Rom 11:13 – 36 A Gift to the Gentiles

Nov 22, 2020 // By:Dave // No Comment

Paul is still explaining God’s plan for Israel, and how the gentiles of the world fit into, but not contradict this plan.

He answers questions that are not “asked” but “anticipated” and chapters 10-11 remind the reader of the “oh look, a chicken” type of letter. This is Paul’s method of being thorough in his treatment of the topic. (no stone unturned style)

13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,

Paul is still speaking about making Israel jealous (vv. 11, 14), and it is just the way he is tackling it that is different. He addresses his readers as Gentiles, which to most seems to indicate that the majority of the Roman church was Gentile. 

He also indicates that he is assigned to “gentile ministry” and not to Jews (i.e. I am concerned for their salvation but it is no longer my affair or business)

14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.

brings out the fact that the words are an expression of Paul’s hope that his activities among the Gentiles will in the end stir63 the Israelites into following the example of the Gentile believers in accepting the gospel.

15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

16 If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.

First piece = first fruits

ἀπαρχή aparche, ap-ar-khay´; from a compound of 575 and 756; a beginning of sacrifice, i.e. the (Jewish) first-fruit (figuratively): — first-fruits.

First fruits to God out of the world would be Israel.

The lump is the remnant of the dough kept to make more dough in the future

(is the larger mass of dough is good for use, then the lump derived from that larger mass is also good, and will be used to do more good in the future)

Then moved to root nourishing the tree 

He goes on to the similar thought that if the root is holy, so are the branches. Ancient religions had the concept of a holy tree. The tree might put forth new branches, but these too were holy; they came from the same root. 

Paul is here may be appealing to the fact that the patriarchs were holy people and this has beneficial consequences for their descendants. (as good roots benefit the tree) It means that God will not discard them wholly, and thus in due course the fact that the root of Israel is holy will have its effect in the latest branches.

Taking this idea of a good tree, set aside for God, he adds the idea of taking branches from other trees to graft onto the good tree, making the branches become good by attachment to the good stock

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,

What do the “branches broken off” represent ?

(Jews who rejected Christ)

18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.

Don’t start thinking that you are better than the branches broken off :

  • you didn’t even belong to the tree
  • you didn’t do the grafting

19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”

20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear;

What do you think Paul means here by “fear” ?

how does this match up with “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”” Gal 4:6

fear (313x)  G5399 (97x)

5399. φοβέω phobeo, fob-eh´-o; from 5401; to frighten, i.e. (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy, to be in awe of, i.e. revere: — be (+ sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence.

While “fear of the Lord” can mean outright fear of God’s presence, it also means to revere God, 

To fear God, then, is to be completely devoted to his will and its rewards while knowing the awesome consequences of not fearing him. This is the background to Paul’s injunction to the Philippians to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12).

Often, the intended meaning of a word can be derived from the context. In this case, the context offers a comparative opposite with the word “but” (clearly Paul’s meaning for fear is the opposite of conceitedness (pride)  which brings to a sense of awe and reverence before GOD, also known as humility.

21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either.

22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.

“otherwise you will be cut off” ? Does this contradict “eternal security doctrine” ?

Eph 1:4 He chose us, before the foundations of the world to be holy

Rom 8:28-29

2 Tim 1:9 God saved us according to His grace (not our works)

Eph 2:8-9 (same)

Rom 8:35-39 nothing can separate us from the love of God

John 10:28-29 no one can snatch them from my Father’s hand

John 6:37 all that the father gives me will come to me and I will in no way cast out him who comes to me

Here , I do not see a contradiction to eternal security (as some may try to use this verse).  How can a branch be grafted in eternally but then be cut off for being “too proud” to stay on the tree ?

careful when using a simple metaphor to refine verses speaking plainly about a doctrine

The solution is the visual of the metaphor of the tree.

The grafted branch does not represent a person, but a group of people, in this case, a branch called “Romans” is grafted onto the Jewish Tree.  Smaller branches and stems on the roman branch may be cut off (but not the entire branch)

23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

Anticipating perhaps an objection:

“how can God save those Jews once they reject Him ?”

If God can graft a wild branch onto a good tree, how much easier for Him to put a branch back onto the tree that came from that tree ?

