Sunday School Material 8-21-16: Grafted In







(Romans 11:11-24; 8/21/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God grafted in those who accepted Jesus. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to make sure that we have been grafted in and that we are trying to help others get grafted in.

Body:

Read Romans 11:11-16

I. Holy Root, Holy Branches. In our Sunday School material Paul talks about how the Jews’ transgressions led to the Gentiles being saved. He reminds his readers that he is an Apostle to the Gentiles, but he is hoping for the salvation of the Jews as well.

He mentions how the holy root and holy branches are connected, in a way similar to how a piece of dough is connected to the entire batch of dough.

Applications –

- God’s working all things out for the good of His people. Notice in vss. 11-12 of the Sunday School material that the rejection by the Jews (bad) opened the door for the Gentiles (good). In like manner, God is still taking what seems to be bad and using it for the good of His people.

Think about how God can take an employment termination to spur us on to a better job and/or business. God can close the door of a bad relationship, so we can be available for a better relationship.

Let’s live like we trust God to work in all things for the good of His people. This kind of living should be known for joy, confidence, and obedience, even when we don’t see how God is moving in our troubled situations.

- Ministry confidence. Notice in vs. 13 that Paul understood his assignment. In like manner, it is important for believers to have a level of assurance about what God wants them to do.

On one hand, there is always an element of faith. We don’t have a signed document from God with the details of our assignment. But on the other hand, we know that God wants us to use our gifts and personalities to minister to the needs that we see, in ways that bring glory to Him (i.e., GPS profile).

 Let’s work on being confident in our ministry assignments. As with swimming, we become more confident as we move in the right direction.

- Hope for those who repent. Notice in vss. 14-16, 23 that there is hope for those who repent. We love this idea when it applies to us. But the idea applies to everyone. Let’s live as if there is hope for those who repent.

This means we should repent, when we get off track. This means that we should urge others to repent, while they have time. And this means that we should be open to even those who have mistreated us repenting and having a change of heart.

Read Romans 11:17-24

II. Wild Branches, Cultivated Tree. Paul talks about how the Gentiles are like branches grafted into an olive tree. In our Sunday School material he warns them to avoid being arrogant about being grafted in, while the Jews were broken off. God can remove the Gentiles, if they don’t do right. And God can graft in the Jews, if they repent.

Applications –

- No room for arrogance. Notice in vss. 17-21 that there is no room for saved people to be arrogant or to think of themselves as superior to others. First, as the branches are supported and nourished by the roots, we are supported and nourished by Jesus. We need God a whole lot more than God needs us.

Second, the only reason we are saved is because of our faith in Jesus’ payment, not because of our goodness. All saved people are saved by the grace of God, not their own merits. Let’s live like we understand that arrogance is wrong. Such living includes being humble and loving.

- God’s kindness and sternness. Notice in vs. 22 that God has both kindness and sternness. First, He is kind to those who accept Jesus as savior and strive to live by His will. Second, He is stern to those who do not accept Jesus and strive to live by His will.

Third, we are urged to continue in His kindness because He is subject to become stern with us, if we don’t. There are too many people who ignore the New Testament sternness of God. We don’t have to fear God taking our salvation. But we should fear His punishment.

 Let’s live like we want to continue in God’s kindness, instead of His sternness. This kind of living calls for obedience. We can start with studying, serving, and giving, but we should grow to studying and obeying God’s will for every area of our lives.

Conclusion: Let’s work on making sure that we have been grafted in and that we are trying to help others get grafted in. God has much for those who obey His will.

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