The Engrafted Word

 …receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  James 1:21 (KJV)

We had some discussion about this with our church family Sunday, and some interesting points were brought up about grafting that I’ve been mulling. 

In an orchard, one type of tree is often spliced onto the rootstock of another tree.  Different trees have different weaknesses, so a tree that has a tendency toward root problems is joined to a root that is sturdier and more disease-resistant. 

Just that same way, we who are weak in our roots (not originally the children of God) have been spliced in to the ultimate rootstock, JESUS.  He is the Vine, and we are the branches.  Each one of us who are Christians have been grafted in along with Israel.  And in regard to receiving it with meekness, Romans 11:18 says, “…do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.”  (ESV)  Without the root of our Messiah, we have no connection to life.  We are nothing but branches cast aside on the ground to wither and die.

Another thought from a sister who has done some grafting was that you first splice in the new shoot, carefully joining it together with the host plant, then you wait.  After the shoot is obviously growing well, then and only then, do you carefully trim away the old growth of the original plant. 

I think that process can be compared to our early Christian experience.  We accept Jesus (the Word) and He is engrafted into our hearts.  All the old growth that was already there is not immediately eradicated, but the new and the old grow together for a time, sort of like the wheat and the weeds in Matthew 13.  Eventually, there comes a time when the old wood needs to be pruned to make more room for the new to grow, but first the new shoot is given time to take hold. 

It’s so easy to expect a new Christian to act like an old Christian.  I thought this was a good reminder to all of us that the graft takes a little time to be established, and we don’t want to ruin the bond by premature pruning.

Several people’s Bibles used the word “implanted” rather than “engrafted,” but after this discussion, I thought that the latter gave the passage a really special dimension. 

Have you been grafted in?

About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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5 Responses to The Engrafted Word

  1. I like that very much, especially the part about cutting away the old growth. So often, people focus on the “old” and want new Christians or non-Christians to trim away that growth. It takes time, sometimes, to grow enough in Christ. Excellent image!

  2. joy4jesus424 says:

    This is a really awesome picture…I had to think of my “new” Christian children…I wonder, sometimes, if I don’t get frustrated because I expect all their old nature to be done away with right away. When I look at my own life, I see pruning STILL taking place even after many, many years. Good thoughts…

  3. fwren says:

    Yeah, just like we want our little children to act like adults, we tend to expect baby Christians to be all grown up in Christ already ~ sometimes I wonder if we ever learn ~

  4. TLpaints says:

    Such a great reminder!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I also think the pruning away old growth is an excellent point.  The churches I’ve been to emphasize getting people in through the door and having them make decisions for Christ and get baptized.  Then, they’re pretty much left on their own, and not discipled.  The times when I personally made the attempt to disciple new Christians, I was told by older Christians that I was getting “too involved”.  I always thought that was the point of discipleship and of being part of the Body of Christ.
    RYC:  Thank you so much for the congratulations and best wishes!  The sad thing is, the advice on waiting was given by another Christian.  I can understand the lost thinking as they do, but it’s always discouraging to me when Christians don’t honor marriage, or having children.  The Church as a whole has really allowed itself to be brainwashed by the culture.  Maybe they just haven’t been pruned enough, yet. 

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