Chapter 11 explores the metaphor of ‘ingrafted branches’ in relation to the salvation now presented to the Gentiles.
17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.”- Romans 11: 17-18
Verse 18 emphasizes that the network of Christian brothers and sisters, including ourselves, are supported by the branch representing God. We should not consider ourselves to be separate entities each interacting independently with God in this metaphor. Instead, we are a united group of peoples whom believe in the same one true God, and we work best as a team and cooperatively. Moreover, this chapter discourages feelings of superiority and pride, instead stating that we should be humble in the way we conduct ourselves, and foreshadowing the close focus upon humble service in the body of Christ in Chapter 12.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12: 2
Generation after generation, the world and the global society continue to degenerate, becoming more and more liberal, more accepting of highly questionable notions. Romans 12: 2 urges us to stay true to ourselves, and, more importantly, to God, and not to be influenced by wordly and sinful matters. I, for one, struggle with this every day. I am surrounded by happenings that the Bible would not condone; heavy drinking, partying, drugs, discrimination, cheating and lying. As a teenager (or maybe a young adult), the pressure to fit in is real. For the most part I have stayed true to myself, my beliefs and morals, and of course to God, but there are certain grey areas which contribute to the feelings of guilt I am experiencing now. Let this post, and today’s bible reading, be a reminder to focus my attention on being transformed by the renewing of my mind through Christ, rather than the poisoning of my mind through society’s wicked ways.