Receive + Communion with God
Read Romans 11:1-2; 11-15 from the Message:
11:1-2 - Does this mean, then, that God is so fed up with Israel that he’ll have nothing more to do with them? Hardly. Remember that I, the one writing these things, am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham out of the tribe of Benjamin. You can’t get much more Semitic than that! So we’re not talking about repudiation. God has been too long involved with Israel, has too much invested, to simply wash his hands of them.
11:11-12- The next question is, “Are they down for the count? Are they out of this for good?” And the answer is a clear-cut No. Ironically when they walked out, they left the door open and the outsiders walked in. But the next thing you know, the Jews were starting to wonder if perhaps they had walked out on a good thing. Now, if their leaving triggered this worldwide coming of non-Jewish outsiders to God’s kingdom, just imagine the effect of their coming back! What a homecoming!
Romans 11:13-15 - But I don’t want to go on about them. It’s you, the outsiders, that I’m concerned with now. Because my personal assignment is focused on the so-called outsiders, I make as much of this as I can when I’m among my Israelite kin, the so-called insiders, hoping they’ll realize what they’re missing and want to get in on what God is doing. If their falling out initiated this worldwide coming together, their recovery is going to set off something even better: mass homecoming! If the first thing the Jews did, even though it was wrong for them, turned out for your good, just think what’s going to happen when they get it right!
Spend some time in prayer giving God glory, honor, and thanks.
Relate + Community with others
What stuck with you from Sunday’s teaching? Why?
Why is it helpful to know the original audience of a book of the Bible? What does it mean that the Bible is not written to us, but that it is written for us?
What do you think GK Chesterton’s line, “The great dividing line in life is not between believers and unbelievers, but between those who take life seriously and those who are indifferent.” In what ways is this true or helpful?
Remember how often Paul speaks with the word “all!” In what ways might it matter that Romans is not written to individuals, but to groups of people?
Briefly remember the historical context of the Romans letter. Who where the Gentiles and Jews? What had happened to the Jews and what was happening by the time Romans was written? (See Acts 18:1 for history).
Is it surprising how Paul emphasized Gentile and Jewish hospitality toward one another? What do you think of the statement, “It may turn out that no one is saved alone. But our future is tied up with one another, and how we treat and welcome one another into the company of Jesus.”?
What are some lines we have drawn in our personal lives that may leave other on the outside looking in? (with friends, family, groups of people)? What could we do to receive Paul’s heart by creating ‘homecomings’ in our relationships, welcoming others into faith, into the company of the church?
Respond + Commission to action
Begin reading Romans. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+1&version=NIV
Download the YouVersion Bible App if you have a smartphone. Read Romans, or have the App read it to you!
Make a homecoming in your life. Welcome a neighbor, a friend, a co-worker into your company with the grace of Jesus. Let them know you accept them, that they are loved, that you want good things for them.