Gentile Inclusion

God's Choice

Pastor Jerry Gillis - June 5, 2022

Community Group Study Notes

  1. Have someone in your group give a brief recap of Sunday’s message, highlighting the primary Scripture passages and main idea of the message. 

  1. How has this message (or this message in combination with any others in this series) confirmed and/or corrected your previous ideas about God’s choice? 

  1. Define humility. What are the thoughts, actions, and behaviors of a humble person?  

  1. What are some examples of spiritual pride?  

  1. In what ways do you struggle with spiritual pride? How can arrogance prevent us from intimacy with God, fellowship with other believers, or engaging in God’s mission?  

  1. Consider the kindness and sternness of God. How should this influence your faith and outpouring of faith?  

  1. We are blessed to be a blessing. How have you been a distributor of God’s grace this week? If you are struggling to come up with an example, what barriers may have limited you in blessing others this week?  

  1. In what ways can you apply today’s message to your life?  


Action Step 

  • “Arrogance is a fundamental forgetting of where we came from and how we got to where we are now” (Pastor Jerry). We are all in danger of growing spiritually arrogant. Meet with a trusted brother or sister in Christ this week (a spouse, family member, friend, or mentor) and ask them to honestly evaluate your spiritual humility and spiritual pride. As you receive their feedback, write down areas of your life in which you may be demonstrating spiritual pride. Spend time praying over these areas. 


Mobilization Challenge 


Choose an Awareness Challenge: 

  • Alone/Not-Alone. Go somewhere and eat by yourself. What would it look like if Jesus was eating with you? Just enjoy being with Him. Maybe there is a chance to talk to someone or help someone. Ask the Lord what He would do if He was in your chair.  

  • Walk your pet with purpose. Walk your dog when you see a neighbor walking theirs. You might end up talking with your neighbor! 

  • Celebrate! Be aware of people close to you. Are they celebrating something? Perhaps they quit smoking, they just had a baby, they got a promotion, or the cancer is in remission. Use anything you can as an excuse to celebrate them!  

  • In your going, take time to be aware of what/who is around you. Before you enter a public space, ask God to help you see what He wants you to see. Make note of the people you see, what is going on around you, and what ways you might be able to serve others.  

  • Prayer walk in your community and take notice of who and what is around you. 

  • Map out a mile radius around your house and drive it. Pray and take notes of what you see.  

  • Look at your town’s event calendar and find an event to attend. Ask a neighbor to go with you or go by yourself and try to meet new neighbors.  

  • Eat at the same restaurant in your community multiple times and see if you can get to know the servers and the regular customers.  

  • At work, be aware of co-workers and managers. Do you see anything you can do to encourage them?  


