The Natural Branch
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 4 Lesson 11 Tuesday
The lesson asks us to read Romans 11:11-15, from the NIV:
11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring! 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
Then the lesson asks,
“What great hope does Paul present in this passage?”
How do you understand this? What is the meaning?
What was God’s plan? What was God trying to accomplish? So what is Paul saying?
From The Remedy:
11 So, again I ask: Did they stumble and fall so low that they are beyond recovery? Absolutely not! Rather, because of their transgression, the privilege of joining God’s spiritual health-care team has come to the Gentiles–in order to inspire the descendants of Abraham to accept God’s healing and rejoin his team. 12 But if their failure to fulfill the mission God assigned them means riches and opportunity for the rest of the world, and their lost position means that their mission was given to the Gentiles, how much greater will the richness of love and grace be if they accept the truth and fulfill their mission! 13 I am talking to you, Gentiles: I am the apostle to the Gentiles, and I take my responsibility to you seriously. 14 I hope that by leading you to trust God—and thus to experience the healing, love, peace and joy that reconciliation with God brings—I may somehow arouse my own people with a desire for this same experience, and maybe some of them will respond and be saved. 15 For even though they rejected the truth that brings trust, reconciliation and life eternal, this healing truth was still revealed to the world. What would have happened if they had accepted the truth? -An unbelievably powerful revelation of God’s character, methods and principles seen in action would have transformed the entire world!
The lesson asks us to read Romans 11:16-24, from The Remedy:
16 If the ingredients used to make the loaf are untainted and pure, then the entire loaf will be perfect and healthy. If the roots of the tree are pure and unpolluted, then every branch and all the fruit will be perfect and healthy.
17 If some of the branches have broken off from the vine, and you—though not natural to the vine—have been grafted in and now share the nourishment from the root, 18 don’t feel that you are somehow superior to the branches that have broken off. If you do, remember this: The root does not draw sustenance from you, but you are nourished by the root. 19 You might try to argue, “But we must be something special, because the natural branches were broken off to make room for us.” 20 Don’t be ridiculous. They broke away because they did not trust, and you were grafted in because you did trust. Don’t be conceited, but be afraid of conceit or pride, or anything that will undermine your abiding trust in God. 21 For if God did not stop the natural branches from distrusting and breaking away, he will not restrict your freedom to break away either.
22 Consider how kind and gracious, and how true and consistent God is. He is true and consistent to the principles of love and freedom, and forces no one to remain connected to him, but allows those who choose to break away to do so if they insist. He is kind and gracious to you, allowing you to abide in his goodness. But if you choose to break away, you too will be permitted to sever your connection with him. 23 And if those who have broken away have a change of heart and again trust God, they will be reconnected to him, for God is able to heal them if they let him. 24 After all, if you—who were not originally attached to the vine—were successfully grafted in, isn’t it a lot easier to reattach branches that were once part of the parent plant?
What is the message Paul is trying to share? What do you hear? Is this a legal process, or is it design law, how life is built, being connected to the source of life, having that original source of life flow into you and heal and transform you?
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