I heard a story last night on Christian radio about JC Penny, when he was alive, was interviewing some guy for a job over dinner. As soon as dinner was served, the applicant picked up the salt and while sprinkling his food, began to talk about the new position. Mr. Penny said, "you won't have to worry about the job, you aren't getting it." Confused, the guy asked why not, to which Mr. Penny said, "any man who puts salt on his food before tasting it makes decisions before having facts." Let's try not to sprinkle salt on our food before getting all the facts.
"For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:"
So some who are are "of Israel," are not Israel. "Israel" is a term that is used to describe a man (Jacob), a land, a nation, and God's people.
"Eze 39:7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel;" (This term, "my people Israel," is used over 20 times)
Many "gentiles" have come in faith to Christ. But when they come in faith, are they "still gentiles?"
1Co 12:1 "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. (2) Ye know that ye were Gentiles,"
Eph 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh,
So when we lived without Messiah, we were considered gentiles, strangers, even aliens of the Commonwealth of Israel:
Eph 2:12 "That at that time ye were without the Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."
But watch what happens through Christ:
Eph 2:13 "But now in the Messiah Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of the Messiah."
So then, what are we now if we were gentiles and aliens of the Commonwealth of Israel?:
Eph 2:19 "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;"
So we Christians aren't strangers and foreignors of the Commonwealth of Israel, God's people, but are both fellow citizens with the saints AND fellowcitizens with the Household of God.
Israel is the lost sheep.
Matt 15:24 "But answering, He said, I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
But there are "other sheep".....
John 10:16a "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:"
The other sheep become one fold with the lost sheep.
John 10:16b "them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
Is this not what Paul speaks of here:
Rom 11:17 "And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, have been grafted in among them, and came to share the root and fatness of the olive tree,"
The new covenant is what Jesus ushered in. Yet, there is a prophecy of this new covenant in Jer 31:31-34, which in part says:
Jer 31:31 "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:"
This is elaborated on in Hebrews 8. There is no mention of gentiles, no mention of foreignors, strangers, only two houses, Israel and Judah. If we become "one fold" with the lost sheep, we see us fitting into this prophecy perfectly. If we are not one fold with the lost sheep, Israel, where are the Christians?