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Romans;- What happened to the Jews?

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posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 05:03 PM
In the first chapter of this letter, Paul told the Romans about his eagerness to visit Rome and preach the gospel there and “reap some harvest among you.”
In the meantime, this letter serves the same purpose.
Paul has been presenting the gospel, explicitly addressing the Jews, which presumably means the unconverted Jews of Rome.

But once Paul has finished his explanation of the gospel, he turns back to the first recipients of this letter, the Christians of Rome, and begins expressing his grief about the response of the Jews in general.
He might have been expected to resent their hostility.
So he protests vehemently that his sorrow is genuine. He is not lying (ch9 v1)
(“I am speaking the truth in Christ” is an oath, technically, which shows that we ought not to get too pedantic about the condemnation of oath-taking.)
He goes into hyperbole; he could almost wish to be accursed in their place, if that were enough to save them from judgement.
That would not be necessary, of course, because Christ has already done that (Galatians ch3 v13), but even the offering of Christ could not serve them without faith.
Yet it would be desirable to save them. They have been the recipients, and the guardians for the rest of the world, of everything that God has given in the Old Testament period, including the sense of his presence, his personal relationship, and the first revelations of his will.
They have been what I call “the first point of contact”.

The sorrow comes because most of the Jews are not receiving the gospel, and their. distrust of God’s message seems to separate them from their God.
We were told previously that God “works together with” those who love him and those who are called according to his purpose.
So this failure can be explained in two different ways- they have not loved God, or he has not called them.
Over the next couple of chapters, Paul will be offering both explanations.

On the one hand, the Jews have not been pursuing righteousness through faith.
That would be the natural conclusion from the previous chapters.
Paul gives this explanation as a paradox (vv30-32).
The Gentiles did not pursue righteousness, yet they have attained it through faith.
The Jews did pursue righteousness, in their own way, but did not attain it.
They did not attain it because they were pursuing it through the works of the law, instead of resting on faith.
The necessity of faith has proved to be a “stumbling-block”, and they have tripped over it.
So the desire to see them saved amounts to a desire that they should be enlightened on this point (ch10 vv1-4). They must see the need to look to Christ for the righteousness which comes from God.
“For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified”.

Then Paul finds another way of supporting faith-righteousness from scripture, based on what Moses says about the nearness of the word (ch10 vv5-10);
“For the commandment which I command you this day is not… far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say ‘Who will go up for us to heaven and bring it to us?’… Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us?”… But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and it is in your heart, so that you can do it.” (Deuteronomy ch30 vv11-14).
In Deuteronomy, this is a call for obedience to the law.
But Paul reinterprets the questions.
Why must we not look for someone to go up to heaven? Because Christ has gone up to heaven already. If we look for someone else, we implicitly deny that Christ has ascended, which has the effect of bringing him down again.
Why must we not look for someone to go to the other extreme, to the abyss or the world of the dead? Because Christ has already been down to the world of the dead. If we look for someone else, we implicitly deny that he has been down there, which has the effect of bringing up him again.
In other words, looking for anything other than Christ (such as righteousness through the works of the law) is a way of denying the achievement of Christ.
The word which is close to you, on your lips and in your heart, is the word of the gospel through faith in Christ.
That is, you believe in your heart that God raised Christ from the dead, and you confess openly that “Christ is Lord”, and that is how you are justified and saved.
Scripture says, again, that “no one who believes in him shall be put to shame”, and “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved”, and Paul applies these promises to faith in Christ.
In this respect, he repeats that there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; which means that the Jews had just the same chance as everybody else (ch10 vv11-13).

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 05:04 PM
On the other hand, Paul must argue with a potential critic who wants to transfer the blame for this outcome away from the Jews, and to find fault with God himself.

There is the suggestion that God’s promise to Israel has failed (ch9 v6). This was anticipated in ch3 v2.
Not so, because we must distinguish between “Israel” and “the Jews”. They are not the same thing at all. (There are many modern Christians who desperately need to understand this point.)
He’s already explained this in ch4. “Israel” does not mean the physical descendants of Abraham; it means those who follow the example of Abraham’s faith, when he believed in the promise of Isaac.
God’s promise to Israel is fulfilled in all those who trust in his promise.

In v10, the argument is expanded by reference to Jacob, who is the real founder of Old Testament Israel.
Jacob was given the preference even before he was born, which shows that he could not have been chosen in respect of his works.
At the same time, Esau was “not preferred” before his birth. However, it can’t be said that he was hated before his birth. The “hatred” in Malachi comes from the “works” of the Edomites after the fall of Jerusalem, which they exploited by trying to take over the territory.
By moving on from Abraham to Jacob, Paul has shifted the focus from Abraham’s faith-choice to God’s election choice.
It should be noticed, though, that Jacob’s election follows on from Abraham’s faith-choice. The faith relationship seems to take precedence over the election, just as Abraham’s covenant of promise takes precedence over the law of Moses (Galatians ch3 v17).

Nevertheless, the introduction of God’s choice gives another opening to the potential critic (v14). Is it unjust? (This was anticipated in ch3 v5)
The answer goes back to the fact that God is keeping his word and not breaking it.
The act of keeping his word cannot be unjust, because it is part of the definition of his justice.
On the one hand, he told Moses that he would give mercy according to his own will.
On the other hand, he told Pharaoh that he had raised up the king for his own purposes, from which Paul concludes that he also hardens hearts according to his own will.
However, the original text in Exodus may be interpreted as Pharaoh hardening his own heart.
So it is possible to understand both “mercy” and “hardening” as God affirming and reinforcing the decision reached in the faith-choice.
Which is what we need to do if we are going to take the faith-choice seriously.
Either way, Exodus also offers a purpose for what God is doing, “that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth”. The end-result will be that people will understand who he is.

