“The Goodness And Severity Of God”

Behold then the goodness and severity of God; toward them that fell, severity; but toward thee, God’s goodness, if thou continuest in his goodness: otherwise thou also shall be cut off. And they also, if they continuest not in their unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again” (Rom. 11:22-23). Paul describes two actions here — a “cutting off” and a “grafting in” and neither actions is “non-reversible”! Jews had been cut off, they could be grafted in again. Gentiles had been grafted in, but they could be cut off. The importance of the word “continue” cannot be minimized. Should Israel continue in her unbelief, her rejection would also continue. Should Gentiles continue in God’s goodness, God’s goodness would continue with them.

God deals with disobedience and obedience alike on the part of all. He does not respect persons. When men refuse to abide in Christ, they will be certainly be cut off. This is God’s severity for He rejects those who reject Him. But, when men come to believe in God and manifest faith in sincere obedience, God receives them and they experience God’s goodness. Rejection; God’s severity, need not be permanent for rejection can be reversed. “For if thou was cut out of that which is by nature a will olive tree and was grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree; how much more shall these, which are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree” (Rom. 11:24)?

With these words is the comfort that Israel’s state need not remain as it was. But, while Israel can be saved, her salvation will come “one by one;” there is no promise of the restoration of the fortunes of national Israel. When Jews are grafted in again, they become part of spiritual Israel; of the kingdom of Christ, but which kingdom Jesus said is “not of this world” (John 18:36). NEXT: “So All Israel Shall Be Saved …”

Jim McDonald

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