Share in the Nourishing Root

“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.

“Lest you be wise in your own sight,.: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in… 

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:17-25,29

Paul’s yearning for the Israelites’s inclusion in Christ is borne of a humble amazement at and appreciation for God’s mercy to him. He knows he is unworthy of God’s favor as a great sinner, and longs that God be magnified through the greater endowment of His grace. Having been grafted into God’s family by no effort of his own, he urges his readers to acknowledge this truth themselves. In the Lord’s salvific economy, there is no room for smugness. His children are attached, nourished, and sustained in the root of Christ. (1 Timothy 1:15)

Yet, how easy it is to boast! Even subconsciously we believe we’ve a right to God’s grace when we have nothing to merit it. In fact, we have everything to do with its magnification, as by it alone we are rooted in faith: wooed, forgiven, freed, and redeemed. Only God tames the wild rebel, includes the outcast, makes enemies friends, and names those His who once did not belong. (Romans 5:8-10; 1 Peter 2:9-10)

Where do we draw our daily nourishment? And with whom are we sharing its sustenance and joy? Connected to the God who dispenses riches and gifts, we’re compelled to use them for His glory and the good of others. Are we so rooted and grounded in faith and love, so filled with His fullness, that we exude His love and care, compassion and patience to others? What spiritual fruit are we bearing in private and public? (Romans 12:3–8; Ephesians 3:17-19; Colossians 2:6-7)

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

‘Who has given a gift to him
    that he might be repaid?’

“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:33,35-36

And amen.

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