SUBJ: The misplaced zeal of Israel
and the application of the same to religious zeal today wherein the need
to see Christ as the end of the Law is clearly realized.
AIM: that we might be in the way of
submission to the righteousness of God in Christ our Lord.
INTR: Again, the Apostle presents
with an example of caring for the lost and that especially applied to
our kinsman according to the flesh.
1. While this care for Israel is
obvious he recognized the debt to all men and so acknowledged his call
to the Gentiles: For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the
apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: Romans 11:13.
Israel is a special case of rejection owing to their history with the
things of the Lord, but we witness something that occurs with many where
tradition has eroded the truth.
3. We would here see that not only
with the Israelites, but also, with religious America there is
deep-seated rejection of the righteousness of God and attempts to
replace that with a relative morality.
THESIS: Christ only perfectly obeyed and fulfilled the Law in
every way and so brought to view the righteousness God requires in all
who would come to Him. The good news (Gospel) is that we believers are
made partakers of that righteousness in Christ and we thus bid men to
believe on Him.
I. A misplaced zeal (v. 2)
1. It is certain
that they had a zeal for God in the sense of the advantage given them
through O. T. revelations – this was/is manifested in hatred for
idolatry and the Gentiles.
2. They were very protective of the O. T.
scriptures and they were quite diligent in disseminating the Word even
though they were quite superficial in their endeavors.
fiercely defended the rituals and the Sabbath (even though they
misapplied); they were very defensive of their lineage (witness their
claims to Christ); and they were violently opposed to any that seemed to
doubt their way and so sought to kill Christ and eventually did!
The problem: their zeal lacked the true knowledge of God and therefore
the truth concerning His word.
1) They knew of the record of God as
they read it in the Scripture
2) They had even heard the report from
men of faith such as the prophets
3) But, they did not know God and
4) They did not recognize Jesus as the Son of God – If ye
had known the Father: Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father?
Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me,
ye should have known my Father also. John 8:19.
II. A fatal lack
1. While they knew the letter of the Law, they failed to see
the spirituality of it.
1) Being dead in trespasses and sins, they
failed to see and could not see that true righteousness is a matter of
being rather that a matter of doing.
2) Thus, they saw only a need
for outward conformity to the precepts of the Law and had not sense of
what Christ revealed to them from the O. T. – the love of God and the
love of our neighbor.
2. To have such a shallow view leads to the
belief that one can attain to it themselves so playing into the hands of
pride and self-righteousness.
1) Such a thought engenders bondage and
2) Ultimate failure and non-acceptance with God.
3. Thus, a key
term in the Gospel language is submitted, here applied to Israel, but is
true for all who would come unto God – it is submission to that which
Christ alone can provide.
4. The attempt to establish one’s own
righteousness pits them against Christ and His righteousness.
III. Our only hope (v. 4)
1. Christ was certainly the end of the
ceremonial Law all of which was designed to picture the redemption that
is in Him – He fulfilled all in that it all pointed to the cross!
This did not mean that the Law ceased to exist:
1) By it is the
knowledge of sin and then
2) The Gospel directs us to the fact that
Christ fulfilled all the Law’s demands for us.
3. Christ then is seen
as the aim (end) of the Law – in other words, what we would be if we
could perfectly obey it and had never offended it.
4. It is He in us
that satisfies the demands of justice and places us in submission to God
as a way of life and existence – partakers of the very nature of Christ
Jesus our Lord.
5. So, true believers are not looking to obey the Law
– they are looking to Christ and His righteousness which brings us to a
proper faith and practice of life.
6. Our hope is in Him alone.