Sunday, February 18, 2007

Tonight, in an attempt to catch up to my current place in the Bible, I'm listing three more chapters from Romans (6-9). I hope you can gain something from them. Since my main point was to post this transcription of my notes, I won't say anymore. Here goes:

6:11-12 Being dead to sin is a command, not an automatic effect of being born-again.

7:10 Commandments which were meant to bring life, brough Paul death-by-resctriction, much like Adam.

8:1 No condemnation for those who are in Christ. The word "in" is indicative of a present condition, not a former one.

8:24 We hope for what we do not have, and for what is to come. We hope to be saved. The terms "salvation" and "saved" actually refer to our presence in Heaven, and is
different from being born-again, which is what we are here, on earth.

8:29 "Predestined," throughout the earliest years of Christianity, extending up until the 1600's, was never defined as being inalterable. It meant only that by being in Christ, our place was reserved in Heaven.

8:35 Nothing can separate us from Christ's love. In contradiction to those that believe in universal salvation, love is not equal to salvation.

9:10-12 culminate with Paul's quotation of Obediah 6, "Esau I hated."Throughout the Old Testament, various prophetic speakers used the terms Jacob and Esau to reference the kingdom/ethnic group that came from them.Obediah, specifically, is one of these. It had nothing to do with thebrother's themselves.

9:17 is referring to Pharaoh, is not considering the emperor's eternal destiny, but his lot in life. God raised him up, never spiritually, but in earthly matters. His destruction was an example of God's manipulation of governments, in order to bring about a specific future. Pharaoh, had he granted the Jews their freedom, could have watched them leave his gates and said to himself (and worse, to his kingdom) "Look at those Israelites. Their God didn't deliver them. If I weren't so merciful, they would still be our slaves." For this condition of his heart, God punished him by tying Pharaoh's irrespective attitude to his actions.

9:20 is an interesting passage in that it defies the axiom that no apocryphal books are quoted in the New Testament. This verse quotes directly from Wisdom 15:7 which, while sounding very much like Jeremiah 18:4, and maybe originating from it, has a different perspective. In context, the book is talking about those who, rather than make vessels, are creating idols. The following verse, 15:8, makes an additional comment that puts the blame for such a lewd creation on the maker of the idol. Unintentionally, the author has made a telling comment about the concept of election: if God has made a man evil, then God, the creator is to blame for it, not the creation.

9:19-21 end with another Old Testament quotation: Jeremiah 18:4. Prophetically, Jeremiah was expounding on God's plan to eventually include the Gentiles in his plan for reconciliation with God. Paul, a former Pharisee, would have known this and not taken the verse out of context.

9:30 and onward is Paul's anticipated answer to those who say that, because the Jews (as a whole) are not, in the end, the sole recipients of grace, then God's prophecies are void. Paul explains that the Jews who try to relate to God by the Law, rather than faith, are in unbelief and therefore, not righteous.

As a side note, I began reading Greathouse's book, From The Apostles to Wesley: Christian Perfection in Historical Perspective. Thus far, it's been extremely enlightening. Greathouse, former general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, breaks down the definitions into explanations everyone can understand. He proves the pedigree of the doctrine of sanctification, throughout church history.

To continue with Romans 10-16, click HERE.

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