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Romans 9:1-5


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

I wasn't planning on doing the Romans study today...I'm under a tremendous amount of stress and I can be very unproductive during those times. My heart is just a little down, so I don't really feel like doing nuffin at the moment.

 

And yet, here I am...Your Spirit wooing me, compelling me to do another study. I looked at the verses ahead, and this will be a long installment today. As hard as I tried to find a way to break it up in two, I can't seem to figure that out lol, so I guess we'll go with the whole thing today.

 

Father God, I'm worried this morning. There are some threats that are looming that could adversely affect so many people in my family...me, the children, my brother, the children's father...and it just feels skerry. I'm tired, I'm weary, I'm tired of stressing and worrying. I don't feel like picking up my foot to take one more step...I feel like having a temper tantrum and just saying "I refuse to budge...I'll just stay right here".

 

I guess it doesn't matter how I feel lol cause here I am writing this study out in Romans.

 

At least You got me to laugh cause 'You win' lol, and I'm glad You win cause I love You and need You so desperately.

 

Ok Father God, I'm throwing all these threats at Your feet, asking for Your mercy, Your grace, Your intervention, Your help, to protect all those that I love.

 

I'm also asking that today's study be something special, just cause I'd like something special today.

 

I love You.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

1. I speak the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit,

 

2. That I have a great sorrow and unceasing pain in my heart.

 

3. For I could pray that I myself were [cast out] accursed from Christ for my brethren's sake,

 

4. My kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites; whose is the [Divine national] adoption and the [earth-manifested] glory, and the covenants, and the custodianship of the law, and the sanctuary service and the promises;

 

5. Whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God blessed unto the ages. Amen.

 

Watchman Nee comments on a few words in the first verse:

 

"I speak": "After covering the first half of God's salvation in Christ, and before going on to the second half, the section from chs. 9--11 is inserted to explain in detail the selection of God's chosen people, which was of God Himself."

 

"conscience": "In 8:16 the Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit, whereas in this verse our conscience bears witness with us in the Holy Spirit. This proves that our conscience is in our human spirit."

 

In the 3rd verse, Watchman Nee comments on the word "cursed/accursed" and writes: "For Paul to wish that Israel would be saved was necessary, but to wish that he himself would be a curse and would be separated from Christ would have been extreme. Paul could wish in this way out of a desperation produced by his intense desire for Israel's salvation."

 

The rvbv writes, "This most remarkable paragraph naturally divides itself into two parts:

 

1. "Verses 1 to 3: Paul's constant yearning pain for the unbelieving Israelites, his breathren and kindsmen, - a yearning to which he declares the Spirit bears witness, which could, were it right, go the length of his being lost if they could be saved! Thus Moses prayed: "If thou wilt not firgive them, blot me, I pray thee, out of Thy book, which Thou hast written!" (Ex. 32:32,33.) (Bishop Moule remarks upon the impossibility of Paul's really making such a prayer: "To desire the curse of God would be to desire not only suffering, but moral alienation from Him, the withdrawal of the soul's capacity to love Him. Thus the wish would be in effect an act of "greater love for our neighbor than for God." Christ would thus be to wish the loss of that which He has "bought and made His own." But, the logical reason of the matter apart, we have only to read the close of Chapter 8, to see how entirely a moral impossibility it was for Paul to complete such a wish.") Dear old Bengel searchingly says, "It is not easy to estimate the measure of love in a Moses and a Paul. For our limited reason does not grasp it, as the child cannot comprehend the courage of warriors!"

 

In verse 4, Watchman Nee comments on 2 words contained therein:

 

"Kinsmen/Sonship": "Sonship here is the right of inheritance."

 

"service": "The service in the tabernacle or in the temple, instituted according to the law of Moses."

 

In verse 5, Watchman Nee comments on the word "God" and writes, "It is clearly stated here that Christ is God, proving that although Christ was a man (5:15) with flesh who came out of the tribe of Judah, a tribe of Israel, He is also God, who is over all and blessed forever. He is both man and God. He is God the Son, and He is the Triune God."

