"THE BOOK OF ROMANS" Part 7 of 8

 Ch. 8 – No condemnation
             Comfort if walking after the Spirit

As Luther points out in his Commentary on Romans, in this chapter, Paul comforts those strugglers fighting against their flesh and sin. He adds the proviso that they walk after the Spirit and not the flesh. This Christian walk with God’s indwelling Holy Ghost, makes us spiritual and subdues the flesh. We are assured that no matter how violently sin rages in us, we are still the children of God (Rom 8:16). Of course if you continue to live after the flesh you shall die – literally (1Cor 11:30) but still go home to heaven. Paul then reminds us that while we suffer on earth (Rom 8:18), we look forward to being delivered from our bondage of corruption (Rom 8:21). Our ‘crosses’, sufferings, infirmities of the flesh, necessities, persecutions and distresses (2Cor 12:10) help to sever all ties down here on earth and help us look toward the glorious liberty of the children of God (Rom 8:21) by having the power of Christ rest upon us (2Cor 12:10). Paul ends with the glorious promise that all things work together for good to them that love God (Rom 8:28). Of course this seems as impossible just like Abraham when confronted with his barren condition and the promise of future children and nations. But we are left with the rolled gold guarantee that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:38-39).

Ch 9,10,11 = Israel

Ch. 9 – Israel
             Paul’s heaviness and sorrow for Israel

Paul calls the Israelites his kinsmen in the flesh (Rom 9:3) as Paul was also born a Jew and called a Hebrew (1Cor 11:22). He states that not all born of Abraham are children of God, but those of the promise are counted for the seed (Rom 9:8) ie those born of Isaac (Rom 9:7). But the Arab would say they were born of Abraham also. This is correct.  However, because Ishmael was the result of Abraham’s disobedience, they are not children of the promise.

The children of the promise are those in Jacob (Rom 9:13). You see, although born of Isaac, Esau is not of the seed because God says Esau have I hated (Rom 9:13) and Jacob have I loved. Why? Esau rejected God’s covenant. Furthermore, a study of the scriptures show that Esau took Ishmael’s daughters, Bashemath and Mahamath as wives (Gen 26:34; 28:9; 36:3). Esau and Ishmael fathered the Arabs and not the Jews.

Paul then continues saying that God will also call a people who were not his people, meaning the Gentiles (Rom 9:25). The reason given is that Israel has been disobedient to God and sought after righteousness by the works of the law (Rom 9:32). God therefore will put a stumbling-stone, this is Jesus Christ, in the way of the Jew. God is wanting to make the Jew jealous because the Gentile may now believe and receive the righteousness of God, Jesus Christ, by faith.

 Ch. 10 – Israel; Paul’s desire they might be saved
You can hear Paul’s heart breaking as he tells of the zeal of the Jews in attempting to get a righteousness by their own works/means. They are rejecting Jesus Christ and his righteousness, who has fulfilled the law perfectly on their behalf. Paul’s heart’s desire is that they might be saved by doing it God’s way. He goes on to say there is no difference between Jews, Greeks and Gentiles (Rom 10:12) and that anyone can call on the name of the Lord and be saved by believing (Rom 10:13).
He then establishes and promotes the office of the preacher saying that by preaching, faith can come by hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17). Indeed, God’s mission is to make Israel jealous and this is even stated by Moses (Rom 10:19). But Paul ends up by saying that this seems to be a fruitless task (Rom 10:21).

 Ch. 11 – Israel; God has not cast them away
In this chapter, Paul states that Israel has been broken off so that the Gentile can be graffed in (a graff is a grave.) Yes, THE WORD IS “GRAFF” NOT “GRAFT”! Christians are put into the death of Christ. A graft is still living and does not die when a gardener puts it into a limb of a plant. This is not a loss of salvation for Israel but simply a temporary halt to accessing God’s goodness. Israel has been only broken off not cut out! They will regrow again. This is misunderstood by some. Israel’s roots are not destroyed, but they are just broken off as branches. They are to have a temporary pause (about 2000 years) of being put aside from God, but they will be graffed in again during the last half of the seven year tribulation. This is not to say they can’t get saved today. Why? Paul goes on to say that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Rom 11:29). God has not let them go. He has originally called them as his people and he will honour them again as his own (Rom 11:26). Paul concludes by extolling the virtues of God as his ways are past finding out (Rom 11:33).

 

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Harley Hitchcock

Sunday 12th September 2021

 

THE BOOK OFPart 8 of 8




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