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Monday, August 1, 2011

Romans Study #29 Chap. 9-11

Romans Bible Study #29
Reading Chapter 9-11


“I seek not to understand in order that I may believe; rather, I believe that I may understand.” Anselm of Canterbury
I am indebted to many wiser-than-I men who I look to, to help me wade through these deep waters. Art Katz has a most appropriate teaching that relates to how we should look at these chapters. It has long been our goal to, “not change the scriptures but to let the scriptures change us.” These chapters are like the burning bush that Moses turned aside to see. It is said that once he turned aside to see that bush, that he would be forever changed, he could never ‘turn back’ to where or who he was after seeing this sight. That kind of ‘life-changing’ time is awaiting us in these chapters. It is impossible for a bush to be burning and yet not be consumed. It is impossible for God to be free, sovereign and the ultimate cause of all things, and to hold us accountable for our actions. One thing to keep in mind is that although scripture compares us with sheep at times it also compares us to clay on a potter’s wheel. The clay is not just ‘a little less smart than the potter,’ it is completely something “other” than what the potter is. The Potter has the right to do with the clay what He wants. Mercy, wisdom, sovereignty, are all on display in these chapters. These great truths push aside a lie called ‘replacement theology,’ which essentially states that God’s Old Testament promises to Israel are fulfilled by the church and that God is done with Israel.
Romans 9-11 do not stand alone in the Bible, they complete the truth of the Sovereign God of the Bible. He Who will NOT suffer His plans to be thwarted. He intended for Israel to be a light to the other nations demonstrating His government. Blessing the nations by being a nation ruled by Him. If these promises are not fulfilled God is not God. If they are not fulfilled totally by Him without the help of man, it is not grace. Election/Predestination is grace in its most pride-killing form, and these chapters will not let ‘man’ squirm out from under the truth that ultimately God is in total control of all things.
Jeremiah 31:35-37Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name: "If this fixed order departs From before Me," declares the LORD, "Then the offspring of Israel also will cease From being a nation before Me forever." Thus says the LORD, "If the heavens above can be measured And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel For all that they have done," declares the LORD.
These chapters are one complete thought and so tonight we will read them straight through and that will be our study.

13 comments:

lori rodeheaver said...

Replacement theology isn't a good name...it's more like fulfillment theology..."But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.”[b] 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed."~Romans 9:6-8

Those who are the children of the flesh *are not* the children of God but the children of the *promise* are counted as the seed.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise~Galatians 2:28-29

*If* you are Christ's *then* you are Abraham's seed.

" For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God."~Romans 2:28-29

Clearly, being a true Jew is not about your bloodline, rather the condition of your heart.


And finally...what did Jesus Christ himself call bloodline Jews who continued to reject him? The synogogue of Satan. (REv 2:8-9, 3:8-9)

Awh you know what I think...lol

Chuck said...

I have hope that we can make progress in hearing each other on this issue. I will respond specifically to the scriptures that you quote and then i will quote some scriptures and you respond specifically to them.
Romans 9:6-8 Paul is building in this book and this is one complete thought in Romans chap 9, 10, and 11. So in 9 he is building an argument that he brings to fruition in 10 and 11. These verses in 9:6-8 have a point and that is to prove that God's word has not failed, these verses come right after Paul grans his heart cry (also Christ and the Holy Spirit's cry) for physical Israel. They are arguing for the fact that God has preserved a remnant people, but as he continues his argument, he undeniably states that one day "all Israel" will be saved. Admittedly this is a 1/3 remnant of a nation that has been devastated, but nevertheless, it is that people that God has chosen known as Israel, the physical nation. They are undoubtedly the natural vine that is grafted back in, all due to the amazing grace of God's choice. So all these scriptures are at the end, the conclusion of the argument. Romans 11:25-27
Gal 2:28,29 Individually in the church there is no problem that nationality or whatever of the person does not matter, God saves all, and puts all on even ground. This is not a "national" scripture, but an individual one. The national call of Israel stands. Respond to Jeremiah 31:35-37.

