Chapter # 11 Paragraph # 1 Study # 2
June 30, 2009
Lincolnton, N.C.

<506> Thesis: Because God has "integrity", He has not/does not/cannot "cast away" His people. Introduction: In our introduction to chapter eleven last week we considered the distinction between the identity of "Israel" and the identity of "His people". This is an "old" theme in Romans 11 because it was definitively drawn out and presented in Romans 9. But, the repetition exists because of the absolute cruciality of the major thesis of God's integrity. At the end of the day, if "love" exists in its divine form in the heart of a person, the only real issue is whether what God has explained will actually fulfill the "love". This is the "faith" issue and its undergirding foundation is the integrity of God. Thus, if Paul wanted his readers to actually "believe" God in such a way as to abandon their own methods of life, he was going to have to tackle the issues that had the capacity to erode their confidence in His integrity. The shift by God from His particular, and historically intense, fixation upon national Israel was, perhaps, the greatest challenge to this issue of His integrity. Any time there is a major shift by God in His ways there is the problem of how people are going to handle the subsequent absence of His former ways when they had become comfortable with those former ways and had confused their comfort with His actual promises. Thus, Paul's fixation upon the question of God's integrity is a necessary fixation. This evening we are going to plow some recently plowed ground as we attempt to solidify our commitment, not to our comfort with God's actions yesterday, but with His words of yesterday and today. The question that Paul raised in 11:1 was, "Has God cast away His people?" and the answer in both 11:1 and 2 is "No, that would be impossible."