God’s Tenacious Faithfulness and the Olive Tree
(Romans 11:16-32)

1. I had lots of fun while I was a student at Moody Bible Institute.
2. I wasn’t much trouble; I tried to obey the rules.
3. But we all have our temptations.
4. For my last two years, I lived on the 3rd floor of the dormitory. One of my friends moved up to the 18th floor.
5. Now the school had a rule against flying paper air planes out the windows. Mostly a litter issue. But the temptation was too much. We began to refer to my friends room as the international airport.
6. We would sail paper airplanes or, more fun yet, maintain paper helicopters floating outside the windows. The planes would head toward the girant skyscraper buildings.
7. I’m sure a number of our planes made it all the way downtown and beyond. Who knows, those upper wind currents may have carried some to Kokomo.
8. But on September 11th of 2001, we heard of different planes running into skyscrapers.
9. And since then, we have heard words of hate spoken against Christians and Jews, usually coupled together.
10. It is appropriate to recognize the link between Judaism and Christianity.

MAIN IDEA: Christianity and Biblical Judaism will forever be intertwined because of both a common past and a joint future. Christians need to understand this connection if they are to understand their place in God’s Kingdom. And that connection revolves around the very nature of God: “for God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.”

TS--------ŕ Paul shares some concepts that open our eyes to these realities.

I. Understand that the Church Draws Its Strength and Legitimacy from ISRAEL (17-24)

1. Most of us are unfamiliar with the cultivation of olive trees in first century Israel. A cultivated branch is typically grafted into a wild olive tree; the only time when wild branches are grafted into a cultivated tree is when that tree stops producing FRUIT…

2. By using this illustration, Paul is saying that God is blessing gentiles because the Jews have CEASED to bear fruit….

3. The issue here is not individuals who were saved and then lost their salvation (the natural branches were never saved), but rather the people groups which become God’s FOCUS

4. The key verses: 17- 18: Biblical Christianity is a form of JUDAISM

5. We DRAW our source of life from the root stock of Israel…

· The root supports us; our spiritual life comes from Israel
· Who said this? “….for salvation is from the Jews…” (John 4:22); Jesus did to the woman at the well
· In first century Judaism, gentiles who believed in the God of Israel but did not want to be full converts to Judaism were thought of as saved but not in as great a place of blessing as those who became Jews…
· In the church age, Jews and gentile believers alike have equal status, but both are blessed because they are plugged into the life-giving root of Israel and, more specifically, Israel’s Messiah…

6. One day, the natural branches will be GRAFTED back in