Romans 11:19
Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
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(19, 20) It might be possible for the Gentile to claim a special providence in his substitution for the Jew. He should rather be reminded that there is a condition—faith—which is attached to this substitution; this he must be careful to observe, or else he will lose all that he has gained.

Romans 11:19-21. Thou wilt say — Thou wilt object; The branches were broken off — For their infidelity and rejection of Jesus and his gospel; that I might be graffed in — And therefore we may glory over them as they once did over us. Well; take this thought at least along with thee, Because of unbelief they were broken off — It was not undeservedly, by an act of absolute sovereignty and prerogative, but because of unbelief: by which it appears, it is possible for whole churches, as well as individuals, that have long stood by faith, to fall into such a state of infidelity as may prove their ruin. Now thou art liable to the same infirmity and corruption that they fell by. For thou standest — Hast a place in God’s favour and family; by faith — A grace which, in the very nature of it, implies dependance on God, and is itself the free, undeserved gift of God. Thou dost not stand in or by any strength of thy own, of which thou mightest be confident: thou art only what the free grace of God makes thee; and his grace is his own, which he gives or withholds at pleasure. Therefore be not high-minded, but fear — Be not too confident of thy own strength. A holy fear is an excellent preservative against high-mindedness; happy is the man that thus feareth always. We need not fear lest God should not be true to his word; all the danger is, lest we should be false to our own: let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left, to persevering believers, of entering into his rest, we should come short of it, through not continuing in the faith, grounded and settled; but being moved therefrom, and from the hope of the gospel, Colossians 1:23. If God spared not the natural branches — Of the good olive-tree, namely, the Jews, so called because they sprang from Abraham, the root of that tree, and consequently by their descent from him were naturally members of the Jewish Church; if God proceeded with so much severity against them, take heed lest he spare not thee — Or, as the Syriac translates the clause, perhaps neither will he spare thee. They, observe, were natural branches, and as such had a peculiar interest in Abraham’s covenant, and in the promises, being descended from his loins; and yet, when they sunk into unbelief, neither prescription, nor long usage, nor the faithfulness of their ancestors, could secure them, but God cast them off. Take heed, therefore, lest thy unbelief and barrenness expose thee, who art not a natural branch, but a scion from a foreign stock, to the punishment of excision, after all the great obligations which he hath laid thee under by his unparalleled goodness.

11:11-21 The gospel is the greatest riches of every place where it is. As therefore the righteous rejection of the unbelieving Jews, was the occasion of so large a multitude of the Gentiles being reconciled to God, and at peace with him; the future receiving of the Jews into the church would be such a change, as would resemble a general resurrection of the dead in sin to a life of righteousness. Abraham was as the root of the church. The Jews continued branches of this tree till, as a nation, they rejected the Messiah; after that, their relation to Abraham and to God was, as it were, cut off. The Gentiles were grafted into this tree in their room; being admitted into the church of God. Multitudes were made heirs of Abraham's faith, holiness and blessedness. It is the natural state of every one of us, to be wild by nature. Conversion is as the grafting in of wild branches into the good olive. The wild olive was often ingrafted into the fruitful one when it began to decay, and this not only brought forth fruit, but caused the decaying olive to revive and flourish. The Gentiles, of free grace, had been grafted in to share advantages. They ought therefore to beware of self-confidence, and every kind of pride or ambition; lest, having only a dead faith, and an empty profession, they should turn from God, and forfeit their privileges. If we stand at all, it is by faith; we are guilty and helpless in ourselves, and are to be humble, watchful, afraid of self-deception, or of being overcome by temptation. Not only are we at first justified by faith, but kept to the end in that justified state by faith only; yet, by a faith which is not alone, but which worketh by love to God and man.Thou wilt say then - Thou who art a Gentile.

The branches were broken off ... - The Jews were rejected in order that the gospel might be preached to the Gentiles. This would seem to follow from what the apostle had said in Romans 11:11-12. Perhaps it might be said that there was some ground of exultation from the fact that God had rejected his ancient people for the sake of making a way open to admit the Gentiles to the church. The objection is, that the branches were broken off in order that others might be grafted in. To this Paul replies in the next verse, that this was not the reason why they were rejected, but their unbelief was the cause.

19-21. Thou wilt say then—as a plea for boasting.

The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.

Ver. 19,20. Here he brings in the Gentiles, alleging a reason for their insulting over the Jews; because the Jews were broken off, that they might give place, or make way, for them; and the less worthy do always give place to the more worthy. To this he answers, first, by way of concession: Well, (saith he), it is true, and I do not deny it, that the Jews

were broken off, that the Gentiles might be grafted in. But then he further adds, by way of correction or negation, that the worthiness of the Gentiles was not the cause why the Jews were broken off; but it was because of their own unbelief; they would not accept of Christ, John 1:11; they went about to establish their own righteousness, and would not submit themselves to the righteousness of God, as it is in Romans 10:3. Therefore, if you Gentiles shall reason after this manner, you plainly put a fallacy upon yourselves, and take that for a cause which is none: you do not distinguish between the cause and the event; it fell out, indeed, that the Jews, being cast off, the Gentiles were received in, but this was not the cause of that.

And thou standest by faith: q.d. Neither is thy worthiness the cause of thy present standing in the room of the Jews, or of having thy station in the church of Christ; but it is thy believing in that Christ whom the Jews rejected. By faith thou wast first ingrafted, and still continuest in the good olive tree.

Be not high-minded, but fear: q.d. Be advised, and take heed of being self-conceited and secure; if thou fall into their fault, thou mayst expect the same fate. Therefore stand in awe, and sin not; thou art subject to unbelief and apostacy, as well as they.

Thou wilt say then,.... This is an objection which the apostle foresaw the Gentiles would make against what he had said, and in favour of their boasting;

the branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. The sense of which is, that the Jews were rejected and left out of the Gospel church, on purpose to make way for the Gentiles, that they might be put in their room; and consequently the Jews must be more vile and unworthy, and the Gentiles more deserving of such favours and privileges, or God would never have taken such a step, to leave out one to make room for the other.

Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
Romans 11:19. Οὖν] therefore; since this reason (οὐ σὺ τὴν ῥίζαν κ.τ.λ.) forbids thee κατακαυχᾶσθαι, thou wilt have something else to allege.

ἐξεκλ. κ.τ.λ.] branches were broken off (see critical notes), in order that I, etc. This ἵνα ἐγώ has the stress of arrogant self-esteem, which, however, is not to be extended also to κλάδοι forming the simple subject, and not even standing in the first place (Hofmann: “branches which were so are broken off”).

Romans 11:19. ἐρεῖς οὖν: the presumptuous Gentile persists. “It is not to the root I compare myself, but branches were broken off that I might be engrafted: that surely involves some superiority in me.”

19. then] therefore; i.e. in order to meet my reasoning.

Romans 11:19. Ἵνα, in order that) This particle expresses the chief force of the boasting [of the Gentiles]; but in opposition to this boasting compare the, for your sakes, Romans 11:28, and τῷ, Romans 11:31 [sc. ὑμετέρῳ ἐλέει, they disobeyed to the end that through the mercy showed to you they might obtain mercy.]

Verse 19. - Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Though I might not boast against the original branches that remain, and among whom I have been grafted, yet I may against those which, for their unworthiness, have been broken off to make room for me: though not boasting against the faithful Jews, I surely may against the unfaithful and rejected ones. Romans 11:19
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