“…they will be grafted in…” Romans 11:23b
After explaining ‘remnant theology’ to the first century Roman Jewish Christians, Paul described how those who have been “cut off” (pruned from The Vine – Jesus Christ; read John 15:5) by their unbelief may be grafted back into The Vine. That’s right… God is able, and evidently willing, to graft back in those who come to Him by faith after repentance. Paul was specifically speaking of Israel, concluding how those ‘natural branches’ which had been cut away from the vine could be grafted in all the easier by The Vine-dresser (v.24), being accepted by the vine more easily, since they were originally part of it.
I love the way Paul began this conversation, asking the question: “Did they (Israel) stumble so as to fall beyond recovery?” (v.11) As he had done with the other questions he posed, Paul answered by emphatically exclaiming, “Not at all!” He told how salvation had come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious (v.11). Paul asserted that the Jews would receive greater blessing for how God worked to bring salvation to the world (v.12) after being rejected by His own people – describing the Jews’ blessing as a resurrection (v.15). Paul likened the Jews to the part of the dough offered as first-fruits: God recognized it as holy, and if it is holy, then the whole doughball would be seen by God as holy; and in the same manner, if the root (the root of Jesse – Jesus Christ; Isaiah 11:10) is holy, so are the branches (whether they be grafted or natural).
Paul warned Christians that just as God pruned the natural branches from the vine, He may also choose to prune grafted branches which show signs of unfruitfulness (vv. 17 – 21). Now, I’m not real sure how that lines up with Romans 8:38-39, though it shows God’s expectation of authentic faith. Believers are to “consider, then, the kindness and sternness of God” (v.22a), His sternness to those who fell, and His kindness to those who repented and trusted in Him by faith (v.22b-c).
God is the God of second chances, showing just how profound His love is for each of us. He loves you and He loves me as if we were the only one on earth! He takes extreme measures to connect to every heart on earth… and He uses our stories to connect to others hearts, so that they will be grafted in to The Vine of Life and bear much fruit.
Have a blessed day…