Thursday, June 11, 2009

Paul's Presentation- Rom 9

I am in agreement with many Roman's commentators that there are three major structures in Romans.

Romans Ch 1-8 The Gospel- God's Righteousness versus Man's Righteousness
Romans 9-11- Paul's Presentation
Romans 12-16 Life in the Body- Practical Applications

I can almost hear Paul beginning right here in a Jewish synagogue on a Sabbath. He says this with great passion and tears.

When God stirs things up, it seems like chaos. The people are wondering, "What is going on?" What is this new movement of the Spirit all about? What are these strange things? How can this man, a Pharisee, turn his back on his people?

Paul anticipates all of the pushback.... Given the promises in the Old Testament, the promise of the covenant and Messiah, the chosen people of God, has God rejected his people?

I encourage you to read 9-11 without pause and hear Paul's very careful answer to those questions.

As you may know, I just finished recording 35 lessons on the Book of Revelation. These same questions pop-up there also. A significant consequence of your eschatology is your understanding of Israel's standing with God. Is Israel a physical nation or symbolic of God's spiritual people?

Paul sees the gentiles embracing the gospel by the thousands and gets nothing but persecution from the Jews. He is a Jew, he loves his people.... I see him weeping... just as I see Jesus weeping in Matthew 23:

23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

So Read Chapters 9-11 and ask some significant questions:

Has God's word failed?
Are there two paths to salvation- one for Jew and one for Gentile?
Is all who descend physically from Israel true Israel?
What did God promise in Hosea 2:23?...... read it in context and then again in RM 9:25...fascinating
Did God reject His people? How does Paul answer that?.... (I wasn't rejected, God broke my resistance)
Can the Gentiles brag now?.. No( see also Heb 2:1-3)
Why did God allow the Jewish Law to result in disobedience? (the law opened the door to grace)
What happens when the gentile election is complete? "Looks like rain"
Who is this really all about (read again 11:33-36)? SOLI DEO GLORIA

By the way... Paul's point here can really help your reading of Revelation.

If you don't like the answer 'God is God and you are not'... you may just want to stop.
But the Van Til circles say it all.

See that big circle? He is the CREATOR!
See that little circle? That is the creature (and it is not drawn to scale).
See that other circle? That world-view is in big trouble, whether religious or not.

More on this presentation later.......

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