Summary: Romans 11:11-24
11Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!
13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
Before we get started today it is important for us to recap a little about last week being that this week in some ways is a continuance of last.
Within this continuance we talked about how at least for this time God has turned away from Israel so that the Gentiles can come in to the picture and through our faith in Christ make Israel envious.
We also talked about how we now as Christians have a responsibility to the Jews to be a part of their transformation through the sharing of the gospel of Christ with them.
Paul in verses 17-21, gives us a great image here of an olive tree with many branches representing those who have faith in God. And within that tree, some of the branches have fallen away from their faith in what God has told them (those branches being most Jews). So God decided to remove the dead branches from the tree and replace them with new branches to take their place (the branches of Christians).
Many of the Jews over many, many years had built up an arrogance about them selves. They thought that no one or no thing could take away their self proclaimed right to their guaranteed salvation.
The thought they had their own little special thing going. They also wanted to keep this to themselves. It was like they had a big sign posted that said, Sorry, no outsider’s welcome, you have to born in to this club. Well God had other plans for them.
God doesn’t want there to be some special little club where everything stays within and there is no desire to spread His Word to all corners of the world.
A big part of the Jews arrogance was thinking it was all about them. They didn’t want any outsiders getting in on what they thought they only had. That’s not what God wanted.
So we now get a little warning here:
20-21 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you (Christians) stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
“Be afraid” Are you afraid? I know I am lacking in this area. We should be afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid that possibly we may also be cut off in some way by God if we to are overcome by arrogance, and by that arrogance fall from our faith in Christ.
Paul says “Do not be arrogant.” Do you think that he may be worried about Christians getting to the point of arrogance like the Jews had?
There are many out there today who are looking at Christians and would say we have already become arrogant. God did not call us to be arrogant but humble.