Romans 11:17-24: One Olive Tree


  • Visible vs. invisible
  • O.T. vs. N.T.


‘We believe in one holy; catholic and apostolic church.’ This is a confession from the first council of Constantinople, one of the universal creeds of the Christian church. This statement says four things about the church that it is one, that it is holy, that it is universal/catholic and that it is apostolic. Today as we continue to reflect on Romans eleven we want to think with Paul about the oneness of the church. As Paul has been talking about the place of Jews and Gentiles in God’s plan of salvation he has been using the picture of a single olive tree to make his point. Paul is revealing to us his underlying convictions of the nature of the church. These are most important and we must dig into these. What is the church? Who are the people of God? Are denominations sinful? These and many other questions are answered from looking at Paul’s understanding of the people of God as a single olive tree. Today we will be looking at things that are traditionally set as polar opposites: the visible vs. the invisible church; the O.T. vs. the N.T.