by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 1 Study # 7 August 26, 2008 Lincolnton, N.C.
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;
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" [See Notes for Aug. 19, 2008 (426)].
F. From "the glory" Paul moves to "the covenants".
1. If we bypass the Noahic Covenant because it was Pre-Abraham and, thus, Pre-Israel, and the Mosaic Covenant because it is the focus of Paul's next phrase ("the giving of the Law"), "the covenants" settle into "four": the covenant made with Abraham; the covenant made with Israel regarding the "land"; the covenant made with David regarding the duration of his "house"; and the promised "new" covenant regarding Israel's future status before God.
2. If we understand that the covenant made with Abraham was designed to answer his needs as a human being, it is not hard to see that Abraham was promised a "land", a "seed", and a "great name". This boils down to a provision for the physical needs of a physical man in the form of a "land" that provides the physically required provisions; a provision for the "soulish" needs of a "living soul" in the form of an offspring ("seed") who could carry the issues of life forward; and a provision for the "spiritual" needs of a "spirit" dwelling in a body in the form of positive recognition for worthy accomplishments ("a great name").
3. From this recognition of the nature of the parts of the covenant with Abraham, it is but a small step to recognize that the "Land Covenant" was a further extension of the promise of a land to Abraham; that the "Davidic Covenant" was a further extension of the promise of a seed to Abraham; and that the "New Covenant" was a promised extension of the promise of a great name to Abraham. Thus, what we have is the main covenant made with "the father of them who believe" and three sub-covenants that extend our understanding of the specifics of the main one.
4. Israel was "downtown central" in respect to the outworking of the covenant made with Abraham. Just being "an Israelite" put a person as close to "dead center" in regard to the benefits of the covenants as it is possible for a person to be. There was only one problem with "the covenants": they leave those who do not trust that "Other" partner in a "covenant" out in the cold in terms of their benefits. Faith becomes the required catalyst for an given individual's participation in the benefits promised.
G. From "the covenants" Paul moves to "the giving of the Law" (that required imposition of Justice that was made necessary because faith was abandoned over time by those who were the downline progeny of Abraham).
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".