 

The rvbv goes on to write, "Verses 4 and 5: The rehearsing of eight matters which belongs to Israel, - yea, and yet belong to Israel, in spite of all their unfaithfulness. As Jehovah says to Jeremiah:

 

"If these ordinances [of the sun, of the moon, of the stars and of the sea] depart from before Me, saith Jehovah, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever. Thus saith Jehovah: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then will I also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith Jehovah" (Jer. 31:35-37).

 

Therefore, first, let us deeply reflect on this thing of Paul's unceasing pain over Israel, lest in our Gentile shallowness we miss the correct judgment of the importance of this event before God, that Israel, among whom He had dwelt, became disobedient, and were broken off from blessing; and lest in our own affectations we become so narrowed as to have no yearning over Israel. Shall we let Paul, our great apostle, have this "unceasing pain," this "great sorrow," in his heart, all alone? Nay, for Paul would not have shared the fact with us except he expected our sympathy in the Spirit. Let us not be like those thousands of grace-hating Jews in Paul's day who kept following him in his blessed ministry, declaring that he was an apostate Jew, one really denying the faith of his fathers, bitter against his own race in order to curry favor among the despised Gentiles. They spread the report that Paul "taught all men everywhere against Israel and the Law and the temple" (Acts 21:28). How Christ-like was the love in Paul's heart, that persisted even to be willing to be lost, for the unbelieving Israelites who were reviling him!

 

Second, let us enumerate and examine the eight respects in which the apostle here declares the nation of Israel differed before God from all other nations:

 

1. The Divine national adoption - "Thus saith Jehovah, Israel is my son, my first-born" (Ex. 4:22). "Thou art a holy people unto Jehovah thy God: Jehovah thy God hath chosen thee to be a people for His own possession, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth" (Deut. 7:6). "You only have I known of all the families of the earth" (Amos 3:2). Let the Nations, British, Americans, French, Germans, or whatever they be, lay this to heart before it is too late! For as to God's election of Israel as His chosen nation, it is absolute and eternal, as He says in Isaiah 66:22: "As the new heavens and new earth [of Rev. 21 and 22] shall remain before Me, so shall your seed and your name [israel] remain." (The envy of other races and nations towards God's elect nation Israel has always existed. But there is a mild phase and a virulent phase of this Gentile sin-disease that should be noted:

 

First, the mild phase: this is Anglo-Israelism, the teaching that the Anglo-Saxons, especially Britain and America (Britain as Ephraim and America as Manasseh!) are the "lost ten tribes" who, carried away East across the Euphrates in God's judgment, - turned East into West and landed at the British Isles! No; British and Americans are lost, but they are not The Ten Tribes!)

 

2. The glory - We all know how God's presence accompanied Israel as a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night through the sea and through the wilderness, and then filled the tabernacle! No other nation has had or will have God's presence thus. God said:

 

"And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them...And thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee...And there I will meet with thee" (Ex. 25:8,21,22).

 

And concerning the dedication of Solomon's temple we read,

 

"It came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking Jehovah, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised Jehovah, saying, For He is good; for His loving-kindness endureth forever; that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of Jehovah, so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of Jehovah filled the house of God" (II Chron. 5:13,14).

 

3. The covenants - With "covenants" Gentiles have absolutely nothing actively to do. (It is indeed an infinitely blessed fact that all who believe share in the benefits of that "everlasting covenant" of Hebrews 13:20, made between the Father and the Son, on these conditions: that if the Son would come to earth and die for our sins, the Father would bring Him again from the dead as the great Shepherd of the sheep. Paul says in I Corinthians 11:25, "In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood." (The "New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah" has not yet been made; for we read that it will be made after these [Gentile] days. See Acts 15:13-16.) When our Lord said therefore, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood," He must, we believe, refer to that covenant of Hebrews 13:20; to which covenant, as we have said, the Father and the Son were parties. Even concerning the New Covenant to be made in the future with Israel, God says in Romans 11:27: "And this is the covenant from Me unto them, when I shall take away their sins." It is no longer blessing conditioned on their obedience, but it is the day of Jehovah's "power" to Israel (Ps. 110:3), not merely a "visitation" (Luke 19:41-44).