Sermon Transcript

Good morning to everybody. So glad that you are here. Glad to see you. Those of you who are here at this campus, those who are at our other campuses at Cheektowaga, at Lockport and Niagara Falls. Those of you watching online, good morning to everyone. I think it'll be fair to say, I think we would all agree with this that arrogance is ugly. I mean we don't like it when we see it, right? Sometimes we see arrogance and we really don't like what we see. The difficulty is, is that there are times where we don't recognize it in ourselves, so we can see it really clearly, but oftentimes we are not as quick to be able to identify it in our own lives, but it's something that we have either all struggled with or that we struggle with. It's kind of pride and arrogance all wrapped up together. That kind of idea that we are looking through a lens of superiority at someone or something, somehow, and that we have positioned ourselves to be the better and someone else or something less, the lesser, and it is, it's ugly, right? I mean, it can affect us all and probably has, and it can come in a variety of ways. Sometimes even in the simplest of ways, it can come through the lenses of parents who look at their kids and think to themselves, man, they turned out great, we must be awesome. And they look at other people whose kids may have not turned out as great, or maybe whose kids may be struggling with certain things and think to themselves, "Oh, those poor folks." And in their minds, what's working. They'd never say it, but in their minds what's working is if they could only be the parent that we are, right? They wouldn't say it, but that's kind of what's going on maybe in the background of our brain noise. There's many other ways in which this can kind of position itself. You know, people that have a tendency to maybe be really good looking and think that they had something to do with it, as if they didn't just get handed this genetic deck of cards that happened to be really good that people went, "Oh wow." And by the way, those things are in the eye of the beholder anyway. But it is amazing that someone who may kind of think to themselves, "Man, I'm good looking," thinks that they did something to get that way. Or maybe someone was born into wealth. No problem, they can't help that they were born into wealth, but maybe they think that they are deserving of things as a result of being born into wealth. Or maybe that they have merited things as a result of being born into wealth. It's as if that they were listen, it's as if they are on third base. And they're trying to convince the world, they hit a triple, they were born there. They were born on third base, ahead of everybody. But they're trying to convince the world that they hit a triple that's an arrogant way of looking at the world, right? There can be national arrogance that we have. We're Americans. We see it all the time in other countries, those who have been in a bunch of other countries sometimes pick up on this, where you see people that are there and you see American tourists and people are just kind of rolling their eyes like, "Oh man, they come from America. They act like that they've been around for a long time. They haven't, they show up here in Europe. We've been around for a long time, but they act like they run the place," you know? And it's kind of like, "Okay, back it down," you know, or maybe we think we're in the United States and we're in America that we're so powerful and so wealthy that no one could actually touch us, no one could, you know, hamper us in any way. And the truth is we're watching a nation that is morally imploding from the inside, whether or not things are happening from the outside, but let's be clear just because we're wealthy and we're powerful, doesn't mean that everything will be fine. I don't know if you've read history, but empires, they don't last forever. It is national arrogance to think that somehow that empires will last forever because they simply don't. And of course the same thing can happen in our spiritual journey as the people of God, when we come to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, when we become transformed by Him that this same kind of creep of arrogance can start to sneak into our world where we now view kind of with this high minded pity, the rest of the lost world. And we kind of look through this self righteous lens as if we did something to deserve the place that we now stand by grace, that can even creep into us. Now, the reason that I bring this idea up is because as we're studying through the book of Romans chapter nine, 10, and 11, for those of you who've been journeying with us on this, what we found is we found that in that book we're seeing, or in those chapters of that book in Romans, what we're seeing is, we're seeing God's sovereign choices being worked out in history for the salvation of the world. How people can be reconciled to Him. And He began with this choice of Israel, right? This community of people and an actual ethnic group of people descended from Abraham called Israel that were chosen for God's particular purposes. But just because you're from the ethnic descent of Israel does not mean that you are Israel because there's an Israel within Israel. There's this remnant of Israel that is believing and that has put their faith in Yahweh God. And so you have this group of people, Israel, who largely speaking, are not believing in God, are not following after God's way. And as a result, what happens is that they become hardened