ROMANS 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
One of the smallest words in the Word of God is yet one of the most powerful. 'IF'. It sets conditions that must be met before certain other conditions can be. It makes or breaks the moves of man and God alike. If supposes that, considering certain conditions exist, certain things can become a reality and certain reactions can take place. Without IF the word THEN, or any other condition, is meaningless.
"If the firstfruit be holy." "If the root be holy." Again - to our view here, the words firstfruit and even root are important, but not nearly as critical as the treatment of the conditions. In order to receive a holy lump (the completed sacrifice), or holy branches (the outreach of the effort or heart of the matter), to be in existence, there are conditions.
Condition 1: HOLINESS. Holiness is the prime condition for God to receive the sacrifice. Holiness is the key to the branches being grafted into the greater vine of God and his children. Holiness is the key to God himself. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.
MATT. 7:23And then will I profess unto them , I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
You must be sure that your efforts and your very core are dedicated to God's purpose. Identity is found in Acts 2:38, but it is rooted far beyond that obedience. It is found in your motives! Identity is found not just in the bloodline, but in the holy and separated effort of your heart.
"If the root be holy." What is your root? It is your heart. It is made up of your mind and soul. That combination that thinks, reasons, and responds. If your heart - the core - be holy, then everything that eminates from it will be. Everything that you produce stems from your heart. If your heart is in your work, you will do well for your employer. If not, well....
Condition 2: TRUTH.
1 Cor. 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
It is critical that we examine our heart and understand the very core of our reasoning and response. Why are we doing what we do for the Lord? Is it just for approval? Is it just for acknowledgement, or due to training, or for family tradition? Why do you do what you are doing for the Lord? So many of us say it's due to love. Oh, surely we love the Lord and are grateful; but are we honest with ourselves when we say that love is our prime motivator? What is love? How do we know if what we do is merely obedience born in tradition or fear, or out of a true heart of holy love and reverent respect? I will say this as honestly as I can: Love is learned. Love is earned. Love is grown in the heart out of the hope that what you are doing is met with answered prayer, provision in life, and the reality of a God who loves us first.
Rom. 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed ; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
If we are honest with ourselves we will recognize that we did NOT love God first, nor at first. We grew to love God as the Holy Ghost was introduced to us, and shed abroad within us. That love affair, with all its great miracles and works, developed a faithful following in us, and a willingness to please God. That desire developed a singluar purpose. That purpose is to be faithful, to be separated unto God's will, and is translated as Holiness. In that context and from that work comes the holy root we speak of today. If your root is holy that is, separated unto, focused upon and dedicated to God, you cannot help but be victorious in everything you do. Your branches - the outreach of your heart and effort - will be holy and thus successful. Your sacrifice will be accepted as a holy LUMP of the singular effort. You will be received.
God is so good and he knows and tolerates the fact that we often lie to ourselves first. We believe that we can perform our rituals and our expected works with the usual results but forsake the truth of God's promise to forget our name. Without the truth of self-examination and root protection and segregation, we cannot hope to please God and make the grade, as it were.
So; if. If the root be holy. Can you say today that what you are doing for God is from HOLY purpose? Is it from the desire to please only him, when his desires even place you in discomfort, or danger? If so you can be sure of this fact: the branches - everything you produce and that stems from you - will be holy, as well! God will be pleased and you will be accepted in the end.
Elders Mark and Dana Neddeau