Romans 11:11-24

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I am going to invite you to Romans Chapter 11 this morning is where we’re at. Romans Chapter 11. And so we’ve worked through this section of scripture in the in the book of Romans. Chapter nine, ten and 11 are sort of a cohesive unit in the in the book of Romans. So if you kind of thought of Romans in sections, the first eight chapters deals with our relationship to God, Paul lays out for us what really what the gospel is and how our life is transformed in Jesus and the position it gives us in him. And it culminates in Chapter eight and describing our identity in Christ. And it’s a beautiful work that Paul has put together. Some say it’s the greatest work in antiquity that anyone could ever read. And then chapter nine 1011 is this unit that the Jewish people are asking the question, Well, what happens to us? And then 12 and on is the application of the gospel. And so in chapter 9 to 11 is where we are together today. And we’re at the tail end of of Chapter 11. Working through that, we’re going to pick up in verse verse 11 of chapter 11 today. But but Paul is answering the question really preemptively as he’s writing this letter. He’s he’s assuming that the Jewish believers are going to have some question in their mind about Israel. Where does where do we fit in all of this? And if you think in terms of nine, ten, 11, as as the past, present and future, Chapter nine being Israel in the past, the Chapter ten being Israel in the present, Chapter 11 being Israel in the future, Today that’s what we’re going to deal with is is how the Lord wants to work through the people of Israel moving forward, and particularly knowing the Jewish people by and large have rejected the Lord.

What is their future hold and and what is God desire for them now that they’ve rejected or fallen before the Lord or fallen away from the Lord? What can we anticipate for their lives and where do they stand before God? Is there? Is there a way to move forward? And if they do, how do they move forward from here? And, you know, as we look at this from a particular people group, I think there’s there’s also plenty of application for us as well because, well, we mess up, too, and we fall on a regular basis or or sometimes as it relates to this chapter, it’s dealing with a people group. Sometimes a a people group might move away from the Lord. And the question is, well, what about our people? Is God completely forsaken us or have we been abandoned? How do we even get back to where we were? How can we even move forward in that position we’re in, whether on a on a on a personal spot or or collectively? That’s the the the question they’re asking in this chapter today and so very applicable to our lives and and thinking through how we might recover from falling.

And what does that mean for us? And point number one is where we start to this morning to answer the first part of this question, how do we recover or how do we succeed after following point number one of your notes is this Understand God’s heart. What is it about the Lord that we need to learn in order to be able to move forward? Because God’s position will determine where our position can lie? Because if there’s no hope in the Lord, then there’s no hope for us. And so we need to know where God’s heart is in all of this for us to be able to move forward in him. And so this is the question they ask. In the very beginning of verse 11, they say, So ask did they stumble in order that they might fall? And what Paul is actually applying here with Israel is not just simply falling as if they fall and can get up, but he’s inferring forever. He’s saying, I ask, did they stumble? Nor did they might fall forever. Meaning is that it for the Jewish people? And so God’s just going to move on with the Gentiles and leave them with the dust and the dust. God’s God’s chosen people, the ones that he’s he’s made his his promises through that the Messiah would come and transform the world.

Is that it? Now that the Messiah is here, are they finished? And how? How do we move forward when we fall? Is God for Israel’s failure forever. Are they done? And a related to that, you could ask the question, is God for your failure? And when you fail, are you finished? I know sometimes as people, we can feel that way. When we mess up, we get in that that place of brokenness and. And shame and despair. And we don’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel in that moment. We just we look inside of ourselves and feel that sense of of darkness and like we let people down. And so they’re asking this question here in the beginning, did they stumble and order that they fall? And and Paul answers this question the same as he’s answered all the questions he’s had up to this point, these half a dozen questions Paul has asked in Romans nine, ten, 11. And Paul says, by no means. By by no means, but rather to understand the heart of God than he gives us some answers in response to this. And really in this this next section of of this verse, he he really gives us three responses to this. He says, rather through their trespass. That’s that’s part one salvation has come to the Jews part two so as to make Israel jealous.