by God. And it opens the door to the Gentiles and the Gentiles that means non-Jewish people, which is pretty much everybody that I'm talking to today. Not everybody, but pretty much everybody that Gentiles now have an open door to access to reconciliation with God because of what Jesus has done. Jesus, who was born Jewish, who lived a sinless life, who went to a cross to die for the sins of the world, who rose from the grave and now by faith in Him, we can be reconciled to God. All of this is wonderful, incredibly good news. But what we're reading in here in Romans nine, 10 and 11 is we're reading how Paul, the apostle is correcting the people of Israel because they have chosen a pathway of unbelief and disobedience and obstinacy. And so Paul, who is a Jew is actually correcting and rebuking his own people, Israel, and saying, you need to wake up and here's what's happening. And he chronicles how Israel has been hardened for a time, hardened for a season where they really have blinders on. And they can't see the reality of the gospel and so, as a result, the door is opened up to the Gentiles. And now many Gentiles are coming to faith in Jesus Christ in the time of this writing in the book of Romans. But what can happen? The same way that Israel was blinded and arrogant because of their spiritual privileges, the same thing can happen to the Gentiles. And so what Paul does as we're moving on in Romans chapter 11, what Paul does is he specifically addresses the Gentiles and he basically says this. If I want to summarize the verses, I'm gonna cover today. Here it is. "Don't be arrogant. Don't be arrogant." That's what we see in the verses that we're going to cover this morning. And we're gonna see explanations around that, that Paul uses some metaphors to help us to see that reality of why we as Gentiles should not be arrogant, but let's take a look at it. I'm gonna give you a handful of these reasons that we are not to be arrogant, all right? Do not be arrogant, why? Number one, because we aren't shown grace just for our own sake. Don't be arrogant, why? Because we're not shown grace just for our own sake. Now we're going to be beginning in Romans 11:13 Notice what it says. "I am talking to you Gentiles." Did you catch that? So Paul's making it clear like who his audience is right now. He's writing to kind of all of these various people in Rome, but he says, "I'm talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?" So Paul begins here by saying, I'm talking to the Gentiles. That's really important for us because what Paul's going to do over the next little bit is he's going to use you and they language. And whenever you're reading that in the text of scripture, when you're reading you, you need to know who you is. And when you're reading, they, you need to know who they is. And normally when Paul is talking about Israel, he's talking about we and us, because he's one of them, but now he's talking to the Gentiles and he's referencing them as you and they as Israel, okay? So this is why he says, "I am talking to you Gentiles. And then he says, I am an apostle to the Gentiles. And I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my people to envy and save some." Now, what Paul is doing here is he may be answering a quick question. Maybe some of the questions that are running around in some of his reader's minds are this, Paul, if you're an apostle to the Gentiles, but you're Jewish, does that mean that you're kind of abandoning your people? And now there's this like new replacement people called the Gentiles or that you're trying to reach is that's what what's going on here? Have you abandoned Israel for us? And he says, no, I'm not abandoning Israel for you. I take pride in my ministry to the Gentiles. I've been called to ministry to the Gentiles, but know this, one of the motivations for the reason that I am endeavoring to reach out to the Gentiles and to see them saved is so that it will spur my people onto jealousy. That they'll look and they'll see that the Gentiles are now experiencing reconciliation to God. And they'll be jealous as a result of that, because what I want to see is I want to see some of them saved. That's what I want to see. Now, remember this, Paul's motivation was not just to see Jewish people saved. His motivation was to see Gentile people saved. His motivation was to see everybody saved. He wanted to see some of them save some Jews, some Gentiles. He knew that everybody wasn't going to respond, but that was his heart. You remember how he expressed that when he wrote his Paul wrote his letter to Corinth? He said it this way in 1 Corinthians, chapter nine, he said, "To the Jews, I became like a Jew to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law though I myself am not under the law, so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law, I became like one not having the law though I am not free from God's law, but I'm under Christ's law. So as to win those, not having the law. To the weak, I became weak to win the weak. I become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some." This was Paul's heart. This was Paul's desire, both for Jew and for Gentile. Now, when Paul says, as he does here in Romans chapter 11, that he's hoping that he can spur his own people to envy and save some of them. What is he saving them? What does he desire to see them saved from? What does he desire to see them saved to? You see, when we talk about this idea, which Paul does both in Jew and Gentile language, he talks about saving some, seeing some of these people, Jew and Gentile saved. What exactly is Paul talking about when he says that? Saved from what? Saved to what? Well earlier in the book of Romans back in chapter five, Paul actually gives us a hint as to what that looks like. Notice what he says, "Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath?" Did you catch that? We're being saved from God's wrath through Him, through Christ. "For if while we were God's enemies," that means that we are saved from sin. "We were reconciled to Him through the death of His son. How much more having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life. Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." So what Paul is saying is this. I wanna see people save, save from what save from God's wrath. You're going, wait a minute. God's wrath? Yes, God is holy. God is going to deal with sin. God won't wink at it. God, won't let it pass by. God is holy, God will deal with sin. God is pouring His wrath out on sin. So what happens when Jesus who died on a cross to take upon Himself the wrath of God for our sin, when we put our faith in Him, do you know what we're saved from, from God's wrath. And God's wrath is just because God always deals perfectly and righteously with sin and with the world. And God's wrath is right. And it's just against sin because sin is that which rages against God's holiness and rages against God's design and rages against what it means for you to actually live in wholeness with God. And so God hates sin, and He's going to deal with sin and pour His wrath out on sin but when we put our faith in Jesus, the one who bore the wrath of God on our behalf, we are now covered by His sacrifice and His blood. And now we are saved from the wrath of God. This is part of what we're saved from. We're saved from sin and it's ongoing effects. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. That's what Romans chapter eight tells us, right? That we're now saved from the guilt of sin and from the consequences long term of sin, because Jesus has dealt with this on our behalf. So we're saved from God's wrath. We're saved from sin and we're saved to life. And to reconciliation with God. This is what Paul is talking about here. When he says that he wants to see some people saved. Now the Jews rejection of God's beautiful gift of grace in Jesus Christ meant an open door for the Gentiles. And what does that mean? That means that Gentiles can now come and by faith, be reconciled to God. They have free access because of who Jesus is. But guess what Paul also said. He said, if the Jew's rejection means an open door for the Gentiles, imagine what their acceptance, the Jew's acceptance would be. You know what he says, "Life from the dead." That's what he says. Their acceptance would be like life from the dead. Here's why, what's he referring to when he says life from the dead? I think he's referring to when Israel ultimately turns their eyes and their hearts, and they will, that time is coming. When they turn their eyes and their hearts to the Messiah. The one that they, the one that came, that they rejected. That's what the old Testament scripture says when they ultimately, and there's coming a time where this is going to be when they turn their eyes back to the Messiah, then that means it is time now where there's been this full inclusion now of the Gentiles and the Jews who've turned their eyes back to Him. Then Jesus, the Messiah is going to return. And with it, He is going to bring new creation, including life from the dead. This is the great hope that we have, that's held out for us in the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's why Paul is saying to the Gentiles, listen carefully. He's saying to the Gentiles, "Don't be arrogant." This doesn't start and end with you. In fact, you are having the opportunity to come to faith in Jesus. And one of the motivations for that is that Israel will see that and be jealous and will turn their eyes to Messiah Jesus who will then come and make all things new. Just know this Gentiles, this isn't solely about you. So don't be arrogant because this grace that you have been shown, it's bigger than you. It's bigger than you. That's reason number one. And that's in, you know, kind of verses 13, 14, and 15, and then verse 16, there's a little bit of a transition verse. Notice what he says in verse 16. He says, "If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy, and if the root is holy, so are the branches." So what Paul does here is he uses actually two different metaphors here. He talks about a batch of dough and he talks about a tree and a root, right? And the first thing he's referencing is a batch of dough. And the first fruits of that batch of dough, that first fruits means like it's a portion taken from the very, from that dough, right? This is coming from the book of numbers, by the way, here's what the instruction was through Moses. It says, the Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land to which I'm taking you and you eat the food of the land, present a portion as an offering to the Lord, present a loaf from the first of your ground meal,'" in other words, the dough and get it from the threshing floor. "Throughout the generations to come you're to give this offering to the Lord from the first of your ground meal." This is where this instruction comes from. And Paul is taking from that. And he's saying basically this, he says, if the part of the dough, the first part of the dough, you've got this whole batch of dough, right? He says, if