Romans 11: Identify the Olive Tree

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by J.D., Feb 15, 2010.

  1. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    BB Members:

    What does the Olive Tree in Roman 11 represent?

    1. The invisible church
    2. The visible church
    3. The local church
    4. The nation of Israel
    5. Remnant Israel
    6. Other

    This is not a survey but a spur to debate.

    I believe it represents the visible church under the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, and the braking off of the natural branches represents the braking off of unbelieving Jews in the transition from the old administration to the new administration.

    What say you?

    I might not get back to this till tomorrow night to join any debate that may arise out of this, but please do procede without me.

    Thanks.
     
  2. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    The invisible church.

    DHK found a source that almost gets it right

     
  3. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    Never mind the trunk, the scripture says nothing about the trunk. But what about the root? "..thou bearest not the root, but the root thee." Isn't the root representative of national Israel?
     
  4. Zenas

    Zenas
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    6
    You can't read 11:1 without concluding that the root is the ancient nation of Israel (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and the branches are the Jewish people. The grafted branches are Christian Gentiles. We also see that God will graft back in some of the branches (Jews) He had previously removed. I see nothing of the visible church here but would be interested in reading more about it if you post it.
     
  5. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4

    Our Life comes from Christ.

    In the text - the life of the branch comes from the root.

    Christ does not get life from Israel. Israel gets life from Christ.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    Then we agree that national Israel is the root, great. I don't know if Bob agrees, maybe we'll find out later.

    If we agree that UNBELIEVING Jews were broken off of the Olive Tree, that rules out the Olive Tree representing the invisible Church as it is traditionally defined, "all believers from all ages...", or something to that effect.

    But we define the Olive Tree as the visible Church, with national Israel identified as the Old Covenant "church" and the Church identified as the New Covenant Israel, then the Olive Tree is explained as one body spanning two dispensations/administrations.

    You see? The Olive Tree can only be the VISIBLE CHURCH.
     
  7. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    The New Covenant is the "ONE Gospel" (Gal 1:6-9) of all the ages - both Old Testament and New Testament churches were saved under the same New Covenant with the New Birth and the Law written on the heart.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    I think I can agree with that too. Either way, it is one body - one Olive Tree. See my reply to Zenas...
     
  9. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    In Rev 12 the woman is the church of God before the birth of Christ and ALSO the church of God after the resurrection of Christ. ONE church - in both ages.

    I agree - both the Sinai nation-church and the NT "persecuted church" and represented as the one tree - the one body of Christ.

    But in the illustration where the root supports the branches with the life that is in the root - it seems to me that the text is referring to Christ as the source of life for the church and all its branches.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    Bob said "The New Covenant is the ... Gospel..."

    So the New Covenant = the Gospel, is that what you are saying?
     
  11. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    yes sir.

    The New Covenant provides forgiveness of sins and the New Birth and adoption into the family of God.

    Thus when Paul says Gal 1:6-11 that there has only ever been "one Gospel" -- that is it.
     
  12. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    Bob, do you agree with me that the Olive Tree is the VISIBLE church as opposed to the INVISIBLE church?
     
  13. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    I am not sure.

    on the one hand it does appear that the Romans 11 scope is "ALL Israel" and Paul starts off the book of Romans telling us in chapter 2 that "he is a Jew that is one INWARDLY not OUTWARDLY".

    I have a hard time then assigning that starting context in Romans 2 -- to just the visible (organized) church.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    I appreciate your candid response. I agree, "all Israel" is the invisible church which is made up of "inward" Jews only, but it makes sense in light of the biblical correlation between the visible and invisible church. It is this correlation that the Roman church made into an exact correlation, making the visible church the actual source of salvation. Indeed, the Bible does not always put the difference between the visible and invisible to the degree that we tend to do it today.

    Anyway, there is no way that we could allow that Old Covenant unbelieving Jews were ever members of the Church, the Body of Christ. Right? So the Olive Tree must be the visible church.
     
  15. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    In Heb 11 Paul seems to uphold the Old Testament saints as believers with the church.

    in 1Cor 10 Paul argues that they are all baptized into Christ.

    in Heb 4:1 Paul argues that "WE have had the Gospel preached to US just as THEY also".

    in Romans 5 and Romans 9 Paul argues that gentiles are children of Abraham.

    In Romans 2 Paul argues salvation for BOTH Jews and Gentiles with the point that there is no partiality - no bias with God.

    Thus the saints of Heb 11 are in fact part of the invisible church.

    The "Gospel" is the New Covenant found in Jeremiah 31. There is only ONE Gospel and Paul affirms that it is found in both OT and NT.

    In 2Cor 3 Paul declares the Old Covenant to be the covenant of death. No one is saved under the Old Covenant according to Gal 3 but ALL are condemned by its rule "obey and live" until they accept Christ.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    Boy, we are sooo close to agreement on this....
    But did you address my question, "there is no way that we could allow that Old Covenant unbelieving Jews were ever members of the Church, the Body of Christ. Right?"
     
  17. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    1. I agree fully that nobody under the Gal 3 concept of the "obey and live" Old Covenant is a part of the Body of Christ.

    2. Where we may differ is that I do not believe the Old Covenant is a way of salvation for sinful man for if a Law had been given that provided salvation then Christ died needlessly. Thus the saints listed in Heb 11 (the giants of faith help up before NT Christians as examples) were all saved under the Jer 31:33 New Covenant and are a part of the body of Christ.

    Which is why Paul in 1Cor 10 declares that the "rock that followed them was Christ"

    Anyone who is lost today - is lost under the Old Covenant of the Gal 3 form "obey and live". Would have had to be born without a sinful nature and have lived a sinless life to be without condemnation and not doomed to the Rev 20 "2nd death" lake of fire event.

    Anyone who is saved today - is saved under the New Covenant.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #17 BobRyan, Feb 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2010
  18. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    Okay, looks like there's some twists and turns to your beliefs that I was not aware of. I don't have time to chase them around so I'll leave off the conversation with a parting shot.

    If you allow yourself to see that the Olive Tree can only represent the VISIBLE people of God, both in the Old and New Covenants, you'll also see how someone can be cut out of the Olive Tree and grafted back in again, both individually and corporately. It is not specifically about one's eternal salvation, but it is about one's association with the visible, covenantal body.

    Also, an issue I see as unrelated, but you mention is people being lost under the Old Covenant [law]. If that is true, how do you explain John's statement that certain people were condemned already because they have not believed? (John 3:18 or somewhere thereabouts). This is off topic so maybe a new thread might be appropriate if you want to tackle it. Thank you.
     
  19. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is the "invisible church"? :confused:

    Since the church is composed of believers, unless there is a separate church for the invisible man, believers are quite visible :)
     
  20. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    The Romans 11 statement appears to be about "Standing by faith" where individuals in the Jewish group stand and some fall - and individuals in the Gentile group stand while others never even join to start with.

    The warning appears to be about perseverance (just as we see in Romans 2:6-7) - and it is individual.

    The "invisible" body of Christ - means that this text applies to every saint world wide - no matter what location or denomination or circumstance they may be in. There is nothing mentioned in Romans 11 about "disfellowshiping" unbelieving Jews - it is not an act of "an organization" but the act of God in "not sparing them". Non-believing Jews were not applying to Jewish Christians "for membership" or for "questions discipline questions".

    Thus from that perspective -- it has to be the invisible church.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     

Share This Page

Loading...