Israel Defended - Part 1 (series: Lessons on Romans)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

(30) Israel Defended

Romans 9:1–5

1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,
2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart.
3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,
4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises;
5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.


Introduction

Paul expressed his grief over the fact that most of the Jews were alienated from God. He wished himself “accursed” (Gk. anathema) and that he would be destroyed in place of his countrymen. Although Paul’s mission was primarily to the Gentiles, he never ceased to show deep concern for his brothers “according to the flesh,” that is, his fellow Jews. Paul mentioned some advantages enjoyed by the Jews in their relationship with God that made their rejection of Christ even more tragic: The glory of God’s presence, the covenants, the Law, and the promises. Even Jesus the Messiah was born a Jew.

1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,

By insisting that salvation is for Gentiles as well as for Jews, Paul gave the appearance of being a traitor, a turncoat; a renegade as far as Israel was concerned. So, here he declares his deep devotion to the Jewish people by using a solemn oath. He speaks the truth. He is not lying. His conscience, in fellowship with the Holy Spirit, affirms the truth of what he is saying.

I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying,—The strong character of this language indicates that the apostle’s Jewish opponents had charged him with being hostile to his nation and insincere in his actions. He begins his reply by a statement, the force of which is to show that his fellowship with Christ makes insincerity impossible.

my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, --Not “my conscience bearing me witness.” His conscience bore witness in accordance with God’s word. Moreover, it was a conscience enlightened and guided by the Holy Spirit. Only when the Holy Spirit controls the conscience, can it be trusted—but it remains imperfect, and its counsel must always be evaluated against the

Word of God.

"But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God." (1 Cor. 4:3-5)


2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart.

The only nation that God ever called His Son is the nation Israel. However, when Paul thinks first of Israel’s glorious calling, and now of its rejection by God because it rejected the Messiah, his heart is filled with great sorrow and continual grief.


3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,

In this strong announcement, we sense the highest form of human love—that which compels a man to lay down his life for his friends—“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). And we feel the enormous burden which a converted Jew experiences for the salvation of his countrymen. This statement about being accursed (anathema; cut off from Christ) is reminiscent of Moses’ statement made upon returning from Mount Sinai. As the great leader viewed the children of Israel involved in the wicked worship of the golden calf, he desired to have his name blotted out of God’s book in return for the salvation of Israel (Ex 32:30–33). The understanding of Paul, however, in relation to justification by faith, does not allow him to actually wish himself accursed from Christ (i.e., separated from Christ for everlasting destruction). Paul knows that his life is not his own. Therefore, he is not the master of his own life and does not have the power to cast away eternal life, because the blood of Christ purchased that for him. Paul would accept everlasting destruction in return for the salvation of Israel, but God will not allow him to do so.

Whatever was in his heart that brought out such strong feelings for his countrymen (that they might be saved), two things are apparent; that it was impossible to accomplish, and even if it was possible, it would not accomplish what he wanted, their salvation.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to John Lowe Sermons.

© 2008-2028 - All rights reserved.

No content on preachology.com may be printed or

copied to any other site without permission.

The Preaching Ezine

Click Here!

Subscribe to my free newsletter for monthly sermons and get a free book right now. Just follow the link above and get the details!


Preachology Bible Institute

Click Here!

Did you ever want to start or finish your Ministry Training?
Just follow the link above and get the details!


YOUR PAGES:


Your Web Page:
Want your own sermon web page? You can have one!
Your Outlines:
Share YOUR skeleton outlines.
Your Illustrations:
Share YOUR Illustrations.
YOUR SERMONS:
Encourage other ministers
by sharing
YOUR great sermons!
Your Poems:
Encourage us all
by sharing
YOUR great poems!