Romans 11:11 - 24
ESV - 11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
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The olive tree represents Israel - from the Jewish patriarchs to those kept by God and those who converted to Christianity. The wild olive branches are the Gentile Christians. Paul is addressing a problem of church division in Rome. The Gentile Christians were set against the Jews, a problem that persists today in some quarters. He reminded the Gentiles that God has not forgotten the Jews and is not done with them yet. Chapter 11 must be read together with chapters 9 and 10 to understand the context of Paul's exposition. For Gentile Christians, we must not be arrogant (vs 17&18,22) and have the wrong belief that the church has replaced the nation of Jews (vs 1&2). God's covenant with the Jews is irrevocable (vs 29). This is the same assurance we have in the new covenant in Christ. That's certainty we have with God if we repent and believe in Jesus. You may like to visit David Pawson's site to hear his teaching on this - http://davidpawson.org/resources/category/new-testament-studies/romans/
Romans 11 makes it very clear that God has not put away, cut off all of Israel! Then it goes on to describe that there were a remnant that like the 7000 prophets that refused to bow their knee to Baal, had not been cut off. So the elected are those who did not reject Jesus Christ but accepted Him. Paul includes himself as one that had not been cut off. Rom 11:1 Then we are told the “election had obtained it” and that remnant were all the natural Jewish saints that were not cut off because Jon 1:10-13 “as many as received Him” received the power to become children of God. The rest were blinded by their unbelief and for that reason God gave them a veil that they could not believe. Rom 11:7 So Israel that received Christ are that holy olive tree. Now Paul describes that the fall of the unbelieving Jews ushers in the era that is described in Isaiah 11:10, God’s reaching out to the Gentiles. Paul begins to magnify his office as the apostle to the Gentiles so that the ones who were cut off might be provoked into believing and thus connection to the Holy Olive tree. Rom 11:11-14 That Holy Olive tree is the Church and everyone in Israel that accepted Christ are the natural Jews that were that Church and the Gentiles grafted into it are the wild olive tree that became connected to the natural olive tree, the Church. It is very clear after discovering this fact, that there is still a chance for those Jews who are in unbelief, to choose no longer to remain in unbelief and they at that point will also be grafted in to the olive tree Rom 11:23. It is also ultimately clear that those Christians who are grafted in to the Olive tree must fear because exactly the same judgment will fall upon them if they give up their faith Rom 11:20-23. How do we know that it Paul is addressing genuine Christians? The Scripture gives this severe warning to “and you stand by faith, don’t be high minded” because they will suffer the same severity of being cut off from God as those branches that are of natural Israel. So the message Paul writes to the Gentile Christians is a severe warning that if they give up and don’t continue in the goodness of God, they too will lose everything and be cut off from God like the unbelieving Jews. So these Scriptures teach that God kept a remnant from Israel and it is described as the Holy Olive Tree and the Gentile believers enter the glorious promises and become spiritual Israel Rom 9:6-8, and are called the wild olive tree graft into the Holy Olive tree, the Church. Israel that rejected Christ were cut off from God but still have a chance to be “broken off branches” that can be grafted in to the Olive Tree by choosing to believe and no longer dwelling in unbelief Rom 11:23. Arrogant and boastful Christians that gloat over Israel’s loss should tremble before God and fear because though they stand by faith they will suffer the same terror of being cut off from God as those Jews that rejected Christ Rom 11:17-22. So Paul clearly shown from this teaching is not addressing fake Christians in Rom 11:20-23 as some have tried to say. They are real Christians standing by faith and if they were not they could not be broken off from something that they were never connected to. How could you be broken off from something you were never a part of? Paul is not talking about an organization here, he is talking about a living and holy tree “the Church” and those in that Church would and could be broken off by God if they did not continue in the faith. It is absolutely irrefutably true that Christians can lose their Salvation if they choose to throw away the gift once received.
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