For if the rejection of them is the reconciling of the world, what would their acceptance be, but life from the dead? If the first fruit is holy, so is the lump. If the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them, and became partaker with them of the root and of the richness of the olive tree; don’t boast over the branches. But if you boast, it is not you who support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.” True; by their unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by your faith. Don’t be conceited, but fear; for if God didn’t spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
This is a fascinating argument in favor of a future for the nation Israel. Paul is arguing that those who have been cut off from the nation now were still from the good tree of the God
of Israel. He is also arguing that as Gentiles we were not, but were just added in by God. He is also implying, in his analogy, that the Jews can be grafted back into God’s tree in the future. The strange thing that we need to ask is: “Why would anyone of us dare to boast that God has rejected Israel and accepted us instead?”
Paul is saying here that no matter what God decides to do with Israel, we have no place to brag over them. We didn’t do anything that deserved the gift that God gave us. In fact, bragging about ourselves could be demonstrating that we don’t believe in Jesus at all!
The whole point of our salvation is that we have faith in what Jesus has done for us. We are dependent on Jesus right now just like the branch of a tree is dependent on its roots. We have only been accepted by God because He decided to put us into His tree. There is absolutely no place for superiority if we really believe what Jesus has said and done.
We need to have a healthy respect of the fact that we have been saved from Hell by God because we have faith in Him and not because of anything that we have done to deserve it.