Sunday, June 29, 2014

Paul's Epistles Part 22 – Israel's Unbelief

Paul's Epistles
Part 22 – Israel's Unbelief
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
We are going to look at the Epistles of Paul in this series of sermons. In Chapter 6 we looked at Paul telling us to be Dead to Sin, and Alive in Christ and that we are Slaves to Righteousness, Released from the Law and Bound to Christ, That which I hate, I do, Life in the Spirit, Present Suffering and Future Glory, More than Conquerors, Paul's Anguish Over Israel, Justice and Mercy.

Today we will take a look at Romans 9, and Israel's Unbelief.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE Romans 9:30-33
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:
“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall,
    and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

Here we read of Paul's anguish over Israel, and God's sovereign choice.


                   I.            WHAT SHALL WE SAY THEN?
a.      Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness
                                                                         i.      In Jews eyes, righteousness could only be obtain by works

                                                                      ii.      Specifically, the work of keeping the 10 Commands

                                                                   iii.      Paul has shown though, Commands were created to show our sin
1.      Commands do not save
2.      Commands only lead to death

3.      Anytime Paul tried to keep Commands, to obtain righteousness by his "works", he was turning his back on the New Covenant, and Christ, the "Law of the Spirit", to return to the Old Covenant and the works of the flesh.
4.      Paul also pointed out, every time he did this; he failed, because he was living by his flesh, rather than by the Spirit of God.


b.     So Gentiles, who did to obtain righteousness, got it.
                                                                         i.      That is, they did not try to obtain righteousness by following the work of their flesh in keeping the Commands.

                                                                      ii.      They did, however, obtain it, through faith, just as the Old and New Covenant both explain.

                                                                   iii.      Their faith in Christ.


c.      Our righteousness, and the righteousness of Christ
                                                                         i.      "All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind our sins sweep us away." - Isaiah 64:6

                                                                      ii.      Unless we have received Christ, our "acts of righteousness" are like filthy rags.
1.      The only righteous acts, or "works" we can ever hope to do, is through Christ.

                                                                   iii.      Good works do not obtain righteousness; rather, they are a result of it.



               II.            RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH, NOT WORKS
a.      Proper faith can only be exercised by accepting Christ
                                                                         i.      Which Israel rejected


b.     Israel tried to obtain righteousness by their performance
                                                                         i.      Which will never measure up

                                                                      ii.      God's Commands cannot be kept by anyone but Christ



c.      Paul explained a few chapters ago about his experience
                                                                         i.      With faith in Christ, you receive righteousness

                                                                      ii.      When you try to rely on works (keeping the Commands), you are trying to live by the flesh, not the spirit, and you will fall because you have turned your back on the New Covenant, to return to the Old.

                                                                   iii.      You will fail every time, because you are relying on your flesh instead of the Lord's strength.

                                                                     iv.      "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13

                                                                        v.      John 15:5,6 " “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned."

1.      Can a Follower of Christ walk away from his salvation?
2.      According to Jesus, yes.

3.      To remain in Christ, means you are in Christ to begin with. You cannot "remain" in something you are not in.
a.      Jesus says, if you do not REMAIN IN ME, you will be thrown into the fire and burned.

b.     Revelation 19:20; 20:10, 14-15, 20
"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."

"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever."

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
            III.            THE STUMBLING BLOCK
a.      They (Israel) stumbled over the stumbling stone
                                                                         i.      This shows there is but one way, and that is through Christ, which all the sacrifices represented.
1.      Psalm 78:35 "And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer."

                                                                      ii.      Paul then quotes Isaiah 8:14 “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
1.      Not that God was trying to make them stumble, but that the Stone He placed there, would be what they stumbled upon.

                                                                   iii.      Jesus Christ is that Stone.
1.      He was not the Savior they wanted.
2.      They needed salvation from sin, but they wanted something else.


b.     The one who believes in him, will never be put to shame
                                                                         i.      This shows that ALL who come to receive Salvation will be accepted.
                                                                      ii.      No one will be turned away in shame and rejected by Christ.
                                                                   iii.      Salvation is open to all, not just a select predestined few as many teach.


c.      Is Christ your stumbling block?
                                                                         i.      Have you accepted Him as the only solution to your sin?
1.      or are you still trying to live by your works?

                                                                      ii.      Are you living by the spirit?
1.      or are you still following your flesh and its desires?

                                                                   iii.      Have you allowed God's Holy Spirit to be your righteousness?
1.      or are you self-righteous?

                                                                     iv.      Instead of Christ being your stumbling block, make Him your foundation.
1 Corinthians 3:11
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.


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