• Paul wrote Romans about 25 years after the leaders of Israel had crucified Jesus, God’s Christ - the Messiah.
• By the time Romans was written (57 A.D.) it was obvious that not only the Jewish leaders, but the vast majority of Jewish people (Abraham’s physical descendants) were being rejected by God.
• Instead of calling Jews to be His children, God for the most part was calling Gentiles unto salvation.
• This was evidenced by the fact that:
– The Jews, for the most part, were rejecting the Gospel
– While the Gentiles were coming into the church in large numbers
• This was a perplexing problem in Paul’s day: How could the rejection of the great majority of the Jewish people be explained?
– Had God not made definite promises to Abraham, the father of the Jews, to bless his seed, his descendants?
– Had God not blessed Israel above all other nations?
– Of all the peoples of the world, had He not entrusted His written Word, the Old Testament Scriptures, to the Jews alone?
– Was it not Israel God had given the Mosaic Law, the tabernacle and temple worship, the promises, etc.?
– According to the promises made to Abraham and under the terms of the covenant at Mount Sinai, were not the Jews His people and was He not their God?
• In view of such a past, what explanation could be given for Israel’s rejection and the inclusion of Gentiles in their place as the people of God?
It is this problem which Paul addresses in Romans 9-11:
• 9:1-29 - Paul explains the ultimate cause of the rejection of Israel and the salvation of the Gentiles:
– God’s sovereign choice by which He elects to save some and condemn others (though all are deserving of condemnation). God never set out to save all the physical descendants of the patriarchs, it was always the “children of promise” that were saved.
• 9:30-10:21 - Paul explains the immediate cause of the rejection of Israel and the salvation of the Gentiles:
– The different manner in which the two groups were responding to the gospel:
• The Jews were stumbling at Christ - they were looking to the Law and not to the Gospel for salvation and thus were perishing.
• The Gentiles, on the other hand, were believing in Him.
• 11:1-36 - Israel’s Rejection is Neither Total Nor Final
– Neither total - Because some Jews (such as Paul) had been saved
– Nor final - Because God still has an unsaved remnant of elect Jews (among those who are now rejecting the gospel) that he will save in the future.