Today’s Reading: Jer 47:1–48:47, Rom 11:11–24, Prov 26:1–11
Today’s Theme: Grafted In
Today we read about the olive tree who is Christ and how we as Gentiles have been grafted in alongside the natural branches Israel but that natural or grafted in branches which exhibit unbelief are cut off and pruned away so we need to continue in the kindness of God and persevere in the faith.
Paul offers a rebuke to any in the gentile church that would seek to be prideful against Israel and the Old Testament, reminding them that they stand by grace and are rooted in the Old Testament and so in a way rooted in Israel.
Security is in Jesus
“Leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, O inhabitants of Moab! Be like the dove that nests in the sides of the mouth of a gorge. (Jeremiah 48:28, ESV)
Leave man made security and find security in the Rock, Christ Jesus.
Judgement for rebellion
Moab shall be destroyed and be no longer a people, because he magnified himself against the Lord. (Jeremiah 48:42, ESV)
Here is the reason for all this destruction, it is pride, arrogance, wickedness and rebellion directly against the Lord. The nations of the earth should take note because God has not changed.
We need to apply this to our personal lives as well. If we openly rebel against God we will go through suffering and discipline.
Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! (Romans 11:12, ESV)
When the Jews come to realisation and salvation it will mark the consummation of the ages, the new heaven and earth and the resurrection of the just.
Their full inclusion is in regards to Christ. Their failure led to the riches of grace in the Gospel of God being made open to all nations, so their salvation can only be an even greater blessing.
in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. (Romans 11:14, ESV)
Jews need to be saved like everyone else (Despite a recent claim that they do not need Christ for salvation) . Paul hoped that even as he ministered to the Gentiles it would make Jewish people jealous and so prod them awake to the riches of Christ.
The tree, the roots and the branches
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, (Romans 11:17, ESV)
The olive tree itself is Christ, the roots are God’s word, covenants, promises and prophecies in the Old Testament, the branches are either natural branches of ethnic Israelites which are now saved, the broken off natural branches are those ethnic Jews who do not believe while the wild olive shoot that was grafted in are believing gentiles.
The key is the tree, the root and offspring of David, Jesus the Christ the Son of the Living God. He is the promised Messiah and the source of life and freedom, any discounted from Him are dead. It is only if we as branches are connected to Him as our source that we will be fruitful.
Don’t be arrogant
do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. (Romans 11:18, ESV)
That is if you are arrogant against the Jews as a gentile in the church not the whole church, just those with the bad attitude.
The root is not Israel but the Old Testament scriptures which pertain to Israel. It is foolish as Gentiles to be arrogant against Israel when we rely on their scriptures to even have a faith and Jesus Himself is Jewish.
The reason, unbelief
That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. (Romans 11:20, ESV)
The breaking off was not unjust it was for unbelief. So we must walk in the fear of God and remain in the faith and in Jesus because as Paul is about to say, if God did not spare the natural branches what makes us think He will spare those grafted in to the commonwealth of Israel.
God will cut and prune
For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. (Romans 11:21, ESV)
God will cut and prune the church and those harbouring evil thoughts of pride and arrogance do not belong in God’s vine but are parasites and will be cut off like Judas.
Continue in God’s kindness
Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. (Romans 11:22, ESV)
We are called to perverse, this is the perseverance of the saints, without this we will be cut off.
God has been kind to us not so we can take liberties but so we would walk in light of His kindness by the Spirit and not by the flesh.
Do away with ideas of the Christian life in a rocking chair, we are called to grow and be fruitful and walk in the Spirit.
So up, to your task, you must press on and persevere as a sure evidence of your security and salvation.
Grafted back in
And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. (Romans 11:23, ESV)
Messianic Jews are those of ethnic Israel who through the centuries have been grafted back in to Christ.
Answer fools in the Spirit
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. (Proverbs 26:4-5, ESV)
Sounds like a contradiction but it is not. It is saying that we should not answer a fool in such a way that we become foolish by losing our temper for example but at the same time we must not just ignore him, we need to correct him in the Spirit so the he does not get away with thinking his foolishness is ok.
Don’t eat vomit
Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. (Proverbs 26:11, ESV)
When we return to old sins we are like dogs and fools eating our own vomit…yuk.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Romans 11
Statement from Vatican mentioned above