When you gave your life to Christ, you were given, you were gifted, and you were grafted. You were given salvation, given eternal life. You were gifted by the Holy Spirit certain abilities and capabilities for the mutual edification of the body of Christ.
That's the Holy Spirit. When salvation was made available to everyone, not just God's chosen people, that didn't mean God abandoned his people. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares how you are a part of God's plan to bring the nation of Israel back to himself. Now, we want to tell you about a resource that will help you unlock the riches and mysteries in God's Word. Is your personal Bible study time frustrating? Do you need direction? You can study the Bible with a plan and see progress.
Listen to this from Skip Heitzig. All of us, we have trouble with certain parts of the Bible. Sometimes it's tough. But exposure to the Bible, a consistent exposure to the Bible, and I would add on a daily basis, with a consistent desire to obey it, will do more for you than any other thing that I can think of in your Christian life. Take the mystery out of studying Scripture with Pastor Skip's book, How to Study the Bible and Enjoy It. Our thanks to you when you give $25 or more to help connect more people with this Bible teaching ministry. Get the tips and tools you need to open your eyes, mind, and heart to God's truth. You don't have to be afraid of the Bible. Get your copy of How to Study the Bible and Enjoy It by Skip Heitzig today when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Okay, we're in Romans chapter 11 as we join Skip Heitzig for today's study. When God first established the nation, who did He establish it through?
Who was the first person? Abraham. God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees, and He promised him a land. And He said, I'm going to make a great nation out of you, Abraham. I'm going to bless you. I'm going to make your name great. I'm going to bless those who bless you.
I'm going to curse those who curse you. And in you, listen to this, all the families the families of the earth will be blessed. Not some of the families, only those with a Jewish background will be blessed.
All of the families of the earth will be blessed, and my family has been blessed. This German American Gentile family has been blessed because of what Jesus did in bringing salvation. It was God's intention from the beginning to let Israel be a light to the Gentiles. Isaiah said very clearly, but they rejected God's plan. God had a plan for them. The question is, does God still have a plan for them?
According to Paul, yep, He still does have a plan for them. Even their faithlessness to Him can't cancel His faithfulness to them. In fact, it should provoke them to jealousy because salvation has come to the Gentiles now. Verse 12, if their fall is riches for the world, that is, their rejection has opened the door for non-Jewish people, the world, anybody can believe. If their fall is riches for the world and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness. If their rejection of God and His setting them aside temporarily brought such blessing to the world, can you imagine if God decided to restore them, bring them back, regather them, and cause them all to believe? What would that mean?
How much more their fullness? For I speak to you, Gentiles, inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry. It's interesting that Paul, a Jewish rabbi, became the one that God used to open the door of faith largely, though he used Peter at first with Cornelius, he used Paul as the apostle to the Gentiles. And Peter in Galatians is called the apostle to the Jews.
So you have Peter, who is from Galilee, a largely Gentile region, the apostle to the Jews, and you have Paul, a Gamaliel, Jerusalem-trained, rabbinic scholar, Hebrew of the Hebrews, tribe of Benjamin, Jewish, true blue Jew, and apostle to the Gentiles. I love it because God's call is often counterintuitive. If you wonder, Lord, why did you call me to that ministry or to that place or to that group or in this situation?
Just know that. Sometimes God calls you to do something, has a little smile on his face when he does it, because he calls you the areas you go, I don't have any experience with this. I'm not good at this. Moses, I'm calling you to lead my people. I can't even talk, Moses said. I stutter. You want me to be a spokesperson? Wrong guy. Paul, the Jewish rabbi, an apostle to the Gentiles, how much more their fullness is.
I'll get back on track. For I speak to you Gentiles, as much as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. As I said, salvation came to the Jews through a Jew. Jesus was Jewish. He was raised in a Jewish family. He was dedicated at a Jewish temple. He went to Jerusalem to go through his bar mitzvah to become a son of the commandment. He kept the Passover.
He kept the feasts of Israel. He said to the woman of Samaria, you don't know what you're worshiping. We know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews. He was a pure Jewish Messiah. It was Paul's hope, however, that because God opened the door to the Gentiles and the Gentiles were now believing in a Jewish Messiah and believing in Jewish scripture and believing in the fulfillment of Jewish feasts in Christ, that that would bother some of the Jews.
Hey, wait a minute. What are you doing worshiping my Messiah? What are you doing reading my scriptures? What are you doing reading my scriptures? Still to this day when I meet and talk to Jewish people and I mention the Old Testament and I'll quote the Old Testament, they go, oh, you read the Old Testament.
