Discussion Guide for Romans 11:1-32
The Bible is a complete history of God’s story of salvation. The story begins with the creation and fall of man and concludes with the return of Jesus Christ to gather his people into a literal kingdom.
Today we sit at a point in history where we are watching salvation unfold.
God’s covenant for salvation once centered around the nation of Israel. Now it centers in the visible body of Jesus Christ – the global church. Romans 11 is a key text for helping us to understand how and why this shift occurred.
The New Testament background for Romans 11 can be found in the preaching of John the Baptist.
The religious and cultural elites of the Jewish people were counting on their DNA, heritage, and customs to gain favor with God. They ignored the message of the prophets- that God is only pleased by faith, obedience, and repentance.
John the Baptist
John came as the greatest and final prophet to present the Messiah to the nation of Israel. His message was a warning to the religious and cultural elites of his day.
Then John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit worthy of repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax lies ready at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
– Luke 3:7-10
John’s prophecy was fulfilled within forty years of his beheading. The Roman general Titus oversaw the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD.
Israel demonstrated the human condition of spiritual arrogance. Arrogance will eventually be met with the judgment and humiliation of God. Many of us can bear testimony of that in our own personal lives.
The Good News is that God even uses our own arrogance to cause people to long for His salvation. The arrogance of the nation of Israel has been used for the salvation of Jews and Gentiles alike.
- What is a remnant? (Romans 11:5)
- How does Paul see himself as a remnant of Israel?
- What role does a remnant play as a witness to others? (Romans 11:13-14)
- In what ways does the church act as a remnant in our own society?
- How does God use the church to bless the world? (Romans 11:16)
- Why does Paul use grafting tree branches as a metaphor? (Rom. 11:17-24)
- How does the imagery of being grafted in cause us to be humble?
- How does Romans 11 help you appreciate the Old Testament?
Related Message: God is Sovereign Over Sin
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