25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery — so that you will not be wise in your own estimation — that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;

Some translations omit “for” at the beginning of this verse

1063. γάρ gar, gar; a primary particle; properly, assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification; often with other particles): — and, as, because (that), but, even, for, indeed, no doubt, seeing, then, therefore, verily, what, why, yet.

The statement in verse 23-24 is connected to verse 25.

Knowing that God can and will regraft the Jews cut off back into the tree is supposed to provide the gentile grafted in with a profound sense of humility.

It is to remind us that we are recipients and benefactors of something we were not part of.  

26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, 

“THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, 

HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.”

27 “THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, 

WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.”

Once again bringing us back to last week’s idea that Israel’s rejection of Christ was actually PART of God’s plan.

Rom. 11:28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers;

is this double talk ?  How can someone be an enemy of the Gospel and be beloved by God at the same time ?

Two views of the Jews are presented

  • currently enemies of the spreading of the gospel
  • God’s convenant with their forefathers (and thus with them) is still in effect.

enemies  ἐχθρός, echthros, a.  [root of: 2397]. (n.) enemy

spiritual antagonism (such as referred to in Gal 5:17 and Rom 8:7

Until then God has chosen to go with a radical solution to hostility. He will deal directly with sin, and by changing us within he transforms hostile people into friends. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us …. When we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his son” (Ro 5:8-10). God has acted in Christ to transform his enemies into his friends. (See RECONCILE)

During this age in which grace rules, anyone can respond to the offer of salvation in Jesus. Anyone can experience an inner transformation that frees his or her heart from hostility and replaces hostility with love. Echthra is an expression of man’s sinful nature (Gal 5:19-21). But God’s Spirit produces an overcoming love, patience, and kindness (Gal 5:22-23).

God’s approach to the transformation of enemies into friends is to be copied by Jesus’ followers. In Christ’s days on earth the popular understanding of “love your neighbor” included the corollary “hate your enemy” (Mt 5:43). Jesus corrected this notion, which was never taught in the OT (OT believers were, in fact, advised not to be glad when their enemies suffered misfortunes [Pr 24:17]). Jesus taught, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (vv. Mt 5:44-45).

God does not allow the antagonism of a hostile humanity to turn him from his chosen course of love. If you and I are to bear the family resemblance as children of God, we must model our interpersonal relationship on the example his actions provide. We must not respond to hostility with hostility, but instead we must respond with love.

When we respond to our enemies with love, we become partners in God’s radical solution to hostility and hatred. Our love communicates his, and we become agents of reconciliation, introducing our enemies to the transforming power of God.

beloved ( ἀγαπητός, agapētos, a.  [26]. recipient of unconditional love

29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

gifts χάρισμα charisma, khar´-is-mah; from 5483; a (divine) gratuity, i.e. deliverance (from danger or passion); (specially), a (spiritual) endowment, i.e. (subjectively) religious qualification, or (objectively) miraculous faculty: — (free) gift.

Calling κλῆσις klesis, klay´-sis; from a shorter form of 2564; an invitation (figuratively): — calling, naming.

irrevocable  ἀμεταμέλητος ametameletos, am-et-am-el´-ay-tos; from 1 (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of 3338; irrevocable: — without repentance, not to be repented of.

God will not say “I was wrong to call you my child, indwell you with my Spirit, and endow you with spiritual gifts to minister in My Name”.

30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience,

31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy.

32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!

34 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR?

35 Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN?

36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Rather like a homeless child being invited into a home during Christmas, and the family starts taking gifts from the children who live there to give to the guest child

(that child should not start getting prideful thinking they are better than the children who live in that house simply because they are getting their gifts)

We, gentiles, are the homeless child receiving gifts already placed under the tree.

It is a gift.

Modern day example:

You’re outside and it’s cold.  You have no coat.

Someone next to you gives you their coat to warm up.

(do you start thinking you are better than that coatless person because:

  1. You have the coat that belonged to them
  2. You are warmer than they are (out in the cold)

What we have been given is 

Not earned, not deserved

inside that warm coat the name Israel is written on the collar.

It was made for a Jew, even though God forknew it would be a “hand-me-down” to you or I, it still bears the name of the original owner.

Israel = wrestles with God

This is God’s beloved (recipient of unconditional love)

  • we get to wear their coat
  • we get to open their gift
  • we get to call their Father , daddy

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