Summary: If we have been grafted into the Body of Christ through faith, how should Holy Branches live their lives?
“The Lives of Holy Branches”
I’m sure we all know the proverb, “Experience is the best teacher.” In life, you often learn “lessons” from an experience, but everyone’s life “experience” is going to be different, so we need FAR MORE than “experience”; We need TRUTH that is not going to be changing; that’s why we continually go to God’s Word: “Your word is truth!”
Last week we looked at the pictures of Holy Dough and Holy Trees: We saw how Israel had received the promise from God through Abraham to receive RIGHTEOUSNESS by the gift of SAVING Faith, not works: That’s the theme of the Book of Romans: THE JUSTIFIED (or righteous) LIVE BY THE GIFT OF FAITH. (Romans 1:17: For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”) The fulfillment of the “promise” is seen in the Lord Jesus Christ. I cannot be HOLY, but God provided a substitute for me in the Lord Jesus Christ and He applies His righteousness to my unrighteousness.
Romans 3:21 explains it clearly: 21 “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and (ALL WHO BELIEVE) are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” By faith, by believing, you are justified freely by his grace. How important is grace?
Here are two other verses that support HOW God completed this work: 1 Corinthians 1:30: “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” (What else do you need?
2 Corinthians 5:21: “God made him who had no sin (Jesus) to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Today we are going to view the same verses we looked at last week to teach us something about “The Lives of Holy Branches:” Romans 11:16 NIV: “If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. (If you start with the HOLY, HOLY should be produced.) 17 If 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, 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.”
19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief (the word in the Greek means NO FAITH), and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider 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.”
I don’t ever want to be cut off from the root or trunk of righteousness, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, do you?
We get some Godly advice here; If you have been grafted into God’s Family by Grace, Holy Branches don’t boast over broken branches.
1. The Greek word for boast (katakauchaomai) means “to glory against, to exult over, to exult one's self to the injury of another person or thing.” It’s different than pride. This is glorying and exulting in yourself to the injury of others. It is being injurious to someone else. In this case, a person is boasting over or gloating over the fact that they have received mercy but somebody else has been cut off! Don’t be joyous because someone else (another branch) has fallen away from God because of unbelief and has been broken off. You were once CUT OFF and separated from God too, and it’s only because of His mercy that you are have been grafted in.
Some in the Corinthian church didn’t hide their unholiness, and the church merely accepted it, rather than stopping it. 1 Corinthians 5:6-7 says: “Your boasting (kauchaomai) is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven, leavens the whole lump of dough? 7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.” Boasting is like a yeast of corruption in God’s Holy Body. It doesn’t only affect you, it affects others. Boasting ABOUT your own sin or relishing someone else’s demise OVER sin has to be “CUT OUT” of the Church Body before the whole LUMP becomes contaminated.