One of the Purposes of The Church:

To Provoke Israel To Jealousy (Envy)


The following is taken from our verse by verse study of RomansThe following study shows that one of the purposes of the church is to provoke the nation Israel to jealousy or envy.  This is developed in the following:


Romans 11:11

"Stumbled"=tripped; "fall"=fall into ruin, to fall in such a way as to not recover, "to fall beyond recovery" (NIV). The second word for "fall" is a different word meaning "a false step, transgression, sin" (namely unbelief). This same word is found in Rom. 5:20 "offence". The nation Israel sinned and fell and rejected Christ, but it was not a fatal fall. The nation has not been ruined without any hope of recovery. A better day is coming! The nation shall rise again! When Christ came the first time the nation "received Him not" (John 1:10-12). When Christ shall come the second time the nation will bless their Messiah just prior to His return (Matt. 23:39). Today the nation is blinded and God has given them "a spirit of slumber (stupor)" (Rom. 11:8). In the future the nation will be made to see (Zech. 12:10) and God will pour upon His people "the spirit of grace and supplications." The present rejection will be followed by a future reception.


Israel’s present rejection and fall is a curse to Israel but a blessing to Gentiles because "through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles." During this present church age, the great majority of those who are members of the body of Christ are Gentiles (though we thank God for the Jewish exceptions!). God is visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His Name (Acts 15:14). This is illustrated in John 1:11-12 (the Jews did not receive Christ, so God offers His salvation to ANYONE who will receive Him!). God has a purpose in Israel’s fall: to bring salvation to the Gentiles. God has a purpose in bringing salvation to the Gentiles: to provoke Israel to jealousy, to make Israel envious (see Romans 10:19 and also Romans 11:14). When the Jews rejected their Messiah, God had the good of the Gentiles in mind and salvation was brought to them (Rom. 11:11). God, in dealing with the Gentiles during this present age, has the good of the Jews in mind, in seeking through the Gentiles to provoke them to jealousy.


Three times Paul speaks about God’s purpose in using the Gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy (see Romans 10:19; 11:11 and 11:14, and compare Deut.32:21). When a person is jealous or envious he is saying, "You have something that I want. You have something very good which I don’t have!" Let us now consider some of those things which the saved Gentiles now have which ought to make the Jewish people envious. These are blessings which the Jewish people should possess but they forfeited these things because of unbelief, and these are blessings which the church (made up mostly of Gentiles) now possesses and enjoys in Christ. Consider the following:



What the Jews had or what the Jews had been promised

What the Church (made up of mostly Gentiles) now enjoys


"Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22) "Through their (Israel’s) fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles" (Rom. 11:11)

"Be it know unto you (Israel), that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it" (Acts 28:28; cf. 13:46).


"I will bless thee and make thy name great" (Genesis 12:2)

"I (the LORD) will bless them" (Num. 6:27)

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3; cf. Gal. 3:14)


"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD God; the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people who are upon the face of the earth" (Deut. 7:6) "Who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people (a special people of His own), zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14 and cf. 1Pet.2:9).


"The LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself. The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people" (Deut. 7:6-7) But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation" (2 Thess. 2:13)

"He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4)


"And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, Israel, whom God went to redeem to be His own people" (1 Chron. 17:21) "In whom (Christ) we have redemption through His blood" (Eph. 1:7)

"For ye are bought with a price" (1 Cor. 6:20)


"To whom he said, This is the rest by which ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing; yet they would not hear" (Isaiah 28:12; cf. 30:15) "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest . . . and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:28-29)


"Behold the days come saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper… in His days Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely" (Jeremiah 23:5-6; cf. Lk.1:32-33) "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son" (Colossians 1:13).

"For the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and joy and peace in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17).


"For what nation is there so great, who hath God as nigh (near) unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? (Deut. 4:7) "But now in Christ Jesus ye who were once far off are made nigh (near) by the blood of Christ"
(Eph. 2:13)



Physical Circumcision was a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant--"and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you" (Gen. 17:11). Spiritual Circumcision is a present blessing of those in Christ:  "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:11; see Phil. 3:3).


"And what nation is there so great, who hath statutes and ordinances as righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?" (Deut.4:8) "For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me . . . I have given them thy Word" (John 17:8,14)


"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered"
(Psalm 32:1)

"I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel...for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31:31,34)

"In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7)

"Having forgiven you all trespasses" (Col. 2:13; cf. Rom. 4:6-9).

"And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more" (Hebrews 10:17).


"And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes"
(Ezekiel 36:26-27)

"And shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land" (Ezekiel 37:14; compare Isaiah 32:15; 44:3)

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you?"
(1 Cor. 6:19)

"Ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9)


"But into the second (the most holy place) went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood"
(Heb. 9:7)
"Having boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus... let us be drawing near" (Heb.10:19-22; 4:16)


"I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me... They answered, and said unto Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham" (John 8:37,39; cf. Matt. 3:9) "They who are of faith are the sons of Abraham...and if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed"
(Galatians 3:7,9,29)

"That he (Abraham) might be the father of all them that believe"
(Rom. 4:11)

Note:  The fact that true believers living today are spiritual children of Abraham does not mean that the church is "spiritual Israel." See the following article:  The Use of the Term "Israel" in the N.T.



For a complete study of Romans chapter 11 click here.


The Middletown Bible Church
349 East Street
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 346-0907
More articles under Dispensationalism

Epistle to the Romans

Home Page