Beyond Sunday - Week 17

Beyond Sunday
Week of May 19, 2024
“How Could This Be!?” When in Rome-Week 17, Romans 9-11

Thoughts: As I read through Romans 9-11, that question, “How could this be?” —that God’s chosen people, the Israelites, could reject their Messiah— expanded into, “How can anyone reject Jesus?” In Romans 10:1-4, Paul begins to answer his own question, explaining that the Jews were “…zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.” My thought process began, “Knowledge of… what?” Then it suddenly shifted to, “NO! It’s not knowledge of what, but knowledge of WHO!”
Later in Romans 10:14, Paul goes on to ask “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard…?” That reminded me of a conversation with our youngest daughter, back when she was in kindergarten, about Jesus and His offer of salvation. Suddenly, she exclaimed, “Why aren’t we telling everyone about this!?” I didn’t have a really good answer for her and still don’t. It’s a question Christ-followers should regularly ask ourselves, and the answer will likely be different for each person or group for whom our hearts break.
Later, in chapter 11, Paul cautions non-Jewish believers to not become boastful or arrogant because of our standing with God, thinking of ourselves as somehow better than those who reject Jesus. That reminded me of one particular day when, seeing God’s hand in the beauty of creation and in my own life, I was overwhelmed and prayed aloud, “Why me, Father? Why am I blessed by you in so many ways, first and foremost, blessed to know you and your Son?” I didn’t receive an immediate or direct answer, but it’s really there in Romans 11:33, “How unsearchable [are God’s] judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!” I will probably never fully understand in this life, but I am immeasurably grateful.

Read: Galatians 3:6-8, Matthew 16:13-17, John 15:15-17, 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, 2 Timothy 1:8-9

Discussion Questions:

  • Romans 9-11 is all about Israel’s past, present, and future. It begins with a reminder that they are God’s chosen people through whom God would bless the entire world, proceeds to their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, and ends with a declaration of hope for Israel, “…all Israel will be saved…”
o What aspects of God’s person, power, and character does that reveal to you?
o When you think about your own past, present, and future, what transformation do you see and what additional transformation do you hope for?
  • Jesus says to His disciples, and to all believers, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you…”
o What feelings does that create in you, as one chosen by God? What questions?
o One modern application of the word appointed means to be fully equipped, as in “A well-appointed workspace.” What else do you need to be a witness for Jesus, and His transforming work in your life?
  • Paul begins this section of Romans crying out in “…great sorrow and unceasing anguish…” over his fellow Jews’ rejection of Jesus.
o For whom does your heart break because they do not yet know Jesus?
o How might you overcome whatever keeps you from sharing Jesus with them?

Pray: Thank God for choosing you. Thank Him for all the ways in which He provides for you, and for the gifts and talents He has given you. Ask Him for wisdom and strength to share the good news of Jesus with those for whom your heart breaks.

Next Steps:

  • At Pentecost (Acts 2:1-41), after hearing Peter’s testimony regarding Jesus, his listeners "...were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Brothers, what shall we do?' Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins...'"
o If you have not yet received Jesus as your savior, now is the time to do that.(1)
o If you have put your faith in Jesus but have not yet been baptized, Sign up here to go public with your faith in Jesus by getting water baptized.
  • We are better together, and healing comes when we gather in a community of others who want to think and act like Jesus. If you are not already in a RHC Small Group, join one today by going to the website here. 

(1) If you want to receive the salvation that is available through Jesus, place your faith in Him. Fully trust His death as the sufficient sacrifice for your sins. Completely rely on Him alone as your Savior. That is the biblical method of salvation. If you have received Jesus as your Savior, say a prayer to God. Tell God how thankful you are for Jesus. Offer praise to God for His love and sacrifice. Thank Jesus for dying for your sins and providing salvation for you. That is the biblical connection between salvation and prayer.

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