And so what God is doing here in the beginning, he’s acknowledging that Israel has fallen. And I really appreciate this about this Lord, this this place of transparency in talking about Israel, let’s let’s say where they’re at, right? Let’s just declare what it is through their trespass. Israel has certainly fallen. And and with the Lord, we we we get that opportunity to be honest with him and where we are as human beings because of who he is in his nature. We don’t have to pretend. We don’t have to sweep things under the rug. We don’t have to act like we have it all together. We don’t have to be perfect. God knows that’s why Jesus came. And God’s acknowledging for the for the Jewish people where they are and the rejection of him and turning away from him, which really is a fairly wild statement when you consider it in the context of Scripture. And the reason is, is because the old New Testament is written by Jewish people, right? By and large, it’s Jewish. People this morning were studying the Jewish faith. And we’re we’re we’re learning from really the Jewish language as Hebrew. And then they spoke Greek into the time of Christ. And we’re learning all about their culture and tradition. And yet, by and large, they’ve rejected the Messiah. But here here we are today learning about the faith that they proclaimed that we have now owned as our faith because the Messiah has come to redeem and Gentiles have embraced this message.

But God has opened about their failure and He acknowledges it. But then the next part of this verse he says to us as well, in this difficult moment, even though they’ve rejected it, God has moved it together for a greater good. That in our failures, it’s important to remember that God is greater than our failures and God can redeem anything. Now, I’m not encouraging you to go out and purposely mess up in life to to show how great God can make things. That’s not honoring to the Lord. But but God certainly within his His ability and his sovereignty can take what what man might intend for bad or wrong. And God can bring a greater story of redemption out of it. And that’s what he’s saying about the Gentiles in this passage of scripture. Salvation has now come to the Gentiles that through one people group, all people group have have come to be blessed. And then he says this in the last part of this verse as to make Israel jealous. Now, in most contexts, jealousy is not a good thing, right? The idea of of coveting or envy or jealousy, we we tend to to couple those words together. But jealousy typically is not a good thing. But here in this passage, the Lord intends the idea of jealousy, provoking them to jealousy, to to be a good thing.

Reality is, we often times as people, we learn best in our mistakes. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, according to my mom growing up, I tend to be one of her favorite in the category of stubbornness. I don’t know if maybe favorite is the right word, but I was I was the the head of the class out of all my siblings when it comes to when it came to stubbornness. Right. But but it was for me, my education was making the stupid mistake and then learning from that. Right. You couldn’t just hear someone else say it. You had to go find it out for yourself. And and that was me. But but I think in this verse he’s saying, Really? That’s, that’s that’s a lot of us. We, we tend to be that way sometimes. And, and when we make those mistakes, they tend to be some of life’s greatest lessons. And, and God, by bringing Israel to this place of jealousy, he’s really putting his finger on where the problem is for them. Now, in most contexts, jealousy certainly is bad, but in a general sense, jealousy is when you believe someone else is in your place, right? So. So in some contexts, jealousy, envy, coveting it leads to destruction because your desire is to want what someone else has. And therefore you look at what someone else has as you look at that person as an obstacle to what you you want to achieve or receive.

And so in order to get there, you even get to the place in that jealousy that you will want to take that person down in order to get what you you desire. Because after all, you’re the most important thing. And before you know it, you start treating people like a tool and the object as your place of worship. And so you crave those things and it becomes destructive. Right? You long for something as if it’s yours. And honestly, it’s not rightfully yours. In most places, the jealousy envy coveting, destructive. Unless it is rightfully supposed to be yours. And I think maybe the best example that we could think of in terms of a healthy jealousy would be maybe in the context of of marriage or family. Appearance over your children, your concern and care for their well-being. If someone tries to step into their life and it’s destructive. You could be jealous over that for their well-being, for their protection, because they belong to you. The Lord has given them to you. They they are your responsibility as a as a gift. And with that gift, obviously is a responsibility comes along with that. And so there is this desire within you to be jealous over what God has given you to protect. And the same thing for a marital relationship in terms of of this passage, God, God describes our relationship to him in terms of a marital relationship.

And so the Lord is jealous towards us with a godly jealousy because we’re designed to belong to him and in relationship to Israel, Israel’s God’s chosen people. And He wants Israel to be jealous of that relationship which they were created in Christ. It belongs to them or created in the Lord. It belongs to them. And they belong to him. He and they and he belongs to them. And so that relationship of of jealousy is is significant because it is theirs to possess. And so the way to determine if jealousy is good or bad. Is if your desired outcome is for coveting benefit. Or for God’s glory. Is it really to honor the Lord or is it just about making you the priority? And God is saying in this passage what he wants to provoke Israel to is to to recognize. They were created for relationship. That is where they belong. That’s why God designed them and God desired to work through them. And so in this moment, he’s provoking them to jealousy. Paul said the same thing in second Corinthians 11, verse two. Listen to this. Paul says, I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promise you to one husband to Christ so that I may present you as a pure virgin in him. And so Paul’s desire, godly desire, this this jealousy is about helping people connect to the Lord and know him because they were one created by him and two, Jesus came to redeem them.

