Holy Firstfruit and Root

For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? — Romans 11:16-24.

Israel is like dough with God’s yeast-like blessing permeating the whole batch. Israel is also like a plant. Because Israel has been rooted in God and His covenant, it is a holy people and, through holy branches it should produce holy fruit. The branches are the Jews, some of whom have sinned and been broken off, enabling believing Gentiles to be grafted into that plant through the gospel. The fruit of salvation borne through the Gentile branches is based on the same root of faith in the promise of God. Paul warns that if unbelieving Israel was cut off, then Gentiles ‘should not continue in unbelief’ but show repentant faith in Christ in order to also experience the fruit of salvation in their own lives. Either one has spiritual life that produces fruit, or one is cut off and rejected. [The Bible Panorama.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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