Romans 11:25
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not be conceited: A hardening in part has come to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.
Sermons
Israel's FutureR.M. Edgar Romans 11:11-32
The Jewish People: Their Past History and Their Future ProspectsC.H. Irwin Romans 11:11-32
Our Duty to the JewJ. Lyth, D. D.Romans 11:25-27
The Fulness of the Gentiles and the Conversion of the JewsJ. W. Burn.Romans 11:25-27
The Mystery of the Calling of the JewsElnathan Parr, B.D.Romans 11:25-27
The Mystery of the Conversion of the JewsBishop Villiers.Romans 11:25-27
The New CovenantJ. Lyth, D. D.Romans 11:25-27
The Restoration of IsraelJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 11:25-27
The Salvation of IsraelC. Simeon, M.A.Romans 11:25-27
Why Do We Hope for the Conversion of the JewsJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 11:25-27
The Divine Philosophy of HistoryT.F. Lockyer Romans 11:25-32
The apostle has cautioned them not to be high-minded because of any seeming preference shown to them; he now guards against their gross speculations as to the nature of Israel's rejection by setting forth emphatically its true character and intent. And in so doing he takes also a bird's-eye view of the religious history and destinies of the world, especially as regards the mutual relations of Jews and Gentiles. We have here the religious dualism and universalism of the natural history of mankind.

I. THE DUALISM. As Godet very strikingly says, "The entire course of the religious history of the world is determined by the antagomsm created among mankind by the calling of Abraham, between a people specially destined by God to receive his revelations, and the other nations given over to themselves. From that moment (Genesis 12.) there begin to be described those two immense curves which traverse the ages of antiquity in opposite directions, and which, crossing one another at the advent of Christianity, are prolonged from that period in inverse directions, and shall terminate by uniting and losing themselves in one another at the goal of history."

1. The early period of the history of the world, after the call of Abraham, consisted of the contrast between believing Israel and the unbelieving nations. The Gentiles, as the beginning of the Epistle reminded us, were given over to their ignorance and sin. Why? Because they "were disobedient to God." Theirs was a negative discipline to fit them for the reception of the truth. They were "shut up unto disobedience," that they might be prepared to receive unmerited mercy at the hands of God. And the discipline did its work. For them there came a "fulness of the times." They became sick of their own endeavours after wisdom and righteousness, and when Christ was preached unto them they received him. How had it been with the Jews? They were chosen by God to receive his truth, and the preparations for his salvation, in trust for the world. Theirs was a positive discipline. But the same sinful nature was in them as in the Gentiles, and it operated against the truth. They became hardened. Their very privileges became a snare to them. And at last, the "fulness of the times" having arrived for them also, when their own Christ came unto them, they received him not!

2. The later period of the world's history, after Christ, consisted of a contrast, which itself was in contrast with the former one. The Jews were given over, are given over still, to their hardness of unbelief. They are the stoutest opponents of the gospel. They are "enemies." God was compelled to cast them off, that the gospel which they refused might be set free for the acceptance of the world. And the Gentiles are reaping the benefits of their rejection still. Not as dogs, eating the crumbs from the children's table, but themselves admitted to the forsaken festal board.

II. THE UNIVERSALISM. The dualism shall not always last; God is preparing the way for the religious fusion of all the peoples of the world; they shall become one in Christ.

1. The gospel which the Jews despised, and the salvation of their own Saviour, is leavening the Gentile world; the nations, one by one, are passing out of heathendom into Christendom. Apart from the question of the conversion to true spiritual religion of individuals, the world is being won for Christ.

2. But what of Israel? "The fulness of the Gentiles" shall "come in; and so all Israel shall be saved." Oh, the strange irony of history! By the agency of the Israelites the world should have been won; now by the example and agency of Gentiles the Israelites shall be won. Yes; the hardening was but "in part," some being believers from the first; but likewise only temporary - "until." For they are still the people fitted by their gifts for God's great work, and therefore his call is not revoked. And the very working of their disobedience, as in the case of the heathen nations once, is but to fit them to receive his grace. And according to their own prophecies the Deliverer shall come, and "from Jacob" ungodliness shall be turned away. So then God will "have mercy upon all." Let us learn his ways of judgment. He will give us up to our sins, if we persist in cherishing them, till we repent. But let us learn also his marvellous love: repenting, he will receive us freely! - T.F.L.







