Have you heard the phrase “grafted in” as it pertains to spiritual matters? If you have read Romans chapter 11, or a sermon on Romans 11, you have probably heard the term “grafted in”. But what does it mean? What does it mean to be grafted in to the fold of God?
To begin with, the Jewish nation of Israel were God’s initial chosen people. They were the people that God had chosen to delight in, take pleasure in, and give the opportunity to have a relationship with Him as He provided for them in various ways. This was a big thing. God had given Israel the Law (Torah) which was His instruction to them about His ways. This allowed them to act in obedience to God and have a relationship with the God of the universe, which in itself was a tremendous grace. They were given the Promised Land that God had promised to Abraham years before the possessed it. God was everything that Israel needed and He was their provision in various ways. They were indeed His people.
Yet, what we see in Romans 11 and in the whole of the New Testament is a different era. We see God opening up salvation not only to the Jews but to the Gentiles also. As the Jews rejected Christ and began a hardening of their hearts, God, within His infinite wisdom and great mercy, has opened up salvation to Gentiles. This is good news for those that are not Jewish as it gives people like me the opportunity to know the God of the universe through Christ. In this salvation, Gentiles are now “grafted in” to the family of God. What does that mean? It means that they are brought into Israel, the chosen people, and the new spiritual Israel is filled with all who trust in Christ both Jew and Gentile. This is a tremendous grace and mercy to all Gentiles and Jews alike as there is a separation between us and God. Gentiles were brought into a family that they did not rightly belong to and God has extended His mercy upon them and given them every benefit that a member of God’s family has. He has granted them the grace to have a relationship with Him, He has granted them the grace to know Him, He has granted the them the grace to have communion with Him, He has grafted them into His lineage despite the fact that they were not rightful heirs of His kingdom, yet through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, they are now rightful heirs if they place their faith and trust in Him.
What a beautiful grace. God has given the opportunity to you and I to know Him. Salvation is not about you and I having fire insurance that promises us an eternity not spent in hell. Salvation is about knowing God through Jesus Christ. We should live everyday of our lives basking in the grace of God as we have been grafted into the family because of Christ’s righteousness and not our own.
Soli Deo Gloria (God’s Glory Alone).