the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy. And then he says, if the root is holy, then so are the branches. Now, when you look at these two metaphors here's what's being discussed, Israel is the batch of dough. All right. That's Israel. Israel is the branches of the tree. That's Israel. The first fruits of the batch of dough, I think, is talking about the patriarchs and the promise that God made to Abraham that through the seed of Abraham, they would be rescued and they would be blessed and ultimately that was Jesus, right? But I think that's talking about the patriarchs, the first offering here that who was called separated out as holy for God's purpose. And the root over here, I think he's talking about the same thing. I think the metaphors are trying to describe the very same thing. The dough is Israel. The first fruits of that dough, the patriarchs, the promise that God made to them. God said, if the patriarchs are holy, that means set apart for God's purpose. It's not just listen. Holy there is not referring to salvation per se. It's referring to set being set apart for God's purpose. So if the first fruits of the dough, the patriarchs are set apart for God's purpose, then all of Israel is set apart for God's purpose. If the patriarchs are the root, then that means the branch is Israel are set apart for God's purpose. Are you seeing the metaphor here? He's using two of them to give us a description of what this looks like. And remember, this isn't just talking about salvation. This is talking about being separated out for the purpose of God, in what He wants to do. You know, Paul, actually used this language in another place when he was talking about like unbelieving spouse married to a believing spouse and what that did. 1 Corinthians chapter seven, maybe you remember it. He says, "For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children will be unclean, but as it is, they are holy." That means that what God does is He's setting apart, so there may be an unbelieving husband with a believing wife and God is saying, I'm going to, and I desire to work through that process because I have someone who's been set apart for my work. And as a result, I'm setting apart that family, for my purposes, it doesn't mean that the unbelieving husband automatically gets saved because the believing wife is saved. That's not what that means, but it does mean that God is working in that process, right? So God, Paul gives us an illustration of this and basically helps to develop then the second metaphor to give us more reasons not to be arrogant. He takes the tree metaphor. He kind of leaves the dough metaphor. He just said it once. And then he kind of leaves it. And then he gives us the tree metaphor. And he starts to unpack that just a little bit because he's helping us to see why we should not be arrogant. Here's the second reason we shouldn't be arrogant. It's because of the reminder of where we came from, the reminder of where we came from. Now, we'll see this when we look in the text itself in verses 17 and 18, as Paul begins to flourish this metaphor a little bit more. Here's what it says in verse number 17. "If some of the branches have been broken off and you," who's the you? Gentiles you kinda said that quietly, you're nervous. You thought that was gonna be a big test, right? And you were like, I don't want an F like, I'm just like, we're part of the way in the message. I don't wanna fail right now. Are you gonna kick me outta the class? Like, no, the you is the Gentiles, right? That's why I was telling you that from the very beginning. "If some of the branches have been broken off and you, the Gentiles, though a wild olive shoot have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this, you do not support the root, but the root supports you." You see what Paul is helping us to see is that we need a reminder of where we came from. In verse number 17, Paul refers to Israel as an olive tree or an olive root, right? This is coming from old Testament language in the book of Jeremiah, notice what it says in chapter 11, it says, "The Lord called you a thriving olive tree with fruit, beautiful in form." This is referencing Israel. "But with the roar of a mighty storm, he will set it on fire and its branches will be broken." You see, in the book of Jeremiah, Israel is called an olive tree, but Paul is picking up on that idea and talking about Israel as this olive tree. But he's also reminding and will come to that idea of branches being broken off. But Paul says here, he says, you Gentiles, however, you're a wild olive shoot. Let me explain. Wild olive shoots did not have any fruitfulness, no berries, no olives on them. They were wild olive shoots. They were unproductive. They didn't have anything to offer. And he's reminding them right now that as Gentiles, you were a wild olive shoot. And that what he has done is he has taken the wild olive shoot and he has grafted it in to the cultivated tree of this people of God, right? He's grafted it into this cultivated tree so that this wild olive shoot would bear olives right? Now, to be honest with you, this is horticulturally backwards, but it doesn't matter because Paul's not trying to make a horticultural point. He's using a metaphor and he's using the metaphor in the way he wants to use it. That's the thing with metaphors, right? Metaphors, we get to use in the way that we want to use them to try and make the point that we're trying to make. Paul's not trying to give us a lesson in gardening. Paul's trying to help us understand