If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
I took some time to read commentaries by biblical scholars and theologians in regards to this verse. All of them seemed to deal with civilizations, tribes, congregations, etc.. They were all saying this verse could refer to the church, meaning Christ was the first fruit, the root, thus making the early Christian church holy. Some of them also referred to the Jews, going back to Abraham as being the first fruit. And some referred to the Gentiles, who through their acceptance of Christ were the first fruit and were made holy.
I took this on a more personal level, which is how I tend to treat the whole Bible.
Much of what I read by scholars and theologians deals with the Bible as a history book, which it is. Many of the theologians seem to use it as if it is a corporate manual, telling them how to setup their organizations.
But after reading through the Bible a number of times I have found it to be a personal life manual, an instruction book on what you can expect and how to handle it.
So this is what Paul is saying to the Romans.
If at your core, at your very base as a person, if you truly want to be righteous and do what is right, then your actions and decisions will be right, they will be righteous.
“…if the root is holy, so are the branches.”
I’m not saying with this righteous core everything you do will be right.
We all know no one is perfect. Like a tree you need to trim the branches, remove the dead and non- producing limbs. You need to trim the branches that are growing in a way that hinders the overall growth of the tree.
Sometimes you may let the tree go and not keep up with the maintenance required to have it produce to its maximum ability. The tree becomes unsightly and its production is stifled by deadwood and branches that utilize the vital nutrients but produce nothing.
But if the roots are good, if the tree has an established, strong, root system you can trim the tree back to its trunk and it will again start to produce branches to be properly pruned and produce the sweetest of fruits.
Paul is telling the Romans, and Paul is telling me, if your core principles are right and strong, if at the heart of yourself is a true desire for righteousness, no matter how far you stray, you can always prune it back. You can remove all the sin, the distractions or worldly desires and return to your roots. You can return to righteousness and be saved.
Or as I like to say, you can save yourself.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.