Regrafted into the Olive Tree—Romans 11:23-24
"And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!" (Romans 11:23-24)
What a miracle it was that God took wild branches and grafted them into a cultivated olive tree to grow together as one. This transformation is what happens when we come to Christ. II Corinthians says, "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" ( II Corinthians 5:17 ). What we were previously is gone and what we are now is what Christ is. "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" ( II Corinthians 5:21 ). Our new identity is the same as Christ's identity, God looks and sees us as holy, righteousness and free because that is what Christ is.
This is the miracle of salvation. If we who were Gentiles by birth can experience this miraculous thing, then it only makes sense that Israel can also experience this new birth. Right now Israel as a whole has not accepted Jesus as their Messiah. However, Paul said that if they do not persist in clinging to their unbelief concerning him, they too will be grafted into the vine. Once they realize that Jesus is the savior then God is able to include them once again into the promise spoken to Abraham ( Romans 4:16, Romans 9:8 ). They too will be counted as children of God through faith in Christ.
What a marvelous message of grace this is. The main underlying point is that God loves us and hopes that we will accept him by faith. He knew we were incapable of coming to him of our own accord and so he reconciled the world to himself through Christ Jesus ( II Corinthians 5:19 ). This gospel message has been proclaimed unto the ends of the earth and the promise remains that, "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" ( Romans 10:13 ).
Through faith in Christ both Jews and Gentiles now become the church. Paul encourages us that now "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" ( Galatians 3:28-29 ). What a powerful truth to know that through Christ we are in one accord, clothed in Christ, and belonging to God. He has joined us into the vine granting life sustaining nourishment.
Today, I am thankful for God's mercy and grace. I am thankful for his enduring patience and forbearance while he waits for everyone to come to him. Today, may you praise God with a thankful heart for his miracle of salvation freely given to us in Christ Jesus, amen.
Posted in Romans 11