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Faithlife
Faithlife

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Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Some of those things are unbelievable!
That’s what we have in this section of Romans. Paul cannot believe the response of the Israelites, his fellow brothers and sisters, to the Messiah; to Jesus.
Start of a new section in Romans. Many have debated whether chapters 9-11 should be included in the book of Romans. Without going into any detail, due to time, they are part of the letter and do fit into the whole. There is great value in giving the time to these 3 chapters.
Start of a new section in Romans. Many have debated whether chapters 9-11 should be included in the book of Romans. Without going into any detail, due to time, they are part of the letter and do fit into the whole. There is great value in giving the time to these 3 chapters.
Start of a new section in Romans. Many have debated whether chapters 9-11 should be included in the book of Romans. Without going into any detail, due to time, they are part of the letter and do fit into the whole. There is great value in giving the time to these 3 chapters.
Paul beings in verse 1 by stating he speaks ‘truth’. In the Greek, ‘truth’ is the first word in the sentence, giving it a strong emphasis. What Paul is saying is ‘true’, and he says it ‘in Christ’. He speaks as one in Christ, as if in the very presence of Jesus.
He is speaking in truth, in Christ, and with a ‘good conscience’. His conscience confirms his words are true by the power of the Holy Spirit. What Paul is about to say in these chapters, is of great importance. And his words can be trusted as being true, because of in whom and by whose power he speaks.
Paul will speak, in these chapters about his brothers and sister, in the flesh, the Jews, have not received the Messiah. And in verse 2 we get his reaction to their failure to accept the Messiah. Great sorrow and anguish because they have rejected the Messiah. His whole being aches in sorrow.
Then we get this most amazing verse, . It’s an astonishing verse! It shows the great sorrow and anguish he has for his fellow Jews.
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It’s ‘an impossible wish’. It’s a wish that could never happen. it’s like my children wishing to be superheroes; it’s ‘an impossible wish.’ Paul, in the previous chapter, spoke about how nothing can separate Christians from Christ; it’s impossible. Just as it is impossible for Paul to take their place.
But we clearly see in this verse, the anguish and great sorrow Paul has for his fellow Jews, who have not turned to Christ as Lord and Saviour. We see his deep concern.
A few years ago, Amos, had to have his tonsils taken out. He had had real problems with them. And I remember throughout and going into surgery, how Lara would say she, wished she could take his place.
I’m sure we can all relate to that in some way.
Paul longed to be able to take their place so that they might be in Christ. It’s paralleled with Moses in . Paul would give up all the benefits of knowing Christ, the last 8 chapters of Romans, if it would save his Jewish brothers and sister!
He goes on, in , to speak of the privileges the people of Israel, the Jews had received as a nation, yet still did not trust in Christ.
ADOPTION: as a nation, Israel is called God’s Son ().
DIVINE GLORY: God’s presence with His people. We read that in our communion reading on Tuesday. God, the creator of all things, dwelt amongst His people.
COVENANTS: God making a relationship with the people through Abraham (), Moses () and David (). God creates relationship and promises to bless them.
RECEIVING THE LAW: God giving the 10 commandments and all the Law
TEMPLE WORSHIP: Priest, sacrifice etc… describes that well
PROMISE: Regarding the Messiah
PATRIARCHS: God spoke to Israel through these men.
Notice with all these we have ‘theirs’ before. The last one, in , changes to ‘from them’.
From them is traced the human ANCESTRY OF THE MESSIAH’.
Having received all these blessings as being part of the nation of God’s people, they still rejected the Messiah. That is why Paul has great sorrow and anguish for them. It’s unbelievable! He is willing to be cut off from Christ for the sake of his fellow countrymen.
To be cut off from Christ is to be like an astronaut whose line to the spacecraft has been cut, drifting off into space, still with a semblance of life but doomed.
(We see this so often, when people are giving all the benefits and privileges, yet do not respond in the right way; nothing comes of it. We see it in the sporting world. We could even see it in family life. We loved our children, provided for them, cared for them, yet they turn out as rebellious people.)
Two points
We live in a so called Christian country! Yet there is so much religion without being in relationship with Christ. Even in Churches! It’s a kind of paradox. We have all the privileges, Bible knowledge, teaching, belonging, Christian family, moral respectability, and yet there is a lack of real heart-changing Christianity. Yet, these privileges mean nothing, unless we are in relationship to Christ; joined to Him as Lord and Saviour. It was the same with the people of Israel, that Paul is writing to.
How does Paul respond?
With deep anguish for his people, according to the flesh. The challenge that really struck me as I was preparing, was Paul’s response to those who had seen such great blessings.
We can approach God on intimate terms; such as ‘ABBA’
Jesus is the great manifestation of God’s presence ()
He came to fulfil the Law and the promises of God.
He is our Sacrifice, our Priest, our purity.
And still people sit in churches and call them selves Christians, without having a relationship with Christ. It should cause us, as people who do have a relationship with Jesus, to share Paul’s sorrow and anguish.
Do we have that attitude?
Would we say, as Paul says, ‘I wish I could take your place...’ He loves them so much, and greaves for them so deeply.
Nothing in this world matters more than knowing Christ. Being joined to Him! Ask God for that same urgency, for the same anguish as Paul, over those whom we know and love, who are not yet in relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
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