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Sermon #3292

Conversion of the Jews

A Sermon on Romans 11:28-32


Romans 11:28-32 ESV KJV
As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because …

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Sermon Description

In this sermon on Romans 11:28–32 titled “Conversion of the Jews,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones provides insightful teaching regarding Israel and how to interpret certain genres of Scripture, such as prophecy. The true Israel, he says, is a spiritual Israel. While this true Israel has sometimes been a remnant, there will come a time when this will no longer be the case, as Paul writes in this section in Romans. But when will this be? How is one to analyze passages of Scripture that have a prophetic aspect to them? First, one cannot read prophecy and expect to be provided with incredible detail every time. Jesus told this in Acts about the future date of His second coming, saying that it was not for the disciples to concern themselves with figuring out the precise timing of His arrival. Sometimes just a general prophecy is provided and the specific details are not given. Secondly, Dr. Lloyd-Jones warns that the greatest danger is reading things into the text that simply are not there. Those in Christian circles have probably seen examples of this as some claim that certain prophecies are being fulfilled when, in fact, the passage doesn’t address that. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes by reminding of the ultimate message and purpose behind this section of Paul’s writing and what it was not intended to communicate.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is dealing with the case of the Jews as a whole and as a nation in Romans 11.
  2. Paul confirms this by quoting Old Testament prophecies in verses 26 and 27.
  3. Paul expands on this topic in verses 28 to 32. He says the Jews are enemies of the gospel but still beloved by God.
  4. The only remaining objection to this view is that it seems to contradict what Paul said earlier in Romans 9.
  5. However, Paul's argument progresses throughout these chapters. Romans 9 establishes that God's promises still stand even if only a remnant of Jews believe. Romans 11 reveals God will save all Israel in the future.
  6. Prophecy should not be viewed as proleptic history, giving precise details of the future like history gives of the past. Prophecy reveals major events but details are only known as they unfold.
  7. The danger in interpreting prophecy is reading details into the text that aren't actually there.
  8. Paul does not mention the millennium, second coming, restoration of Jews to Palestine, or a unique position of exaltation for Israel in this passage. These ideas are often wrongly read into the text.
  9. Paul says Jews and Gentiles are saved in the same way. There is no distinction between them in the church.
  10. We are not told precisely when the conversion of Israel will happen, only that it will be after the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
  11. Some argue it will happen at the second coming, but Paul does not mention Christ's return here and his descriptions seem to preclude that possibility. The second coming is said to happen during a time of little faith, unlike the revival Paul describes here.
  12. What Paul reveals here must happen before Christ's return, during a time of great belief and revival in the church.

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.