They belong to him. You as a creature are created as a worship being the only place that that worship is intended to be connected to is in the Lord. Anything else? We’ll sell you short. As Paul Tripp says, it’ll make you less than human. God made you to belong in that way. And so in that then verse 12, God says his target here, his target is if their trespass means riches for the world. And if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean? What God’s heart is, is for every people, group, all ethnicities in this world. Jesus came to pursue us all that we might find life in him. And. And God knows we fail. But. But in this passage, we start to see God’s heart. And. And that becomes important for us. Because when we fall, if we know what God’s heart is, it gives us a place not to to run in guilt and shame, but rather to turn back to him and seek his face and find forgiveness and be reconciled and enjoy that relationship. Because it’s the heart of God that even even in these moments, while Israel has rejected him, God continues to extend his hand to them and his desire is to bring them back in. Point number two. Is to find godly friends. To to find godly friends.

Not only do we see God’s heart here, but when we fall, it’s also important to have a community to encourage you. And let me be a little bit clear here. When I say find godly friends, I don’t mean people that just wear the label Christian and just say, I’m a Christian. I genuinely mean people that that have a life giving relationship with Jesus people that when you think of, you know, they walk with Christ. And so they want to not just wear the label of Christian, but they they want to encourage you and speak truth into your life. And in this passage that that’s the apostle Paul for the Jewish people. Everyone everyone needs someone like the Apostle Paul’s heart towards the Jewish people. You need someone towards you in your life in that same way. And verse 13, it says, Now I’m speaking to you, Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry. I know the thought goes on from there. Actually, verse 14 is not the beginning of a new thought, but it’s a continuation of verse 13. But but. But I want to acknowledge here that the apostle Paul being being a being a Jew rejected by his own people, he’s still looking for God’s moving. And Paul is saying, look, I just I just want to do what God has called me to in this world with with the people that God has brought into his fold.

Let’s move forward in ministry and what God desires. And He’s recognizing his position in the Lord. And all of us are given a position in God. And so Paul wants to move in that way. But then he adds on to that in verse 14, he says, In order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous and thus save some of them. So Paul is saying the same heart as the Lord is. He’s not only wanting to do ministry and he’s working among the Gentiles, but but his heart continues to be for his own people. And and he’s moving forward with with the desire that as as he sees the success of the Gentiles in the gospel, his prayer and hope is that it would make his own people jealous. Again, in order to drive them back to the Lord, that they would remember what they had in their relationship with God and want to move to that. And for me, verse 14 is is an incredible testimony to the life of the Apostle Paul when I talk about needing godly friends. Verse 14, is that example as to why that matters? Because when you think about the Apostle Paul’s life, the apostle Paul had every excuse in the world to just be done with his own people. And when the apostle Paul went on his missionary journeys and he planted churches, he would always start in the synagogues as long as there was a synagogue.

And in the cities that he would go to, he would start with his own people. Part of it, because there was at least a biblical foundation there. So it’s easy to start with a gospel when you have a biblical foundation, but also because his heart was for his people and after they would reject him, he would then move on to other people. Some of them would embrace the message, but then he would move on to the other Gentiles over and over. Paul did this. Paul continuously went to prison because of his faith. Do you know how Paul was in prison? It’s because of the Jewish people. They harassed him everywhere he went. You know what the Apostle Paul did? He never gave up on him. Paul never gave up on him. He had every excuse in the world to want to give up, to say, You know what, God, I’ve done enough. But he didn’t. He always showed up. He always proclaimed Christ and he always shared the love of God. Paul always did that. He never deterred from what God called him to do. Same is true for us, right? When you think in your life, who might you consider to be taboo as it relates to the gospel? Someone that just rubbed you too raw, right? Okay. Where do you think that the gospel shouldn’t reach? And what political line do you think? Well, if they came to know the Lord, I don’t I don’t think I could go that far.

