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Sermon #3274

Riches of the Gentiles

A Sermon on Romans 11:11-12


Romans 11:11-12 ESV KJV
So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how …

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Sermon Description

According to the apostle Paul, why are the Jewish people permitted to stumble? In this sermon on Romans 11:11–12 titled “Riches of the Gentiles,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones takes up this difficult question. He says that ultimately God allowed the Jewish people to stumble and reject the gospel of Jesus Christ in order that the gospel might go to all the nations. Because they rejected the gospel, the early church spread the gospel from the land of Israel and it went to the whole world. At the same time, Paul himself was Jewish by birth and a believer of Christ. This shows that not all Jews rejected Jesus. What of the future of the Jewish people? Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that in the future there will be a great revival among the nation of Israel and many will come to a true knowledge of Jesus and His gospel. They will put their faith in their long-awaited Messiah. The apostle Paul argues that just as it was a blessing to the Gentiles that Israel stumbled over the gospel, it will be an even greater blessing when the people of Israel believe and come into the church of Jesus Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon focuses on Romans 11:11-12 which discusses how the fall of Israel led to salvation for the Gentiles.
  2. Verse 11 poses a rhetorical question asking if Israel has fallen beyond recovery. Paul answers "God forbid" meaning it is unthinkable.
  3. Paul gives three reasons why God allowed Israel to stumble:
  4. To bring salvation to the Gentiles
  5. To provoke Israel to jealousy and eventual belief
  6. When Israel believes in fullness, it will lead to greater blessing for the Gentiles
  7. "Fall" in verse 11 means "trespass" or "stepping aside" from the right way. It does not mean final falling away.
  8. "Diminishing" in verse 12 is debated. Some argue it means defeat, failure or loss - not a decrease in numbers. But others argue it does refer to a small number of Jewish believers which has led to blessing for many Gentiles.
  9. "Riches" in verse 12 refers to the blessings of salvation, grace, and inclusion in God's kingdom that the Gentiles have received.
  10. "Fullness" in verse 12 likely refers to the large number of Jews who will eventually believe, not just a restoration of blessing. This is supported by the use of "fullness" in verse 25 referring to large numbers of Gentiles coming to faith.
  11. If the small number of Jews currently believing has led to blessing for Gentiles, how much more will the large number of Jews eventually believing lead to blessing.
  12. Though the initial rejection of the gospel by most Jews led to the gospel going out to Gentiles, the current and future situation is different. Gentile Christians now rejoice at anyone coming to faith, so many Jews believing would lead to greater rejoicing, not less. There is no contradiction in Paul's argument.

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.