a point. In fact, the reason he is doing this backwards, in fact, verse 24 says it's contrary to nature because normally what you would do is you would take a good branch from a cultivated tree and you would graft it into a wild one. So that, that could bear fruit. But now what was happening is they were taking the wild olive shoot and placing it into a cultivated tree, so that it would ultimately bear fruit and be nourished from the sap there. So Paul's not trying to make a horticultural point. He's trying to make a point about grace, that God is doing something remarkable here in and through the Gentiles. So he says to the Gentiles, don't think that you're superior to the branches of this tree. Either the ones that are broken off or the ones that remain. Do not think that you are superior in any way, because the root of this tree is what supports you. You don't support it. In other words, the Gentiles had the, now the privilege to be nourished from the promises that were made to the patriarchs through the whole of the old Testament revelation, through the whole of the people of God called Israel. Now the Gentiles were being nourished through that very root. So he said, please do not think that you are superior because you may have forgotten exactly how you got here and who you were. You were a wild olive shoot, never forget you were wild when I found you. That's a good description of some of our testimonies, isn't it? Never forget, you were wild and unfruitful before I came and found you, right? Paul even reminds the church at Ephesus about the same idea. Remember what he said to the Gentiles and Ephesus? He said this in Ephesians chapter two. "Therefore remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called uncircumcised by those who called themselves 'the circumcision' which is done in the body by human hands. Remember that at that time you were separated from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise without hope and without God in the world." How's that for a reminder? You are not citizens. You are aliens. You were strangers. You were enemies. You were without hope. You were without God. That's who you were. Do not forget where you came from. You should not be as Gentiles arrogant in any way, because you need a reminder of where you came from. Over time it can be easy, can it to forget? Over time, it can just become easy for us to forget. The antivenom, the antivenom to the toxin of arrogance, spiritually is remembering what it was like to be lost and how Jesus rescued us. That's the antivenom. So he says, don't be arrogant because we aren't shown grace just for our own sake. And don't be arrogant because be reminded of where you came from. Thirdly, don't be arrogant because of God's grace. Look at what verse 19 and 20 says in Romans chapter 11, it says, you will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." You can hear the Gentiles talking right now, right? Well, these branches were broken off so I could be grafted in. Paul says true, granted. "But they were broken off because of unbelief. And you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble." You see Paul here is talking about how, because of Israel being unbelieving branches were broken off. Now this is a really interesting metaphor, this idea of the tree, because in some ways it's not talking about eternal salvation of individual people, but in other ways, it is talking about kind of that idea. And it's not super easy to fully understand and unpack. So I'm gonna be real careful and try and walk with humility around this idea. What we know is this is that there can be branches on the tree that never belonged there, and God broke 'em off. Ultimately at the end of the day, the only branches that are going to be on the tree are the branches that belong there. And you know how they got there? By grace, through faith, see unbelief is where the branches are broken off. And so the whole metaphor starts with these branches that are there, that look exactly like they are a part of the people of God, but they're broken off. Not because they lost something because they were never really supposed to be a part. Again, it's a metaphor. It's a metaphor that we're trying to use here. That Paul is helping us to understand, but he's talking about nearness and access to the gospel. Paul says, true. Some are broken off so that you could be grafted in, but because of their unbelief and grace, grace has been shown to you. And now it's by faith that you stand, listen very carefully. We are where we are because of grace. It's because of God's grace. It is not because of our merit, which means there is no room for arrogance. There's only room for trembling, trembling in humility before God that says, God, thank you for your grace that was shown to me not because I merited it, not because I deserved it, but because you're gracious. God has shown us grace. And we need to remember, we are never to be arrogant. The gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ rages against arrogance, because we are getting, we are getting what we do not deserve, right? Grace is God giving to us what we do not deserve, mercy is God keeping from us what we do deserve. And we've been shown grace and mercy in what God has done through Jesus Christ. And this is not because of ourselves. We don't merit this grace. So we should never be arrogant because we are a product and a trophy of God's own grace. Fourth reason we shouldn't be arrogant is because of who God is. We shouldn't be arrogant because of who God is. Notice