Collecting the Evidence (2)
A Sermon on Romans 11:25-32
25For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26and so all Israel will be saved; …
25For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26And so all Israel shall be saved: as it …
In this sermon on Romans 11:25–32 titled “Collecting the Evidence (2),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds on Paul’s statement concerning the deliverer that comes out of Zion. He says that Paul, like the other apostles and writers of the New Testament, is not simply retelling the prophecies and teachings of the Old Testament, but revealing new mysteries of God. This is seen in how he uses the Old Testament. According to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, when Paul talks about the deliverer out of Zion, he is not talking about physical places but the heavenly dwelling place of God. This is in accordance with the promise that God will send a savior to redeem Israel. Jesus came in faithfulness to God’s covenant with Israel to restore the people of God. Jesus not only saves individuals, but He comes to redeem the whole world and to make a new people of God that all know Him. The fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel are brought about by Christ Jesus who died on the cross in order that all who believe might be saved and freed from sin. This is the glorious message of the new covenant.
- The apostle Paul is giving a prophecy about the future salvation of Israel, not just interpreting Old Testament prophecies.
- Paul's prophecy: "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved."
- "All Israel" refers to the bulk of the nation of Israel coming to faith in Jesus Christ, not the entire nation or race.
- Israel will be saved in the same way as the Gentiles - through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no separate path to salvation for Jews.
- Paul supports his prophecy with quotations from Isaiah 59, Isaiah 27, Jeremiah 31, and Psalm 14 that convey the general sense that God will turn Israel from ungodliness and forgive their sins.
- The quotations are not word-for-word but capture the overall meaning and apply it to Paul's prophecy. Paul is inspired by the Holy Spirit in the same way as the Old Testament prophets.
- "The Deliverer will come out of Zion" refers to Jesus working through the heavenly Zion, the church, to turn Israel to faith, not Jesus' first or second coming.
- God will turn Israel from ungodliness through his power, not through Israel deciding on their own to believe. God will open their eyes to the truth.
- When God forgives Israel's sins, he will fulfill his covenant with them, just as he restored them after the Babylonian exile. God has not permanently rejected Israel.
- The future salvation of Israel was a mystery, hidden until revealed to Paul and the other apostles and prophets. The Old Testament only hinted at it.
- Paul will continue to comment on and explain his prophecy to provide clarification.
The Book of Romans
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.