And if some of the branches be broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them…
I. THE CHIEF BAR TO A MAN'S SALVATION IS AN UNBELIEVING HEART. Our Saviour told the Pharisees, who exceeded all men in morality, that publicans and harlots should go before them into the kingdom of heaven. Why? Because they believed not. Morality is good, but not good enough to save a man. Faith cannot be without it, but it may be without faith. Morality without faith is like a goodly picture, which is fair to look upon, but a man can have no society with because it wants life. Labour therefore for faith, which is the soul of obedience, and it will save thy soul.
II. HERE IS A SINGULAR COMFORT TO CONSCIENCES DISTRESSED FOR SINS. It is a comfort to a sick man if the physician tell him his disease, though dangerous, is yet curable, if it be not driven too long before remedies be appointed. So God is able to save thee if thou deferrest not thy repentance. If we look only to ourselves there is nothing but desperation; but if we look up to see what God is ready to do (only staying for our believing and repenting), there is great hope. Even thou, Jew, which hast crucified Christ, if thou canst cease from unbelief, thou shalt be saved. For as all the promises in the world, so the threatnings are conditional (Jonah 3:9).
III. DESPAIR NOT OF THE SALVATION OF ANY, neither finally censure even though never so wicked, for God is able to turn the heart of a Jew. He that converted thee can convert thy neighbour also.
IV. GOD IS ABLE TO SAVE, SO HE IS ABLE TO DESTROY. Let His power make thee wary how thou livest. Art thou stronger than He that thou shouldst dare by thy sins daily to provoke Him?
(Elnathan Parr, B.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;