Grafted Into the Olive Tree

I did a YouTube video, not long ago, about what is meant by “true Israel”, where I concluded that “true Israel” is all believers who have been saved by grace through faith. The idea that God’s chosen people is the nation Israel is simply mistaken, and Paul makes this crystal clear in the book of Romans, specifically in chapter 11, he says, “Did God reject his people? By No means! God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew” (Romans 11:1-2). As explained in my last video, God foreknew those who would be saved through faith prior to creating the world; call them chosen, predestined, called, elect, what have you. The point is that God’s people will be saved, and this isn’t necessarily the “nation Israel”, but rather what I like to call “true Israel”; Paul illustrates this point with a cultivated olive tree.

Paul says, “Because of the nation’s transgression (speaking of the nation Israel), salvation has come to the Gentiles (Romans 11:11). If some of the branches have been broken off, and you (speaking to the Gentiles), though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in? Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either” (Romans 11:17-21).

Paul continues, “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 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 11:22-24).

Paul then goes on to say that, “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26). Well, that’s because all Israel is the cultivated olive tree; it represents those who have been saved through faith. This has always been the case, from beginning to end. Remember God told Abraham he made him a father of many nations (Genesis 17:5), not of one nation, but of many nations. This is the great multitude (Revelation 7:9), so numerous you can’t even count, from every tribe, people, and nation. This is why Ruth, a Moabite, is Israel; and Rahab, a Canaanite, is Israel; and all who have been saved through faith are Israel. “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).