Part 2 – The Qualifier for Partaking of the Olive Tree Life
As Paul continues in Romans 11:16 we see that the qualifier for any person of any age to be united to “the Olive Tree of life,” which is that they must have “the faith of Abraham.” Note that in context, Romans 11 begins with references to “Abraham” (cf. Rom. 11:1, 4). Then it is Abraham who is also being referred to in verse 16 as the “Firstfruit.” Paul had already written extensively back in Romans 4 that Abraham is the “father of all” who would “believe God” as Abraham “believed God” to thus be “counted righteous.”
“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it (his faith) was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3)
All who have “believed God” thereby come into union with ‘the Olive Tree of life,’ whose Holy “root” is Christ.
Having the foregoing information, we can now consider now the Romans 11:16-25 with my commentary and supporting verses below several of these verses individually.
“16For if the FIRSTFRUIT be holy (Abraham, as the first man of Faith), the lump (the whole of those of Abraham’s faith) is also holy: …
(“And he (Abraham) received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised (as a Gentile): (so) that he might be the father of ‘all’ them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed (counted) unto them also:” (Romans 4:11)
“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all (who live by faith), (Romans 4:16)
… and if the ROOT be holy (Jesus is the “Root”), so are the branches (all the ‘branches’ are connected to the Olive Tree of Christ’s Life by the like faith of Abraham).
(Christ is the “Root” - “And there shall come forth a rod (a living shoot) out of the stem (the cut-off stump) of Jesse (King David’s father), and a ‘Branch’ (believing Israel) shall grow out of his (Jesus’) roots:” (Isaiah 11:1)
“he (Messiah) shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and “as a Root out” of a dry ground…” (Isa. 53:2).
“in that day there shall be a ‘root’ of Jesse (the real “root” that came out of King David’s father), which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.11And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the ‘remnant’ of his people, which shall be left…” (Isaiah 11:10-11)
(The real David, Jesus Christ, is the real “root of Jesse.” He is Israel’s real King who will sit upon “the Throne of David” (Luke 1:32-33)
17 And if some of the branches (unbelieving Israel) be broken off (from among Israel’s believers),
and thou (Gentiles), being a ‘wild olive tree,’ wert graffed in among them (among Israel’s believing remnant),
and with them (Israel’s believing remnant) partakest of the ROOT and fatness (riches) of the olive tree (the ‘tree of the faithful’ who grow from the ROOT);
(Romans 11:7 (AMP) “What then [shall we conclude]? Israel failed to obtain what it sought [God's favor by obedience to the Law]. Only the elect (those chosen remnant) obtained it, while the rest of them became callously indifferent (blinded, hardened, and made insensible to it.”
The “elect” here is Jesus’ “little flock” (Luke 12:32) of the Israel’s remnant of believers. See my further explanation of v17, below v25)
18 (To the Gentiles who are offered Paul’s Gospel of grace, Paul says) Boast not against the (broke-off) branches (of Israel and Judah). But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root (bears) thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I (as a Gentile) might be graffed in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches (the lineal descendent of Abraham, but they were “broken off” due to their unbelief), …
Note: The “natural branches” are the Jews of only lineal descent of Abraham; they are not real believing Jews with the like faith of Abraham. Thus these “natural branches” were “broken-off” when believing Gentiles who had the faith of Abraham were “graffed in,” partaking of “the riches” of the Olive tree life.
… take heed (you Gentiles) lest he also spare not thee (if you don’t really believe). 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou (unbelieving Gentiles) also shalt be cut off. 23 And they (Israel) also, if they abide not still in unbelief (if they come to faith again), shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
24For if thou (Gentiles) wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed (in) contrary to nature (lineal descent) into a good olive tree (which is Christ): how much more shall these, which be the natural branches (lineal descendants of Abraham), be graffed into their own olive tree (of Israel’s promised Messiah)?
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye (Gentiles) should be ignorant of this mystery (Gk. musterion, secret plan of God), lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that Blindness In Part Is Happened To Israel, Until The Fulness Of The Gentiles Be Come In.” (Romans 11:16-25)
Israel is only temporarily “blinded” and “broken off” the Olive Tree (v23), while the age of the Gentiles continues and “until” it is completed with the Rapture of “the church, the body of Christ.”
Regarding verses 21-22, some this means we of “the body of Christ” today can lose our salvation. But, we know that genuine grace believers today will never be pruned or broken off as National Israel was because we not only are in union with Christ by “the faith of Abraham,” we are also “sealed” with the Spirit… never to be lost.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” (Ephesians 1:13)
We know that we are in an eternal union with Christ’s life, that Olive “Tree of Life,” since His “Spirit of life” was dispensed into and united with our spirit (1Cor. 6:17, Rom, 8:8-10).
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery (God’s secret plan) among the Gentiles; which is “Christ in you,” the hope of glory:” (Col. 1:27).