Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .
 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV)
We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness.
There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed.
After Jesus Christ came to earth something changed. The way of faith was directly through Jesus . Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. (John 14:6)" Those who refused to place their faith in Jesus Christ gave evidence that they were not true branches of this spiritual tree.
While many of the Jews refused to believe, many of the Gentiles were grafted into the tree as wild offshoots. When the Jews return to their faith at some time in the future they will be grafted in as natural branches, not as wild offshoots like the Gentiles. This very day there are Jews who have come back to the tree of faith, as natural branches, not as wild offshoots.
Whether you are an original branch or a wild offshoot, be sure that you are connected, by faith, to God. The way of faith for all of us is through one tree, the cross. Place your faith in Jesus Christ.