“Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:” – Romans 11:19-20
In this very important passage, Paul warned new believers of the dangers of pride, unbelief, and falling away from the faith. He explains to them that the Jews who refused to believe God, though they had been His chosen people, had in essence been broken off (or disinherited). Because all unbelief in what God is trying to tell you is based in pride, which is trusting more in yourself and your assumptions, (your understanding, what you’ve been taught, what you think to be right or true, and so on). It is so important never to assume anything with God, to even assume that you can assume is prideful. In all things seek God and be willing to be taught and led by Him.
“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:4
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” – Romans 8:14
The passage then continues to emphasize the pride of believing that because one was disinherited and an other was grafted in, that the graft is somehow better or more secure then the original. Paul assures us that this is not the case. He urged the new believer to grasp onto humility in fear, stating that if the natural children were disinherited for not trusting Him, how much more would the adopted children be cast off if they so chose in pride to trust in their own leading and not seek to be led by His Spirit and voice?
“For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” – Romans 11:21-22
This is one of the most sobering passages in the scriptures. One that we should remind ourselves of daily, knowing that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and that God is no respecter of persons. We are all special to God, but not one is more special to God then the other. He demands trust, respect, reverence, submission, attention, and humility, which are the attributes of faith. Those that refuse are cut off, yes even from among those counted as His own. While those who submit are grafted in, even from the lowliest and least. Let this be a warning that none are above God’s judgment, and that no pride will go unpunished, not even the pride of believing that you are too good or too special to be cast off when God did it to the very apple of His eye, His own people who ceased to trust in His voice and followed that of other men and their own flesh.
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” – 1 Corinthians 9:27
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” – Philippians 2:12
“Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.” – Proverbs 16:5-6
“The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.” – Proverbs 16:17-20