Right. Like, rather than praise god, you’re like not anybody about them. Lord l.a. Lakers. No, thank you. Right. Like, i could reach any other team, but not not that politician. Not not not that part of Hollywood. Not that. Not like somewhere like where where is your limitation? The apostle Paul in this passage. Shows to us over and over just how much the grace of God has impacted his life by his willingness to go to the very people that attacked him. He knows how God has transformed his life. He knows who he was apart from the Lord. And because he’s recognizing his own brokenness, Paul is willing to just not give up on people. Now, I know seasons might look a little different in relationships in your life because people aren’t always easy to love. But the point is, is Paul’s heart was always for them. And when we think about our own lives, the kind of Christians that we should surround ourselves with, knowing one day in your walk with Jesus, things may get hard. You need the kind of people around you that are going to fight for you. And so in this passage, we see it’s important to understand God’s heart. It’s important to have godly friends. And Paul reminds us, let me come back here. Paul reminds us at the end of this verse 13, he says, Now I’m speaking.

I’m speaking to you, Gentiles. Verse 15. Let me move on. For if their rejection means that reconciliation in the world, what will their acceptance mean? But life from the dead? If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump. And if the root is holy, so are the branches. So. So. Verse 15, Paul is saying, I carry the same heart as the Lord here. As God’s desire is, is really about the world, the reconciliation of the world. And and his heart is certainly not against the Jewish people. God wants to reach all ethnic groups, all people, groups. And so, as the Jews have rejected him, Paul has God has not stopped reaching out. Paul has not stopped reaching out because the gospel can redeem anybody at any moment. And how beautiful it would be. All people, groups coming to know the Lord and and worshiping him. And then and so Paul, then he starts to give us an illustration of verse 16 that’ll bring us to this last point and starting in verse 17. But he says some interesting things here. He starts talking about dough offered to first fruits and and the lump of all of that and then talking about a root that is holy. What in the world is the apostle Paul talking about in this passage? Well, what he’s starting to build for us is to understand what it means to be healthy in Christ, what it looks for our lives, to be healthy in the Lord.

And he refers to a couple of illustrations in the Old Testament. One comes from the Book of Numbers. Chapter 11 really is the first time it’s mentioned this this offering of the dough before the Lord. The idea of of first fruits and the and the second comes from Jeremiah chapter 11, talking about this this idea of a root. And these pictures are important because the demonstration of this really is a portrayal of whether or not you’re healthy in the Lord. This idea of first fruits is a demonstration of whether or not your heart is healthy. The idea of a root is a demonstration of whether or not your heart is healthy. And what he means is this In Israel’s day, they were an agricultural society when when the harvest would begin, the very first part of that harvest, God called his people at the very beginning of the harvest to always take the first fruits, the first things they received from from all of their hard work for the year and to give it to God. And it was a way of saying to the Lord, Look, God, our heart is aligned with you and we want to make sure that you get the first and the best of everything, not the scraps and the leftovers, but also it’s saying to the Lord and God, we’re going to trust you in giving this to you.

We’re going to trust you to supply all that we need on the back end, we’re giving to you first, recognizing, Lord, that you sustain us in all things. And we’re expecting, Lord, that after this first fruit that you’re going to continue to provide for us. It’s a demonstration of a heart that’s really given over to God. And this is what the Apostle Paul is saying in this this verse. He’s starting to, in this moment now, helping us think through our own hearts as it relates to the Lord. He describes the first fruits of your life and also the idea of the root and the branches. Meaning if you want to be a healthy tree and you want to produce healthy fruit, you don’t you don’t look to the fruit to determine if the tree is going to be healthy. What you look at is you look at the root. The fruit is the byproduct. The root determines whether or not the tree is ever going to be healthy and produce anything. And so you want to make the make sure that the proper nutrients is being received in through the root so that the tree grows in a healthy way. And so the Apostle Paul is connecting the dots for us that way, that if your heart is given over to what God has created it to, then your life will naturally produce what God desires, which is completely opposite to what religion teaches you.