Romans 2:28-29 Paul early in the letter laboring to show that no one is right in the sight of God. Not nobody, not no how, Starting in verse 17 he is arguing that no one is put right with God on the basis of the law. He is not arguing that the nation has been put aside, but that the law as a way to God has been shown to be impossible. The many references later to physical Israel are there simply because in order to uphold the Name of God and the faithfulness of God, He must fulfill His promises, to this national people, If God fails to fulfill His promises to them, His covenant with them, He fails and God can not fail.
The Revelation scriptures chap 2 and 3, 2/3 of world "Jewry" will be wiped out by the judgment of God, so it is nothing against my position to say that there are false people who are a synagogue of satan, but God preserves 1/3 and saves them in a day. Isaiah 66:8

so remember the rules answer my specific scriptures

lori rodeheaver said...

Ok...I'm back...a little slow but I'm trying here...lol. I'll do my best to address the specific passages you mention.

AS you say, God has perserved a remnant people from the bloodline Jews/physical Israel. He has done so since Christianity was born and much of the 1st century church was made up of Jews as I'm sure you're aware. But...if Paul means what he says that 'all Israel are not *OF* Israel' his point is clear---'all Israel' does not mean every single bloodline Jew who lives will be saved, rather he must mean something else...given the texts of Romans 9:8 (and following to thru chap 11 which is a commentary on what he means by his statment 'all israel is not of israel'), Gal 3:28-29 and Romans 2:28, his point is made even clearer. in fact, the entire book of Hebrews reiterates the fact that Christ has fulfilled all of God's promises and has instated a new and better covenant with his *true* seed--those that be of faith.

"Therefore know that *only* those who are of faith are sons of Abraham."~Gal 3:7

God is true to his word...a remnant of physical Israel has been saved in Paul's day, is being saved now and will be saved to the end...but salvation is not dependant upon a man's bloodline, rather the blood of Christ alone.

Curiously, if a bloodline Jew is saved today, to which group would he belong? The church? Or Israel? What has become of all the bloodline JEws who have died between the cross and the supposed universal salvation to which they will be called? Is the last generation of Jews the only 'lucky ones'? Does God really have two programs and two peoples? Or does the bible make clear that He indeed has (and has always had) one---a spiritual ppl saved by grace through faith (including, but not limited to, bloodline Jews)? It has *never* been universal simply bc one is a Jew---even in OT Israel---the blood of bulls and goats was not able to take away sins---salvation is gained through faith alone...and only given to an elect remnant.

Romans 9:8 as well as Galatians 3:28-29 are also clear. If we are all on common ground, as you agree (and the bible says) how can we turn around and say bloodline Jews are 'special people' who will universally be saved by something in addition to what Christ has already done? God forbid!

Jeremiah 31 speaks of a New Covenant. Our NT writer to the Hebrews makes unmistakably clear what is meant by that very passage. (HEbrews 7-10) The former covenant was dependant upon both parties cooperation, the latter only upon God himself to fulfill what's necessary...that is why it's better. Moses wrote on tablets; Christ on the heart--Moses typifying JEsus...point being...*ALL* promises are fulfilled in Christ--*HE* is our high priest of the *true* tabernacle (Heb 8:2) (which, in fact is also spritual---not made by man.) The New covenant is based on new (Heb 8:13), better (Heb 8:6), greater (Heb 9:11), more perfect (Heb 9:11) promises---and, in fact, is HERE in Christ. He's fulfilled it all as our very Jewish writer assures us as well as his Jewish friends. Our NT writer cannot be any more clear about what is meant by Jeremiah 31. When a NT writer interprets an OT passage, we must listen to his interpretation rather than reintepret it ourselves.

Finally, in rom 2:28-29, neither was I saying that God has put aside Israel...he came to them 1st! That's their advantage as far as the gospel is concerned. He did not fail and neither did his word concerning Israel (Paul also makes that clear in his opening statements of Romans 9...back to the beginning...rom 9:6---of course God's word didn't fail...it just doesn't mean what the OT Jews (and many modern Christians)orginally thought it did...why? bc not all Israel are of Israel...true Israel is a spiritual people made up of all nations together united to make up the bride of Christ for the glory of God alone.

Thanks for listening! =D

Chuck said...

You like Piper this is an extensive quote from him, will take a few comments to copy it.
If you ask, How does Paul know this? How can he be sure that the original covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not simply and totally fulfilled in Christ's gathering a remnant from Israel and the nations? Why does he think that the original covenant with the fathers implies that one day ethnic Israel as a whole will be part of the body of Christ?

