Posted 5/13/2003 7:45:17 AM

Remnants, branches, grafting, mercy, grace, and the role of Jews and Gentiles in this age. Paul addresses the issue of the chosen people, with regards to Israel rejecting their Messiah, and the inclusion of Gentiles into the promise of God.

First of all, Paul makes it clear that it is not a matter of not the Jews anymore, and only the Gentiles. God has not rejected His people Rom 11:1-2, only broken off the unbelieving branches. He has most certainly kept for Himself a significant remnant who believe in Him and believe in His Messiah Rom 11:4-6.

The significant implication of this pruning process is that it makes room for Gentiles to be grafted in to the tree that is the people of God Rom 11:19-21. This is not a wholesale replacement, nor is it an exclusion of the Jews, it is simply a matter of the kindness Rom 11:22 and grace Rom 11:6 of God.

Secondly, branches get along with each other. A tree directs its growth where it is most profitable, designed to maximize light capture for food production. Branches do not compete for the best positions; they complement each other, often overlapping, all working together for the good of the tree. All of them depend on the roots to bring them the water they need to stay alive Rom 11:18, the trunk to support them, and God's grace to provide rain and sunshine.

God's ways are remarkable, unexpected, and incomprehesible! Rom 11:33-36 Paul marvels at the wonderful opportunity for salvation this pruning has provided for the Gentiles, and wonders what will be the even more beneficial their growth will be! Rom 11:12,15

Warning: the pruning that happened to the Jews can just as easily happen to you Rom 11:21. Don't be proud, but be humble and fear God. Remember it is only because of His mercy that you have anything at all. Rom 11:30-31

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