 

Second, the virulent phase of this jealousy and envy towards elect national Israel appears in "anti-Semitism," or anti-Jewish; and has lately been carried to new depths of pagan infamy by Hitler in Germany. For this phase of Gentile envy rejects Scripture. Mr. Hitler hates the Jews and declares for "pure Aryan blood" - (pray where would you find it?). Carrying his boasting hatred to its logical conclusion, he rejects the Word of God as authority, and turns back to the old pagan gods of Northern Europe.

 

Now all hatred of national Israel arises from rebellion against Divine sovereign election. We know that Israel has failed God: but God declares He will not fail them finally, wherease the hate of modern Gentiles (wiser than God - for are they not the "moderns"?) would seek to crush Israel and exalt Gentiledom. Of course, it will end in the Antichrist, but the Lord Jesus will end him, and all Gentile boasting, at "the forthshining of His arrival" (II Thess. 2:8, Rotherham).

 

In Genesis Fifteen God made a covenant with Abraham, and gave to his earthly seed the token of circumcision. In Genesis Twenty-two, God "confirmed" the promise to Abraham's seed, which is Christ (Gal. 3:16). With David God made an earthly kingdom-covenant, - that one of David's descendants should sit upon his throne forever (II Sam. 7:13); as we find Gabriel announcing to Mary in Luke 1:32,33. God says He will make a New Covenant in the future with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (Heb. 8:8-12, quoted from Jer 31:33,ff), in connection with which He promises to "bring Israel back into their land," to "take away the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, to put His Spirit within them, to cause them to walk in His statutes, and keep His ordinances, and do them" (Ezek. 36:24-27).

 

4. And the custodianship of the Law - It was a great thing to be entrusted with God's holy Law, as we have seen in Chapter 3:2. Let me here repeat that every writer of Scripture is an Israelite. No other nation has ever been even directly spoken to, as a nation, by God: except to be warned, as were Egypt by Moses, and Nineveh by Jonah. There were written messages, as Isaiah 13-23; but these were given to Israel, concerning other nations.

 

5. And the sanctuary-service - The Greek word here (latreia), refers to those religious ordinances prescribed to Israel by God in connection with the tabernacle-worship, and afterwards the temple-worship, which will be resumed in the Millennium, as we read in the last nine chapters of Ezekiel. (The ordinances and offerings then will be memorial, rather than prophetic, as in the days before Christ died.)

 

Note carefully that such outward form-worship belongs to the nation of Israel, and not to Christianity. To introduce it into Christianity is to return to paganism. For Paul plainly classifies the forms and ceremonies of Judaism as now belonging with "the weak and beggarly religious principles" which heathen Gentiles engage in! (Gal. 4:9,10.)

 

Until the "Aryans" (whoever they are) have been led out from all other races by God Himself in manifest presence, and have had a "fiery law" given them from heaven as had Israel, let them stop their mouths, and also stop their ears from any vain pagan prophet! And let the Gentiles all humble their miserable pride. What have they to do with the Law that God committed to Israel? or with the Jewish Sabbath, which God said was a token of His covenant with that chosen people? (Ex. 31:12-17.)

 

6. And the promises - God's salvation-promise were lodged in Abraham; His kingdom-promises, in David. No promises were made to Gentile nations as such. For the gospel now proclaimed is not a promise, but the announcement of a fact to be believed; and it is not preached to nations as such, but to individuals - good news to sinners everywhere. But to Israel, promises, thousands of them, were committed, - as a nation.

 

Now, we do not have to become "Israelites" in any sense whatever to enjoy God's salvation in Christ. (Some accurate book setting forth the absolute difference between the Church and Israel should be read, such as "Israel and the Church", by James H. Brookes, or Mr. Blackstone's (W.E.B.) always excellent "Jesus Is Coming".) The nation of Israel has been set aside for the present as the vessel of Divine blessing to the world, while the Gentiles, as set forth in Chapter Eleven, have now the priviledged place, and the Jews and Gentiles come individually, upon believing, into a heavenly inheritance. Nevertheless, "the promises" pertain nationally to Israel, and to no other nation as such.

