Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
December 10, 2017
Humble, Texas
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<017> Thesis:   The Word of The God must be interpreted according to the standard of "promise/faith" and not appearances of "contradiction". Introduction:   As we move from Paul's declared attitude toward his brethren "according to the standard of flesh", we are immediately confronted with an "appearance" of severe contradiction within The Word of The God. Just as Paul's initial "subject" in 9:1-5 addresses a profound, perceived, contradiction to "faith" for men (the accusation that the origins of Paul's theology is "hate"), so also does this next paragraph directly confront another profound, perceived, contradiction to "faith" for men. It is a well-known tactic of men to attempt to dismiss arguments for "truth" by attacking the motives of the messenger. For instance, in the never-ending debates surrounding the doctrine of election, invariably one will run into the accusation that "individual election" presents God as a cosmic ogre Who unfeelingly consigns men to eternal hell for no other reason than to maintain His own "sovereign grace". This is not an attack upon "God". It is, rather, an attempt to paint the messengers as incredibly, stupidly, blindly, wrong so that people will not entertain the doctrine as "truth". Thus, in this same way, Paul, in this next paragraph, anticipates the opponents of his doctrine. He clearly believes that his adversaries will attempt to contradict his doctrine by accusing him of teaching an inherently contradictory concept: that God's promises and covenants are in clear contradiction to his admitted position that "Israel" is in extreme apostasy. How can God's promises and covenants leave "Israel" in such a condition? The opponents argue that this amounts to a failure of the promises and covenants. Therefore, Paul, by anticipating this argument, decides to take it head on at its roots: a tragically wrong hermeneutic which fundamentally misunderstands how words are to be understood when spoken by God. This is shown by Paul's "not all who are 'out of' Israel are 'Israel' ". In other words, the word "Israel", when addressed by God in promises and covenants, must be properly "interpreted".