Branches

Romans 11:18-24 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bear not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou stand by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shall be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? 

‘Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bear not the root, but the root thee’ – the Gentiles here are warned not to boast of their being accepted by God in the place of the Jews (11:18-19), but to fear lest they also fall and not be spared (11:20-22).

‘If thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou also shall be cut off’ – this is always the condition of eternal life. If God promises here to cut off those who do not remain in His goodness, then He is obligated to do so (2:11). The conditions of eternal life are: Come to Christ (John 6:37, 44, 45, 65); know God and Christ (John 17:2-3); cause no offense (Matt. 18:8-9); forsake all (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30); overcome sin (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21); live free from sin (Rom. 5:21; 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Tit. 2:11-14); fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on it (1Tim. 6:12, 19); be sober and hope to the end for it (Tit. 1:2; 3:7; 1Pet. 1:5, 9, 13); endure temptations (Jas. 1:12); love everybody (1Jn. 3:14-15); keep yourself in the love of God, looking for eternal life (Jude 1:20-24); be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10; Heb. 12:14-15); believe and obey the gospel (John 3:15-19, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:40, 47, 54; 2Cor. 5:17; Rom. 1:5); be born again, hear Christ, and follow Him (John 3:1-36; 10:27-29).

‘If they abide not still in unbelief’ – this is always the condition of renewal in God and in His faith and grace.

‘Again’ – The word “again” means “once more; anew; afresh.” Anything could not be done again if it had not been done before. Seven things that people can do again: Be revived again (Ps. 85:6); return to God again (Jer. 3:1; Ezek. 33:14); turn from sin again (Jer. 25:5; Ezek. 18:27); be grafted into the olive tree again (11:23); be taught again (Heb. 5:12); be made over again (Jer. 18:4); be born again (John 3:3-7; 1Pet. 1:3, 23; Gal. 4:19; Jas. 5:19-20).

Seven things that people should not do again: Turn from righteousness (Ezek. 3:20); build sinful things (Gal. 2:18); desire to be in bondage (Gal. 4:9); be entangled in Mosaic Law (Gal. 5:1); continue sinning and repenting (Heb. 6:1); turn back to folly (Psa_85:8); be entangled in sin (2Pet. 2:20-22).

‘Contrary to nature into a good olive tree’ a fruitless branch grafted to a good tree is contrary to custom.

‘How much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?’ It being contrary to custom to graft unfruitful branches into a good and fruitful tree, how much more will it be natural to graft branches into their own fruitful tree?

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