There is another objection in terms of the human sense of justice, in that people do not seem to have chosen their fate, and therefore have not earned it (v19). This was anticipated in ch3 v7
Paul’s uncompromising answer is that God has created us, and has the unquestionable right to choose our function in his world.
On the example of a potter, who might produce beautiful vases and chamber-pots from the same workshop (vessels of honour and dishonour, as Paul puts it.).
God has “vessels of mercy”, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.
He also has “vessels of wrath”, made for destruction.
Though we are not told that the second group are “prepared beforehand”, and I think that “made” may really be “self-made”, which would explain why God has had to “endure them with much patience”. For we know from the second chapter that the world as a whole comes under judgement for sin.
The purpose of enduring them has been to create a contrast, so that he can display the “riches of his glory” prepared for the first group.
While many Jews have remained as vessels of wrath, the vessels of mercy have been drawn from Jews and Gentiles taken together.
This outcome was foreshadowed in the promises of Hosea, that those who were “not my people” would become “my people”, and also in Isaiah’s promises about the salvation of a remnant.

In the next chapter, the potential critic is allowed to make one final objection, based on and attached to the promise of salvation to “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord” (ch10 vv14-21)
How can the Jews call upon the Lord Jesus if they have not had the chance to believe, because they have not been told about him, because they have not heard any preachers, because preachers have not been sent?
In short, how can they be blamed for their lack of faith if the gospel has never been presented to them?
Paul demolishes this complaint by showing from scripture both that the word has been sent out, and that Israel have been refusing to hear it.
That is why God has chosen to make them “jealous” by allowing himself to be found, instead, “by those who did not seek me”.
But of Israel, he says “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people”.
They have no-one to blame but themselves.

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 05:50 PM
God has to endure them with gotta go read up
Thanks for the springpoints you gave me there.....a reply to: DISRAELI

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 06:53 PM
Thank you for this. I found it an extremely interesting concept within religion. The concept at times kept eluding me. faith in all honesty is an extremely difficult concept most people over simplify into wishful thinking. It’s like weeding out the true believers from people who simply believe in laws.

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 06:58 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Paul told the Romans about his eagerness to visit Rome and preach the gospel

Paul worked for the Romans....Paul was Saul and used to kill Christians and then by some strange miracle, loved Jesus and hated the Romans.
Hate can measure someone....anyone with hate in their heart like Paul.....I am not buying it....the idea of killing someone is lost on a rational man like myself.

Paul lived so many years after Jesus that the fact his books are even in the bible should make anyone say....really??

While Paul did write some cool books (the corinthians)....he is still an agent of Rome.
There is a Roman version of the bible and a Jewish one...they are both skewed with inconsistencies.
edit on 8-11-2019 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 07:07 PM
a reply to: DrumsRfun
When Paul was hunting Christians, he wasn't doing it for the Romans. He was doing it for the Jewish authorities, the Sanhedrin. The Roman empire was not a highly centralised thing, and the Sanhedrin had delegated authority over the Jews of at least the local province (which is why they were claiming the right to try Paul himself later in Acts). There was no conflict between Roman authority and Christianity until Nero's time. If you want to make historical theories, you need to have a better understanding of history.

edit on 8-11-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 07:08 PM
a reply to: Veryolduser
The essence of faith is "trust". That's the key point.

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 07:14 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

It was over 2000 years can't prove anything.

If you want to make historical theories, you need to have a better understanding of history.

I love the "I know everything" lets me know who I am talking to.

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 07:16 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

The essence of faith is "trust". That's the key point.

Go live a lie then.
edit on 8-11-2019 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 07:19 PM
a reply to: DrumsRfun
Obviously History is not a provable science, but historians discover as much as they can from the evidence available, and I read the historians. Was not your own post something of a "I know everything" attitude?

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 07:22 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Was not your own post something of a "I know everything" attitude?

Of course it was...its much like Paul after he never met Jesus and pretended to not work for the church.

If you or I never killed anyone...why are you so cool about a murderer becoming THAT.
Thats like Charles Manson writing the bill of rights??

edit on 8-11-2019 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 07:29 PM
a reply to: DrumsRfun
I will refrain from getting into a "conspiracy in religion"-type of argument. It would take us off-topic.

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 09:14 PM
Paul is in the New Testament because he is the New Testament, well.. quite a bit of it. The other gospels have other names but much of the books that don't have a person's name were by him or greatly influenced by him; people who studied him.

When the Council of Nicaea decided what books would be in the Bible, and when the Romans adopted Christianity after torturing and murdering Christians for hundreds of years to use it for conquering Europe (and the East to conquer lands that'd later become Islamic), his material was favored to create the doctrine of sorts; to construct the religion as we know it today.

posted on Nov, 8 2019 @ 10:29 PM
How much does Paul regard woman?

posted on Nov, 9 2019 @ 02:36 AM
a reply to: Specimen88
I will remind you and everyone else that this thread concerns one specific topic which can be found, as usual, in the opening post. This is the Theology forum, for discussion of Theology, not "Conspiracies in Religion".
The topic is Paul's explanation of the fact that only some of the Jews decided to follow Jesus.

edit on 9-11-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 9 2019 @ 02:46 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I wish I understood your trust in this man...

Good thread

posted on Nov, 9 2019 @ 03:03 AM
a reply to: Akragon
I believe I understand that your distrust is the get-out clause which enables you to reject most of the New testament. But let's not get off-topic again.

posted on Nov, 9 2019 @ 03:07 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

What exactly do you believe I reject brother?

the "new" testament was given by one man...

Would you disagree?

posted on Nov, 9 2019 @ 03:21 AM
a reply to: Akragon
This is not the topic in the opening post.

posted on Nov, 9 2019 @ 03:25 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

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