Sunday, April 21, 2024

Romans 11:1-12

Starting Out:
1. Have you ever had to work or compete cooperatively with someone you secretly wished had been left off the team? How did you deal with their presence?

Read Romans 11:1-6:
2. How does Paul’s logical but rhetorical question in verse 1 bring clarity to the point he is trying to make about ethnic Israel’s rejection of the gospel message? How does he answer this question within the same verse?
3. Why do you think Elijah’s experience was encouraging to Paul regarding Israel’s state of unbelief (refer to 1 Kings 19 if useful)?
4. How do we see the principle of a “remnant chosen by grace” (verse 5) at work in Elijah’s situation?
5. Why is it reassuring to know that God’s preservation of His people does not depend on our works?

Read Romans 11:7-10:
6. What is the Old Testament foundation for God’s hardening and blinding people toward His revelation that Paul gives in verses 7-8 (cf. Deut. 29:4; Isa. 29:10)?
7. Who is ultimately in control of both the Gentiles’ reception and the Jews’ rejection of the gospel (vv. 7-10)? What are the implications of this reality for us today?
8. What does Paul’s quotation in verses 9-10 of David’s prayer from Psalm 69:22-23 say about the seriousness of unbelief and God’s purposes in judgment?

Read Romans 11:11-12:
9. What is the purpose of Israel’s stumbling according to verse 11? How does the salvation of the Gentiles work toward Israel’s good in the long run?
10. How does Paul reason from the good news of the lesser reality to the better news of the greater reality in verse 12? What does this passage teach us about God’s trustworthy character and the nature of living by faith rather than by sight (cf. 2 Cor. 5:7)?

Taking it Home:
11. When has raising a huge or difficult question like Paul does in verse 1 helped you come to a deeper understanding of the gospel and God’s character?
12. How does knowing from verse 5 that God preserves a remnant of faithful believers encourage us to persevere in ministry and evangelism?
13. How does Paul’s hopeful attitude toward ethnic Jews in Romans 11 correct our tendency to “write off” or “give up” on certain types of people coming to faith in Christ?

Other Scriptures to engage with this week:
Acts 10, 2 Corinthians 5:34-43