Romans 9, pt. 3

Posted: June 24, 2010 by graysutanto in Romans 9
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1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—… Paul realizes that he is about to address an important topic. An issue that is indeed worthy of an oath as many at that time were calling Paul an enemy of to his own kinsmen. Many thought that Paul was telling his nation to forsake the law of Moses, betraying his very ethnicity. He then prepares the minds of his reader, anticipating that many of which would be Jewish Christians, that he is speaking the truth, even making an oath by the name of Christ. I am not lying;… Hence he reaffirms that he is speaking truth, and that he takes the subject matter very seriously. My conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— … To add even more reassurance upon his readers, he brings in the testimony and the witnessing of the Holy Spirit towards His conscience. Paul assures readers that he is free from evil motives, or any sort of desire to lead others astray and what he is about to speak is under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.

2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. … Paul expresses his sorrow and sadness over his Jewish family, signifying that he cares very much for his kinsmen. This passage shows that Paul, even when knowing that what is happening to the Jews is of the will and providence of God, is still struggling and is in anguish with this very issue in his heart.

3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ… Another expression of Paul’s care and love for his Jewish family. So much so that the Greek word anathema is used here, which means not only a temporal death but an eternal separation from Christ. Paul was wishing that it was possible for him to be condemned if it would mean that salvation would come to his kinsmen. for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh… Such was the love of Paul for his people and his sorrow is further expressed in witnessing that many from his own nation are missing from the sovereign election of God.

4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption,… Paul here begins to acknowledge the many blessings that the Israelites had received from God, signifying how Israel had been set apart from the other nations. First, the glory,…signifying God’s dwelling among them, setting them apart from other nations. Secondly, the covenants,…there had been some dispute on whether this should be given a singular reading (in which case, it might be referring to the covenant of Sinai in Ex 24.8), however it seems most probable to me that Paul meant this to be understood by a plural reading, which would include the many covenants that God established with the Patriarchs of Israel and the New Covenant as expressed in Jer 31:31. The giving of the law,…referring to the Mosaic law and legislation which was exclusively handed down to Israel, again setting the nation apart. The worship, … this refers to the ways that God wanted to be worshipped as revealed to Israelites, mainly in the book of Leviticus. And the promises… referring to the Messianic promises, including the ones God established to Abraham and David.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gray Sutanto, Adam Rodriguez. Adam Rodriguez said: Romans 9, pt. 3: […]

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