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May Jesus Christ be Praised - Part 3


V.16 ** Paul now uses an analogy to describe how unique Israel is in God's eyes. Who is the "first piece" of dough and the "root" which are both holy? Hint: Remember this is regarding the beginning of the nation of Israel.

Abraham! cf. Verse 1, Abraham represented Israel as a holy (set apart) nation, unto the Lord.

V.17 ** In his analogy, what does Paul say happened to some of the "branches"?

They were broken off, some of Abraham's descendants fell away in unbelief!

** How does Paul refer to the Gentiles?

They are "wild" olives, which had been grafted into the rich root of the olive tree.
cf. Matthew 3:8-9

V.18 ** Well, since God thought so highly of us so as to graft us into the "root" of Abraham, should we feel pretty proud about ourselves?

Me genoito! Absolutely not! "...do not be arrogant toward the (natural) branches..." which had been broken off, as if you are better than they.

** Why not?

Because "it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you"! Abraham was saved by faith establishing the course and showing us the way we were to follow at a much later date!
cf. Romans 4:9-11

V.19 ** What would the arrogant heart likely say about those Israelite "branches" which had been broken off?

"Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in!" A loathsome display of pride!

V.20 ** While that is a statement of fact, what should be our response in light of their being broken off?

"Do not be conceited, but fear!" cf. 1Corinthians 10:11-12, Philippians 2:12-13 Our response should be one of reverence and awe for a holy God who was willing to save us!

V.21 ** Why did God not spare the natural branches?

Because of their unbelief! cf. V.23a

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