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The Family Tree of God (Romans 11)



Israel was continuously on Paul’s heart as indicated in Romans 11 and the preceding chapters. Paul had previously expressed his prayer request—he desired salvation for the Jews. Chapter 11 continues with Paul referring to God’s original chosen people. He indicated that although Israel had not yet received salvation, they were not cast away from God.


Paul referred to an Old Testament account found in 1 King 19 where Elijah cried out to God. Elijah stated that there was no one else besides himself that served God. He believed that he was all alone in his sincerity and devotion to God. However, God responded that there were 7,000 more believers who remained steadfast in the faith. God said that there was a remnant of people who still served him. Paul mentioned this scripture to highlight the fact that just as there was a remnant of believers then, there was still a remnant of God’s people who believed in his day.


And in our time, though we live in a sinful world, there still remains a remnant of true believers and doers of God’s word. When we examine the world and its way of living, behaving, and its speech, we may become discouraged. We may think that we are the only people genuinely trying to walk in holiness and righteousness. But just as it was in the past, it is the same today. There is a remnant. We are not alone. There are others who are striving for God and his will. So, let us keep all believers and doers in prayer that we will all continue pressing forward in our faith.


 

Now, although there was a remnant of believers from Israel that remained, there were many people from God’s original chosen people who were not believers of the New Covenant under Christ. Many of the original chosen people were no longer considered God’s people because they rejected Christ. However, those who choose to believe in Christ—whether they were Jews or Gentiles—were considered God’s people.


Paul then made a clever analogy. He compared God’s people to branches on a tree—branches on God’s family tree. Under the Old Testament, if God had a family tree that revealed ancestry to his chosen bloodline, then the Jews would be the only branches on that tree. In times past, God’s chosen people remained rooted and steadfast in the family of God so long as they remained obedient under the Old Law. But when the New Covenant under Jesus Christ began, many of the Jews fell off due to their unbelief. Without Jesus, they were like branches on a tree with no root. Therefore, many of God’s original family fell off the family tree of God.


However, the Gentiles, those who were not a part of God’s original family tree, now had the opportunity to become a part of God’s family. Through faith in Christ, God grafted new branches into the family tree. Paul refers to the new family members as “wild olive branches”. This analogy is beautiful and quite amazing when compared to an earthly family tree.


Blood relatives cannot choose who their blood relatives are. Although adoption and blended families exist, DNA is an irrefutable fact. If you are not blood related to someone, there is nothing that can change that fact.


But in God’s new family tree, the only blood that matters is the blood of Jesus. This is further confirmed in Luke 8. When Jesus’s mother and brothers were unable to reach him because of the massive crowd and the people told Jesus that his family was there to see him, Jesus replied, “My mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:21)


Believers and doers of the word are the true branches on God’s family tree. If you both believe and follow Christ, then when you meet someone who does the same, they are not simply another believer. They are your family. We are all family.


But family, let us bear in mind that it is not up to us who is engrafted into God’s family tree. It is God who adds to the tree, and it is by our own unbelief that we are removed. Knowing this, we should understand that we have no right to be boastful about being a member of God’s chosen people. Paul reminded the Romans that the Gentiles should not be conceited in their positioning, but that they should rather “behold the kindness and severity of God.”


Likewise, we know that it is only through God’s kindness that we are branches in this most holy and beautiful family tree. But just as God removed the original branches from the tree due to their unbelief, he can remove us if we do not believe and adhere to God’s word.


Yet, let us thank God for his mercy. Regardless of ethnicity, race, or nationality, anyone can become a member of God’s family. The blood of Jesus is what binds us all together. God’s family tree is quite colorful and includes people of all dialects and backgrounds; thus, your family is multifaceted. It is by no means restricted by our local congregation. It is much bigger and more beautiful than what we may imagine.


Be prayerful for your family. Pray that we remain in unity. No kingdom divided against itself will stand… even Satan knows this, which is why his dark kingdom remains unified and successful in wreaking havoc on the earth. Just as the evil one has made his impact on the earth, let us do the same for the kingdom of God.


May we stay within the beautiful family tree of God, and may we encourage each other on in faith, love, and unity. Be thankful that God has blessed us all to be members of his exquisitely beautiful family. Until next time, may God bless you and keep you.


 

Quin Arrington is a Christian wife, mother, and author with books available on Amazon at www.amazon.com/author/quinarrington

Thank you for your time. Be Blessed!


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