1. At one time the Israelites were God's chosen people. 2. God promised to bless the Israelites if they would remain faithful to Him. 3. Unfortunately, many of the Israelites rebelled against God. a. When God's people suffered because of their rebellion, they would sometimes ask, "Has God cast away His people?" b. In reality, they cast away God. c. When they repented and returned to God, He would bless them. 4. God's chosen people today are identified in Romans 2:28-29. a. According to Romans 1:16, today everyone is saved by the Gospel, including Jews and Gentiles. b. We learn from Romans 6:3-4 how everyone receives salvation. c. Those who are saved enjoy special blessings (Romans 8:37-39). 5. When we observe the spiritual condition of many people today, we might wonder: "Has God cast away His people?" 6. In our lesson we are examining Paul's answer to this question. Introduction: I. LET US EXAMINE THE FIRST PART OF PAUL'S ANSWER (vs.1b-2a)
A. Paul began by saying, "God forbid" (see Romans 6:1-2a, 15). B. He continued by mentioning his situation. 1. He was an Israelite, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2. However, he became a Christian. C. His conclusion was that God had not cast away His people -- God made it possible for Israelites to become His children under the new covenant. II. LET US EXAMINE THE SECOND PART OF PAUL'S ANSWER (vs.2b-4)
A. Paul referred to an event recorded in the Old Testament that involved Elijah. B. We read about this event in 1 Kings 19:1-18. 1. From vs.1-4 it seems that Elijah thought that God had cast him away. a. (vs.1) Ahab informed Jezebel that Elijah had destroyed the prophets of Baal. b. (vs.2) Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah. c. (vs.3) Elijah fled for his life, leaving his servant at Beersheba. d. (vs.4) Elijah went into the wilderness alone. 1) He sat under a juniper tree. 2) He asked God to take his life. 3) This is the same man who won a great victory for the Lord in ch.18. 2. We learn from vs.5-8 that God did not cast away Elijah. a. God provided food and water for Elijah. b. God had sustained Elijah earlier, and He was still present. 3. God confronted Elijah in vs.9-14. 4. (vs.15-17) God had a mission for Elijah. 5. (vs.18) God informed Elijah that 7,000 other Israelites had not worshiped Baal. III. LET US EXAMINE THE THIRD PART OF PAUL'S ANSWER (vs.5)
A. When Paul wrote this letter there was "a remnant" of Israelites who had become Christians (Acts 2:5, 37-38, 41). B. God did not cast away His people. Conclusion:
1. "Has God cast away His people?" 2. No, and He does not want His people to cast Him away (Hebrews 13:5-6).