:19-29; Eph. 2:8-9).
· Harden, God hardened Israel as He hardened Pharaoh (Ex. 7:22; 8:19, 12, 35; 10:20, 24, 27). However, the cement was poured by their will and the catalyst to make it hard by their refusal to know and accept God. This means, He gave them up to their own will and desires. We, as well as Israel, are responsible for our choices and plans (Isa. 29:10-24; 30:10-11).
· It is never as bad as it seems! It is always better in the church, even with the hypocritical nature, and legalism; than it is in the world. We tend to want to give up, but God does not give up on us (Zech. 12:10-13:1; 14:4; Acts 1:11; 9; Rev.1:7). God always has His remnant. When you go through distressing times, by your own wrong choice, or not, God is there (1 Kings 19). Our greatest comfort is that God does not reject us, even when we reject Him. God perseveres with His love for us.
· God has given them a spirit, this refers to Psalm 69 and the blindness of the people. God is active in us, even we are not active in Him; this is a classic human sociological pattern through our entire history (Duet. 29:4; Isa.29: 10-13; Psalm 69:22-23).
· So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. Rom. 5-6
· Spurgeon said of vs. 5-6; "This is the gospel in a nutshell. He who remembers these distinctions is on the right road to sound theology." When we just know things about God and do nothing with them, is like having eyes, but being unwilling to see, having ears, but refusing to listen, while Satan uses you for his glory. Grace is once again contrasted with works (Rom. 3:20; 27-28; 4:2-6; 9:12-32).
Even when we mess up, God is there with His grace and His persevering love. If you ever have thought that God has left you out, then you have thought wrong! When we do fall astray and mess up, we will have consequences to our actions, but our salvation is secure in Him, when we are genuine in receiving His grace through faith. Thus, we should respond with a life where fear and anxiety are extinguished by the trust and fear we have of Him. Fear as in respect, awe and reverence; trust in times of uncertainty and confusion. Because we are deeply loved and pursued by the only eternal and wise God! For us we need to realize our hope and comfort is in Christ alone. He will not reject us, that power is only in our hands; rather He will lift us up when we are in Him (James 4:10)
1. When and what did you do to mess up in life?
2. Have you ever had the thought that God has left you out? If so what did it take to shake you out of it? If not what keeps you focused?
3. As a Christian what fears do you or have you had? How do you feel that you have been deeply loved and pursued by the only eternal and wise God?
4. How does God's pursuing love affect your daily activities?
5. Who are you in Christ? What are the promises of God that you take to heart?
6. How can you take comfort in that no matter what you are going through, God is there through the valleys and the mountaintops, and the roads between?
7. Why would a healthy grasp on God's power and authority, gives us confidence to persevere through battles and difficulties, as well as to stay firm in Him when things are going great?
8. What is your understanding of God's strength? Why would God's strength be important for our spiritual growth?
9. How can God's strength give you the heartbeat, and vision for life, regardless of your circumstances?
10. Do you rely on your good works, performance and what you or your family has done or by grace, or do you trust and have faith in Christ?
11. Is it possible for someone to try so hard to please God by their good works that they end up rejecting Him and His grace?
12. Have you given your testimony in public? If so how did you feel? Why are testimonies a 'proof text' to God's power working in people?
13. Have you or have you known someone who has tried to earn their salvation by works (maybe a Mormon or some Catholics)?
14. Since no one has or ever will be able to earn their way to God by works. How can you communicate to them that they will fail?
15. When we reject God, and we all do, why does He not reject us? How can God's perseverance affect you?
16. How can God's perseverance affect the way you treat others?
17. Life is never as bad as it seems! So how can you live your life knowing all things will work out (Rom. 8:28)?
18. We tend to give up to easy in life and our spiritual pursuits, but God does not give up on us. What do you need to do to make sure you and your family pursue in your spiritual growth?
19. When you go through distressing times, by your own wrong choice, or not, God is there. Do you know this to be true? If not what do you need?
20. How can your greatest comfort be in the fact that God does not reject you, even when you reject Him?
21. God is active in us; even we are not active in Him! What do you need to do to remain active in your faith and trust?
22. Why would a person have knowledge about God and do nothing with it?
23. God is omniscient, omnipotent, that is all knowing and all-powerful; His incredible greatness is proclaimed throughout the universe, just look at the pictures from the Hubble Space telescope. How does this apply to you?
24. How can you never lose sight of, and the magnitude and wonder of the gift of your salvation?
25. How should respond with a life where fear and anxiety are extinguished by the trust and fear we have of Him? When we say the fear of God, it is not what is under a child's bed; rather this fear is respect and reverence. So how can you trust Christ in times of uncertainty and confusion?
© 1998, R. J. Krejcir, Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.discipleshiptools.org/