Religion looks at the outward performance, and if you’re failing, they just drive guilt upon you and tell you to do better. And so we try to fabricate these things in our life that give the appearance that we have it all together or that we’re performing up to the expectation or the standard. Meanwhile, the relationship with God is never healthy. Because it never dealt with the root. It never got to the heart. What Scripture actually teaches us is if you want a healthy Christian life, don’t look to the fruit. Look to what lies within the heart and whether or not it’s given over to the Lord. And so point number three in your notes is this Examine your heart. Examine your heart. You. We think about recovering after falling. You ever mess up in your life or you think of a particular people group that’s messed up? A few things we need, right? We we need to know where God rests in that. It’s important to know the character of God. We need godly people to encourage us on that journey that will fight for us when we struggle, that knows we’re not we’re not going to leave this place and be perfect the rest of our lives. But I would say most importantly is, is what you determine to do because it’s not your spiritual life is not someone else’s responsibility. And so examining your heart matters. And that’s where the Apostle Paul then goes.

In verse 17, he uses this illustration of Israel and he brings it back to to us, he says, But if some of the branches were broken off, really talking about Israel. They were connected to this route. They rejected this route. There was no life. They were broken off. Of some of the branches were broken off and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the other trees and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree. Let me stop there and read the next part in a minute. But you think about this illustration for a minute what the Apostle Paul is saying, because I think what it produces in all of us is this position of humility. Whenever you farm trees and I know this because I’m a tree farming expert, right? I have enough sense to know this. You don’t. You don’t take a wild branch and graft it into a tree that bears fruit. Right. Rather, you would take the the wild stump or wild root and you would graft in the tree branch. That’s going to bear fruit In this in this illustration, it’s the exact opposite. So so the way the way it would work is if you want to grow an apple tree, right, you have an Apple branch, but you have this other tree growing that’s not going to bear any fruit. If you’ve got this branch, you can graft that branch into this tree and the tree now will naturally supply that branch and that branch will bear fruit.

That’s usually how it works. You take a tree that doesn’t bear fruit and all of a sudden you put a right branch and it bears fruit. But not in this illustration, this illustration. It’s the exact opposite. Now why in the world would anyone want to do that? Right? Why are you like, I got this great fruit tree, I know what I want to do. Let’s cut off all the regular branches and then we’ll just graft in a wild a wild branch that doesn’t do that doesn’t going to produce any fruit at all. That’s that’s what it’s saying in this passage is like there was Israel who was this this tree that would bear fruit. And now God grabbed this wild branch and just popped it in there. And that’s who we are, right? It’s this this later this thing that came came in later and God allowed it to be a part of part of God’s plan. And so that’s what in the New Testament, when you read about the way God worked with Israel in Ephesians chapter three, it refers to the to the New Testament Church, the Gentiles. That refers to us as as a mystery that was revealed in the New Testament, this unexpected surprise that God was working through His Jewish, the Jewish people, and all of a sudden this wild branch got grafted in.

And you think to yourself, Well, why would God do that? And the only answer is not because of you, but because of his grace. It’s surely by the grace of God. So this is what brings us to a place of humility. And that is important in your relationship with God. In fact, he’s going to build on this as he moves forward, but He encourages us. Then in verse 18, he says this Do not be arrogant toward the branches. When you think about Israel, who’s been broken off and then you think about yourself now in the position that you’re in. Don’t look at the branches that have been broken off and tell the branches how much greater you are than them. Because you’re a wild branch. This is not to give you a position over people. In fact, one of the interesting things when you read through the Old Testament and into the New Testament, you find with any people group, I don’t know what it is about us. I do know what it is about us as human beings is our sinful nature. But but in a facetious sense, I don’t know what it is about us that that causes us to do this as people, right? Like we look at other people who have fallen before us and then puff ourselves up as if we deserve the position that somehow we’re greater than what they they were.

They fell. And we’re not going to do that. We’re better than them. When you read the Old Testament, you even see this in the life of Israel that this this group of people that were slaves, they were oppressed. Right? Deuteronomy chapter ten, verse 18. One of the things God says to them in Deuteronomy chapter ten, verse 18, he looks at Israel after they’ve been rescued out of slavery. And he and he says to them, Look, I want you to remember the widow and the orphan and the immigrant. Because those flights in life there, they’re not easy. And and when you don’t have much in life, you need the help of others. And and it’s God saying to Israel, remember where you were before me? You were a group of slaves or a group of slaves. And when you honor what’s broken, not only are you helping people in your in the need, but you’re honoring God who made them in his image. And so consider the way that you treat people, because you should know above all else, you were oppressed. You’ve been there. You know what it’s like for someone to come in and meet your need because God has come in and met your need and so demonstrate that grace of God in the way that you care for other people. In fact, whether or not you truly understand what your relationship with God, what God has done for your life is, is seen in how you care for other people, even when they’re difficult.