For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery.
I. TO WHAT MYSTERY DOES THE APOSTLE REFER?

1. "That blindness has happened to Israel" This "blindness" —

(1)Is national blindness (1 Corinthians 3:14).

(2)Is in no wise a contradiction to God s dealings — for God foresaw it, and predicted it (Isaiah 29:10-14; cf. Romans 11:7-10).

(3)Is but partial (ver. 5).

2. This blindness is temporary.

(1)What led to it (see ver. 20; cf. Deuteronomy 28:15, 29; John 8:24).

(2)What followed (ver. 11, 15)? Blessings came from the fall of the Jew, but still greater blessings would come from his restoration.

(3)Now we readily gather from this, that God is not unfaithful (ver. 29).

(4)But furthermore. This blindness is only until the "fulness of the Gentile shall come in."In Luke 21:24. the same truth is laid down. Now to see exactly what this "time" is, refer to Acts 15:13, etc. The Lord is acting with the whole Gentile world in this manner: sending His gospel for a witness. Then men come out of the world and are a people elect — the true Church. And when this work shall have been accomplished, then the Lord will restore Israel. Therefore, from comparing these Scriptures together, we may draw this conclusion, that the time will come when the Jews shall be restored (vers. 11, 23; Jeremiah 32:37, etc.). Nor is there anything improbable in this. At the present moment there are materials which have only to be put together to form cites which will hold ten, or twenty, or thirty thousand inhabitants. And moreover, the thorns and briars as protecting them from decay and injury.

II. WHAT IS SAID OF "THIS MYSTERY." The day is gone by when it was considered absurd to speak of these things; but still there are numbers who think that this is an unnecessary or unimportant study. But the apostle, writing to the Gentiles, says, "I would not that ye should be ignorant of it." Why?

1. Because he "would not, that you should be ignorant" of the Bible; for many passages of Scripture convey no idea whatever till we understand that Jerusalem means Jerusalem, and Israel Israel.

2. But independently of this. If God has mercy in store for these people, may not we also look forward to God's mercy, backsliders and sinners as some of us are? And where do we find this warranted but in God's own Word.

III. THE GROUND OF HIS ANXIETY. "Lest ye should be wise in your own conceits." This Epistle was addressed to the Church of Rome? Now, note one or two of the leading features of this Church.

1. They keep the Scriptures back from the people. And what is the consequence of that? Many of them remain in perfect blindness as regards the truth. They keep the traditions of men, and therefore believe what is told them of Rome's power, and of no one but those connected with Rome being safe for heaven; whereas, if they had only the Scriptures before them, they would see what a place Rome will hold in the last great day.

2. Rome upholds a formal religion. How many externals had the Jew! and what did the externals profit him?

3. Rome is completely eaten up, as it were, with its own conceit (Revelation 18:7). And therefore the apostle says, "'I would not... lest ye should be wise in your own conceits'; for you may indeed speak of your greatness, but you shall fall, while Jerusalem shall stand in that day." Conclusion:

1. Beware —(1) Of trusting to external privileges.(2) Of giving countenance to any unbelief whatever. It was unbelief which led to the fall of Israel.

2. Encourage yourselves with the remembrance that the time is very short for your sojourning in this world.

3. Help forward this blessed work.

(Bishop Villiers.)

I. THE CALLING OF THE JEWS IS A MYSTERY. Seek not further than is revealed, and believe that. If thou askest how, and when? I know not, because I find not revealed. God knows, which satisfies me. He that too earnestly looks upon the sun comes in the end to see nothing, and he that stands too near fire may burn himself instead of warming him. Secret things are for the Lord, but things revealed for us and our children for ever.

II. THE END OF THE WORLD SHALL NOT BE TILL THE JEWS ARE CALLED, and how long after that none yet can tell.

1. There are certain foolish prophecies dispersed that the world shall end within so many years. In Paul's time there were such, and. they would have fathered their brainless toys upon Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2). So also from Paul's time to this day — a note of great folly and rashness.(1) Because there are no plain Scriptures for it but against it.(2) Because the grounds of their conceit are uncertain, idle and frivolous: as from Peter's saying, that a thousand years is but as a day, and from divers mystical numbers in Daniel and the Revelation.(3) If the last day be unknown (as all acknowledge), then the day before the last, and so by consequence the last week, month, year, age.(4) All the diviners about this point have been hitherto shamed. Such, therefore, that shall yet attempt it must expect the same as a just recompense of their madness.

