Note: If you are looking for any posts you have missed, or a FREE copy of the study guide, you can find the table of contents by clicking here.
Below are my thoughts for each of the chapters we studied this week along with the answers to the questions I posted in the study guide.
Also, make sure that you get a copy of the coloring page I have pasted below. Have a great weekend!
Questions and Answers…
In what 3 ways was the Israelites zeal misplaced?
They were ignorant of God’s righteousness.
They tried to establish their own righteousness.
They didn’t submit themselves to the righteousness of God that comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
What is the difference between righteousness by the law and righteousness by faith?
In Matthew 5:20 Jesus said, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
This doesn’t mean that we have to work harder than the Scribes and Pharisees did to establish our righteousness, but rather that righteousness by faith exceeds righteousness by the law.
This righteousness is imputed (freely given) to us through faith in Jesus. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (v. 10)
With the law of Moses came a lot of demands—rituals, traditions, things you could eat and things you couldn’t, burnt sacrifices, commandments, holy days, and the list went on. The scribes and Pharisees were zealous in their religious observance, but couldn’t possibly fulfill all that the law required of them. The more rules and traditions they kept, the more righteous they deemed themselves.
Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law when He gave himself as a blameless for our sins. Therefore Paul writes, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth,” (Romans 10:4) )
Back in Romans 3:20-21, Paul wrote, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.”
Some might think that the law was plan A and Jesus plan B. Explain why this isn’t the case.
Because of God’s infinite wisdom, we can be certain He knew from the beginning that a) Adam would sin b) the law would prove all men guilty of sin c) Jesus Christ would be glorified through His death and resurrection.
“God’s will and purposes aren’t random. They pursue a single objective: the glory of Christ. Nowhere better are the riches of God’s eternal wisdom on display than in the person and work of Jesus Christ, in whom “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” Steve Ham, Answers in Genesis.
“Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.” – John 13:31-32
And in fact, we see the first promise of the coming redeemer (thousands of years before the law) and the first of many prophecies in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
The law was put in place to show man their need for redemption and to point them to the coming Messiah, but it could never provide that redemption.
What does it mean to submit to God’s righteousness?
The righteousness of God comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. To submit to God’s righteousness is to submit to His Son.
What must one do to be saved?
Romans 10:9 says, “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.”
This doesn’t mean that we simply recite the words, but rather that we believe the words that we say. If we believe that Jesus is Lord, then we give Him authority over our lives. This is where repentance and transformation takes place in the life of a believer.
The resurrection illustrates God’s sovereign power over life and death. To believe in His resurrection is to believe that He is the God that He claimed to be. To believe in His resurrection is to validate the prophecies that pointed to the One Who would take away the sin of the world. This is the cornerstone of our faith as it brings hope to every believer.
“The resurrection of Jesus is God’s declaration to Israel and to the world that we cannot work our way to glory but that he intends to do the impossible to get us there.” – John Piper
What does “believing in your heart” mean?
To believe isn’t simply to know (as Satan himself knows who Jesus is) but to put your trust in Him. To believe that He is who He said He was, and to lay your life down at his feet.
The word “believe” is used in two ways.
One use is without an object and one is used with an object. In this case, Jesus is the object of our belief.
“To have confidence or faith in the truth of [Jesus].” (Dictionary.com) When we believe in Jesus, we believe in His Word. We believe that He calls us to repentance, and we believe that righteousness comes by faith.
How does the Word of God work to increase one’s faith?
Paul is saying here that in order for people to come to faith, they had to be given the gospel. We can’t put our faith in something we know nothing about. And so the gospel must be spread and it must be heard.
Matthew Henry adds, “Somebody must show them what they are to believe. How welcome the gospel ought to be to those to whom it was preached! The gospel is given, not only to be known and believed, but to be obeyed. It is not a system of notions, but a rule of practice. The beginning, progress, and strength of faith is by hearing. But it is only hearing the word, as the word of God that will strengthen faith.”
Why is the spread of the gospel so important to Paul?
People will not respond to the Word if they don’t hear it. People will not hear the Word if it’s not preached.
What is the difference between believing in Jesus and having faith in Jesus?
When we believe in Jesus, we believe in His Word. We give Him authority in our lives. Having faith is following His word whether it makes sense to us or not.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
In this video, I interview Pastor Dan Krebs from Trulife Ministries. Dan has been a minister for 27 years. During those years he has passionately studied the messianic faith.
He brings a wealth of information to this Bible study as we discuss Romans chapter 11.
Find Pastor Dan Krebs facebook page here: Facebook.com/PastorDanKrebs
Questions and Answers…
Has God cast away the Israelites? What evidence do you have to support your answer?
No. God has not cast away His people. In fact, Paul himself was an Isrealite.
Paul writes, “I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” (v. 1)
Many of the Jews had rejected Christ, but as we see in the book of Acts, there was still a remnant of Israelites who followed Jesus and preached the gospel.
“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” (5)
In verse 7 Paul writes, “Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” What were they seeking?
They were seeking righteousness by their own merit. The more religious they were in their practice of the law, the more righteous they thought they would be.
What they failed to accept was that righteousness is imputed freely to believers through faith in Jesus Christ.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21
What is the definition of grace in the context that Paul is using it here?
Grace is “the unmerited favor of God toward mankind.” It’s not something we earn or deserve. It’s a gift.