Wow. They go, wow, you seem to know it pretty well. I've had many of them say much better than I do. I didn't even know my own scriptures. It was Paul's hope that salvation to non-Jewish people in believing all things Jewish about the Messiah and the fulfillment, that would provoke them to jealousy and that that would drive them to Christ. Now, that didn't exactly happen.
It happened in some cases. Verse 15, for if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world. Again, that door is open to the world. Whosoever will, let him come. Whoever believes in him will not perish.
If their being cast away, and again, temporarily, not permanently, is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is holy. If the root is holy, so also are the branches. In Ezekiel chapter 37, which is where we left off last week, and I said to read that in advance, so if you did your homework, you're on good ground. In Ezekiel 37, in a vision, Ezekiel was taken to a large valley and he saw in this massive valley dry bones, bones of people scattered throughout the valley. And the Lord said to him, Son of Man, can these bones live? And the prophet said, you know, Lord.
It's like, you're asking me, I should be asking you that question. Thou knowest, you know. So he said, Son of Man, the Lord said, Son of Man, prophesy to these dry bones and say that breath is going to come inside of them and they're going to live again. And it was a picture of a resurrection, a national resurrection, because as the skeleton gets in place and then flesh and muscles and sinew came on this skeleton, it became a mighty army in the vision of Ezekiel chapter 37, God says that is, so will be, the house of Israel. That God will cause the house of Israel to live again, to get strong again, and to regather again.
So when he asks the question, he has that in mind. What will their acceptance be but life from the dead, a national restoration and resurrection that includes salvation in the end of days. I'll show you that as we get further on in our chapter. Verse 17, and if some of the branches were broken off and you, you Gentiles, being a wild olive tree were grafted in among them and with them became a partaker of the root and the fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches, but if you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. The reason that we can never be anti-Semitic is because we owe the Jews too much. We're reading their scriptures. We believe in their Messiah. We are holding on to the covenants God gave to their forefathers.
So we can't boast against them. They're the natural branches we, as he said, will be grafted in. I've always loved a little quip by a man named William Norman Ewer who said, how odd of God to choose the Jews. Cute little quip, how odd of God to choose the Jews.
A little rhyme. But he continues, but not so odd as those who choose the Jewish God, but not the Jews. The God that you serve is the God that made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the 12 patriarchs, David, and continues to have a plan through history for his people. So he says, do not boast against the branches. If you boast, remember you don't support the root, but the root, the Jewish nation, supports you. You will say then, branches were broken off that I may be grafted in. Well said.
Because of unbelief they were broken off. And you stand by faith. Do not be haughty but fear. Or if God did not spare the natural branches, he may not spare you either. Unbelieving Jews were not spared. Apostate Israel was not spared. And so apostate Gentiles, unbelieving Gentiles, would not be spared as well. So just because God has opened up the door of faith to the Gentiles, the Gentile still has to believe and come by faith. That's how one is saved. For Jew or Gentile.
So we're not to boast. Now he's giving an analogy that anybody in that part of the world would understand, and if you're a farmer or you have a background in this, you probably understand as well. The olive crop was important and still is in the Mediterranean cultures. Countries all around the Mediterranean Sea grow and harvest olives. I've told you before that olive trees can grow to hundreds of years old.
In fact, thousands of years old in some cases. And you will see these enormous trees, these wide trunked tree of an olive. And you go, boy that's probably got to be 10, 12 feet in diameter. But when you get close to that old olive tree, you'll also notice that it's alive on the outside, but there's nothing on the inside. The very center of it is hollowed out.
So it's almost like a circle after a period of time. But it still bears fruit. Now the root is intact. So the root is getting nutrients from the soil, producing sap, sending the sap to the branches, olives are produced. But individual branches within that root system can become unproductive. So, and you'll see it, and it's fascinating to see, all the farmers will cut off the branches, toss them aside, get young, tender olive branches, make a cut in the base branch of the root system, and then take the branch and make a little tip on it and insert it into the V that is created in the branch and tape it up. And they'll cover it up, let moisture get to it, and it will produce olives.
And you can even take one root system and have several different types of olives, from katamala olives in this branch to another variety, to another regular, several of them in one tree. So there's a simultaneous benefit. You're keeping the tree going by grafting in new growth, and you're taking new growth, and they're benefiting from the root system that has been there for years and is still very productive in its root system. So the unproductive branches, according to this analogy, is unbelieving Jewish people, unbelieving Israel, Israel nationally, cut off temporarily, while wild olive branches, you and I, Gentiles, are grafted in. So there's that mutual benefit. We are benefiting from all of the promises God made, all of the predictions, all of the truths, all of the covenants, scriptures, etc., and the Messiah. So we have been grafted in.