2. It is not possible to know nor lawful to inquire. If it had been for the Church's profit to have known it God would have revealed it.

3. Whensoever the time comes it shall come well for God's children; prepare for it that it may be a joyful and not a dismal time unto thee. If God should now come to judgment, how ready art thou?

III. TILL THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES BE COME IN. There is an emptiness among the Gentiles, both in regard of number and of grace, which last is a great impediment to the calling of the Jews. The idolatry of some, and the profaneness of others are a stumbling-block unto them. Let us remove it that we may make a passage for their calling.

IV. COME IN. WHITHER? INTO THE CHURCH. All they which believe are within; without are unbelievers. It is our Father's house, where is bread enough; without is nothing but hog's meat. Examine how thou art within, whether as Ham in the ark, as Judas among the apostles, as chaff in flour; for in respect of their bodies many are within, who in respect of faith and obedience are without. It is all one to be without and to deserve to be without.

V. BLINDNESS OR OBSTINACY IS IN PART COME TO ISRAEL, BUT IN THE END ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED. An obstinate man is not in the state of salvation. Who have this obstinate heart? The Jews; but we need not seek a Jew to find it. Concerning which note —

1. The misery of an obstinate heart. There are two estates of the heart most fearful: to feel sin too much; and to be past feeling. The soft repenting heart is a heavenly heart.

2. The means whereby we come to such a state.(1) Custom in sinning. Even as a path is hardened by the continual trampling of the passengers, so by custom in evil is the conscience by little and little crushed and made insensible.(2) Neglect of the means of grace offered. This shut up the Jews in obstinacy; and ordinarily for this is this judgment of God inflicted upon men.

3. Its effects.(1) A. departing from the faith, broaching the doctrines of devils, denying manifest truth, and holding and seeming anything to obtain our own ends (1 Timothy 4:1-3; Ephesians 4:18). As when men will be Papists, Protestants, neuters, anything, nothing, as they see it best serve their politic plots.(2) Committing and delighting in sin.

4. Its signs.(1) When no judgment.(2) When no mercy can move to remorse. When the word, which is a hammer, a sword, and water can neither by the thundering of judgment, bruise, or make any dent into our hearts, not by the pleasing sound of mercy, molify us and make us relent; there is hardness unspeakable.

(Elnathan Parr, B.D.)

I. BECAUSE IT IS PREDICTED —

1. By Paul (ver. 25). Their blindness is partial and temporary.

2. By the Old Testament prophets (vers. 26, 27). They shall acknowledge Christ and share in the promise of the new covenant.