Here is one possible answer. There are many places in the Old Testament prophets where the covenant with Abraham is reaffirmed and applied to the people as a whole for the future. A few examples:

The prophet Jeremiah is speaking to the people of Israel in exile in Babylon and promising them a future, and the future he promises goes far beyond what they experience in coming back as imperfect, sinful stragglers to Jerusalem. So for example, Jeremiah 24:5-7.

Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. 6 I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not uproot them. 7 I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.

That has not yet happened, and I think that God meant that it would happen in stages. That's what the prophetic perspective is like: it often sees the future as one scene like we sometimes see succeeding mountain ranges as one mountain. Jeremiah 31 is full of hope for Israel in a future that goes beyond anything they have experienced yet.

Chuck said...

Verses 2-3: "Thus says the LORD: 'The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, 3 the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."

Verses 10-11, 20: "He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock. 11 For the LORD has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. . . . 20 Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he my darling child? For as often as I speak against him, I do remember him still.

Then come the familiar words of the New Covenant that we know includes more than Israel—it is bought by the blood of Jesus (Luke 22:20) for all his people-Jew and Gentile. But does it include less than all Israel? Here are the familiar words, addressed primarily to Israel as a whole:

Verses 31-33: "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah . . . I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. . . . I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

But listen to what follows, addressing the same people:

Verses 35: "Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night . . . 36 'If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.' 37 Thus says the LORD: "If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the LORD.'"

In other words, I won't cast off Israel for what they have done. The prophet Ezekiel links the original covenant with Abraham and the everlasting commitment to the later people after the exile. For example in Ezekiel 16:60, God says, "Yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth [the root was holy!], and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant [all the branches will one day be holy]. Or Ezekiel 37:26, "I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore."

I think the apostle Paul read these promises and many like them, and was guided by divine inspiration to teach us that God's purpose for the nation of Israel as a whole is not yet complete. There was implicit in their election as a people not only that there would always be a remnant of saved Jews, but that in some future generation the people as a whole would be saved. If the firstfruits was holy, the whole lump will be holy. If the root was holy, the branches will be holy.

Chuck said...

Dalton Lifsey "The Controversy of Zion and the Time of Jacob's Trouble" is a book that I am reading now that uses an incredible amount of scripture to make the point of Israel's national restoration after a horrible time. Resurrection after death. The pattern of God.

Chuck said...

These scriptures speak of an "until" or "but" or "yet" that means Israel as a nation is stumbling but it is temporary not a permanent fall.
Acts 3:21 Luke 21:24 Matt. 23:29
Micah 5:3,4 Hosea 5:15
Daniel 12:1-2,7 Jer. 30:4-7
Romans 11 of course makes the same point and the fact that it is talking about a nation, an ethnic group is shown by the contrast of gentile and Israel in the closing verses. Piper sees it, Spurgeon saw it, and I see it. Join us!

lorirodeheaver said...
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lorirodeheaver said...

I think for the most part...we agree. lol. The main difference we face is the fact that I see Israel as always having been as it is now - a spiritual people of God, remnant, an elect people whom God alone chooses and perhaps you see them as a literal nation. Though they were a literal nation, that is the shadow of the true image; the true image being the elect spiritual people of God. To go back to the shadow when the true reality is here, is to miss Christ.

I am not saying 'less than Israel' will be saved as you put it, I'm saying they are and will be saved alongside every other believer. They are not excluded! They are included! We, together, form one body, not two.

I would even offer that perhaps there will indeed be some sort of revival of the literal bloodline nation of Jews in Israel at some point in the future, but it will not be by any means besides the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not a red heffer, not a rebuilt temple, not reinstated sacrifices, not any shadow of the Old Covenant because that way is obsolete and finsihed in the work of Christ. Christ must have the preeminance in all things...and the only way he can have the preeminance in the salvation of the Jews is through the gospel. Anything else takes away from his finished work and deems it insuffiecient. That's what I see in the scriptures. Thanks for sharing.

