The Tree of Israel (Part II) – Romans 11:16-24

If you have become arrogant, thinking you are something special because of your status as a Christian, you should do some introspection and consider whether you have true faith. The truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ necessarily causes believers to be humbled before God. Undeserving sinners who have experienced God’s grace and forgiveness have no other logical position before God than humble gratitude and worship—not arrogance. Arrogance before God is insanity—hubris! If you are one of God’s elect, God’s choice for you to be one of his people has absolutely nothing to do with your ethnic heritage or any works you’ve ever done or ever will do. God’s choice is entirely grounded in his grace.

Saved by the grace of God, let us, in a spirit of humble faithfulness, live within God’s kindness, grateful to Him for our salvation. Secure in Christ, let us strive continually, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to obey him in every area of our life.

It’s simple math. The sum of an items parts equals a whole. The Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians make up the whole of God’s people—unified as one in Christ. We are true Israel, the Lord’s elect, and he will never reject us. Rejoicing in this truth, let us live lives of humble faith, following Jesus, our Lord, nourished in the riches of his kindness and covenantal grace. Because God does not reject His people, we must live humbly before Him.

 


[1] John R. W. Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 300, quoting William Ramsay, Pauline and Other Studies (1906), pp. 217ff.

[2] John Calvin, Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 433–434.

[3] C.S. Lewis, in the forward of Joy Davidson’s book Smoke on the Mountains (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1985), 7.