 

7. Whose are the fathers - Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are directly referred to; and Jacob's sons also, especially Joseph, and Judah the vessel of royal promise and blessing to Israel (Ps. 77:15; 80:1; 81:5; Gen. 49:8,10; Heb. 7:14). Our hearts include Moses, Samuel, David, and the prophets when we think of Israel and remember "the fathers." But it is especially to Abraham, "the father of all them that believe," that our grateful memory turns; for, although we have no connection with Israel, we do have indeed a vital connection with Abraham, as his "children."

 

8. And of whom is Christ as to the flesh - who is over all, God blessed unto the ages! Amen. (The questions concerning both Romans 9:5 and I Timothy 3:16 have arisen from the mists of doubt rather than from the heights of childlike faith in God's revelation of the deity of Christ. See Alford's excellent and exhaustive note on 9:5, from the end of which we quote: "No conjecture arising from doctrinal difficulty is ever to be admitted in the face of the consensus of mss. and versions. The rendering given above is, then, not only that most agreeable to the usage of the Apostle, but the only one admissable by the rules of grammar and arrangement. It also admirably suits the context: for having enumerated the historic advantages of the Jewish people, he concludes by stating one which ranks far higher than all, - that from them sprung, according to the flesh, He who is God over all, blessed forever.") In Chapter 1:3 God's Son is said to be "born of the seed of David according to the flesh"; in John 1:14, we read: "The Word became flesh"; in Hebrews 2:16: "He taketh hold of the seed of Abraham"; and in Matthew 1:1, it is: "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham."

 

Now this is an astonishing honor to Israel, - infinitely outranking all others: our Lord, "the Mighty God" (Isa. 9:6), is, "according to the flesh," an Israelite! For two other things are immediately affirmed of Him: He is over all, and He is God blessed unto the ages. The words "over all" are partly explained in I Corinthians 15:27: "He [God the Father] put all things in subjection under His [Christ's] feet." But in John 1:1,3: "The Word was God. All things were made through Him." As in Colossians 1:16,17: "All things were created through Him and unto Him; and by Him all things consist" (hold together); so that Christ is indeed "over all, God blessed forever"! (As to this ascription of deity to Christ, see Kelly's Notes on Romans, pp. 165-171.)

 

And now Paul falls back upon the sovereignty of God, accomplishing thereby three things:

 

First he defends himself (and all of us) against the charge of teaching that God had been unfaithful in His promises toward Israel; 2. he shows that Israel's own Scriptures had foretold their temporary rejection, and the salvation of the Gentiles; and 3. he shows the great future blessing which will come to Israel, in God's sovereign MERCY."

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

Well...

 

There were some things that were laying on my heart this morning...and this morning 'mercy seat' kept going over and over in my mind.

 

When I got to the part in the study where it said, "And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them...And thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee...And there I will meet with thee" (Ex. 25:8,21,22)." I was stunned.

 

Is it that our 'sanctuary' that we make, is our hearts, because that is where Your Spirit dwells.

 

Is that 'mercy-seat' the Blood of Christ that washes over us, and where we have all found forgiveness.

 

And is our own 'testimonies' given and directed by You, and You alone? THAT thought is what stuns me, and something I will ponder and pray about. The thought that all I've done and gone through in life, was allowed by You, to create the 'testimony' I have today, not for me alone, but to be used by You to touch other peoples hearts for eternal purposes...I dunno Father God, but I just sense there's something in that.

 

"And there I will meet with thee". It's true...You do.

 

Thank You for this study this morning...I needed it more than I can say. I find it interesting that I'm more often than not, finding myself needing to say, "I love You" before I close out the prayer. Kind of like the "I love you's that I say to loved ones here on earth". I was just thinking people will get tired of reading all my "I love You's" lol, but yanno what?

 

This is my prayer and I love You.

 

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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