Paul tells us to pay attention to two things in verse 22. Why are each of these important?
The goodness and the severity of God.
John MacArthur writes, “God’s temporarily setting Israel aside was a definite premonition. Paul here gives a stern warning to the Gentiles about having the same kind of arrogant, presumptuous pride that caused unbelieving Israel’s removal from blessing. God did not judge Israel and offer the gospel to the Gentiles because Jews are inherently more unrighteous and unworthy or because Gentiles are inherently more righteous and worthy (cf. Rom. 2:14-15). That is the reverse of the view Jews had long had of Gentiles.
It did not take long for early Gentile Christians to be tempted to scorn the Jews because they had scorned Christ. That notion poured fuel on the fire of anti-Semitism that had existed in many Gentile nations and cultures for countless centuries.”
A remnant of Israel was chosen by God to partake in His grace. What did the others receive?
God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; unto this day. (v. 8)
Many Jews had a false sense of security that led to destruction. What was it based on?
The table that David is referring to in verse 9 may be one of two things:
A table of feasting. This can also denote a celebration. This picture of celebrating and feasting is a symbol of the security they felt they had. Rather than putting their faith in God however, their faith was in their heritage.
An altar of sacrifice. Believing that the works of the law and the sacrifices therein would save them, they set about to establish their own righteousness.
What was God’s purpose in allowing Israel to stumble?
Notice that in verse 25, Paul uses the words, “in part.” This is important because many Jews at that time were following Christ, while others had stumbled. Through their fall salvation came to the Gentiles. The purpose of this was to provoke the Jews to jealousy.
“It is a matter for profound regret that just as Israel refused to accept this salvation when it was offered to them, so the Gentiles have all too often refused to make Israel envious. Instead of showing to God’s ancient people the attractiveness of the Christian way, Christians have characteristically treated the Jews with hatred, prejudice, persecution, malice, and all uncharitableness. Christians should not take this passage calmly.” (Morris)
How can the inclusion of the Gentiles be a benefit to the Israelites?
As we see in verse 26, God’s plan for Israel is that they would eventually be restored. The inclusion of the Gentiles is one of the ways God is using to lure Israel (His “first born son”) back.
As Gentiles, we need to walk in humility, to pray for Israel, and to bless them. We must respect the root of the tree into which we’ve been grafted.
“For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?” (v. 24)
Is God finished with the Israelites? What is the “mystery” that Paul writes about in this chapter?
Blindness in part has come upon the Jews, but as we see in verse 26, God will restore them.
“This states clearly for us that God is not finished with Israel as a nation or a distinct ethnic group. Though God has turned the focus of His saving mercies away from Israel on to the Gentiles, He will turn it back again. – David Guzik
The mystery is the removal of the wall between the Jews and the Gentiles. The idea that the Jews and the Gentile would be one in Christ wasn’t fully understood until this time. Even now we are still learning.
Questions and Answers…
What does Paul say is our reasonable service?
To present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
What is a living sacrifice?
A living sacrifice is giving God complete control of our lives. In order to do that we must be willing to mortify the deeds of the flesh. A living sacrifice conforms herself to God’s will and turns her back on this world:
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16
The Bible tells us that the “flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want,” (Galatians 5:17, NIV) and so we must crucify the flesh to walk in the Spirit.
Paul writes, “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” – 1 Corinthians 9:27
What kind of transformation is Paul talking about in verse 2? And, how can we go about doing this, or does the Holy Spirit do this?
The Spirit is our guide. It leads us in paths of righteousness, but in order to follow His lead, we must be willing to surrender our lives to God’s will, and to sacrifice anything that stands in the way.
This transformation is a lifelong exercise as day by day we turn our back on sin to follow the Spirit.
What are some of the gifts that God has given you? How are they different from those around you?
God has given me a gift of writing, which is interesting because I never dreamed I’d grow up to be a writer. In fact, it’s probably the area of education I struggled with most. God uses the broken pieces of our lives for His glory and honor.
With this gift, I’ve been able to minister to women. And even then, the ministry He calls me to is still still unfolding day by day.
I see others around me who share the gospel so eloquently. I’ve never been gifted in speaking the Word as much as I have been in writing them down.
What does verse 8 teach us about using our gifts?
That we shouldn’t be ignoring them, but rather that we should be using our gifts to the best of our ability according to the grace that’s been given to us.
What does Paul say about living peaceably with others?
We are to live peaceably with others, whenever it’s possible. In other words, sometimes it’s not possible. Sometimes we have tried everything we can to live in peace and the unrest is still there. In that case we must take Paul’s words to heart and bless those who persecute us (v. 14). We must love those who hate us, bless those that curse us, and pray for those who despise us.
What are the commandments we find in verses 9-21?
Let love be without dissimulation
Abhor that which is evil
Cleave to that which is good
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another
Don’t be slothful in business
Be fervent in spirit; serving the Lord
Rejoice in hope
Be patient in tribulation; continuing in prayer
Distribute to the necessity of saints
Bless them which persecute you–don’t curse them
Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep (be compassionate)
Live in harmony with others
Don’t think your better than others, but condescend to men of low estate
Don’t be conceited
Recompense to no man evil for evil
Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord
If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he’s thirsty, give him a drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head
Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
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