Chuck said...

we are agreed that it is through repentance and the blood of Jesus that Israel will be saved, anything else would be heresy, and I stay away from that.
The saving of the Israel as a nation, is the ultimate display of God's Sovereign Election and grace. Israel, in the New Testament, is speaking of the ethnic nation or the land...every time the word is used. (Even Rom. 9:6 is speaking of the all of the nation and the remnant that God's grace is preserving, during the time of mercy for the gentiles and hardening for Israel.) The all Israel will be saved scriptures are: Romans 11:26,Ezek. 37:25-28, Isaiah 4:2-4, Zech 13:8,9, Isaiah 54:13, Isaiah 59:21, Isaiah 60:21, Jer. 31:34, Jer. 32:39-40.
Hosea's commitment to Gomer never changed and was never based on Gomer's actions. (Again not in a heretical way, Israel will see Him whom they pierced and repent and receive Him as Messiah.)

Chuck said...

Lastly this "overview of history" from Piper.
"Consider the four stages of God’s design in history. I’ll tell you in advance what they are and their sequence, so that you can see them more easily and think about them more clearly.

1) The time of Gentile disobedience—the time when God let the nations go their own ways and sink further and further into sin, while God patiently wrote a lesson book for the nations in the history of Israel as he gave them law and writings and prophets.

2) The time of Jewish disobedience—the time when they rejected their Messiah, Jesus Christ, and God gave them up to hardness.

3) The time of mercy shown to millions of Gentiles through the spread of the gospel to all nations and calling out a redeemed people of God—a fullness of the Gentiles.

4) The time of mercy on Israel as God completes his redemptive plan and takes away the hardening and saves the nation of Israel with a mass conversion to Christ."

All for the glory of God and of His Sovereign Electing Grace.

I enjoy the chance to go back and forth on this and to go "deeper" into it.

lorirodeheaver said...

Here's the problem...dispensational thought always works out to physical realities including: a new temple, reinstated sacrifices and a political reign of Christ on earth. That is what I have issue with. If you don't follow that train of thought, then we agree.

As far as Homer and Gomez, you're absolutely right...just like He loved her despite her infidelity, God loves his elect in the same manner. That does not, however, justify a fail-safe doctrine of all physical bloodline Jews will gain salvation. It's an illustration of God and his people---his spiritual people---all of them, Jews and Gentiles included.

1. I agree...but that doesn't mean those Gentiles who failed to believe during that time did not die and be damned to hell.

2. I agree...God's purposes from all eternity were to bring salvation through the death of his Son...he created those particular Jews for that very purpose. Again, just because God purposed their hardness does not mean they escape responsibility of damnation due to their actions.

3. I agree. Gentiles continue to be saved... as well as Jews even to today.

4. I *can* allow for this scenario to be possible...but again only through the gospel; no temple, no sacrifices, no political reign of Christ or any other shadow done away with in the death and ressurection of Christ.

I guess my biggest beef is the idealogy that propagates that Christ's work on the cross is somehow not enough to save bloodline Jews and they therefore need something else in the future. If we can agree that the only thing they need is the same as what we all need, the drawing of the Holy Spirit, new birth and regeneration through the gospel of Christ, then we agree indeed.

My biggest question is what do you do with the Jews from Christ to the mass conversion? Would you agree that they are all damned apart from saving faith in Christ just as the Gentiles before Christ came (unless they heard the promise and believed it)?

Honestly, while I believe this subject is interesting enough, I also believe it takes an enormous amount of time. Compared to what I really need to be practically learning and living out, Idk if it's worth it to continue going back and forth about it. It's, to me, become one of those things that are good to study and understand as much as humanly possible, but it can also be one of those things that distracts from the essential truths that we really need to be meditating upon.

In other words, it's easier to study abstract details of theology than it is to concentrate on serving my family, loving my enemies and praying for my leaders. Lots of people gain facination with the 'end times' debate and have no concern for what their daily life looks like in light of the gospel. Why? Because it's so much easier to study what you'll never know for sure than to practice what you have been taught and is certain. So idk.

Chuck said...

"dispensational thought always works out to physical realities including: a new temple, reinstated sacrifices and a political reign of Christ on earth."
Yes indeed, and that is why I like that way of thinking because it takes the words of the OT seriously. And does not question, "Has God really said?" in His many references to physical Jerusalem and His Phyical people. It takes the scripture literally and believes that what God has said regarding the physical Jew and physical Jerusalem, He will do. All praise to His glorious, sovereign electing grace. Paul completely expected Him to do it, that is an undeniable truth, of the plain and simple reading of scripture.