what the text says in verse 21 and 22. Says, "For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God, sternness to those who fell." That's referencing back up to verse number 11, when he said again, I asked, did they stumble as to fall beyond recoveries talking about the Jews there, right? "Sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you provided that you continue in His kindness. Otherwise you also will be cut off." Now remember, he's talking to the Gentiles as a people. This isn't just about individual salvation. This is not talking about those people that could somehow lose their salvation. The scripture is replete with examples. That that is not the case. What we need to remember however that Paul is talking about here is that God is in no one's debt. God does not owe the Jew or the Gentile. God is God and He does what He wants. If He wants to cut off access to Israel because of their unbelief, then He did. And by the way, don't be arrogant if you're a Gentile, because to the Gentiles, he could do the same thing. He could cut off the access to the Gentiles if He wanted to do that, He could. That's why Paul says, we need to consider the kindness and the sternness of God. In other words, God is who God is and we should never be arrogant because God is God. Our belief keeps us grafted in and God knows who is who, God knows who believes, God knows who does not. God knows His way around all of this. God knows who in humility have repented of their sin and actually trusted in Jesus Christ. And He also knows people who have come out hot with emotion, but haven't demonstrated endurance in the faith because they're just like in the parable, the seeds, the seed that was planted that grew up really fast. That sprouted really fast and then withered and died. You see those who persevere to the end will be saved, the scripture says. But you know, the inverse of that is also true. Those who are really saved, they will persevere to the end. It doesn't mean that there's not some ups and downs. There are some ups and downs. It doesn't mean sometimes there's five steps forward and a step back. Those happen in our lives. We recognize that, but salvation is God's gracious gift. Salvation is of the Lord, the scripture says. We are saved by grace through faith. It is not of ourselves. It is the gift of God not of work so that no one can do what? Boast, so that we're not arrogant. We can't be arrogant. We can't boast. The only boast that we have is in Christ. We boast in Jesus because of what He's done on our behalf. See, God is God. And He knows all about our hearts. And for those who listen, for those who humbly repent, God is kind and gracious for those who trust in their own self righteousness, God is stern because God is God and He does what He wants. The last reason that I have from our text of why we are not to be arrogant is because of Israel's future. Notice what it says in versus 23 and 24 to conclude this chapter. It says, if they, remember who's they, Israel, right? You is the Gentiles. They is Israel. "And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in for God is able to graft them in again, after all, if you were cut out of an olive tree, that is wild by nature and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree. How much more readily will these, the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?" So Paul says here, he says, just as grafting in the wild olive shoots, the Gentiles, God can do. He can even more easily put back the original branches into their original tree. In other words, listen, Gentiles don't be arrogant because Israel, at some point is coming back to her own tree. That's a beautiful, beautiful reminder for us. And it's a reminder for us all when we look at this, that arrogance won't get us anywhere good. Arrogance won't get us anywhere good. What we need to do is when we look at passages like this, we need to recognize God's plan and apply the truth within it. So you need to understand and I need to understand this. You who have been shown the grace of salvation, you were not saved just for yourself. You weren't, but see, this has been God's desire and heart and plan all along. You remember, listen, you remember when God chose a people for Himself, Israel, right through Abraham. When God did that, do you know what He said to Abraham, which would be true about Israel? That I'm going to bless you and you will be blessed to be a blessing. You will be blessed to be a blessing that was Israel's original call. And do you know what happens now with the Gentiles, the Gentiles who have been brought into this grace in which we now stand, that is causing envy and jealousy from Israel. It's a reminder that we are not saved just for ourselves. There is blessing and benefit and joy and grace and happiness in knowing that we have come to faith in Jesus Christ because of God's grace to us. But it's listen, we're not just safe for ourselves. We're blessed to be a blessing. That's why we have people around us that need to see the beauty of the gospel in action. They need to hear the beauty of the gospel communicated to them and part of the reason, listen, part of the reason that when you got saved, God didn't just take you immediately to be with Him is because He left you here because there's more work to do because God is working through you and through me to demonstrate the gospel and to communicate the gospel to people that are around us, we're blessed to be a blessing. It's not just about us. We need to make sure that we get that in our hearts