A MESSAGE TO SOUL WINNERS

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[Romans:9:1-3]; [Romans:10:1-21]; [Romans:11:1-36].

Lesson No.: 
387
Class: 
Junior
Memory Verse: 

“By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Notes: 

Paul’s Love for the Jews
The Apostle Paul loved the Jews. They were his own countrymen. He wanted them to love Jesus as he did. It was the love of God in his heart that made him love others with a deep love that yearned for them to be saved.

The Jews were very religious. They said that Abraham was their father, which was true in a physical sense. All the Jews had descended from the one man -– Abraham. These were the people whom God had called His Chosen People. When Abraham’s descendants left Egypt, there were perhaps three million of them; and God said to them at that time: “Thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth” [Deuteronomy:14:2]). What a wonderful heritage!

Many more generations had lived by the time Jesus came to earth. In spite of Babylonians captivity, and other troubles that had come to them as a nation, the Jews still kept their nationality. They still claimed Abraham as their father, and went through the forms of worship, which God had given to Moses on Mount Sinai. But they were no longer a holy people.

The Messiah Refused
For centuries the Jews had waited for their Messiah. All their religious worship pointed to Jesus. The Law had been given to them as their schoolmaster to bring them to Christ [Galatians:3:24]). But when He came, they did not recognise Him. Because of their unbelief, they refused Him and put Him to death. So they could not be saved. We must have faith in Jesus in order to be saved. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” [Acts:16:31]).

Paul’s Burden
The Apostle Paul felt very sorry that the Jews would not become Christians. He said he had “continual sorrow” of heart. He could have given them up, saying, “They had the same chance that I had, and refused it. It will be their own fault if they are lost.” But he did not. He continued to groan and pray with a deep burden for those who were his own countrymen. He did everything he could to help them to be saved. He went so far as to say that he would be willing to be accursed himself if only they might be saved.

There have not been many people with such a tremendous burden for souls. But we who are saved have a great responsibility to tell others about Jesus. And if we want our words to affect the person we tell, we must pray earnestly, too. The Spirit of God will talk with the heart of the unsaved if we carry the burden in prayer. And we should always be alert to find an opportunity to tell someone of the love of Jesus, and that He will save from all sin.

The Jews’ Religion
The Jews were faithful in their form of worship. They fasted twice a week. They paid tithes. They made long prayers. But their hearts were not right. Just being “good” is not enough to obtain salvation. They had not prayed to Jesus for forgiveness. Paul said that they were trying to “establish their own righteousness.”

You have seen people who have done much good for others, and think that by so doing they can earn their way into Heaven. But that is not God’s way. “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight” [Romans:3:20]).

When Jesus came He fulfilled the Law, which was to bring men to Christ, “that we might be justified by faith” [Galatians:3:24]). “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” [Ephesians:2:8]). The Apostle Paul had given this subject much study, and could say, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” [Romans:3:28]).

The Jews were sure that they would be the only ones to be saved. But the Apostle taught them some lessons, which are good for us to think about when we try to win others to Jesus. He showed them that salvation is for everyone. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” [Romans:10:13]). Nor is there any difference between the Jew and the Gentile. We all must be saved in the same way. There are none born who are destined to be lost. “Whosoever” may come, but he must come in faith. The people whom God condemned were those who would not believe. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” [John:3:36]).

How to Be Saved
The Apostle said: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” [Romans:10:9-10]).

Paul did not say anything about doing good works or the ceremonies of the Law. Man must believe with the heart that Jesus is the Christ, and confess his sins and repent of them. Then if he believes that Jesus forgives, he knows he is born again. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” [Romans:8:16]). We are not afraid to tell people that they will know when they are saved, because we know when it happened to us.

Jealousy
Through the ages God had dealt in a special way with the Jews, but when they had turned from Him to worship idols, He also turned from them. Paul now told them of the prophecies made by Moses, when God had said, “I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people” [Romans:10:19]; [Deuteronomy:32:21]). Isaiah had also written words of the Lord: “I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me” [Romans:10:20]).

Have you ever noticed children refusing something they should have until someone else wants it? Suddenly they jealously want it, too.

The Apostle hoped, by offering salvation to the Gentiles, and having them receive the great blessings God offered, to make the Jews want it, too. The Gentiles are the people whom God called “no people,” and “them that sought me not.” Today the Gentiles are holding up the standard of true Christianity, instead of the Jews. Jesus “came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” [John:1:11-12]).

The Vine and Branches
Paul gave an object lesson, illustrating the relationship of the Jews and Gentiles. Jesus is the True Vine. As God’s Chosen People, the Jews were the branches. When they disobeyed God, their branches were broken off. When the Gentiles want to be saved, they are grafted into the True Vine. We, as Gentiles, are not of the original Vine, but we the grafted branches draw strength from Jesus, the Holy Vine, just as much as if we were the natural branches. Through being born again, we have become a part of the Vine.

But we have no reason to boast. If the Jews were broken off because of unbelief, we will be, too, when we do not believe. We are not favourites. The same rules apply to all men. We must believe God’s Word and live our lives as he commands if we want to abide in the Vine. “For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee” [Romans:11:21]).

God can graft in again the branches that were broken off, if they will believe. The time will come when the remnant of the Jews will accept Jesus as their Messiah and be saved. There are many prophecies in the Old Testament, especially in the Books of Isaiah and Jeremiah, which tell of the time when Israel will again be a spiritual nation. That time is known as the Millennium. The Jews will then be missionaries. The Prophet Zechariah said: “In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” [Zechariah:8:23]).

God’s plan of the ages must be fulfilled. For six thousand years the Spirit of God has been in the world, trying to win the hearts of men to the Saviour. Though most men have refused God’s plan, it still stands. God wants His people to be willing to give their very best to help win others to Jesus. We, as Christians, are His ambassadors in this world to tell people of our heavenly Home, Heaven. Time is short, and Jesus will soon come to take us to be with Him if we are ready to meet Him. All who have not prepared to meet Him will suffer terrible judgments during the Great Tribulation. Today we have the privilege to warn those in sin to flee to the Saviour and be saved before judgement strikes.

When Paul considered God’s great plan, and His mercy to men, he cried out: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” [Romans:11:33]).

Questions: 

1. Of what nationality was the Apostle Paul?
2. How did he feel about his countrymen?
3. How had the Jews treated Jesus?
4. How can a person be saved? Who can be saved?
5. Whom did the Jews claims as their “father”?
6. Explain the object lesson about the branches being grafted into the vine.
7. When will the remnant of the Jews be saved?