II. BECAUSE THE GIFTS AND CALLING OF GOD ARE WITHOUT REPENTANCE.

1. Their exclusion is for a temporary purpose.

2. Their election permanent.

3. The purpose of God unalterable (vers. 28, 29).

III. BECAUSE OF GOD'S PLAN OF PROCEDURE WITH THE GENTILES.

1. Once excluded by their own unbelief.

2. Now accepted through the unbelief of Israel.

3. So they also shall obtain mercy.

4. That God may have mercy upon all.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

I. HOW WE SHOULD REGARD HIM.

1. Not with contempt, but with respect.

2. Not as cast away, but blinded.

II. WHAT WE SHOULD HOPE FOR HIM.

1. His restoration with the fulness of the Gentiles.

2. Not simply the conversion of a few, but of the nation.

III. HOW WE SHOULD TREAT HIM. We should —

1. Hate his self-righteousness.

2. Love himself.

3. Seek his Salvation.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

The fulness of the Gentiles
Take as an illustration the case of a river bed nearly dry from long-continued drought. What water there is flows languidly, and produces no effect on an islet in mid-stream. Rain comes and the volume of water is increased and the flow becomes stronger and more rapid. In proportion to the copiousness of the rain, and therefore to the power of the current the islet is affected. By little and little its banks are washed away, and more and more of its surface is covered by the victorious waters which gradually rise. The rain becomes a flood, and the river bed now full, and the river a mighty torrent, the islet, after long resistance, ultimately succumbs, and is covered or washed away. So the conversion of the Jews will be proportionate to the amount of missionary energy, fed by Divine grace, on the part of the Gentile Churches. And when the fulness of grace shall fill all Christian agencies with a fulness of enthusiasm we may expect Judaism to be submerged. Or to change the figure. A king returns from his journey into a far country and finds his whole kingdom in a state of revolt. He first appeals to that province with which he has the closest and tenderest ties. But his claims are ignored and his overtures treated with contempt. Collecting, however, a loyal few, he marches forth to subjugate his own provinces. The work is a long and arduous one, and the fortunes of the brave band are varied. Victory is followed by defeat. Here a subjugated territory maintains its allegiance, there another revolts as soon as the army is withdrawn, and has to be conquered again. But the army is ever increasing, and year by year there is less and less to conquer, and each conquered territory sends its contingent to reduce the rest. Eventually the work is done, and the whole kingdom brought to subjection with the exception of the province to which the king made his first appeal. All through the campaign individual citizens have come over, but there is now a stubborn residuum left. On this the whole of the now loyal empire concentrates its forces, and partly perhaps from a sense of helplessness, but, mostly from a sense of the rectitude of the conqueror's claims, it yields, and the kingdom is once more united under one rightful head. So Christ, the King of man, made His first appeal to the Jews; but rejected by them, His kinsmen, He with His apostles turned to the Gentiles, and not in vain, as the history of the bye-gone centuries with all their vicissitudes for His cause has proved. Much yet remains to be done, but past successes are prophetic of future triumphs, and Jesus will yet have the heathen for His inheritance, etc. The power of Christian influence will then be irresistible and Israel will yield.

I. THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES WILL BE THE RESULT OF A FULL OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. The gift of Pentecost was only the earnest of a larger blessing. That equipped the Church for her warfare, this will inaugurate her triumph. Special manifestations of the Spirit have been vouchsafed in every age, and these have been uniformly followed by an outburst of missionary zeal. It is not, then, incredible that God should literally pour out His Spirit on all flesh, and thus bring the fulness of the Gentiles in.

II. THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES WILL BE THE FULL CHRISTIANISATION OF THE GENTILES.

1. As yet this is only partial. Vast tracts lie outside Christian influence, but these are being narrowed every year.

2. A great mass of Christianised Gentilism is only nominal. Multitudes have only the form without the power, and wear a name they only disgrace.

3. The time will come when both in name and reality all tribes and kingdoms and tongues will become Christians.

III. THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES WILL HAVE AN IRRESISTIBLE EFFECT ON THE JEWS. During the process of filling this effect has been more or less marked, and will, we may well believe, be more marked still as the Galilean goes on conquering and to conquer. But when the Jew looks back and sees religion after religion overthrown, and nation after nation brought into obedience to the faith of Christ and His religion, and his nation the only one left — the time will not be far distant when overwhelming external pressure will combine with overwhelming internal conviction to bring Israel to the feet of Christ. Conclusion:

1. What a glorious outlook! What an argument for Christian missions!

(J. W. Burn.)

And so all Israel shall be saved.
I. THEIR PRESENT BLINDNESS.

1. Awful in its character.

2. Partial in extent.

3. Fixed in its period.

II. ITS REMOVAL.

1. Complete.

2. General.

3. Certain.Conclusion. Consider —

1. Its aspect on the Jews.

2. Its proper effect upon your own kinds.

(C. Simeon, M.A.)

I. THE EVENT.

1. All Israel, as a nation —

2. Shall be saved, delivered from the curse which has so long rested upon them.

II. THE MEANS BY WHICH IT SHALL BE ACCOMPLISHED.

1. The deliverer, Christ —

2. Shall come out of Zion —

3. And take away their sin (Isaiah 59:17-21).

III. THE CERTAINTY OF IT.

1. The covenant —

2. Of salvation (Jeremiah 31:31).

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

For this is My covenant with them
I. UNTO WHOM SENT.

1. To all who believe.

2. Not only Jews but Gentile.

II. WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE.

1. The promise of the Spirit (Isaiah 59:21; Jeremiah 31:31).

2. Of eternal salvation (Isaiah 55:3).

III. HOW IT IS SEALED. In the pardon of sin.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

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