and our minds, that our salvation is not just about us. It's about others. We are one beggar telling other beggars where they can find bread. Also, we need to make sure that we do not forget what we have been saved from, because that helps us to walk in humility and helps us to walk in grace, toward other people. You see, what can happen over time is that we forget what we've been saved from. Some of you are like, well, you know, I got, I grew up in a Christian house and I got saved at a young age, you know? And so basically I got saved from comic books and chewing gum or whatever, you know, it's like, whoa, scary stuff. I get it. But I wanna remind you of something, you also were saved from God's wrath because you're a sinner by nature and by choice. So whether you came to faith at a young age, or whether it was an older age where you had gone out and sown your oats and done all kinds of crazy stuff, and you were wild and unfruitful and God rescued you there, whether He rescued you when you were 10 or whether you were 30, you were rescued from the wrath of God. You were rescued from the eternal damnation that sin brings. And you've been rescued by grace and you and I should never forget that because sometimes what we do over time is we forget what it's like to be lost. We forget what it's like to be wild and unproductive. And as a result, we look at the people that are around us as these poor pitiful people who are lost and man, they should know what I know. You didn't know what you know, until God reached in and He illuminated your mind and your heart. It is by grace. So don't look down through your nose at anyone else. We need to be a people that do not forget about what we were saved from because of all people, we should be walking in humility and in grace. And we remember that we didn't earn our standing and our access that this is all by God's grace. What the world needs to see is the people that understands how they got, where they are. You probably heard this metaphor at one point in the past. If you see a turtle sitting on a fence post, the one thing you know for sure, it didn't get there by itself. The world needs to see that we are a bunch of turtles that know how we got on the fence post of salvation. It is by grace. It is by what Jesus has done on our behalf. We didn't somehow work our way up there, but sometimes when you're sitting on that perch for a while, you're like, I belong. Look at all those people down there, stupid people. I'm up here on this fence post. Of all people, people that have been regenerated by God's spirit, people who have experienced grace, should walk in humility. And then we need to remember that God is God. And He does what He pleases, nothing escapes His notice. His kindness is demonstrated to us in the grace that He's shown us. And when we repent and we come humbly recognizing our sin, God in His kindness receives this to Himself, but He's stern to self righteousness. So I can sum up in four words what Paul's saying to us all, "Do not be arrogant." There's no room for it in the gospel, the gospel obliterates arrogance. The good news of Jesus obliterates arrogance, cause God has shown His mercy to us. He's shown His love to us in this while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. How can you be arrogant when you are deserving of something that you're not going to get because of something that someone else has done on your behalf? And it has eternal consequences, do not be arrogant. Let's bow our heads together. In a moment we're gone, I would simply offer this to you if you're here and you've never before surrendered your life to Jesus, just know this, that to say no to Him and act as if that you can somehow earn your way into God's favor or make your own way in life or be your own king or queen, that is unbridled arrogance from God's standpoint. But when we turn to Him and we threw ourself at His mercy by faith, trusting that Jesus has paid the price for our sin, risen from the dead, conquering our sin, that we can now be reconciled to God by faith. This is the good news of the gospel. And if that's something that you need to know and understand and receive, then when we dismiss in just a few moments right across the atrium here at the Crosspoint campus is a place called the Fireside Room. We'd love to take a moment and talk to you about what that means, what that looks like in your own life. And father for us all, we know that it can creep up on us. This idea of arrogance. It can grab hold of us. We can become theologically arrogant. We can become arrogant about how we got to where we are and what we know. And I pray that as a people, we be reminded as Gentiles that we don't look at our Jewish brothers and sisters in any way. We know that they too need to come by grace through faith, that they don't have a special deal, but that because they have been chosen by you, God, there is a separation for your purposes. May we never forget where we came from as wild olive shoots and that we have been graciously extended the grace in which we now stand. May we be a people that walk in humility to those that are around us that have yet to see the light of the glory of Jesus Christ. And may we show the kind of compassion and love that comes from hearts that humbly know where they were and the grace in which they now stand. We trust you to do that in our hearts and in our lives for your glory and so that the world will see a more clear picture of Jesus. We pray this in His name, amen.

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