Just like the apostle Paul and loving the Jewish people who rejected him and threw him in prison and beat him and he didn’t give up. And it was a demonstration of his understanding of who he was because not because of himself, but because of the Lord. But here’s what you see as you read throughout the Old Testament and New Testament. The oppressed over and over become the oppressors. That’s somewhere along the way. They forget about the grace of God. And they start to arrogantly believe that it’s because of them. They are where they are and it’s because they’re great and, well, God just can’t refuse them because they’re so lovable. And then they start looking down at other people. And so the the the apostle Paul is warning us here because he’s seeing the pattern repeated over and over in the lives of people. In fact, when you get to the the latter part of the Old Testament into the the prophets, the the major minor prophets of the Old Testament, the last 17 books, the prophets really didn’t start speaking until the the end of Israel’s demise as as they were carried into captivity. But the thing that God said to them over and over is that they they started to oppress people, the widows, the orphans, the foreigners. They started to treat people poorly. The oppressed became the oppressor.

And when you get to the New Testament, like in Mark chapter ten, Jesus says to his disciples, He’s walking along with them, and James and John look at Jesus. And they’re like, Jesus, when you get to your throne, let us reign on your right and on your left. And Jesus asks, Can you really bear what we’re about to to go through? And they’re like, Oh yeah, Lord, we can definitely do that. And the disciples get mad that James and John asked that question. And Jesus says to him, It’s not mine to give you, but He who wants to be great, great in my kingdom must become the least. I mean, the way Jesus’s kingdom moves forward is not top down, but rather bottom up. That to understand who Christ is, is to become a servant because Jesus was the servant of servants. It’s not about us getting above anybody else, but to understand the only way that we are where we are is because of the grace of God. And so examining your heart and whether or not it’s in that position is important because when we we fall, we realize the only reason we ever got to where we were is because of the grace of God. And the only reason we can find ourselves restored. Its always been because of the grace of God and God’s grace is always extended to us. And so if you are, he says, remember it, not it is not you who support the root.

But the route that supports you. All right then. Then you will say says as God is identifying for this, he says, I know human nature. You guys are going to give a rebuttal to that. We do that, the oppressed becomes the oppressor. And so here’s the rebuttal verse 19. Then you will say branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in. That’s like the thought is this Like they were broken off because, well, something’s wrong with them. And you brought me in. Well, because. Well, I’m better, right? Like, that’s. That’s why I’m here. And then in verse, verse 20, then he gives us really the the way to treat the unhealth of the soul, which is important. It’s important to know God’s position. It’s important to have godly friends. And in verse 20, it’s important to consider the health of our soul, he says. That is true. God says they were broken off because of their unbelief. But you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud. But fear. God is saying in this passage, Look, there’s there’s one thing that destroys your soul and one thing that’s going to keep your soul healthy, the thing that’s going to destroy your soul. It’s pride. It’s self autonomy. Pride is giving ourselves the credit for something that God has accomplished. It’s taking the glory that belongs to God alone and keeping it for ourselves.

Pride Essentially, it’s self worship. You think you’re where you are all because of what you’ve done? In First Corinthians four seven, it says this. What do you have? That you did not receive. And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? Do you not understand? It’s the grace of God. It’s always been about the grace of God and so and so. In the last part of this verse, he encourages us what God’s desire for us. And being able to walk in a healthy life is this idea of fear. And this doesn’t mean afraid, but rather it carries better the idea of this reverence, this reverence for the root that gives us life that we have the opportunity to rest in. Because when we have that reverence, we’re truly coming to the one that God has. We’ve been created to worship the Lord alone. And we’re surrendering to him because we found our identity there. Well, what he’s saying is if you want to live the healthy Christian life moving forward after you’ve fallen, certainly God, God’s desire is to invite you back in. But the way that this continues. It’s humility. Similarly. In fact, I often say humility is the language of God. You want to connect to God? You want to know God? You want to walk with God. Humility is his language. It says to us over and over in the Bible. Pride comes before the fall.

