Sermon Outline On Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.
This is not a passage about our faithfulness. This is a passage about God’s faithfulness. Jesus was arrested in the garden and the trial began that night. Peter three times denied being a follower of Jesus, his friend, BUT Jesus appeared to Peter after the resurrection. Jesus said to Peter, “Feed my sheep.” Peter in 50 days would preach the first Christian sermon. It was Pentecost & 3000 would be baptized. Peter was later called before a Jewish council. The same Jewish leaders that had tried Jesus. They asked, “By what power or by what name did you do this?”
Peter’s response: (Acts 4:8-10)
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.” Peter boldly said that to those who had plotted to have Jesus crucified.
Even though Peter had failed, God’s calling was still there. God’s gifts were still in Peter. God was still there with him.
Paul in reference to the rejection of Jesus by Israel is saying God’s calling is still there. God’s gifts are still with them. God is still present to them. The God who gives and the God who calls may be trusted to retract neither the gift nor the call.
Vocation: It comes from the Latin vocare, to call, and means the work a person is called to by God. We all have a vocation’“that work to which God has called us. For some of us we receive a paycheck for doing the work to which God has called us. For some the paycheck is the thing that allows us to do the work to which God has called us. Your work in this church, according to Paul, should be the work for which the Holy Spirit has gifted you and to which God has called you. There may be work beyond your church and beyond your occupation that God has called you to. God called me to this work. God calls you to that work God has saved just for you.
In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery.
“Your Majesty,” said Prior Richard, “do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king.”
“I understand,” said Henry. “The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.”
“Then I will tell you what to do,” said Prior Richard. “Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.”
When King Henry died, a statement was written: “The king learned to rule by being obedient.” (Source unknown)
When we tire of our roles and responsibilities, it helps to remember God has planted us in a certain place and told us to be a good accountant or teacher or secretary or business owner or engineer or salesperson or manager or mother or father.
Christ expects us to be faithful where he puts us. And Paul wants us to know: The God who gives and the God who calls may be trusted to retract neither the gift nor the call. Paul wants us to know: This same God is sovereign and faithful. Praises be to God forever and forever.