Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
October 7, 2008
6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
1901 ASV Translation:
6 But it is not as though the word of God hath come to nought. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel:
7 neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed.
9 For this is a word of promise, According to this season will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
10 And not only so; but Rebecca also having conceived by one, even by our father Isaac
11 for the children being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth,
12 it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13 Even as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.
- I. The Major False "Deduction" From Paul's Doctrine of Jewish Advantage.
- A. Right at the top is Paul's renunciation of the idea that "the Word of God hath taken none effect."
- 1. The "logic" of the conclusion that the Word of God really has no impact is not a minor notion coming in from who knows where.
- a. Paul had just revealed an enduring grief that was so profound that he "could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren..." and listed a series of "advantages" that belonged to these "brethren". A grief that raw, and any sense of real advantage, have to have legitimate foundations.
- 1) If there is a "coldness" to Paul's doctrine, the grief is not genuine.
- 2) If the "advantages" were not "advantageous" they were not "advantages".
- b. In at least some people's minds, the "genuineness" is dependent upon the issue of man's "free will" and its automatic corollary of God's "bound will" in regard to what man determines to do and whether he embraces God or rejects Him.
- 1) It is inconceivable to some that God would block His own plans by giving men the ability to frustrate His intentions.
- 2) But it is just as inconceivable to others that God would waste emotion and the giving of "advantage" on those whom He refuses to allow to block His plans.
- c. The question, ultimately, rests upon one turning point: why would God "plan" to permit "Sin" when it is "Sin" that causes all of the grief and blocks the impact of the advantages? Why waste grief on what was "planned"? Why give "advantage" to those whose bondage to "Sin" is such that it will do no good?
- 1) Since the question is one of why God would make such a plan, the answer has to be found in God.
- 2) It is a well documented biblical fact that God's nature includes what men often see as "contradictory" attributes [Justice and Mercy; Wisdom and Patience; etc.].
- 3) Since this appearance of contradiction exists in God (from man's point of view), it is no surprise that the same appearance exists in the activities of God. Men cannot reconcile real "grief" with real "immutable intentionality". Nor can men reconcile any real volitional capacity in man with an immutable wisdom and power in divine "volition". The problem here is in man, not in God. It is man who is limited in understanding, not God. It is man whose proclivities run in selfabsorbed directions, not God. It is man who refuses to accept "setting declarations" as sufficient, not God. [What I mean by "setting declarations" is this: man will never "know" anywhere near "everything", so he needs to accept the declarations of God in his setting as God's way of enabling his life. "Do not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" was a "sufficient amount of information" for ignorant man in that particular "setting". He did not need to be an omni-wise philosopher to accept the statement as it stood in its simplicity. That he did not accept his limitations does not mean that he should not have.] Man's inabilities to "solve" the mysteries of God are not a valid basis for rebellion against the God Who not only does not reveal them, He cannot. The bottom line here is this: man has, since the initial rebellion, indulged himself with the notion that God somehow "owes" him more than He gives him so that his rebellion against Him is justified. An even more fundamental aspect of this "bottom line" is the fact that God often "forces" man to be the servant he was created to be without asking his permission and man rises up in indignant rebellion, demanding to have his "say" (free will) in the matter. If God spared not His Son in His pursuit of the Ultimate Kingdom, why is it that men think they should be?
- 2. The "logic", however, is flawed by the ignorance of man.
- a. God did grant real advantages. Israel did rebel against Him, disbelieving them. But neither of these realities can be used to say that the Word of God is become of no effect.
- b. God's "words" are "immutable" elements in His large, large plans. They do, and will, have the impact that He intended. That His intentions are not always what men think they are, or should be, is quite beside the point. Men in their perversity decided that "the Law" was given so that man could acquire justification by doing its works. Paul, in his apostolic identity, declared that "the Law" was given to make man's perversity more obvious and that "by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified before God". So, what man thinks is not only "wrong" it is very often just another means he uses to promote his evil.
- B. That men could even think that the Word of God could be of no effect is a revelation of how far from the advantages they have fallen.
- 1. In the beginning, the issue on the table had two parts: first was the question of whether man would "love" God as his Maker; and second was the question of whether man would "believe" God as his Life-Guide.
- 2. That any man could even entertain the notion that the Word of God has been made of no effect by the responses of men is only proof that that issue on the table is still on the table.