Tuesday, 22 October 2013
And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. Romans 11:23
Paul is in essence repeating himself in this verse. So far in verses 1 & 2, 11 & 12, and 15 he has indicated that Israel is not completely cut off. He is building on each thought and adding to it so that we can see what has happened and why. Today repeats the “why” of verse 20. The Jews as a whole (not all individuals) were broken off because of unbelief. Now we are told that this state of unbelief does not have to be final. “If they do not continue in unbelief…”
It has already been hinted that they won’t so continue (verse 12) and it will be explicitly stated in verses 25 through 27.
1) Being a part of the Olive tree is conditional on belief
2) The Jewish people as a whole failed to believe and were broken off
3) If they do not continue in unbelief (as is indicated that they won’t), they will be grafted in
4) Therefore, God will graft them in again because
5) God is able to graft them in again
This current state of unbelief is because of their pursuing the law as a means to the end. They will realize this as a faulty approach in the future. Paul explains this in 2 Corinthians 3. Pursuing the law leaves a veil over the eyes of those who so pursue it, but “the veil is taken away in Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:14). Such is the work of the Spirit. It is life from the dead; even the long-dead branches which were broken off. God is able to bring them back to life and graft them again into His holy tree.
Life application: Nobody is so far from God that they cannot be brought to spiritual life. And a large part of our work here should be geared towards that premise. Prayer is something we can all participate in. Find the person that you dislike the most in your heart, if there is such a person, and make a concerted effort to pray for them. Christ died for them too.
Lord, You know that in the recesses of my heart there is bitterness towards some people. I don’t like them for my own petty reasons and I’m happy when they’re not around me, but yet I am convicted by this. I was once far from You and You drew me near. So Lord, today, I am praying for those that I am at odds with – for peace, for reconciliation, and for their coming to know Jesus. Thank You for hearing my prayers for them. Amen.