Text: Romans 11:1-12
If you are in, or of the Father, or a follower of Jesus, you must wrestle with the question of faith.
We must get a fresh focus on what favor means.
We must learn how to apply favor in and around our lives.
"How many of you need favor?"
Paul is making a provocative proposal to God's people.
The Book of Romans represents the theological lynchpin to the New Testament.
The 10th and 11th chapters, Paul asks, "Is it worth anything to still allow the Jews to be in 'it'?"
The Gentiles have started gaining in prominence in the church, and are looking down on the Jews.
Paul is telling the Gentiles to be patient, prayerful and peaceful with the stubbornness of the Jews.
The Jews have been having some difficulty with the shift in the church.
The past recipients of God's favor are having difficulty with the new "flavor" of God's favor.
The Gentiles ask, "Why should we pray for the past recipients of God's grace?"
Favor, like flavor, can get stale.
Romans 10:2 - the Jews have a zeal of God, but none of God's righteousness. They have fallen out of favor by trying to establish their own righteousness (following the Law)
Favor is not perpetual, it is positional. Favor is based on your position in God, and the willingness to walk with God.
Favor must be re-appropriated on a seasonal basis
Verse 1 asks, has God cast away His people? Has He separated Himself from them? If this is the case, Paul himself would be forced out, as he is a Jew as well.
Favor is fresh and will fall where He wills it.
Favor is not an individual commodity, but a bundled product, a community commodity.
It's not about me, but about "us"
We have examples of people who received favor, but did not use it only for themselves. They shared it, or used it to benefit others.
Abraham- used it to get Lot out of trouble.
Jacob- used favor to allow Laban to get increase in the land.
Joseph- some of his favor fell on the Egyptians, as they prepared for the upcoming famine.
Favor is a community "thing."
What do we do to become qualified? We must be willing to receive God's favor and walk in it.
Favor is a supernatural commodity of God's.
Verse 5- You don't have to receive favor to be in favor.
Just because you are a "good Christian" does not mean that you will always get favor.
We should pray to be near people with favor.
We should stop the "hat-eration"
When someone else goes up, I can go up with them.
I can get next to them, help them, encourage them...
In order to have favor, you need to be bundled with the people receiving favor.