March 12, 2020·Dan Hicks
Romans 11, in our Pause Bible Reading Plan for this week, is one of the most difficult passages in the entire Bible to understand.
My 30,000-foot view of the chapter mentions there is a remnant of Jews who are saved, while most Jews in the Nation of Israel are cut off. It then goes on to discuss the Gentile branches and explains they were being grafted into the same Root as the saved Jews. Then, a caution is issued with the warning to watch out, because if Israel can be cut off, then so can the Gentiles.
Without question, chapters 1-11 of Romans are a theological masterpiece, written by the Apostle Paul. One that no one could, nor should, attempt to explain in a single devotional writing. There are so many concepts and verses, which must not be just glossed over, regardless of how difficult they might be to our understanding. So, I’ve selected just one verse that is, to my view, a terrific way to end chapter 11 and this section.
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to Whom be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).
“Of Him” means that God is the all-sufficient source and cause for everything.
“Through Him” means God is at least these two things:
“To Him” means God calls every creature to Him. All things flow toward God. It’s not about you or me, it’s all to Him. In other words, it’s for His pleasure that we have been created, and we find our fulfillment in bringing Him glory and honor: “to the praise of the glory of His grace…” (Ephesians 1:6).
“To Whom be glory forever” means the glory belongs to God in all ages.
The plan presented in the first 11 chapters of Romans came from God exclusively. Neither the Jews nor the Gentiles said, “We’ve offended God and have to find a way back to Him, so let’s come up with a plan.” Instead, in our (mankind’s) spiritual indifference and sin, we didn’t consider God or even care about a plan, it’s all from Him. Hallelujah!
And think about this… even if we could have come up with a plan, we wouldn’t have been able to make it happen anyway. We could never free ourselves from the bondage of sin and self-focus. True freedom can only come through Jesus!
King David got it right: “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all” (I Chronicles 29:11).
Pastor Dan Hicks