"Do not boast against the branches..."
Text: Romans 11:18
A FIRM WORD OF ADMONITION
There was obvious tension between the Jewish and Gentile believers! Paul knew that he had to address this problem directly and effectively.
“Do not boast against the branches.
But if you do boast, remember that
you do not support the root, but the
root supports you.”
1. “Do not boast against the branches”
a) This was a problem of carnality that must be addressed.
b) The Gentile believers felt themselves “superior” to the Jewish believers.
c) Some reasons for this feeling (which resulted in “boasting”):-
i) They seemed to have responded better to the word of God (Cf. Acts 13:48)
ii) They seemed to have grown better (Cf. Acts 13:49)
iii) They seemed to be more progressive and productive (Cf. Acts 13-19)
d) The problem with the Jews
i) Some were skeptical of a ministry to the Gentiles (Cf. Acts 11)
ii) Others continued to persecute Christians (Cf. Acts 13:50)
iii) Still others persecuted Paul fiercely (Cf. Acts 21-28)
2. “Remember that you do not support the root”
Even if the Gentile believers were not incorrect in their thoughts, they must nevertheless remember two vital truths:-
a) “You do not support the root”.
b) “The root supports you”.
This was a timely reminder to the Gentile believers! There must be a great sense of grateful indebtedness to God for “the roots”. There must be humble acknowledgment of how the roots continue to sustain and nourish the grafted wild olive tree. There is no room for boasting in the light of this truth.