Journey through the Book of Romans
Paul declares Israel’s Rejection is not Final Part 4
Romans 11:19-22 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. 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. NKJV
Paul continues on now again detailing the reason God the Father broke off some of the branches from His Olive Tree. The individual Jews who did not believe Christ to be the Messiah and stumbled over Him were left to the deception of their hearts similarly to the way God gave Pharaoh over to the hard heart he already had and displayed by his refusal to let the Jewish people go as Moses said to him on 10 different occasions. Likewise the Jew who rejected, refused, or resisted Christ as the Jewish Messiah were allowed by God the Father to remain in their unbelief. There unbelief came from their heart or inner man or woman and was not intellectual. It was frankly an expression of gross wickedness which culminated in their hatred of Christ resulting in their falsely accusing Him of wrong doing in order that they would kill Him to keep their materialistic religious system intact and continue enjoying their opulent (rich and superior in quality) lifestyles as Israel spiritual leaders. The driving factor or force for the Jewish religious leaders that so hardened their hearts against our Lord Jesus was their greed for gain and adoration from the people. The rulers of the Jews wanted a Messiah who would come to conquer Rome and then give them control, power, and authority over the ones who once oppressed them and held them under their thumbs.
Paul wants the Gentile believers to understand that God the Father does not recognize anything but faith even from His own covenant people Israel. Paul wants these Gentile believers to be so grateful and thankful to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit for the grace and faith freely given to them without them doing anything for it or in no wise deserving it that it should motivate and cultivate in their hearts an awesome fear of God that they should never allow it to be compromised by anyone or anything. The example of those who perished in the wilderness after finally being freed from Pharaoh’s slavery is a good and strong reminder for every Gentile to take heed, as it is written, Hebrews 3:12-19 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.” For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. NKJV and also as it is written here, Hebrews 4:1-2 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. NKJV
Paul is so eager that this point get over to them and permeates their hearts that he uses the English phrase “be not high-minded” and this phrase is translated in the Greek hupselophroneo which is a big Greek word that means to be proud and arrogant. Paul wants these Gentile believers to understand the heart of God, that though He is Love and He is Merciful, and He is Gracious, and He is Kind, Paul wants them to see in the breaking off of many of the Jews from His Olive Tree because of their unbelief, that God is Holy and He is Just and He is Righteous. Paul wants this reality to sink down deep into their hearts that God as the Judge of the whole earth will do justly no matter what or who deserves His Just Judgment. Paul has clearly here documented for the Gentiles the two equal halves of God’s Nature, His Goodness which is translated from the Greek word chrestotes which means moral goodness or excellence in character or demeanor; gentleness and kindness, but also His Severity which is translated from the Greek word apotomia which means roughness, formidable, hard, or austere (of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor; forbidding in aspect).
This is the nature and character of God and it only does ruin to sinful men and women all over the world to portray only half of who God is to believers and to people still dead and their trespasses and sins. Let us not forget these words from the lips of our Lord Jesus in the parable of the minas as He said this, Luke 19:21-27 I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. KJV
The Nation Israel as we have documented in previous studies is God’s firstfruit among humanity on the earth, His first born Son among Nations of the earth, and the apple of His Eye as the Prophet Zechariah so wonderfully declared with these words, Zechariah 2:8 For thus says the LORD of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.” NKJV Paul wants them to understand that if God would do this to individuals in the Nation He refers to as “the apple of His Eye” how much should they as wild branches from an oleaster tree fear, and reverence, and be in awe of God less they fall short of the grace of God as they did. God did not show the unbelieving Jews leniency simply because they were Jews and of the fleshly seed of Abraham, but instead He Judged them because they did not believe His Only Way of Righteousness.
“Go (saith God to Jerusalem Jeremiah 7:12), and see what I did to Shiloh; so now, let all the churches of God go and see what he did to Jerusalem, and what is become of the day of their visitation, that we may hear and fear, and take heed of Jerusalem’s sin. The patent which churches have of their privileges is not for a certain term, nor entailed upon them and their heirs; but it runs as long as they carry themselves well, and no longer. Consider (1.) ‘How they were broken off. It was not undeservedly, by an act of absolute sovereignty and prerogative, but because of unbelief.’ It seems, then, it is possible for churches that have long stood by faith to fall into such a state of infidelity as may be their ruin. Their unbelief did not only provoke God to cut them off, but they did by this cut themselves off; it was not only the meritorious, but the formal cause of their separation.” Matthew Henry
“To think that God is Love and in so being that He is not also Holy and will not judge sinners (whoever they are Jew or Gentile) and that somehow everyone is going to go to heaven no matter what they believe or what fruit is borne in their lives, is to be totally blind of who the Lord Jesus Christ truly is for He said, John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” NKJV and He also said, Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.” NKJV The Lord Jesus is God come down to us in human flesh and He manifested both sides of His Nature to humanity.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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