How Does Grafting Relate to the Family of God?
Most of my adult life, I have ministered to children. I love to creatively find ways to get the children to interact with older adults in our church. So when I saw a chance to have a local farmer from our congregation come share with the children, I jumped at it. He came and showed the children how to graft apple trees. Then he related that to being grafted into God’s family.
I don’t know if the children learned anything from it but it excited me to see just how it correlates to salvation.
Start with the roots
A Branch from David’s LineIsaiah 11:1
11 Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—
yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
God promised long ago that a shoot would grow up out of the stump of Jesse. Wow! a stump. When I think of a stump I think of a tree that has been cut down or has fallen down. The possibility of new growth seems unachievable. But hidden underground is an elaborate root system that is still alive and strong… The perfect place for a sprout.
The root system of the stump of Jesse has many branches. All the patriarchs of the Old Testament each grew a root deep. These roots would be the source of power and strength for all Christians coming afterward. Jesus was that shoot that grew into a New Branch from the old root. Then each of us, through salvation, are also grafted into the same root system.
We Can All Be Grafted In
17 But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree.Romans 11:17
What is Grafting? And Why Is It Done?
Grafted in to One Family
Definition – What does Grafting mean?
Grafting is the process of joining two plants together (an upper portion and a lower portion) to grow as one. The upper portion of the plant is known as the scion, which is attached to the lower portion known as the rootstock.
Two Become One
“Joining two plants together to grow as one” – We need the Family of God growing together in unity as one church in order to grow strong. We feed on one another and the older stronger roots nourish the younger, weaker sprouts. (See John 17:23)
Grafted in Produces His Image
Bolded words are my emphasis.
This is most often done for fruit trees, and virtually all trees in orchards are grafted. Grafting in the orchard is done because the seeds of a fruit tree cannot reproduce true to their genetics. Therefore, the branch of a desirable tree is grafted to a suitable rootstock.https://www.maximumyield.com/definition/58/grafting
We are all made in the image of God, but ever since the fall of man, we cannot produce our true genetics on our own (the fruits of the Spirit). Grafting into God’s Family provides nourishment from the body of Christ. Then the Holy Spirit transforms us into the image of God. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Take note here that a graft may be ugly at first but the results will be quite wonderful.
Grafted In Does Not Take Away Our Identity
Multiple varieties can be grafted to the same rootstock to produce a novelty tree that will produce several different fruits on the same tree. Most roses are also a product of grafting to a different rootstock.https://www.maximumyield.com/definition/58/grafting
Isn’t that marvelous? It still produces its own variety of fruit. We don’t lose our identity when we give our lives to God. We just get our source of strength from Him. Our strengths and abilities remain and we add to the beauty of the family tree and the root adds to our strength. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
Grafting in Takes Time and Patience
When grafting a plant one must take care to do it properly.
- Cutting the root
- Carefully placing the scion (twig).
- Binding the graft with rubber bands, graft clips, tie tape, and plastic.
- Then we wait 30 days or more. Some grafts take a year or more before they begin to produce fruit.
I found it interesting that the graft must remain tightly bound for a while until the graft is successful. The graft must grow with the root to become one with it. (Ephesians 3:14-19) (This reminds me of raising our children. We must apply stiff rules until the child matures.
How often do we throw new Christians right into ministry before allowing them to grow in faith? Other times we just praise the Lord but never disciple them at all. Then we wonder why they fell away from their faith or why we don’t see transformed lives. We need to take care to place new Christians where they will receive the most needed nourishment. It takes time to realize new growth and productibility.We must take care to nourish new Christians before expecting new fruit to begin to bud in their lives. Click To Tweet
Grafting is Use to Repair Damaged Plants
Repair damaged plants. Large trees or specimen plants can be damaged easily at or slightly above the soil line. The damage may be caused by maintenance equipment (such as lawnmowers, trenchers, or construction equipment), or by disease, rodents, or winter storms. The damage can often be repaired by planting several seedlings of the same species around the injured tree and grafting them above the injury. This procedure is referred to as inarching, approach grafting, or bridge grafting.https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/grafting-and-budding-nursery-crop-plants
Storms of life can damage Christians severely. At these times, a strong community of Christians should nurture them back to health; pulling them in close and away for the storms so they have time to heal. How often do we expect one (even ourselves) to keep keeping on when we should pull in and just let God and His family love us back to health.
We have the wrong idea if we believe Christians are like the Energizer bunny. Ca we keep going and going and going? No! We need refueling. We need time for repairs and definitely rest.
Grafting Causes Faster Growth
Increase the growth rate of seedlings. The seedling progeny of many fruit and nut breeding programs, if left to develop naturally, may require 8 to 12 years to become fruitful. However, if these progeny are grafted onto established plants, the time required for them to flower and fruit is reduced dramatically. Another way to increase the growth rate of seedlings is to graft more than one seedling onto a mature plant. Using this procedure as a breeding tool saves time, space, and money.
What? A fruit tree on it’s own may take up to 12 years to begin to produce. But if grafted into another older tree it will mature much faster.
Ok, then. Let’s talk fellowship with other believers. It’s true: We can grow on our own just reading the Bible and praying, but fellowship with other Christians helps us grow faster. It’s why James encourages us to “not stop meeting together.”
Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near.Hebrews 10:25-27 Common English Bible (CEB)
Grafting in is Highly Important For Our Faith
In Conclusion, we all need to work together grafting new stems into the family of God: Bringing in new believers, watching for believers who have been hurt or been through a storm.
- Grafting makes us all one in Christ.
- It transforms us into His Image.
- We don’t lose our identity, but rather, grafting strengthens it.
- Grafting heals our wounds and diseases.
- Our wounds and diseases are healed.
- We grow faster!
Are you “grafted in” to God’s family? If not, you can begin the process by knowing Christ.