There is a simultaneous benefit. So the olive tree is still there. We're grafted in.
But understand this. We are grafted in not as a replacement, because you still have the root system. We are grafted in as an addition to the Jewish people who will be brought in in the last days. Do you follow me?
Okay. Now, in Matthew chapter 21, I'm going to read this to you, and you can turn to these or write these down and look at them later. Matthew chapter 21, I'm going to read this to you, write these down and look at them later. In Matthew 21, let me read this to you. Jesus gives a parable. He says, here another parable. There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard, now we're not with olives now, we're with grapes, and set a hedge about it, dug a wine press in it, built a tower, leased it to vine dressers, went into a far country.
This is Matthew 21 verse 34. When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the vine dressers that they might receive its fruit. And the vine dressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first, and they did likewise to them. Then last of all, he sent his son to them, saying, they will respect my son. But when the vine dressers saw the son, they said to themselves, this is the heir, come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance. And they caught him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine dressers?
Pretty easy to see the analogy. The prophets came to the Jewish nation, they were beat, they were killed, they were rejected. Finally, God said, I'm going to send my son. But the Bible says he came into his own, his own received him not.
The son was rejected, they killed him. So what will he do to those vine dressers? They said to him, he will destroy those wicked men miserably and lease his vineyard to other vine dressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus said to them, did you never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone? This is the Lord's doing, it is marvelous in our eyes. Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. Now we understand by looking at Romans 11 what that is. We are wild branches being grafted in bearing fruits of the root system which is national Israel. In another analogy, using sheep, not grapes, not olives, Jesus said, other sheep I have with which are not of this fold, them I must bring in also that there may be one flock and one shepherd.
Now he's speaking at the same thing. He's going to bring in gentiles who are not of this fold, not of this flock, not of national Israel. But he's going to bring them in and be their shepherd as well. That's one of the grand points that he has been making in Romans 9, 10, and 11. Now back to Romans chapter 11 verse 22. Therefore, consider the goodness and severity of God.
On those who fell, severity, right, they got lopped off temporarily. But toward you goodness, if you continue in his goodness, otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. When you gave your life to Christ, you were given, you were gifted, and you were grafted. You were given salvation, given eternal life. You were gifted by the Holy Spirit certain abilities and capabilities for the mutual edification of the body of Christ.
That's the Holy Spirit. So you were given, you were gifted, but you were also grafted in. You've been given an inheritance, a heritage of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the patriarchs.
That is our heritage as well. For if you were cut out of the olive tree, which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches, that is national Israel, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery. I always find it an interesting phrase when Paul tells us that we shouldn't be ignorant of something, because I've discovered that is precisely the area where many of us Christians are so ignorant. Hey, I don't want you to be ignorant about the coming of the Lord. There's a lot of confusion about that. Hey, I don't want you to be ignorant about how this Jew-Gentile thing works. There's a lot of ignorance about this. So when he says that, it's because it's an area that can be complex and has to be sort of unwound and examined and put back together. So I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, musterion, a Greek word that means something that was not understood, not put forth in the Old Testament, but now has been revealed in the New.
That's generally how the word is used. I don't want you to be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that hardening in part, that in part, or again some translations say blindness in part, has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved as it is written. So notice verse 25, blindness or hardness in part has happened to Israel. We know that.
We've established that. They rejected their Messiah. God set them aside temporarily. Jesus said, you don't see it. You're blind to it.
You're hardened to it. But there's a time frame until. Jewish people, generally speaking, there's always a remnant. There's always a blessed exception to the rule. And I love seeing a Jewish person come to faith in Yeshua, Jesus as Messiah. But the general rule, Israel nationally, blindness in part has happened unto Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. The fullness of the Gentiles means the full number of the Gentiles. Most translations that are more modern than this, we'll put that in there.
Until the complete number of the Gentiles or the full number of the Gentiles be come in. Immerse yourself in the entire Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi. Take the evening classes on campus or any time classes online. An education from Calvary College will impact your spiritual life for the rest of your life. Apply now at calvarychurchcollege.com.
Did you know that God had you in mind when he put together his salvation plan for the world? You can help connect listeners all around the world with that amazing news by giving a gift today to help reach them and to keep these messages you love coming to you. Just visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift today. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.
800-922-1888. Thank you for changing lives with the gospel. Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heitzig shows you how Israel's history points to God's incredible sovereignty. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
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