Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 8 - Romans 11

Today's reading in our daily plan is Romans 11. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Today's chapter is another that is more difficult to understand and apply, but don't worry, Romans is about to get easier! Here is a cliff notes version of some ideas from this chapter:
    • Did God reject his people the Jews? No, there’s a remnant who have stayed true to God.
    • What about the others? They rejected God.
    • Are they beyond God‘s grace? No, God is patient with everyone.
    • Gentiles (non-Jews) who trust in Jesus are described as branches grafted into an olive tree. The idea being that previously they hadn't known or believed in God, but now some do. But they shouldn't be arrogant about this.
    • Paul says that "all Israel will be saved." People interpret this in different ways. Some believe it means that the nation of Israel will be preserved (which it has). Some think it may mean that eventually the Jews will turn to Jesus and back to God. Others think Paul is not referring to the Israel that follows in the blood-line of Abraham, but instead the "Israel" who follows in the faith of Abraham.
    • The chapter ends with a great expression of wonder at God’s wisdom.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The key factor with God is our belief. The Jews believed, then stopped, and were "cut off." The Gentiles didn't believe, then did, and so were "grafted on." The most important thing in your life is faith in God through Jesus. We need to do everything we can to continue to build up and live out our faith.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • We are done with Paul's long theological treatment that makes up the first eleven chapters of Romans. From this point on he will be much more practical. That order is actually intentional, strategic, and important for us. A part of living life right is having right theology. The way we think impacts the way we live. This is part of the reason it's so important for us to consistently read the Bible and show up at church. The more "right stuff" we put in our heads, the more we'll see it come out in the way we live our lives.