Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 1 Study # 6
August 19, 2008
4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
1901 ASV Translation:
4 who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5 whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
- I. Paul's Focus Upon His "Brethren".
- II. Paul's Description of His "Brethren".
- A. The first question is why Paul goes through the list of his "brethren's" identity issues [See Notes for July 29, 2008 <420>].
- B. He clarifies the concept of "brethren" with "my kinsmen according to the flesh" [See Notes for July 29, 2008 <420>].
- C. Then he calls them "Israelites" [See Notes for Aug. 5, 2008 <422>].
- D. From "Israelites" he moves to the issue of the "adoption" [See Notes for Aug. 12, 2008 <424>].
- E. From the "adoption" Paul moves to "the glory".
- 1. For Paul, the problem of man is that he "exchanges" the "glory of God" for that of corruptible creatures (Romans 1:23). This, being idolatrous, is a serious problem, but the greater issue is not that he "worships and serves the creature more than the Creator" (Romans 1:25) but that he has absolutely no regard for "Truth". In Romans 1:18 men "suppress the Truth by means of unrighteousness". In Romans 1:25 the prelude to the false worship and service is the "alteration of the truth of God into 'the' lie."
- 2. In Romans 2:7 Paul makes the search for "glory" and "honor" and "immortality" a foundation for obtaining "eternal life". Likewise, in 2:10 he makes "glory" and "honor" and "peace" the outcome of "working the good". Though these texts are "legal" in the sense that Paul is revealing what action must precede the obtaining of eternal life by one's labors, they, nonetheless, reveal the essential ingredients of what is genuinely valuable.
- 3. In Romans 5:2 Paul said that we "rejoice in hope of the glory of God." This means that we anticipate being able to share in His glory.
- 4. In Romans 8:18 he goes on to declare that our sharing in that glory will override whatever suffering we may have to endure to enter into it that it will make that suffering a non-entity.
- 5. And in Romans 9:23 Paul alludes to the "riches" of His glory as the future possession of those "prepared beforehand unto it."
- 6. Conclusions.
- a. "The glory" begins "in" God. It has to do with attempting to find a word that brings into the mind of man what is, perhaps, the most desirable of all realities. Man has attempted to turn "glory" from an objective into a means. For man, "glory" is the adulation of others; for God, "glory" is His essential character which, in a righteous setting, would automatically result in the adulation of others. For God, the "adulation of others" only finds "value" as a means to their entrance into the true glory. In other words, it is being that is the true glory, not being recognized as worthy of adulation. This is the essence of man's alteration of "truth" into a "lie": he seeks the results without regard for the foundations.
- b. "The glory" has to do with God's commitment to share Himself with His creatures; it does not have primarily to do with any commitment to share "results" apart from their causes. In our perversity, we are most fundamentally interested in the results while God is most fundamentally interested in the causes. This may well be the reason the Word of God so diminishes our "sufferings" (as in Romans 8:18): they are, when it is all said and done, merely "means" to the alteration of our essential values so that our state of being is fundamentally altered.
- c. For the Israelites to have been given "the glory" means that they have had the opportunity to participate extended to them. Since the Gospel went beyond the borders of Israel, everyone who has heard the message has had the same opportunity. As Paul wrote in Romans 8:29, the "predestination" is unto conformity to the image of Christ and in 8:30 he went on to say that "whom" God predestinated He "glorified". This is anticipatory for us, though a done deal for God. We are, according to 8:17, to be "glorified" together with Christ out of the reality that we have "suffered together with Him". Thus, the Israelites' situation, about which Paul endures continual grief, is one of opportunity rejected.
- d. In regard to Paul's "thought progression", "the glory", following on the heels of "the adoption", is a continuation of "future things". The adoption will not actually occur until the point of resurrection and the glory will not be possessed until "we see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2). It does not take much imagination to see the link between these two future realities; the "adoption" is automatic to the entrance into "the glory". Once a person has been transformed into the "glory of God" (in the sense of 8:29 -- conformity to the image of the Son), he can be recognized as an adult son and "adopted" by the Father. By this reasoning, "the glory" is more fundamental than "the adoption". It both precedes it and gives rise to it.
- F. From "the glory" Paul moves to "the covenants".
- G. From "the covenants" Paul moves to "the giving of the Law".
- H. From "the giving of the Law" Paul moves to "the service of God".
- I. From "the service of God" Paul moves to "the promises".
- J. From "the promises" Paul moves to "whose are the fathers".
- K. From "whose are the fathers" Paul moves to "of whom as concerning the flesh Christ".