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interpreters have always maintained, is an allegorical poem describing, under the figure of marriage, the union between Jehovah and his people. Paul only adopts the Old Testament figure and applies it more precisely to the union of God with the church in Jesus Christ.

(c) From the union between the vine and its branches.

<431501> John 15:1-10 ? ?I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing.? As God?s natural life is in the vine, that it may give life to its natural branches, so God?s spiritual life is in the vine, Christ, that he may give life to his spiritual branches. The roots of this new vine are planted in heaven, not on earth, and into it the half-withered branches of the old humanity are to be grafted, that they may have life divine. Yet our Lord does not say ?I am the root.? The branch is not something outside , which has to get nourishment out of the root but rather, it is a part of the vine.

<450605> Romans 6:5 ? ?if we have become united with him [ su>mfutoi ? ?grown together? ? used of the man and horse in the Centaur, Xen., Cyrop. 4:3:18], in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection?; 11:24 ? ?thou wast cut out of that which is by nature a wild olive tree, and wast grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree?; <510206>Colossians 2:6, 7 ? ?As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and builded up in him? ? not only grounded in Christ as our foundation, but thrusting down roots into him as the deep, rich, all-sustaining soil. This union with Christ is consistent with individuality, for the graft brings forth fruit after its kind, though modified by the tree into which it is grafted.

Bishop H. W. Warren, in S. S. Tunes, Oct. 17, 1891 ? ?The lessons of the vine are intimacy, likeness of nature, continuous impartation of life, fruit. Between friends there is intimacy by means of media, such as food, presents, care, words and soul looking from the eyes. The mother gives her liquid flesh to the babe, but such intimacy soon ceases. The mother is not rich enough in life continuously to feed the ever-enlarging nature of the growing man. This is not so within the vine, which continuously feeds. Its rivers crowd all the banks. They burst out in leaf with blossom, clinging tendrils and fruit everywhere. In nature a thorn grafted on a pear tree bears only thorn. There is not pear-life enough to compel change of its nature. But a wild olive, typical of depraved nature, grafted on a good olive tree finds, contrary to nature, that there is force enough in the growing stock to change the nature of the wild scion.?

(d) From the union between the members and the head of the body.

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