Gentiles Will be Saved

Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over our nation’s deserts. All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert pla … More

Arrogance

Paul was appointed as a missionary to the Gentiles (v.13). He reminded his Jewish brethren of this fact, hoping that they too would want to be saved (v. 14). The Jews had been rejected, and thus Gentiles were being offered salvation. When a Jew comes to Christ there is great rejoicing. It was as if the dead person had come back to life (v. 15). Speaking to Gentile Christians, Paul warns them to not feel superior because God rejected some Jews(v. 18). They must keep in mind Abraham’s descendants are the root of a productive tree, and the Jewish people are the tree’s natural branches (vv. 19-21). However, because of their faithlessness they were as broken branches, and the Gentile believers were grafted in their place. Both Jews and Gentiles share the tree’s nourishment based on faith in God. Neither can rest on heritage or culture for salvation. “Continue in His goodness” (v.22) refers to steadfast perseverance in faith. Steadfastness is a proof of the reality of faith and a by-product of salvation, not a means to it.

The Jewish people have a marvelous history and heritage, but everyone needs to be aware of the Bible’s teaching on God’s future plan for Israel (vv. 23-24). In this passage Paul teaches us about how Israel’s unbelief has led to the hardening of their hearts toward Jesus Christ and the blessed Gospel of peace. Since most Jews have rejected Christ, God has rejected them. They have missed the way, the truth and the life found in Jesus Christ. Yet, we learn in Romans 11 that God has special plans for their regathering, restoration, and redemption (Rom. 11:26). When Israel rejected Jesus Christ, the nation lost her favored position before God, and the Gospel was then preached to the Gentiles. God allowed this so that the Jews would hopefully become jealous and turn back to God.

Application

I never want to take for granted what God has done in and through my life. I am so thankful that God has provided salvation for both Gentiles and Jews. This salvation is through simple faith in Him, and not because of what I do or don’t do.

Romans 11:13-24 (English Standard Version)

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 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. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

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