"Consider the goodness and severity of God..."
Text: Romans 11:22
CULTIVATING A HEALTHY SENSE OF FEAR
Paul urged the Gentile believers to think soberly concerning their being engrafted into the original olive tree! There was no reason for anyone to feel haughty in the least! Instead there should be a sense of “fear”. Paul went on to develop this thought further.
“For if God did not spare the natural branches,
He may not spare you either.”
God indeed did not spare the natural branches! But what reason do the Gentile believers have to think that God would always spare them? Couldn’t God deal with Gentiles as He did with the Jews? This was an important and sobering truth that the Gentiles would do well to meditate upon!
UNDERSTANDING GOD BETTER
The Gentiles might have felt a sense of haughtiness because they lacked a deeper understanding of God. Paul felt that he needed to enlighten the Gentile believers concerning the deeper ways of God.
“Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God:
on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you
continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.”
1. Goodness and severity to the Jews
a) Both sides of God were revealed to the Jews.
b) When the Jews chose unbelief towards God, they experienced the severity of God.
c) That the Jews had experienced the goodness of God is undeniable!
2. Goodness and severity to the Gentiles
a) Both sides of God were also revealed to the Gentiles.
b) However the Gentiles responded most positively to the Gospel of Christ.
c) They experienced the goodness of God when they were engrafted into the original olive tree!
3. Continue in His goodness
The Gentile believers must determine to “continue in God’s goodness”. If they spurned the goodness of God, and end up with unbelief, they too “would be cut off”. This was a sobering truth that the Gentile believers needed to dwell upon more deeply!