But God. God and our humility. He will lift us up in Him. And so then it goes on and says in following verses note, then the kindness and the severity of God. He wants us to take it seriously. There is God’s kindness and also there’s God’s judgment. Severity towards those who have fallen. But God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in His kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. He’s saying this really to the Jews and the Gentiles. God will certainly judge our sin. God will judge. But God also always leaves the door open for us to turn to him, to be forgiven, too, to be reconciled. And he warns us, if we don’t do that, we’re going to be cut off now. Let me explain this word cut off for a minute because I think some some people can approach this passage and and apply it the wrong way. Paul in this section is not referring to an individual. He’s not saying, look, follow Jesus. And if you stop following Jesus, then God’s going to completely cut you off and cast you out, right? Like you’re going to burn in hell forever. That’s that’s not what this passage is saying. Okay. Rather, what he’s what he has in mind here is a people group. He has in mind the Jewish people group and the Gentile people group, a Gentile people group. Is everyone else in the world that’s not Jewish. And he’s describing us this way that a people group can reject God.

Now, there can always be a remnant within that people group, right? We’ve looked at that in chapter nine and ten. Among the Jews, there was always a remnant. The Apostle Paul was a remnant. His faith was in Christ. He was not cut off. Right. He followed after the Lord. But when we think in terms of Jew and Gentile, he’s talking about people groups and he’s warning both Jew and Gentile. If we don’t align our heart with the Lord, if we don’t come to Christ, if we don’t surrender our life and ask the Lord for forgiveness, that that those people groups can be cut off, that if a if a generation rises up and they reject the Lord, that that it not only has consequences for that generation, but the lineage that comes forth from that generation, that not only could that generation be lost, but so can the next generation, that it’s a people group by and large, that are cut off because they’ve rejected the Messiah? How important it is. Your walk with Jesus. To understand the condition of your heart. To think about why you are where you are in him and how you follow after the Lord. And then he goes this way. Verse 23. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in. For God has the power to graft them in again.

This is that reminds me of the great theologian Mariah Carey. We belong together. If you know that song, you listen to it later today. But God is saying like that, even if they continue in unbelief, God, God in his power, He can graft and he he can bring what’s broken and he can always restore at any moment. Beautiful thought in the Lord. You think about your own failures and you’re like, How could God love me? And God’s just saying, Because I’m full of grace and I’m for you and I want to bring you into me because you were created for that. And I can graft you in no matter how many times you feel like you fall or you get back up. And we can continue this race together. Verse 24, If you were cut off, cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree and grafted contrary to nature into a cult of cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree? And God saying If the Lord can do this with you, Gentiles, you wild olive branches. God can certainly bring his people back again. The chosen people, the Jewish people. God can bring them into relationship with him. Now, in terms of this passage of Scripture, many Christians, we don’t struggle to remember what I told you. Right. We generally, I think, know if we read read through the Bible or read portions of the Bible, what the nature of God is and the importance of godly relationship and and examining my own heart.

But but reality is sometimes we get distracted. And sometimes we lose our passion for the things the Lord. Um, I think it’s important. Even when you walk with Jesus to always rub shoulders with new believers. Sometimes they remind you just what God has done in your life. You. You get around a new believer sometimes, and when their life is radically transformed and they for the first time, their eyes open to the love of Jesus and knowing him and forgiveness and they start talking about it, there’s this excitement about them. And you think, Man, I used to talk like that. Like I forgot. I forgot some of the stuff. But their passion is contagious and I love what God is doing in the life and and we can get like that. Sometimes we get to the place where just following after the Lord just feels like a humdrum task. And it’s just the same old hat that we’ve worn over and over. And we forget just how good God’s been to our lives. And so can I just encourage you, as we leave today with just a couple of thoughts? A couple of things to practice in your life that just churn the the beauty of a godly heart in your life as as you think about surrendering to to him and in humility rather than walking in pride.

The first is this the apostle Paul says this in Philippians chapter four, verse four, actually later today, if you want to read this passage, starting in verse four to the to the end of the chapter, it’s a beautiful section of scripture. It deals with anxiety. It talks about whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure. Think on those things. But but Paul says this in verse four. He says, Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again. Rejoice. And one of the most incredible things for me about this chapter is when I when I consider where the apostle Paul was when he wrote this. Paul is in. He’s in jail. He’s been beaten and he’s thrown in jail. And you know what Paul’s talking about. Rejoicing. Rejoicing in the Lord. And rejoicing carries this idea. You know, Paul, if you ask Paul, Paul, do you do you like being in prison? Isn’t this awesome? Paul is going to be like, No, you know, if I had to choose between prison and not prison, I’d choose not prison every time. But what Paul is saying is this idea of rejoicing is a rejoicing in the things of God that remind you of his good hand in your life. What makes the Lord so good. Sometimes as people, we tend to just focus on the negative. Our culture does that, right? Mean turn on the news? They just they they live on the fear.

