Romans 11:16-25 / Know Your Roots (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on May 1, 2014


This is the forty-sixth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of April 27, 2014. This message deals with the cutting off of Israel, and the grafting in of the gentiles. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

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Rom 11_16-25




Romans 11:16-25

The firstfruits are that which we are to offer up to God.

It is what we reap first from our labor. (i.e. tithing should be done before any other money is paid out.)

More than that, the term Firstfruits originated as one of the Old Testament feasts.

Leviticus 23:9-14

people offered the first ripe sheaf (firstfruits) of barley to the Lord as an act of dedicating the harvest to Him.

It was ultimately a picture of Christ, and His resurrection.

The resurrected Christ is actually referred to as the first fruits.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23

And it is Christ to which this passage ultimately speaks.

The branches (us) are nothing on their own, and without the root they would die.

What the root has, it passes on to the branches.

The roots of a sycamore tree will not produce the branches of a maple tree.

Therefore, if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Certainly, if one is in Christ, he is holy because of Christ.

The wild olive tree represents the gentiles.

Some of the natural branches were broken off, because they were dead and useless.

The gentile believers were then grafted in and they became one with the natural olive tree. That is, they were adopted into God’s family.

The Jews are God’s natural children and we are His adopted children, but through adoption we are given the same rights and privileges.

We ARE called “children of God.”

This is a prideful kind of boasting, and pride is a sin, nothing positive ever comes of it.

Oxymoron: “I’m proud to be a Christian”

It is as if Christians today are so ignorant of the Word of God, that they don’t even realize that statements such as this are inherently wrong.

We should be more conscious of what we say.

Pride has NO place in a Christian’s heart, because we haven’t EARNED anything!

Ephesians 2:8–9

God has done all the work, and He deserves all the credit!

Remember, you aren’t the one who holds this tree up, so what do you have to be proud of?

You haven’t earned your way into God’s family, so how can you be proud of being a child of God?

What we need is more fear and less pride.

We would do well to remember that the original branches were broken off due to unbelief, and we were grafted in by faith.

Rather than be prideful of our relationship with Christ, we should demonstrate a greater fear of God.

Matthew 10:28

Greek: Phobeo: lit. to be afraid. This is the word we get phobia from.

Why should we fear?
Because, if God didn’t spare Israel, He won’t spare us.

Unless we are obedient, we face the same fate as Israel.

Israel rejected Christ and failed to perform their task. Therefore, the job of spreading the Gospel was given to the gentiles (the church).

If you don’t do what you have been called to do, God will move you out of the way, and make room for someone who will.

None of us are indispensable.

This doesn’t mean that you can lose your salvation, the Bible is very clear on that.

However, you can lose your fellowship with God.

When that happens to a true Christian, their life will become increasingly miserable until things are set right.

The believing Jews WILL be grafted back in. God can and will do this, it is a promise.

This just reinforces the fact that we cannot lose our salvation, and that God can and will restore the repentant believer to fellowship.

God’s work, in and through us, is contrary to our wild nature. It is; therefore, a certainty that Israel will be grafted back in.

They will be redeemed, the price has already been paid.

God is always faithful to finish the work that He has started.

Philippians 1:6

This is good news for all believers.

Paul wants us to understand why Israel was cast aside, and that they will be restored.

He makes it clear that the hardening of Israel is neither total nor final, and this is proof that God has a future for the nation.

The gentiles have NOT replaced Israel! If it weren’t for the “blindness of Israel, the eyes of the gentiles would never have been opened.

God’s plan is perfect, even if we don’t understand it.

This is one of several “until” verses, and it tells us that god has a timetable, and He is never late in fulfilling His plan.

Matthew 23:39

Luke 21:24

Psalm 110:1

“until” always refers to a specific point in time. Oftentimes, only God knows that time.

Though we may have to wait, and we may be impatient, God’s timing will be perfect.

When the time is right, there will be a glorious family reunion. All believers will come together, whether Jew or gentile.

We can take comfort in His faithfulness, that He will complete His work and fulfill His promises.

We can take comfort in His mercy to restore a repentant believer. God will never permanently cast one of His children away.

This knowledge should motivate us to be more diligent in doing His work, and sharing His gospel.

Posted in: Sermons