All the problems in life. But what Paul is saying is it is important to the health of your soul to constantly be rejoicing in the things that you have in the Lord. And the way that you do that is you look back over the good hand of God in your life and you remind yourself every day of that God. Because it’s the same God who walks with you. Now you rejoice in that. And at the same time, while you rejoice. The Bible says over and over that his people are to sing a new song. And the Psalms mention this multiple times. Sing a new song in the Lord. Psalm 96, verse one. Sing a new song of the Lord. This idea of a new song is to recognize that in our life and God keeps working. That God’s story as we walk with him, continues to paint beautiful things in our life, that our soul, as we continue in that journey, get to rejoice in Him. It’s not to come to Jesus once and your relationship with God is done, but rather continue close to the Lord and give him the opportunity as you walk close with him to continue to write that new song of great things that he’s doing in your life, that you can sing and the great things of God as he moves forward. It’s important for the soul to be refreshed.

Not to just live in your past and your relationship with God, but to enjoy the the the joy of that relationship every day as you walk with him. So not only does God give you a reason to rejoice as you look at the things of the past, but he gives you a reason to sing because you’re looking at the great things in the future that God has for you. Because wherever you go in the Lord, you know, His hand is going to provide whatever you need. And so you can sing before the Lord. Let me close with this. George Schmidt. George Schmidt was actually considered the first Protestant missionary to ever go to Africa. He went to South Africa. He beat David Livingstone by a number of years, I think almost 100 years. He was ahead of David Livingstone and in Africa. But George Schmidt went to South Africa and ministered to a people group down there that there was a Dutch colony that already existed there, but they were treated poorly by the Dutch colony. But George Schmidt went ahead and ministered to them anyway. He didn’t care how the people were treating them. He he desired for them to know the Lord. And as he ministered there, he was there for about seven years and he saw his first few converts come to know the Lord and were baptized. I think it was five total. People came to know the Lord and were baptized and it angered the Dutch people.

And and they actually kicked out George Schmidt. And and he left after seven years of doing ministry there, he left feeling defeated. He thought after seven years, all all he saw. There were five converts. Five people come to know the Lord and were baptized in him. And and he just thought he just felt broken. Here he is. He tried his best for the Lord. And. And it just didn’t work the way that he wanted. And he had to be sent home and just felt defeated. It was over 50 years before anyone went back to Africa. 1944, I believe it was when he was kicked out or 1744. It was when he was kicked out. And 50 years later people returned. And when they finally returned, the first thing that they did is they went to the place that George Smith had done ministry and they found the ruins of his home. And while they were there, someone came up to them and greeted themselves and they were asking about the work that he had done. And they took him. They took this these group of missionaries to a home of a of a lady who was now much older. But she was one of the people that George Smith had baptized. And they asked her, do you do you read the Bible? Do you know the Bible? And she took them over to the corner of of the place where she lived.

And she uncovered in this goat skin a copy of a Dutch New Testament. And she had been reading it to her family every day since George Smith had been kicked out 100 years to the day after he was removed from Africa feeling like a failure. They did a study on how many people came to know the Lord off of George Smith’s ministry of just seeing five people converted. 100 years later, over 13,000 people had come to know Christ through that ministry. Because sometimes when we serve Jesus. It feels hard. And sometimes we don’t get the results that we expect or want. What can I encourage you this morning? God’s desire for your life is not about results. God’s desire for your life is simply that your heart would be connected to him faithfully. It’s when your heart is connected to him faithfully that he produces the fruit. Fruits. Not up to you. But God won’t work in your life. Unless your life is truly surrendered to him. But it’s when we have that opportunity to give our lives to the Lord that he can do great things beyond our imagination. George Smith never lived to see those results. But the ripple effect was huge. If the people were willing to recognize one thing. He’s the root, not me. I’m just the wild olive branch grafted in. But it’s him that produces the beauty. If my heart would surrender in humility.

Romans 11:1-10